Home Icon
stm-block-test-02

STM shows how bags measure up

By Leigh D. Stark | 5:27 pm 24/04/2013

Ever wonder how companies work out just how to get your laptop inside their bags? Believe it or not, bag and accessory manufacturers aren’t buying every notebook, tablet, and phone out there just to test if they’d fit, so how can they work it out?

While furniture stores like Ikea tend to grab fake pieces of electronics to decorate their sets with, an idea that shows you what your home could look like if you bought that couch, bookshelf, or desk, bag designers like STM have a different approach.

To properly work out the approximate size of a 10 inch, 11 inch, 13 inch, or 15 inch laptop, a thick plastic dummy is made, designed to look nothing like a laptop, but to emulate the overall dimensions so the right pouches can be designed.

Currently, the dummy models feel like a very weighty plastic, but at one point in time, these were large blocks of wood, similar to the chopping boards many of us cut fruit and veggies on.

A variety of laptop blocks.

This way of designing sections of bags is apparently very different from how smartphone cases are designed, with representatives for STM telling us that the company doesn’t often receive 3D working CAD models of the devices until after they announced.

Instead, companies take a gamble and work from tips and rumours, creating cases for the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy series devices based on what they hear from online, with many of the guesses working out in the end.

It tells us that one of the sources of device rumours – leaked case designs – is likely being based on similar information as to what we’re often reporting on, and suggests that these product designs should be taken with the same grain of salt given to all speculation.

STM's first Galaxy S4 case being tested on our Galaxy S4 review unit.

Latest reviews

  • Surprising value: Oppo's $449 R7 iPhone clone reviewed

    Slim phones shouldn’t cost a fortune, and Oppo appears keen to give consumers what they want, packing the best of both worlds into one neato sub-$500 package. Is this…
  • AppMonday: NASA Viz

    There’s never not a reason to look up in the sky and wonder just what’s up there, but NASA’s latest little app lets the experts help you out with…
  • AppMonday: SongPop 2

    There’s something about trivia that’s just tremendous fun, and if you happen to mix that with music, it works so well. “SongPop 2” takes those two things and makes…
  • Review: Sony Xperia E4

    We’ve seen good phones out of Sony in the past couple of years, but generally in the flagship field, so what sort of handset does Sony produce when it…
  • Quite the bargain: TCL’s 55 inch curved 4K TV reviewed

    At $2,199 for an ultra high definition, curved, 55 inch TV, there’s value for money in what TCL brings to the table.
  • Review: Jawbone Up 3

    Jawbone's Up 3 certainly took some time to arrive, but the delayed fitness gadget is finally here, packing in more sensors than most activity bracelets and the ability to…
  • AppMonday: Moleskine Timepage

    The calendar on your phone might look good and may appear clean, but if you’re after a colour heavy design focused calendar, legendary journal maker Moleskine may have the…
  • Simply the best: LG’s 4K OLED TV reviewed

    Can LG's 55 inch 4K OLED TV be called the summit of the TV making craft? It just might, it just might.
  • Review: Motorola Moto E (2015)

    Motorola’s take on the entry-level phone has always been priced competitively, but this year, Moto has upped the price just a smidgeon and added support for 4G. Is this…
  • AppMonday: Rain Parrot (iOS, Apple Watch)

    You can always rely on Murphy’s Law if you ever decide to take your umbrella out to find that it doesn’t rain, forcing you to carry the thing around…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More