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Brain Cell in a Cadet

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    Brain Cell in a Cadet

    I have a #4 Brain Cell that I typically use in my Empire Builder, and am looking for a smaller bag for use when I don't need to carry as much (or only one laptop). The Cadet seems ideal. Given my obsession with protecting my laptop, is there any reason that I shouldn't consider carrying the Brain Cell within a Cadet?

    I realize that the BC won't be held stationary as in the EB, but this would seem to offer better protection than a Cache. Let me know of any disadvantages to this approach that I may not be considering.

    - Les

    #2
    Originally posted by lesrohlf View Post
    I have a #4 Brain Cell that I typically use in my Empire Builder, and am looking for a smaller bag for use when I don't need to carry as much (or only one laptop). The Cadet seems ideal. Given my obsession with protecting my laptop, is there any reason that I shouldn't consider carrying the Brain Cell within a Cadet?

    I realize that the BC won't be held stationary as in the EB, but this would seem to offer better protection than a Cache. Let me know of any disadvantages to this approach that I may not be considering.

    - Les
    Welcome to the forums @lesrohlf,

    The size #4 Brain Cell is small enough and slim enough that you can fit it with your laptop inside the main compartment of the Cadet; you just won't have as much space there for fitting in other items as you would have if you used a cache on rails to hold your laptop instead of the Brain Cell. Also, if you're traveling through TSA airport security (without Global entry status), it's slightly more to open the Velcro top of the Brain Cell as well as unzip the Cadet to access the laptop. You still have room to but some folders inside the main compartment of the Cadet, and you can store other accessories and pens in the front zippered pocket.

    Maybe other forum members can comment on this. I don't use the Brain Cell with the Cadet, since the Cadet also has foam padded sides.

    HTH

    moriond

    Comment


      #3
      @lesrohlf

      Welcome! I agree with @moriond. It would fit but you would really only have room for file folders in the main compartment. The Cadet main compartment is approx. 3" thick and a Size 4 BC is 2.3" thick. This leaves 0.7" at best for other items.
      I did try a Size 4Z BC (I do not have a Size 4 version) and it fit but the zippers sometimes needed to be lifted to clear the top of the BC corner. Bear in mind that the 4Z is about 0.4" taller and 1.2" longer so you may be able to clear the zippers. Also, it is hard to open the flaps and remove the laptop from the BC due to the zipper compartment design. Overall, I think the Size 4 is ok but you will have some compromises.

      What size is your laptop? When I use my Cadet, I put my Dell E7440 (13.2" x 9.1") in a sleeve (Thule) and slide it into the open pocket in the main compartment. It provides a bit of a lift above the bottom of the bag and, as @moriond mentions, the bag is also padded on the bottom and both front and back sides. I too am extra protective of my laptop and would normally like to use a BC (e.g. I use a BC in my S25 even though it is not designed for it) but I find the combination of semi-hard sleeve and Cadet padding very protective.

      You could also go for a Zephyr. Thought the same design as the EB, it is IMHO a lot smaller than the EB. The photographs do not do it "size" justice.

      Hope this help!
      TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks very much for the information, and especially for testing actual use with a 4Z Brain Cell. I suspect I will be fine in nearly all cases using the Cache (or a thinner sleeve) within the Cadet. It's nice to know a BC up to 4Z will fit in those instances when I'm more paranoid than normal.

        I use a Dell Latitude 6230, which is not very wide, but is somewhat tall (at 9.7 inches with the extended battery, it's arguable too tall for the #4 BC, but it works). I have a Known Traveler Number and am usually able to use TSA Pre-Check, so the ability to easily slide the Cache out of the bag is less important for me.

        I like the svelte size and styling of the Cadet over the Zephyr. I've been very happy with my EB, but want something a little different - perhaps a little more formal.

        Thanks again for the great responses - as a long-time lurker the input from everyone on this forum has been invaluable.

        - Les

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by lesrohlf
          Thanks for the great information, and especially for checking actual fit using a 4Z BC. Realistically, I will probably use a Cache or thinner sleeve within this bag, but it's nice to know that my BC will work (albeit with less remaining room in the main compartment) when I'm feeling especially paranoid I really like the svelte look of the Cadet and am looking for something that will force me to carry less.

          My current laptop is a Dell 6230, which is not very wide, but is "taller" front to back at 9.8". It theoretically shouldn't fit into a #4 BC, but works. I think the 4Z is probably the more correct size. Since I have a Known Traveler Number and normally get TSA Pre-Check, the sliding Cache with rails isn't as important for me.

          As a long-time lurker, I very much appreciate this forum and everyone's helpful input!

          Les
          Hi There,

          @lesrohlf, I'm a bit confused, because according to web specs the Dell 6230 is 12.2" wide, and the Size 4Z Brain Cell internal width is 14.3" wide, in contrast to the Size 4 (that you're using) maximum width of 13.1", or 2.1" longer than your laptop. Also, the listed height is 8.9" -- unless you are using an extended life battery? According to my estimates, assuming your laptop dimensions are: 12.2" x 9.8" x 1.0" (i.e., using your posted value of 9.8" for how tall the laptop is), the best fit to your Dell 6230 laptop would have been the Size 6T Brain Cell, which was introduced at the end of September 2007, and which is not currently being made.

