The trouble with most gear bags is that they’re just overgrown briefcases with an added place to stash a laptop plus a few extra pockets. They weren’t designed specifically for laptops nor for hauling all the other stuff like power cords, chargers, mp3 players, etc.
I just got the Laptop Brief and used it on my trip this past weekend. I’m impressed. The laptop storage area has adjustable padding, including removable shims, and most important, padding on the bottom under the laptop so it can’t clank on the floor. Also, the laptop stores in the middle of the bag, not near the outside, and it fastens down snugly with velco.
There are a multitude of pockets and storage areas for gear so everything doesn’t end up on the bottom of the bag, and the inside liner is orange, which makes it easier to find stuff. It’s well-thought and designed, and smaller, more durable, and easier to store and find things in than the bag that came with the laptop.
It should be an object of much contemplation and comment at the upcoming Gnomedex, a conference on blogs and podcasting attended by world-class uber-geeks, where bulging gear bags are the norm.