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

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.

TOPICS: Apple, iPhone, iPad

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, iPhone, iPad

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  • Apple gifts for some

    Speaking of Apple gifts, why have tech journalists ignored Apple's abandonment of IOS 5 and 6 users? Nothing could be more obvious than Apple's 12 days of gift promo. The required app requires IOS 7! Had Microsoft pulled this stunt you journalisst would have been all over it. I now have two older IPADs and two IPODs that fully meet my needs short of the IOS support.
    • Outdated iPods and iPads?

      Aren't you supposed to buy the new version of Apple gadget as soon as it is released? Your gadgets should be at most 1.5 year old.
  • Best Apple gift

    ...would be advice to jump ship to a better value platform. At some point you may may even need a job where PC and Office knowledge is invaluable. Most Apple products are toys.
    Sean Foley
    • Really?

      All my friends are dumping their crappy Microsoft junk for Apple awesome excellent products. Microsoft junk are toys (Xbone anyone). LOLZ!
    • Why do you think people use apple?

      They use Windows all day at work and they prefer to use apple OS at home. I personally don't use it because I like to game on my PC. but to call apple products toys shows how childish and uninformed you are.
      new gawker
      • Sorry

        Ok, Toy is the wrong word. How about Expensive Proprietary Simple Minded Buggy Devices, with Exploding batteries on Macs.
        Sean Foley
        • Clearly you haven't lived

          Because if you had you would be spontaneously combusting with your PC or other laptops since the early 2000's. Either that or you are intensely bitter now that Apple is trying to crash your Laptop inferno party. Don't you feel that LIon disco inferno coming on?
    • Best apple gift

      In addition to my ipads and ipods I have several PCs. My main PC is Win 8. I do not consider Apple products an alternative but just another tool. There is little reason why Apple has chosen (other than the obvious product turnover) to not support IOS levels. They run on proprietary hardware. It's a fixed sandbox!