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  1. #16
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Isn't that the same thing as having a removable sleeve? To have a detachable layer of foam? If I recall correctly, the NFTD had camera inserts - similar idea, though of course it's not at all a backpack. It didn't seem to be the most popular TB offering, as adorable as it was.

    What I have not heard so far from the "dedicated-compartment" crew is why it's so important to have that compartment be attached. I'm not trying to be ornery, I am just curious because I feel that the TB lineup encompasses what I need with respect to computer-carrying.

    - Padding on the back? --> Synapse. (I have carried my computer in my backpack without additional padding. If I'm worried that it will get dropped, I've put in my hoody on the bottom, or put the computer in the internal pocket.) And now I've got a third-party sleeve which is thinner in profile than the Cache. Plus it has a handy grab handle and a little pocket, for when I'm carrying just my computer from room to room (Say, within my house, or from desk to meeting room.)
    - If I want padding on the bottom of the bag - I have my Smart Alec. (Which is discontinued, to be fair.) Or, as above, I put something insulating on the bottom of the bag. Could be as basic as a bubble envelope repurposed from an Amazon shipment.
    - Separate laptop compartment? --> Brain Bag.
    - Discreet compartment for tablets? --> Luminary. (My computer doesn't fit in the Luminary, so I can't use it for that.)

    So what else is missing, for the pro-attachment folks? Less lateral movement of the computer? A lighter load?

    Quote Originally Posted by NClens View Post
    I doubt a layer of foam at the bottom of a synapse is going to make the bag noticeably more heavy, it's just foam. They could do what the camera bag makers use and have it removable with velcro, that would solve the issue of people that want a laptop bag vs. those that don't.

  2. #17
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    Hi folks!

    Just wanted to share another perspective on the concept of a built-in laptop sleeve.

    1. It will be designed to accommodate a laptop of a certain size. Indeed, a smaller laptop could float in that compartment. However, that compartment would not hug the laptop the way a Cache designed for that laptop would hug it.


    2. Whereas the Cache on Rails has a checkpoint friendly design, and may be slipped out when you go through security, the laptop in the built-in laptop compartment would need to be pulled out when you go through security. While flights on US carriers out of US airports allow you to leave your laptop in the bag if you have TSA-Pre, laptops still need to be pulled out in many other countries.

    Having said all of that, a built-in laptop compartment is very convenient when we regularly carry a laptop. Those who have carried the Buzz and the Founder's Briefcase, for example, understand the value of this design.

    When carrying a bag that has a built-in laptop compartment sans laptop, you'd essentially have an extra 1/4" of foam padding inside the bag.
    -m

  3. #18
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    ONE Change to the Synapse

    Forgive me if I'm a bit tetchy today, I'm fighting off a lovely cold that the kids gave me. ONE Change to the Synapse (Early Mother's Day present?)

    I really don't understand wanting to carry an extra 1/4" of padding, sticking out into the interior of the bag, not removable, and unusable for anything but a laptop?

    My sleeve (not TB, so I won't link to it here) is 14.5 x 9.8 x 0.7 in deep, weighs 6.4 oz., is water-resistant and has a handle. If I need it, I carry the extra padding. If I don't, I leave the padding at home. If I wanted it to stay connected to my bag while I go through security, I could clip a lanyard to the handle and the other end to an O-ring.



    It has a nice interior lip that goes over the edge of my laptop, so that even if I forget to zip it all the way closed, there's a bit of insurance to keep the computer from falling out. Also, nice fuzzy cushy interior to protect computer from small bumps. I can pull it all the way out of the bag and unzip it like a full clamshell. I can see all the way inside - papers, pens, food will all be revealed in the merciless light of day (or fluorescent lights).





    See? Just about the thickness of a Luna bar. (I didn't have any Lara bars.)

    In contrast, I bought a school bag for my son. It had a dedicated laptop compartment. The whole thing is heavy and over-engineered. Either he never used all the pockets, or he stuck food in them and it showed up months later, covered in green fuzz.



    The laptop pocket is the swoopy thing in the back section. So okay, it doesn't stick out that much. But it hides things, and that is a problem for me. I changed all my food storage containers to glass for much the same reason.

    (In fact I went just now to snap a picture, and found a portable speaker I’d been looking for for months!)

    So I switched DS over to a Smart Alec. It's a little big for him right now, but it doesn't have anything he doesn't need.

    There are 57 bag options on eBags alone if one wants a bag with a dedicated compartment, they come with shoe compartments or USB charging ports or wheels. Why add something to a design that's been extremely popular as-is? (Of course, tomorrow TB could come out with a bag with a dedicated compartment and I'd have egg on my face. ONE Change to the Synapse :chickenONE Change to the Synapse

    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    Hi folks!

    Just wanted to share another perspective on the concept of a built-in laptop sleeve.

    1. It will be designed to accommodate a laptop of a certain size. Indeed, a smaller laptop could float in that compartment. However, that compartment would not hug the laptop the way a Cache designed for that laptop would hug it.


    2. Whereas the Cache on Rails has a checkpoint friendly design, and may be slipped out when you go through security, the laptop in the built-in laptop compartment would need to be pulled out when you go through security. While flights on US carriers out of US airports allow you to leave your laptop in the bag if you have TSA-Pre, laptops still need to be pulled out in many other countries.

    Having said all of that, a built-in laptop compartment is very convenient when we regularly carry a laptop. Those who have carried the Buzz and the Founder's Briefcase, for example, understand the value of this design.

