Having purchased my 11 inch MacBook Air right before my trip to Paris last month, I wanted to find a bag that would fit both the Air and my iPad. I scoured the internet before the trip and realized that there wasn’t much info available.
Apple has the tendency to work in secrecy about new products. This means that they don’t share information with 3rd party vendors. So when something with a new form factor is released (ie the 11 inch MacBook Air), if you are early getting one, it usually means your selections for cases are limited at best.
Steve Jobs was quoted at the announcement saying you don’t even need a case – you just carry it around. While I see his point in the office or at home, I was looking at an international flight followed by lots of Paris subway use. I definitely needed a bag.
I settled on the STM BAGS Scout Extra Small Laptop Shoulder Bag from Amazon. The bag is designed for the iPad and a few accessories, but I’ve found that it works great fitting both the iPad and the Air. This bag is about 2 inches from perfect. By that I mean it works great, but the Air sticks up about 2 inches. If you’re not familiar – the width of the iPad and the 11 inch Air are about the same. The Air is a bit longer.
The STM features a vertical design and has a flap that runs the length of the bag that comes over to an adjustable clip to hold it closed. It fits the iPad in the front pocket just fine. As I said before the Air sticks up about 1 or 2 inches more than its designed for, but this works just fine. The only tradeoff is that the bag is not as tight as its designed to be. This could be an issue if you got stuck walking through heavy rain. You’d probably be okay, but you have a hair of vulnerability. Not the end of the world, but just wanted to state that for people who might be more anal retentive than me.
Other than that the bag is complete genius. Its extremely comfortable, looks good and holds the iPad, the Air and even has left over room for your power supply and any cables you might want for the Air (ie Mini DVI to DVI cable for presentations).
Used this on my trip and it worked like a charm. One small issue is that the release that adjusts and locks the main strap length is easy to knock loose, but the bag is pretty small so its still comfortable if you happen to knock it open. I wouldn’t let this deter you if you need the bag – its really not a big deal.
This bag works great and its affordable. It would be nice to see STM make a few adjustments to make this accommodate everything perfectly, but until then it makes sense to use – particularly for the money.
I’ve added some images so you can see how the bag closes with the slightly too long MacBook Air inside…