Me Haz: Another Shiny New iPad

September 21st, 2010

This week has just been amazing. I’ve been so busy (thus the lack of blog posts around here) and so very very lucky. I’ll talk about some of the other awesome news in a later post, but the first bit is: I WON AN IPAD!

Last Thursday I attended a small meetup to get to know the new team behind the Three marketing and community outreach. It was a great evening, catching up with some familiar faces and meeting the new team. During the event we found out they had a competition to win an iPad if you answered the following question: what was the first phone available on Three? … Uhm… I had no idea, but thought it would be easy to find with the powerz of the internetz. Yeah, no. I spent at least half an hour trying to google it (with my trusty iPod Touch and Mifi combo) and eventually found it (it’s the NEC e606, if you were curious).

Then on Friday I got an email that I had won! Awesome! I was headed into central London anyway, so picked it up that afternoon.

Now technically I kind of already have an iPad; as you might remember I bought one together with Cristiano a couple of months ago. I’ve been saying for ages that I like the iPad, but didn’t really need one for my own. All I did was read papers with it, and not much more. Weirdly enough since getting my own, I’ve use it a lot. It’s a different experience when you’re not sharing it and having it ALL to yourself. I’ve properly set up my calendar and twitter on it, and it’s great as a simple second screen on my desk.

A huge thank you to @ThreeUKLatest! It’s the second most awesome prize I’ve won this year… (stick around to hear about the first).

Btw, if you’ve got an iPad, you should be listening to PadAddicts (see their website or subscribe to them in iTunes).

It’s been a bit of a quiet week here, I’ve been a bit caught up in work and shopping. After winning the family football (yay, me!) I decided to go on a bit of a shopping spree last Wednesday, which was the same day as the Knomo sample sale I mentioned in a previous post. Completely unexpected I got a bit of a sneak preview of Knomo’s upcoming collection:

I ended up buying this gorgeous black leather bag and it turns out this model doesn’t even exist yet! It’s a sample of the Helena bag which is a new product for Knomo’s Autumn/Winter collection. The final product will be a bit different than this one, so this bag is truly a one-of-a-kind!

New Shiny Knomo Bag

Besides being a gorgeous leather bag, it actually fits my laptop AND my DSLR plus two lenses. I’m so super pleased with this bag! Here are some photos of me and my shiny new Helena:

New Shiny Knomo Bag

New Shiny Knomo Bag

I can’t wait to see the rest of Knomo’s next collection. If they’re as pretty as this one, I know what I’ll be asking for with Christmas!

As I mentioned in last week’s laptop bag review (the Slim from Knomo), I’d take some time this week to check out the Lima Max from From Knomo. Unlike the Slim this one is a proper bag with space to fit your laptop.

The Lima Max is a 13″ cross-body bag that comes in black quilted nylon. On the inside there are 2 compartments: one for your laptop and one to hold all your other stuff. I was hoping it would be a bit more roomier; I managed to get my phones and wallet in, but it was all a pretty tight fit. On the outside there are both front and back pockets for stuff you easily want to reach.

Knomo Bag Review

I didn’t find this the most pleasant bag to use on a daily basis. Because of the vertical design, you have to ‘dig quite deep’ until you find what you’re looking for. Also being a bit on the short side, it felt too large for me; even though I’ve had bigger bags before, this vertical design makes it feel larger and not that suited for my length. I think if you’re taller than me, you won’t find it that much of a problem, but for me it really didn’t feel right.

The Lima Max is a pretty bag, but not one suited for my needs. If you’re only carrying laptop and papers with you, I think this could be a good fit. It’s a sleek elegant laptop bag, but if you want to carry a bit more, I suggest looking for another design.

The Lima Max is available at the Knomo store for £59.99.

Did you see my review last week of the Slim laptop bag from Knomo? Well, if you want one for yourself, now’s the time to get it. Knomo are holding a sample sale next week, with some bags being sold with 70% off!

The sale will be held on the 14th & 15th July from 12pm – 7pm at the Knomo press office (58 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7QE). I’m not sure yet which bags will go on sale, but if you’ve been eyeing a Knomo bag now is definitely a time to check them out and score some major discounts!

I’ve been eyeing Knomo’s bags for a while now, and they have some gorgeous designs. I was lucky enough to try out two of their 13″ bags/sleeves: the Lima Max and the Slim. Next week you can expect my review about the Lima Max, today’s one is about the Slim.

I got to try out a beautiful red 13″ Slim. Knomo sells these as a sleeve, but I find it’s somewhere between a simple sleeve and full blown laptop bag. There’s one huge compartment for your laptop, but at the back of the sleeve there’s an exterior pouch, perfect for your power cable, screen adapter and whatever other small laptop accessories you carry with you.

