The Apple Core Last-Minute, Stocking-Stuffer Gift Guide 2013

Summary:Is there an Apple user on your gift list? Here's a short list of useful, unusual, and yet practical hardware accessories for Macintosh and iOS devices.

Tom Bihn's Empire Builder briefcase — $190

Tom Bihn's Empire Builder briefcase.


As Jason O'Grady suggests in his recent Apple Core hardware gift guide , "a computer bag is the ultimate technology accessory because it has to be functional (protective) and has to look good at the same time." I prefer a simple case that looks more like a briefcase and yet still can offer plenty of room for a laptop, iPad, accessories, and even books.

My bag of choice is the Tom Bihn Empire Builder briefcase, which can hold an amazing amount of gear. I've used it every day for years now, pack it really full with heavy items, and still, it looks sharp.

The Empire Builder has a very large main compartment, which is easily accessed from the top through a zipper. There's a long side pocket under a flap as well as a compartment with various organizational pockets. On the side are a set of zippered pockets for easy access to papers, books, phone and other items. There are key straps and all kinds of niceties.

What is so convenient about this bag is that it's engineered to stay upright — it doesn't want to fall over! The front, back, bottom, and sides of the Empire Builder are padded and stiffened by foam, which offer a basic level of protection and to maintain its structure. If I'm going a short way to a meeting by car, I just slide the computer in the main compartment. Otherwise, I use the Brain Cell protective sleeve the company sells.

Topics: Apple, iPad, iPhone


David Morgenstern has covered the Mac market and other technology segments for 20 years. In the recent past, he founded Ziff-Davis' Storage Supersite, served as news editor for Ziff Davis Internet and held several executive editorial positions at eWEEK. In the 1990s, David was editor of Ziff Davis' award-winning MacWEEK news publication a... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.