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Product Review:  

Taking the iBook on the Road:
with the iBrief


Taking it on the road - a quick look at a couple cases made by Sumdex for your iBook.


By Ted Bade

Part I of 3, Part 2 will appear Next Wednesday. 8/16 and Part 3 on 8/23

Part I - the iBrief

You probably bought your iBook for its portability as well as for other things, like - "Its a Mac, it works and its fun". Even though it's portable and sports a handy handle, taking it on longer trips without a case can be awkward. Sumdex offers the iBrief a "Laptop" case designed with the iBooks color schemes in mind. The iBrief appears to be well constructed and look really cool!

The iBrief is designed like a typical laptop case. Shoulder strap, handle grips, and lots of pockets and zippers to organize things. What makes it special are the color schemes, they come in all the iBook colors: Tangerine, Blueberry, and Graphite!


We actually got to try a Blueberry one which includes Blueberry base color and a silver/platinum upper color with Blueberry highlights on things like zipper pulls, the shoulder pad, and translucent handle grip.


Exterior features include a nicely padded shoulder pad which sports a long adjustable strap. All of the case hardware is metal, coated with a color that matches the silver/platinum of the case top. The strap is secured to the bag with metal swivel clips. The clips look very sturdy and secure. If you want to carry it like a briefcase, two nylon handles are pulled together and surrounded by a soft flexible plastic grip which is comfortable to hold.

The Nylon is Water-resistant and appears to be of a good quality.

Inside there are some nice features to protect and organize your iBook and accessories. First of all there is a pocket to place your iBook in. It is padded on the sides and bottom and a top piece that covers the iBook and adds extra protection. The pocket is not removable. (For PowerBook users, this pouch is large enough to fit a G3 PowerBook).


The bag includes a zippered outer side pouch, a zippered section filled with pockets to hold and organize CD's, extra hardware, pens, pencils, or anything else. The flap adjacent to this area zips down halfway making the items inside more accessible. There is more storage next to the machine's pouch, inside the main case, and a velcro side pouch on the other side for slipping things in and out. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, take a look at the diagram below and Sumdex's web site for more information.


Blueberry, Graphite | Detailed View of iBrief

This case feels rugged and looks really cool. I like the color schemes. However, I am concerned that in the long term, the lighter blue color and the sharp silver/platinum colors may stain or show dirt. If you can live with that, you'll look sharp carrying this case with you.


Although the side zips down to give access to the things inside, it goes only half way. This could be a problem since this flap is also a pouch, which may contain something that doesn't easily bend (or worse, something you don't want bent). My current case unzips all the way to the bottom allowing the flap to fold completely away without bending, which I like better.


Does anyone beside me think it would be nice to have elastic or velcro straps inside to organize power cords, phone cords, and network cords?

Although this bag has nice pouches to a variety of uses, there are no real places for cords. However, there are many pockets and pouches in this bag, and with a little ingenuity, you'll find places to put just about anything.


Overall, I feel this bag is quite elegant, seems rugged enough, and comes in very cool color schemes! A definite must have for today's iBookgeek!


The iBrief retails for $79.95. Many Internet sites had it for less, and I saw one price of $32! Their entire line can be purchsed directly at Outpost.com. The iPack can be had for only $42.95 !, the iBrief for $32.95 and the iShuttle for $49.95 for some cool savings ! Your mileage may vary.


We give the iBrief 4.5 iBooks out of 5. We reccommend the iBrief.


Ease of Use :


Quality :


Over All Score :



About the Reviewer:

Ted Bade has been using Apple computers since 1982 and Macs since 1985. Dedicated to the Macintosh, he has been a member and leader of a Computer user group since 1983. He has a degree in electrical engineering and loves to write. To date he has published a number of articles in MacHome Journal magazine, writes for iBook-User and writes regularly for H.U.G.E. a computer user group newsletter, and freelances whenever he can find the time and need. While he's not playing with his Macintosh G4 or PowerBook G3.

Related Stories:

 Sumdex Releases The iBook Collection of bags


The First web site Dedicated to Apple's iBook !

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Established SUNDAY JULY 18, 1999 6:00AM