In this article I will have a closer look at the Waterfield Sleevecase for a Lenovo T61p with an extended 9 cell battery.It will not only be an in-depth look at the product and its features, but I will also highlight the pre-sales advice and its underlying process.
Waterfield customer pre-sales service
The Lenovo T61p is a very robust and reliable machine, that is stall widely used in corporate environments. In my case it is a reliable workhorse for daily work, and with the extended 9 cell battery I can work during my daily commute without any problem.
SFBags order process
The ordering process and customizations consists of six general steps:
- Tell us what type of laptop you have
- Select Orientation
- Trim Style
- Add a Flap
- Add a shoulder strap
- Add a Piggyback pouch
1. Tell us what type of laptop you have
The first step in the ordering process is defining the exact laptop model, for which you would like to order the Waterfield Sleevecase. From the pull down menu you can choose the manufacturer, which is in my case Lenovo. Furthermore note the “Laptop not listed? Click here.” link which allows you to choose a manufacturer or notebook that isn’t in the list.
Lenovo is listed, so I can select Lenovo from the pull down menu. As a result a pop-up window with a table of predefined Lenovo notebook options is shown. I couldn’t choose the Lenovo T61p from the table because it is an older machine. Remark the differences in orientation, and the use of a normal vs. an extended battery. On the bottom of the table you can click on … and fill in the form. This form is exactly the same page as the “Laptop not listed? Click here.” like described above.
This is the point where Waterfield customer service kicks in, to help you with some pre-sales advice. Based on the information from the form, you will be contacted to check the measurements of your machine (both in metric and US units, otherwise use the unit converter in Microsoft Mathematics 🙂 ). After a check double-check loop, you will be provided with the optimal size for the Waterfield Sleevecase. Based on my experience the Waterfield Sleevecase always has a perfect fit. Remark the comparison of a Waterfield Sleevecase for HP Mini 1000 and a no-name netbook sleeve from eBay.
The funny part in here is that Gary, the brilliant mind behind Waterfield and its designs, also helped with the pre-sales advice. So it is not just a single person, but Waterfield Designs consists of a great and knowledgeable team.
2. Select Orientation
The second step of the ordering process is the selection of the orientation of the Waterfield Sleevecase. You can choose the horizontal or vertical orientation. Since I use a Tom Bihn Empire Builder messenger style bag, I choose for the horizontal option. If you are a hardcore backpack user, you probably would prefer the vertical orientation.
3. Trim Style
In the third step of the ordering process you can select a leather or an indium trim. In functional terms there is not much difference, so it is a matter of style and personal taste. I simply choose the Lead Indium option.
4. Add a Flap
In order to fully protect the precious workhorse I chose the option to add a flap to the Waterfield Sleevecase. Another advantage of adding the flap to the Waterfield Sleevecase is the fact that the notebook is that well protected, that you can drop your laptop in a backpack as well (or any other bag). If you use a messenger-style bag you might think about the option not to add a flap so you have easy access to your laptop. However I would go for the optimal protection. 🙂
5. Add a shoulder strap
If you want to travel really light you select the option to add a set of D-rings and a shoulder-strap to the Waterfield Sleevecase. You can select the option to just add the D-rings, which is my preferred option. For the $5,- it gives you the opportunity to attach a shoulder-strap when needed. In the daily use it is often easy to grab the Waterfield Sleevecase (and the laptop) on one of the D-rings from the bag. Just hook one of your fingers in the D-ring and here you go …
6. Add a Piggyback pouch
The final step in the ordering process is the option to choose a piggy bag or not. It is simply a small bag, which you could clip onto the D-Rings of your Waterfield Sleevecase. Personally I don’t have a need for this, since I use a Waterfield Medium Cableguy and a Waterfield 7 x 10 to stash away my power adapter mouse and some other accessories.
Waterfield Sleevecase review – A closer look
The Waterfield Sleevecase for Lenovo T61p is an almost custom build case. Furthermore you will get a Sleevecase that perfectly fits your notebook, instead of a one-size fits all. I haven’t seen many competitive products that take the use of a standard or extended battery into account.
Like I outlined in the review of the Waterfield Sleevecase for Lenovo X60 tablet, the used materials are really durable. The neoprene is really thick, providing excellent cushioning for your notebook. The ballistic nylon is normally used for bulletproof vests, where it now protects your precious machine.
On the backside of the Waterfield Sleevecase there is a convenient storage for some papers or a privacy filter that I use on my screen during the commute time. Remark the slope of the compartment for easy access to your papers.
Overall conclusions and final thoughts
The Waterfield Sleevecase for the Lenovo T61p is a great investment, even for an older machine like the Lenovo T61p. I pack and unpack the Lenovo T61p, and thus the Waterfield Sleevecase several times a day from the Tom Bihn Empire Builder bag that I’m currently using. The Waterfield Sleevecase is a very robust, well build product that perfectly protects your notebook while you are on the go. It allows you to easily switch between a custom laptop bag or a simple backpack that is not primarily designed for laptop use.
Over the past months, you can’t see any signs of wearing out. More in particular I’m using the Waterfield Sleevecase for the Lenovo X60 tablet over 2 years now. An excellent product combined with a knowledgeable staff that consults customers with excellent pre-sales advice is simply a winner ! If you are rocking an Apple MacBook Air, I would definitely recommend to check out the MacBook Air Travel Express case !