Welcome!

We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

TOM BIHN Forums Statistics

Collapse

Topics: 14,772   Posts: 190,619   Members: 6,655   Active Members: 261
Welcome to our newest member, Oliver18.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Brain Cell for 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina in a shell case

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • gambcl
    replied
    Hi folks,

    I thought I would post a quick update to this thread now that I have received my Brain Cells and bags, just in case anyone else needs some sizing benchmarks.

    This is what I ordered:

    - Brain Bag
    - Vertical Brain Cell (15" Retina)

    - Ego
    - Horizontal Brain Cell (15" Retina)

    - Synapse 25
    - Vertical Cache (size 4Z)

    If you remember, I keep my 15" Retina MacBook Pro in a Tech21 shell case so I was a little uncertain of the necessary sizes.

    I knew that the Retina Cache was very tight, so I went for the slightly larger size 4Z, however I thought the Brain Cells had a little more wiggle room and I might get away with the Retina versions of those.

    Well, the size 4Z Cache fit perfectly, however the 15" Retina versions of the Brain Cell were just too tight. I could get the laptop and shell case in but it took a lot of shoving and took just as much effort to get it out again.

    So I decided to order both Brain Cells again, also in size 4Z, and they fit much better, still snug but easy enough to insert and remove the laptop without fighting.

    I'll keep the Retina Brain Cells, as laptops keep getting thinner/smaller anyway so I'm sure they will eventually be the perfect size for one of my future laptops.

    Cheers,

    Charlie

    Leave a comment:


  • dimfeld
    replied
    I have both the Vertical Cache and Horizontal Brain Cell for a 15" Macbook Retina. I've only had my cache for a couple weeks now, so it's still pretty tight. Not sure if it will loosen up over time or not, but with the current tightness a case is probably a no-go, as you suspected.

    However, I think the Brain Cell should be OK with the case. Although the interior edges of the Brain Cell are up against the sides of the laptop when I insert it, it's not a tight fit, and the material has enough give that I would expect it to still fit fine, just a bit more snug, with the addition of a Speck shell. EDIT: Or the slightly thicker shell you're using.

    Incidentally, while typing this and looking at the Brain Cell again, I just found my pocket pouch from the 2013 July 4th promotion. It had fallen into the pocket of the Brain Cell, and since I never use those pockets I never even thought to look there. I've been wondering for more than a year where that thing went, so thanks for inspiring me to inspect my Brain Cell more closely
    Last edited by dimfeld; 08-30-2014, 08:11 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • gambcl
    replied
    Hi moriond, thanks a lot for the detailed reply, it sounds like the Retina version might be feasible.
    I did find the specs page for the Brain Cell and the Retina version has internal dimensions listed which almost exactly match the MBPr specs on Apple's website, but you can't tell from the specs how much play there is.

    Any actual 15" MBPr and Brain Cell owners out there care to add anything regarding the fit?

    Leave a comment:


  • moriond
    replied
    Originally posted by gambcl View Post
    Hi folks,

    I'm going to be ordering a Brain Cell and a Cache (for different types of travel) for my 15" MacBook Pro Retina
    but I have my MBPr in a Tech21 hard shell case.

    The Tech21 shell is very similar to the Speck shell cases but it also has a thin layer of rubber cushioning between
    the MBPr and the actual shell. I would guess that it adds about 3mm to each edge of the laptop, so it adds about 6mm in total
    to the width, height, thickness of the laptop.

    I have already read in here that I would need the size 4Z Cache (for the older MBP models) because the Retina Cache is
    very tight even for a naked laptop, so it wouldn't fit over the shell case.

    However, I have no idea how tight the Brain Cells are. Would I also need to go up to the 4Z size for a Brain Cell or is
    there enough wiggle-room in there to fit an extra 6mm in each dimension?

    Could someone with a 15" MBPr and a Brain Cell comment on how tight the fit is in the Brain Cell?

