There may in fact be a notebook for everyone, but until recently I didn t know there was a notebook backpack for everyone as well. Throw aside your standard conceptions of what a notebook backpack is and get ready for a hard shell unit that is completely different from everything else in the market. Enter the Boblebee Megalopolis Executive backpack.
The BME took me by surprise right out of the box. The hard shell making up the main body is made from ABS plastic which is sure to stop everything short of a bullet from hurting your valuable equipment inside. The shell is a single piece, so there is no fear of splitting along seams. While you might expect the plastic to add a ton of weight when compared to nylon alternatives, it s not a huge impact with the backpack weighing in at a few ounces over four pounds. The shell also features a number of hooks and even has the ability to hold a bedroll in the bottom if you re a little more hardcore than the standard office-bound warrior. The straps will also support things like a soccer ball, rollerblades or other less camping inspired accessories if you re so inclined.
The back side of the pack sports an ergonomic support that one would expect from an outdoor camping rig; so hauling extra weight from the pack or what s inside is not such a big deal. I found the support throughout my back to be excellent, the best of any notebook backpack I ve ever tested. Further, the pack comes with waist and sternum straps for additional support if needed. The shoulder straps are heavily padded, also at the high end of the scale in regards to comfort and support. Boblebee has thought enough about the details too, including a zippered mobile phone case on one of the shoulder straps. They ve also included a sweat bag to stow dirty workout clothes or the like and can be easily tethered to the pack.
The top of the pack features a snug fitting, water resistant lid that will keep rain and foreign materials out of the pack. Within the lid is a zippered pocket that s perfect for storing small things that are often accessed. I found it perfect for change, gum, building access card and other goodies.
Inside the pack is pretty sparse. There s a main notebook compartment, which is padded and offers two velcro straps to keep hardware in place. The compartment is very tight though, I was a little concerned about the pressure exerted on my computer. Not so much because the pressure would hurt the shell, but because the pressure might cause the screen to rub against the keys, leaving marks on the display. I tested the unit for a few weeks and didn t see any damage, but this is a valid concern for those with desktop replacement or otherwise thick notebooks.
The core compartment also features a large zippered pocket and six smaller open pockets. The problem with all of these pockets is that none of them are very deep, making it hard to fit anything that s very thick. There s also not a very good way to stow cables and other larger loose ends.
Let s face it though. This pack is designed to be used in perhaps a little more harsh environment than most of us find ourselves in day-to-day. In that regard, this bag is excellent. For those who want more comfort when walking, blading or whatever to work, the BME will go a long way to ensure comfort and ultimate protection for your notebook. Additionally, for those who travel a good deal, I haven t seen anything that can hold a candle to this pack in the way of sheer protection from the bangs, knocks and jolts most backpacks take during travel.
My only legitimate complaints surround the deployment of the internal pockets and the lack of mesh exterior pockets that have become the standard for holding a water bottle or the like. Both of which seem like easy to resolve problems that would make the next iteration of this pack substantially better. There is one more thing though. Be prepared for lots of looks and questions like, Why are you carrying a sled on your back? I can t tell you how many conversations this pack struck up and how much ribbing I took from my uneducated co-workers. You ll definitely stand out form the crowd with the BME.
Excellent notebook protection
Available in a number of professional looking colors
Flexible design to tote items outside of the pack
Interior could be better designed
Lack of outer mesh pockets
If you travel a good deal, live an active lifestyle or just want a notebook backpack that s more comfortable over a long period of time, the Megalopolis Executive backpack should be on your shortlist. For everyone else it s probably not as smooth of a fit.
Boblbee ships product to a number of countries. The Megalopolis Executive retails for $189.00 in the US and comes in six colors. For more information, visit the product page on the Boblbee site – http://www.boblbee.com/jsp/public/productus/p_hard_ml_exec.jsp