    When carrying a bag that has a built-in laptop compartment sans laptop, you'd essentially have an extra 1/4" of foam padding inside the bag.
    Last edited by haraya; 05-09-2019 at 07:27 PM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    I'm fighting off a lovely cold that the kids gave me. ONE Change to the Synapse (Early Mother's Day present?)
    Oh no! I hope you feel better soon, @haraya!
    -m

  5. #20
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    Oh no! I hope you feel better soon, @haraya!
    Thanks maverick! Nothing major.

  6. #21
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    If one has to carry a notebook computer and frequenly use it (I am one of them), a separate compartment (as the one in L15) for quick access is beneficial than carrying it in a Cache or sleeve in the main compartment. I think it will actually make the bag lighter and thinner. For those who don't, a separate compartment is a waste, of course. It just depends on the needs.

    For me, a notebook computer or a large iPad is a primary content to carry everyday to work, sadly, I have to use a non-TB backpack. (L15 is simply too small for my computer.) A workaround on the primary function of the bag (for me) is not acceptable.
    Last edited by gadgets; 05-09-2019 at 08:11 PM.

  7. #22
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    I'm genuinely interested, even though I'm not one of those who needs to carry a laptop daily. What would this compartment be like - or, what type of compartment do you have in the bags you do use? Is it stretchy? (possibly using suspension to protect the computer) Or padded? Flat like the Luminary?

    The dedicated compartments in the bags I used to use for work were like shallow boxes of foam, attached to the back wall of the bag. I hated them because the computer rattled around in the compartment, but the padding also prevented the rest of the contents from compressing the compartment which could have mitigated the rattling. I'd like to think designs have improved since then.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadgets View Post
    If one has to carry a notebook computer and frequently use it (I am one of them), a separate compartment (as the one in L15) for quick access is beneficial than carrying it in a Cache or sleeve in the main compartment. I think it will actually make the bag lighter and thinner. For those who don't, a separate compartment is a waste, of course. It just depends on the needs.

    For me, a notebook computer or a large iPad is a primary content to carry everyday to work, sadly, I have to use a non-TB backpack. (L15 is simply too small for my computer.) A workaround on the primary function of the bag (for me) is not acceptable.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    I'm genuinely interested, even though I'm not one of those who needs to carry a laptop daily. What would this compartment be like - or, what type of compartment do you have in the bags you do use? Is it stretchy? (possibly using suspension to protect the computer) Or padded? Flat like the Luminary?
    It's like Luminary 15, thin compartment in the back with a separate zipper on the side. (It's not as satisfactory as TB bags, though, so I will be all in if TB has a larger version of L15 or S19,25 with a separate compartment.) The idea is quick accessibility; just like you want to have a quick-access pocket for your phone or keys that you frequently use.

    I think your old backpack may be ill-designed. The laptop compartment is usually thin and fits snugly. If it rattles in the compartment, wouldn't it do even more in the main compartment unless you carry in full?

    Another important feature of a separate compartment is, well, the protection. If you mix your expensive electronics with other contents in the main compartment, the notebook may get scratched. I sometimes carry lunch and depending on its contents, it may leak out. The chance is rare, but still a possibiity and you don't want to risk.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgets View Post
    It's like Luminary 15, thin compartment in the back with a separate zipper on the side. (It's not as satisfactory as TB bags, though, so I will be all in if TB has a larger version of L15 or S19,25 with a separate compartment.) The idea is quick accessibility; just like you want to have a quick-access pocket for your phone or keys that you frequently use.
    This is exactly it. I commute daily to and from work with my backpack and often the only thing I'll take out of it immediately is my laptop once I arrive, which makes quick/convenient access important.

    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    2. Whereas the Cache on Rails has a checkpoint friendly design, and may be slipped out when you go through security, the laptop in the built-in laptop compartment would need to be pulled out when you go through security. While flights on US carriers out of US airports allow you to leave your laptop in the bag if you have TSA-Pre, laptops still need to be pulled out in many other countries.
    Also agree with this. With TSA pre, the "checkpoint friendly" design is a lot less useful. Also, if it is a quick-access external dedicated pocket, bringing out the laptop is easy when returning to the US.

  10. #25
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    On a side note, the TSA is rolling out CT scanners. The goal of these is to let people keep laptops and liquids in bags, regardless of the traveler having TSA pre. That will eliminate the need for a Tom Bihn cache. I won't go into detail here, but my cache has by far the most disappointingly low usability of anything I've purchased from Tom Bihn.

  11. #26
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    I just got TSA Pre before I bought my Synapse 25, so the cache on rails system, while clever, seemed way superfluous for my needs. Good to hear they're rolling it out for regular TSA... aka, the biggest daily performance art show out there

    I was initially a little concerned about lack of padding for my laptop, but it's a 5-year old Macbook Pro that already has a couple of dents from living in former, not-good, bags — and honestly I feel like it's more protected than it has been before thanks to being in the *middle* of the Synapse 25, usually hanging out next to a bunched-up raincoat or a packing cube in the main compartment. While I agree a wee bit of padding on the floor of that compartment wouldn't hurt for sudden drops, I don't think it needs a padded liner the whole way up like many many bags have now.

    I do have my iPad in a little padded sleeve (a lightweight neoprene-style thing) — primarily to protect the screen — and I've been nestling that in with my laptop in the same compartment. I do kinda wish the Synapse had a smaller, second sleeve for a tablet just to keep it in place and offer a wee bit of screen protection/friction reduction, but tablet sizes are so all over the place it's really hard to commit to a size I think.

  12. #27
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    I've seen people use that pocket for a laptop/tablet but I never understood it because it seems to distribute the weight poorly--away from your back. I will say that it does get in the way and I've wondered what the dividing pocket was for. I'd probably have preferred one giant large internal compartment.
    If you put the laptop in that pocket, it's not against your back, which I like. Haven't noticed any weight distribution issues.

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