          At that time they only quoted external Brain Cell dimensions on the web site product pages, but backtracking from the current specs of Brain Cells, and also scaling from my Size 4 Brain Cell to my Size 6T Brain Cell, I'd get a table like this, with the internal and external Brain Cell dimensions listed in sequence
          Internal Dimensions External Dimensions
          Size 6T* 12.2" × 9.7" × 1.3" 13.0" × 12.3" × 2.4"
          Dell 6230† 12.2" × 9.8" × 1.0"
          Size 4 13.1" × 9.4" × 1.2" 13.8" × 11.7" × 2.3"
          Size 4Z 14.3" × 9.8" × 1.2" 15.0" × 12.1" × 2.3"
          Size 4X* 14.1" × 9.6" × 0.9" 14.7" × 11.9" × 2.0"
          * = not currently made; † = assumed dimensions, based on poster's information

          The Size 6T Brain Cell is 0.6" taller than the Size 4 Brain Cell you're using, and 0.8" less wide. It's a better fit to the laptop, but the 12.3" is likely to have even more of an issue for the Cadet, whose external height is 12.5". You might have a slightly easier time if you could find an old Size 4X horizontal Brain Cell, which is 0.2" less tall than the Size 4X (and slightly thinner and not as long) according to one of my old forum posts that I'll quote here. It's also no longer made, but was more recently discontinued::
          Originally posted by moriond View Post
          Do you have one of the older 15.4" MacBook Pros? Because the size 4x Horizontal Brain Cell was originally designed for those models. Here are the specs for the 4x Brain Cell vs. the current 4z model:
          • The Size 4X Horizontal Brain Cell has interior dimensions of approximately 14.1 × 9.6 × 0.9 inches (358 × 244 × 24 mm), exterior dimensions of approximately 14.7 × 11.9 × 2.0 inches (373 × 301 × 51 mm)
          • The Size 4Z Horizontal Brain Cell has interior dimensions of approximately 14.3 × 9.8 × 0.9 inches (364 × 249 × 24 mm), exterior dimensions of approximately 15.0 × 12.1 × 2.3 inches (380 × 307 × 58 mm)


          I recall seeing this (unanswered) post from ncb4. Supposedly, the Mid-2009 model 15" MacBook Pros took the size 4z Brain Cell that is currently manufactured, but she was using the size 4x that was first produced in early 2006 (when they still offered a range of colors). Also, AFAIK, the size 4z Horizontal Brain Cell was never spec'd to fit in the ID Bag (on the Product pages), although size 4x was, despite the only 0.3" difference in length. Maybe Darcy can shed some insight on this. Also, maybe Nancy still has the horizontal size 4x Brain Cell?

          I have a vertical size 4x Brain Cell (in wasabi), but I can't help you out with your request for a horizontal size 4x Brain Cell.

          moriond
          Easiest of all to fit would be to simply use a cache, and the top of the Brain Cell pressing against and stressing the Cadet zipper would not be an issue. I haven't checked the Size 6T in the Cadet because, since I never use my Brain Cells with the Cadet, they are all in different places, and the original post only mentioned the Size 4 Brain Cell -- nothing about laptops and their fit in this Brain Cell. Since the 4Z pushes against the Cadet zipper according to @tpnl's tests, the 6T is more likely to do so. (It is, however, the best fit I know of to the assumed specs of your laptop; the 6T line was designed to fit the ThinkPads that were coming out, before the switch to wide-screen displays). The Size 4 Brain Cell by itself fits fine in the Cadet.

          HTH

          moriond
          Last edited by moriond; 03-29-2015, 06:22 PM. Reason: Reformatted with table structure

          Comment


            #6
            @moriond,
            Good catch - I forgot to indicate I had the extended battery on the 6230. That dimension certainly adds to the challenge. I could carry it with the battery removed, but that doesn't feel like a very elegant solution. You are right that the 6T is probably the best size for this particular laptop - I'll keep an eye on eBay in case one shows up.

            I've ordered the cadet and am looking forward to trying several options. I think a simple sleeve like the Cache will work well in most instances, since the Cadet already has some padding. That will also allow more space in the main compartment for other items. For times when I don't have as much other stuff to carry and want the best protection, it looks as if I'll be able to use my #4 BC.

            I'll report my findings once the Cadet arrives (Black is on backorder now).

            Les

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by lesrohlf View Post
              @moriond,
              Good catch - I forgot to indicate I had the extended battery on the 6230. That dimension certainly adds to the challenge. I could carry it with the battery removed, but that doesn't feel like a very elegant solution. You are right that the 6T is probably the best size for this particular laptop - I'll keep an eye on eBay in case one shows up.


              Les
              @lesrohlf, I wonder whether this Brain Cell up for auction at eBay might be a size 6T? The problem is that usually they only give approximate dimensions, since many if the sellers are not the original owners:
              Dimensions are 13" wide by 12" tall by 2.5" Deep.
              It's set to expire in 14 hours, but they'll probably relist.

              HTH

              moriond

              Comment

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