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The Just Right Notebook Bag

Benthaven_1How many of you have ordered dozens – if not hundreds – of notebook bags only to find out that they either were the wrong size, didn’t have enough pockets or didn’t provide adequate protection? It’s OK, we’ve all experienced the problem of buying notebook bags blind. Brenthaven puts an end to this bag roulette with the first customizable notebook case in the business.

I went to the Brenthaven’s Web site and tried it out, aiming to procure bags for a bunch of 15-inch notebooks. The bag comes in leather or ballistic nylon and has six items that can be customized with its interactive interface. All told, there are 80 different bags that can be made, giving me a wonderful feeling of being in control of the situation, rather than choosing from what’s available.

I started by choosing the bag for 15- and 15.4-inch systems rather than a 13.3 to 14-inch bag. It’s too bad that the choices don’t include bags for the newest mini-notebooks that have screens that are much smaller. I then selected Superior Protection, which includes a 1.5-inch foam insert that can absorb the shock of being dropped. The alternative, Flexible Protection, has a removable sleeve.

Because of budget constraints I chose to have the bag made of ballistic nylon for $150 rather than leather for twice as much. Then, I came to the tough choice: what pockets to include in my dream bag. The bag can be set up with any of three pocket combinations, and rather than Road Warrior (with a big fold-out pocket and room for files, pens and business cards) or Multimedia (with lots of small pockets for gadgets, discs and flash cards), I ordered my bag with the Vanity pockets (which has a variety of pockets and a large mesh area for a vanity, but could just as easily hold CDs).

Brenthaven_2Next, on to the bag’s handle. I set the bag up with traditional squared handles which seemed to be more solid than the rounded ones that are available. Finally, I ordered the bag with brushed silver hardware rather than black, which can get scratched.

At the end, I was given an overview of my order that included photos of all the details I selected. Being in no particular hurry, I chose to have the bag shipped by UPS ground service. I’ll report back in about a week when it arrives.

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