Booq Boa S Nerve Review: The bag of many pockets

Booq Boa S NerveI have never been satisfied with a laptop bag. They tend to be ugly, unwieldy, and either try to pack too many ridiculous features into a tiny package or leave your cords and chargers to fend for themselves in giant pockets seemingly designed to create a tangled mess. When I got the Booq Boa S Nerve (provided to me by the manufacturer) I figured it would fall under the “too many pockets,” umbrella, but I was surprised. Somehow Booq has managed to make a bag with a pocket for everything without it becoming a cluttered mess. I never thought I would use the phrase “intuitive design” about a bag, but that’s really what it boils down to.

Boa S Nerve inside
As you can see, the inside is packed with pockets, and that doesn’t even show another set that lean against the book you can see pictured in the pouch. The great thing is that all of the pockets have expandable profiles, so when they aren’t in use they don’t take up much space. On that lowest tier there is a set of neoprene pockets for pens and a larger neoprene sleeve I like to use for my Magic Mouse. Inside the larger pouch where the included laptop sleeve sits there are some larger utility pockets made of the same ripstop material as the rest of the inner lining. Those are perfect for chargers, cords, and battery packs. The thing is, you would know this without me telling you. It’s not that I think bags should have labels on the pockets, but when I open a bag and immediately know how to compartmentalize my gear (instead of trying to figure out the best way to store all of my cords and hope they won’t get tangled) I’m a happy guy.

The Boa S Nerve is great down to the smallest details, too. There’s a tag on the inside with a serial number that gets associated with the buyer so that, in the event of a lost bag, you can hopefully get your bag back. There’s a secondary strap on the shoulder strap that clips to the side of the bag, cinching it tight against your body for riding on a bike or if you need to run to catch your public transportation of choice. There’s a little piece of covered plastic on the back whose purpose eluded me until I set the bag on my chair the other day to load it up and just grabbed the thing by what I now recognize as a handle. No, it’s not revolutionary, and I probably should have thought of what it was, but I didn’t, and the fact that I instinctively grabbed the bag there shows me just how much thought went into the design. Right under that there’s a little pocket for your mobile device of choice.

On the whole, it’s the thought that went into this product that makes it great. If you aren’t interested in a messenger style bag, Booq has an entire line of products designed for geeks and tech professionals with a sense of style and a need for quality storage. You can find their line of products at Booqbags.com.

  

Pimp Your Dorm Room: Desk Edition

As a budding college student, you’re going to spend massive amounts of time at your desk. I know, I know, we’re not supposed to talk about that. I’m supposed to tell you about all the parties, the booze, the great friends you’ll make, the beautiful women you’ll meet. Between all that, though, is the very real fact that either you or your parents are paying big sums of money for you to get an education. So why not get one in style?

This edition of Pimp Your Dorm Room focuses on that haven of study (and perhaps the occasional video game), to help you create a space where you can get in, get your work done, and get on to the other parts of college there are to enjoy.

Laptop
Apple's new Macbook ProThis one word is probably the single most important word for your studies over the next four years. You need a laptop. Forget the desktop gaming days, or maybe you can have both, but at the very least you should invest in a good laptop. I would highly recommend the new Macbook Pro.

Since lowering prices, Apple has made the Macbook Pro an affordable, entry-level machine that has enough power to last you a few years. The 13-inch model starts at $1199, but you can knock that down $100 with an education discount and even nab yourself a free iPod Touch. The operating system is robust, and OS X viruses are still few enough that you shouldn’t see too many problems in the near future. If this is your first Mac, you can even take a free course at a nearby Apple store to help you get acclimated. Simple features like the backlit keyboard and automatic screen dimming will come in particularly handy when your roommate wants to sleep and you need to get some things done.

Option: Microsoft Office – Office is still the standard on most campuses, and the software with which most people are familiar for word processing, spreadsheet work, and creating presentations. Wait until you’re on campus, though, before buying. MS runs some pretty nice deals on certain campuses that could save you hundreds.

Headphones
able planet's NC1000CH noise-canceling headphones.Here’s an item I would again recommend for those times your roommate might be sleeping or someone’s hosting a loud party (one you’ll hopefully be a part of when you finish your work) and you need to finish a paper. Noise-canceling headphones are a godsend, allowing you to focus on your work without interruption and without annoying anyone else.

We just ran a review on the able planet Clear Harmony NC1000CH headphones, which sport some of the best noise reduction (18dB!) in the industry. Granted, they aren’t as high profile as something like a Bose Quiet Comfort, but they’re easily as good, better if you run out of batteries. Tiger Direct has them for $249.99. Trust me, they’re worth every penny. The NC1000CH comes with a case so you can store your phones safely while you’re away. Read the rest of this entry »