The top part of the sleeve is leather, while the rest is quilted nylon. I love the quilted design; it looks great, but it also makes sure that your laptop is sufficiently padded and protected. And it’s light!

Knomo Bag Review

The Slim has a retractable padded handle that fits nicely in your hand and you can carry it around as a simple handbag (like in the picture above). What I loved though is that it also comes with a detachable shoulder strap that you can easily clip on and use the sleeve as a shoulder/cross-body bag.

The one thing I didn’t like was the zipper; it’s a bit tricky to navigate the zippers around the corners, making it a bit of a hassle to take your laptop out. I’m guessing if you use the bag regularly though you’ll get used to it.

Knomo Bag Review Knomo Bag Review

For me this is the perfect ‘extra’ bag. If you already have a pretty handbag which you use daily, but doesn’t fit your laptop, the Slim would make a great companion. I used it this way last week, and while it felt a bit silly having 2 bags with me, at least I knew my laptop was nicely protected in its own bag. As a sleeve it’s a bit bulkier than most, and not the type of thing you’d put in another bag (which I normally do with my other thinner sleeve).

The Knomo Slim is available in 4 sizes (10″, 13″, 15″ and 17″) and seven colours (Black, Brown, Blue, Indigo, Red, Dusty Pink and Silver), although not all colours are available for all sizes. At £50 for the 13″ it’s on the pricey side for sleeves, but as a simple bag it’s actually a good deal.

As I mentioned last Monday, I’m starting a new recurring feature covering girly laptop bag reviews and the first bag I got to try out was one of Crumpler’s latest additions: the Russian King. It’s a gorgeous bag and I was completely psyched to get the opportunity to try it out.

Russian King Crumpler Bag

The Russian King is one of the three laptop handbags that Crumpler has to offer (the Russian King, the Daggy Kate and the Dentist’s Wife… I love Crumpler’s names for their bags). They are all practically identical with a couple of small differences. The Daggy Kate is the standard handbag and comes in 2 different sizes (S for up to 13″ laptops and L for up to “15 laptops) and 4 different colours (dull black, black grey, dusty khaki and grey white). The Russian King is the same bag, but is the prettier leather version, again in 4 different colours (black, off white, bordeaux red and dark chocolate). Then there is the Dentist’s Wife, which again is pretty much the same bag, but it’s part of Crumpler’s luggage range. This means it comes in colours that match their trolleys, has a bit more padding and a different layout of pockets.

Russian King Crumpler Bag

The one I got to try out was a small leather Russian King which will fit laptops up to 13″. It’s a beautiful bag, half leather and half Crumpler’s usual Tex fabric. The bag has two main compartments for all your stuff, with an integrated laptop sleeve in the middle. All 4 inside ‘walls’ (the 2 around the laptop sleeve and the actual two inner walls) have pockets, giving you tons of ways to organize your things. Two of the pockets can be closed with a zipper, two with velcro and then there are 2 open pockets for cards, papers and other flatter stuff. Finally there are two open pockets on the outside that are easily accessible.

I could easily fit two books, a notepad, my wallet, tons of smaller gadgets (2 phones, 2 chargers, headphones, and a Nintendo DS), girly stuff (sunglasses, lipstick, mirror) and still had space left. And with all the different pockets it’s so easy to organize all your stuff, giving everything its own special place. I couldn’t my bulky Nikon D4o camera, while the laptop was in the bag too, but any smaller normal camera could easily fit. I liked that there were outside pockets; they’re perfect for your oyster card and other stuff you want to reach quickly, but nothing too valuable that could fall (or be taken) out.

Russian King Crumpler Bag

As much as I like the inside of the Russian King, it wasn’t as comfortable as I expected it to be. With handbags like these, you want the straps/handles to fit perfectly onto your shoulder. With me it didn’t. One strap would fit comfortably, but the second one just felt awkward. The straps have been designed to be nice and sturdy, but they are on a bit of a weird angle and are just too wide to fit comfortably. The bag also comes with an adjustable and removable shoulder strap. I tried it out, but again it didn’t really work for me; any way I wore it the actual handles were in the way. If you’re interested in this bag, I’d suggest stopping by the Crumpler store and trying out the bag for yourself. It didn’t fit on my shoulder, but it’s worth checking with this bag if it fits you.

Russian King Crumpler Bag Russian King Crumpler Bag

The Russian King is a good sturdy laptop bag with tons of pockets to organize your gadgets. At £189 it’s on the pricey side, but not as pricey as some other leather laptop bags out there, and it is type of bag that will last you for years. If you find the leather unnecessary, you can also go for the Daggy Kate (£119) or the Dentist’s Wife (£109).

