Wayne Thorp will speak at the 2015 AAII Investor Conference this fall; go to www.aaii.com/conference for more details.
Checkpoint-friendly laptop briefcase.
Last September, I reviewed the TravelPro Crew 9 20-inch Expandable Business Plus Rollaboard. After nearly 20 years of being an American Traveler loyalist, this rollaboard has become my go-to piece of luggage for weekend and extended trips. Recently, the company sent me another piece of the Crew 9 collection: the Business Brief. The Business Brief is designed for business travelers, with a bit more capacity and pockets than the booq Cobra brief I reviewed last summer. Since I don’t have any trips planned, however, I’ve been using the Business Brief as my every day briefcase the last couple of weeks.
The Crew 9 line of luggage comes in either black or titanium gray. The bag is made of 2000d twisted nylon fabric with Duraguard coating. Add in the solid silver hardware and the Business Brief definitely has the look of a well-crafted bag. The black model I reviewed looks like any of a number of briefcases on the market today. I am not looking for something pretty, so the understated look works for me.
The Business Brief measures 12.5 inches by 16.75 inches by 6 inches (height by length by width) and weighs 3.5 pounds. This makes the brief slightly shorter than the booq Cobra, but over an inch wider. It’s also almost two pounds lighter, something worth remembering if you typically pack your briefcase to capacity or are racing to make a connecting flight at the airport.
The brief has an abundance of pockets, which is both a blessing and a curse. On its front, the brief has a business organizer with three pen slots; two mesh pockets for power adapters, cords or other accessories; a keychain clip; and an interior zipper pocket.
Working your way toward the back of the brief, the next pocket is a “tablet pouch,” which is perfectly sized for a full-sized tablet, such as my iPad or Google Nexus 10. It also can hold my Microsoft Surface Pro as well as a 15-inch Ultrabook. This space has two zipper pockets that run the full height of the bag. The pocket also has two dividers, which are perfect for keeping files organized. I can’t recall ever seeing this in a briefcase bag, and it’s something that I really like, especially since I am always carrying papers and folders back and forth.