    Many thanks for the help,

    Charlie
    @gmbcl Hopefully, someone using the 15" Retina MacBook Pro in a case can answer your question about the Brain Cell directly, but I'll just state that there's more leeway for your laptop fit in the Brain Cell, and that tighter fit in the caches seems to have a feature of the current generation of caches -- earlier manufactured caches up to a couple of years ago (using the older denser foam, at least up through mid-2012, since I first noticed the new cache materials when the iPad Mini was introduced in November 2012) were not as tight.

    The Brain Cells have a degree of adjustability, because even though they are designed optimally for various Mac models, they are also sized so that other PC model laptops that don't fit exact specs can use the closest size. For example, there is an internal "sling" suspension whose length you can slightly adjust, if you pull out this portion and change the overlap of the ends at the bottom of the sling. This suspended structure also sits over a layer of memory foam that was added to the design in late 2007 The old blog links no longer work with the forum redesign of a few years ago, so I'll excerpt this information from the internet archive:


    The Brain Cell Adds a Fifth Layer of Protection: Memory Foam

    Our Brain Cell laptop case has gained a reputation for offering the best protection one can get for their laptop short of using a heavy metal briefcase. The Brain Cell cradles laptops in 8mm thick soft foam padding, suspends them in a 4mm hard corrugated plastic insert that protects from the front, back, and bottom, and protects them the sides by dense cross-linked closed-cell polyethylene foam, providing the ultimate in laptop protection.
    And now that protection is even better. All Brain Cells, Horizontal and Vertical, now have an new fifth layer of protection: 12mm thick premium memory foam, manufactured to our specifications in the U.S.A. The layer of memory foam is fixed to the corrugated plastic floor of the Brain Cell, separating the bottom of the foam sling from the corrugated plastic shell. The memory foam acts as an extra layer of cushion as well as an effective shock absorber.
    The Brain Cell is manufactured by our highly skilled Seattle factory crew. Components of the Brain Cell, from the 500 denier Cordura to the premium memory foam, are manufactured to our specifications in the United States.
    The Brain Cell. $60. Vertical or Horizontal. Available in 11 different sizes to fit a wide range of laptops. Multiple colors. Ships immediately.

    darcy | 5 November 2007 1:09 pm | New products |
    I know that when the previous 15" MacBook Pro specs changed some years ago, people reported being able to use the earlier size 4X Brain Cell for the redesigned size 4Z Brain Cells, and that was about a 7mm change to the dimensions. My guess is that you'll be able to use the Brain Cell designed for the 15" Retina MacBook Pro, but maybe a forum member (or a TB Customer Service rep) can verify this for the 15" Retina MacBook Pro.

    For a video review of the Brain Cell, check out the 2012 review of the Horizontal Brain Cell at Tactical Gearhead. Most of the Brain Cell reviews seem to come with the Brain Bag. You can also take a look at the Back Country Treks video review of a vertical brain cell starting about 4 minutes into the review. @tpnl is our local expert on all things Brain Cell and their pictures, so maybe he can comment.

    HTH moriond

    Leave a comment:


  • Brain Cell for 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina in a shell case

    Hi folks,

    I'm going to be ordering a Brain Cell and a Cache (for different types of travel) for my 15" MacBook Pro Retina
    but I have my MBPr in a Tech21 hard shell case.

    The Tech21 shell is very similar to the Speck shell cases but it also has a thin layer of rubber cushioning between
    the MBPr and the actual shell. I would guess that it adds about 3mm to each edge of the laptop, so it adds about 6mm in total
    to the width, height, thickness of the laptop.

    I have already read in here that I would need the size 4Z Cache (for the older MBP models) because the Retina Cache is
    very tight even for a naked laptop, so it wouldn't fit over the shell case.

    However, I have no idea how tight the Brain Cells are. Would I also need to go up to the 4Z size for a Brain Cell or is
    there enough wiggle-room in there to fit an extra 6mm in each dimension?

    Could someone with a 15" MBPr and a Brain Cell comment on how tight the fit is in the Brain Cell?

    Many thanks for the help,

    Charlie
Working...
X