Russian King
Brand: Crumpler
Sizes: Small (for up to 13″ laptops) and Large (for up to 15″ laptops)
Colours: Black, Off White, Bordeaux Red and Dark Chocolate

Last November I did a blog post on how Threadless and Griffin had started working together to make iPhone cases. I was a bit disappointed with the 2 designs they decided to produce first, but since then they’ve released more, including one of which I already the tee of.

In total there are now 10 different designs that are available on the Griffin site. My favourites are The Gaming Revolution and Fail:



Take a look at the Griffin site for the other designs, they’re all pretty cool!

Tags: Gadgets

Cristiano and I gave into temptation yesterday afternoon and bought a shiny new iPad to share between the two of us. When the iPad was announced a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t expecting it would be something that I’d consider getting. But then I got to try one…

For me it’s perfect for reading papers for my research. It’s much more comfortable reading stuff from the iPad and taking notes next to it, then sitting behind my laptop and attempting the same. Plus I don’t get distracted by incoming emails, tweets and whatever else is happening on my screen. I haven’t played enough with it yet to see if it could actually replace my day to day browsing and feed reading, but for my research it’s brilliant.

I still don’t think I need an iPad of my own. I’m sharing it now with Cristiano who is using it during “non-work” hours, while I get it during the day for work. It’s nice for reading your emails, tweets and feeds, but I don’t prefer it over just using my laptop. I’m still blogging this from my laptop, and seeing as how most of my web reading is tied up into what I eventually blog about, I don’t think the iPad would fit in that work flow (or should I say blog flow?).

It is a gorgeous device though, and I do think this would be perfect for my mum. So dear readers, what do you think of the iPad? Wantz, Haz, Avoid?

Tags: Gadgets

As you all know, I’m quite a geeky girl with my fair share of gadgets and stuff I want to take with me when on the road. I’ve always been addicted to bags, which I think is to compensate for my lack of being able to have tons of shoes (I’ve said this in a previous post: my feet are 2 different sizes, so buying shoes is a nightmare).

After getting a new laptop bag for Christmas and talking about that new bag to friends, I realized there aren’t that many reviews out there about girly laptop or gadget bags. Some manufacturers still don’t even consider designing for women, with all their laptop bags still being huge and clunky, completely disregarding the female physique. However, there are quite a lot of companies out there with brilliant laptop bags for girls, but most of them aren’t reviewed that often. So I’m starting a new series of blog posts featuring all types of girly laptop and gadget bags.

Crumpler - The Cheesy Chick

I’ve always loved having different bags for different occasions. Unlike the more fashion focused girls though, with ‘different occasions’ I don’t mean ‘one bag to match my pink shoes and one bag to match my blue coat’ (generalizing a bit here, but I think you get my drift). No, what I mean is the combination of gadgets you take with you and the amount of space that requires.

For me that ranges from taking only my wallet+phone with me to going all out and bringing laptop, DSLR camera, book, phone, wallet plus an assortment of cables and other extra stuff. Different situations require different types of bags, and I love having a range of bags from which I can choose from, depending on what I’m taking with me.

What's In My Bag?

So there are a couple of things my reviews will focus on which I hope you all will find useful:

1. How much fits in the bag? This is one of the main things I’ve failed to find when researching for bags online. You often can find out what size laptop fits in the bags, but beyond that? Will my clunky wallet fit? Or my DSLR? I’ll try to give you a good idea of what can and can’t fit in the bags.

2. How comfortable is the bag? Some bags look gorgeous, but will be a nightmare after carrying it for 2 hours straight.

3. How large is the bag? I’ll be posting photos of me carrying each bag to give you an idea how it looks like in comparison to a ‘normal’ person. I’ve seen a couple of bags online that looked great, only to find out that they were HUGE and looked ridiculous on me.

4. How many compartments/zippers etc? I’m a little bit neurotic what this concerns, but I can’t be the only one. I hate having to dive into my bag attempting to find my keys, lipstick or phone, so I prefer bags to have at least a small pocket or something where I can put stuff in besides the main compartment.

My first review for one of Crumpler’s latest bags will be up later this week, so keep an eye out for that post!

I stumbled on another store with cool decals for your laptop: Ivy Bee. There are a couple of pretty funny designs, really integrating the apple logo into them.

Take for instance this decal featuring Isaac Newton:

Ivy Bee - Isaac Newton

Or this one with Robin Hood:

Ivy Bee - Robin Hood

Then there’s the obvious Eve and the Apple and the snake:

Ivy Bee - Eve

Lady Gaga:

Ivy Bee - Lady Gaga

But my favourite has to be My Little Pony:

Ivy Bee - Pony

The decals are made from durable high grade gloss finish vinyl. Decals are self adhesive making them easy to apply and remove, leaving no residue behind. This material is specifically made for this application and will last a very long time outdoors. The decals all cost $12.99 with shipping costs $1.00 for US and $5.00 for everywhere else. Check out Ivy Bee’s store for more information.