When I got my MacBook Pro almost a year ago, the biggest problem I had was finding a bag big enough to carry it in. All of the other bags that I had weren’t wide enough. My 15.4" wide screen MBP was too wide.My biggest problem was how to protect this thing. Without adequate protection, it was going to spend a lot of time at my desk and nowhere else.
Thankfully, Microsoft came to the rescue and offered a number of Gear Diary Team Members bags for their gear. I chose the Microsoft Branded Stachio Backpack. Let’s see how it stacks up to a couple of other bags that I tried using with my MBP.
Front of the backpack
The MS bag itself is not bad, though a bit on the not so stylish side. I like the all black (I’m not into day-glow colors much to the embarrassment of my kids…); but for my tastes, the bag is a bit on the small side. I carry quite a bit of stuff in my gear bag, including (but not limited to the following):
- Personal laptop (MacBook Pro)
- Work laptop (currently Dell D630)
- Chargers for both
- Train schedules
- VzW PC5750 Wireless PC Card (EV-DO RevA)
- Assorted software CD’s and DVD’s
- Assorted AC chargers for gadgets I own and use
- Assorted USB cables for devices and gadgets I own and use
- Freelancing Business Documents
- 5G 60GB iPod Video
- Headphones and Myvu Personal Video Viewer
Picture o’ my crap
As you may guess, the bag simply did NOT hold all of this stuff, which bothered me a great deal. For the job that I am currently in, this is the bare minimum that I am willing to roll with. Without something in the above list, I am going to miss something at a critical time, and then…well, not good. I couldn’t fit both laptops in without leaving something really unprotected, and that was something I couldn’t live with. But then again, not many bags will actually let you hold more than one laptop at a time with any real protection.
Honestly, I ended up using the bag mostly as an overnight bag for my trips out to Denver. The backpack comes with shoulder straps that you would normally expect to see on a bag of that type as well as a single shoulder strap so you can carry it like a standard notebook briefcase.
The front of the backpack
The back of the backpack
The right side of the backpack
The left side of the backpack
The bag also has a handle at the top of the bag in its "portrait," backpack configuration, and honestly, that’s the way that it really stayed, the entire time that I was using it. It was easiest to carry this way
MSRP: Available via Amazon for $35.94
What I liked: Dual landscape and portrait configurations
What needs improvement: There are a number of things that I would like to see improved with this bag. The biggest is space. The bag is too small and doesn’t hold enough; but for $35 bucks, it isn’t too bad.