You Could Carry Every Gadget You Own In iHome’s Smart Brief Bag, But I Wouldn’t [Review]

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When iHome designed their Smart Brief computer bag ($99), they had the good idea to create a product with pockets for all of today’s modern-day computing devices and accessories. Problem is, like every good idea turned product, execution is everything, and that’s where the Smart Brief starts to get a little lackluster.

The Good

Macbook Pro, iPad, chargers, headphones, iPhones, pens, pencils—there’s literally nothing in iHome’s Smart Brief (SB) computer bag that doesn’t get its own pocket. It’s quite a modern bag actually, with pockets for just about every current-day gadget you could possibly ever want to carry, including magnet-sealed pouches for chargers, cables, and headphones.

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I found the Smart Brief’s computer pockets well-padded and nicely lined, too.

Macbook Pro, iPad, chargers, headphones, iPhones, pens, pencils — there’s literally nothing in iHome’s bag that doesn’t get its own pocket.

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With a soft grey “fur” lining each sleeve and plenty ‘o padding, I bet you could drop the SB and have your precious Apple cargo come out unscathed.
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Fly a lot? Smart Brief has a quick-access pocket for a Macbook (up to 15 inches) that’ll get your notebook ready for security right quick.

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Also particularly useful is the dedicated smartphone pocket on the front of the bag. It worked great for quickly stowing and retrieving my iPhone when I didn’t want to have it in my pocket, and it’s nice to have when your hands are full and you need to quickly stash something.

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So handy!

The Bad

So why wouldn’t I want to use this bag?

Well first, its dedicated charger pocket didn’t fit my 15-inch Macbook Pro’s charger. Whoops. If you have a Macbook Air or a Pro with a smaller power brick, yours might fit fine, but for a bag made to carry MacBooks up 15.6 inches, I found the oversight annoying.

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Every 4 out of 5 uses the the zippers would hang or stall.

Most of all, though, I couldn’t get over how low-quality the bag felt. The zippers felt thin and flimsy, and 4 out of 5 times they would hang or stall when opened and closed.

The bag’s inner materials also felt thin and sub-par, with crooked stitching and hanging threads only adding to the ambiance.

Wrapping up my grievances are the bag’s thinly-padded shoulder strap and neoprene-wrapped handles. When fully loaded, this bag can get heavy, and with only a bit of thin neoprene to cushion the weight, it can get uncomfortable quick. The handles work fine, they just look like they’re fashioned from an old wetsuit and shouldn’t for a bag in this price range.

 

The Verdict

If you’re like the Woz and carry all your gadgets with you when you travel, and if you’re not a quality-hound like me, you actually might like iHome’s Smart Brief. Some of my friends I showed it to said I was being too picky. The premise of the bag is definitely a good one, but as I mentioned earlier, its execution in craftsmanship makes it hard to recommend, especially for someone with a 15-incher like me [that’s enough of that filthy talk — Ed].

[rating=poor]

  • BoloMK34

    Any chance you can recommend a GOOD bag for those of us that are road warriors?

  • tykj90

    A bag that will hold all of my Apple gear is exactly what I am looking for. If this bag doesn’t fit the bill, which one does?