From left to right: Letts baroque, Rhodia web notebook, Letts noteletts, Moleskine.
It took longer time than I thought, but now I have testdrived Letts of London (LOL) noteletts, LOL Baroque, Rhodia webnotebook 80g (sorry – haven’t got hold of any of the newer yet) and Moleskine blank journal. Their size vary slightly, but it is basically the same concept; rubber band and pocket inside. Note that I have bought and paid these by myself – this comparison is independent and done as a part of the quest for a real good notebook (yet to find). I used a variety of pens and nib sizes and inks to get a good view of the paper in the notebook The most prominent feature among all are that none are real fountain pen friendly, but both Letts are better than the Moleskine and Rhodia – not much, but enough to be significant. You can’t write on both pages – even with a fine nib – in any of them. In order to view the writing samples properly: click on the photos.
Letts’ noteletts is clothed instead of the faux leather that the other sports. Good thing: variation and five colours available. Bad thing (for me who spills and carry it with me all the time) is that it stains more easily than faux leather. You can choose between lined, blank or squared (good for me who like blank pages). Paper is cream coloured . Upper right corner has a discrete date box that one can fill out or ignore. The paper quality is best out of the four, but it still features too much bleed through and feathering. It is almost worth the price.
Letts baroque seems to be a LE edition with flower textured faux leather (flower alligator?). It is the prettiest and most original of the four. Very nice. It comes in three colours; deep carmine red, black and brown (see earlier post). The paper is not the same as in the noteletts and has a rather odd feature: every odd page is lined and every other blank – the left page is blank and the right is lined when you open it. Interesting, but I can’t help wondering why. The design makes it almost worth the price (about 20% cheaper than Moleskine here), but they should put their regular paper (best would be an even better paper than the regular) in this one and make it a part of their regular range.
Rhodia web note book 80 g/m paper The smallest of the four. This paper was a real bad surprise. I had expected – even though I knew that they have upgraded it to a 90g web note book – the paper to be something that felt like it came from a well reputed paper manufacturer, but unfortunately it didn’t. The paper has a nice colour and a nice feel to it, but it feathers even worse than Moleskine. Another drawback is that it only (even the new web note book) comes with lined pages. I prefer blank pages and can’t understand why they don’t bother to make both blanks, lined and squared. The least fountain pen friendly of the four. Not worth the hype or price. I can only hope that the 90 g paper does this brand justice.
I have now posted a review of the Rhodia web nootebook with 90 g paper here.
Moleskine The brand everyone loves to hate. Costs almost equivalent to $30 here. The paper is better than the paper in Rhodia’s web notebook, but it doesn’t justify the hilarious price. It loves to feather and let the ink seep through the page.