Jonathan Ive designed the iBook so it could be slapped around a bit. Yet even with these rubber-clad mobile iMacs there are limits – airports, school journeys, being used in the playground as an impromptu footie goalpost – all of which could serve to squish your tangerine dream. Enter the space-age e-pac – a carry-case range specially designed for iBook users.
E-pac bags come in two flavours – a distinctly business-like holdall in matte black, and a silver backpack combo that looks as if you’re giving a piggyback to Cyberman with no legs. Both are made from tough, highly protective padded nylon, and have been approved for use as airline carry-on luggage.
The black briefcase is the more traditional of the line-up, although I do wonder how many business people use an iBook. It can be carried in three ways: by a rubberized handle – like a briefcase – by a shoulder strap; or with a set of padded rucksack straps, although the latter felt uncomfortable in use. There’s plenty of innovative storage space, too. Not only does it feature two compartments – one for files and notes, the other for the iBook – it also features special pouches designed to house the power pack and leads. Also neat are the CD storage wallet, zip-down cushioned work area, penholders, and business card pockets. The zips are lockable, and my iBook felt both snug and secure.
The same can be said of the backpack. Clad in eye-watering silver, although it does come in black, it is docked with a lower bumbag that provides extra room for an AirPort base station, digital camera and other accessories. Yet, while I can see schoolchildren happily using it to cart both iBook and Pokemon stickers to class, its garish-looking exterior will put off adults. And there lies the rub – the backpack itself weighs nearly 3kg – and fully loaded it’s a beast to carry, meaning children will be hard-pushed to use it.
That said, these are innovative, professional stitched together solutions that bring more than protective padding to the party. Tons of storage space, wacky design – remember, that’s why you got an iBook in the first place – and impressive build-quality make these bags something you pack-up your troubles in.