close to perfection

Click on photo to view the test writing page in a bigger size.

I finally got around to try the Rhodia web notebook with 90 g paper a couple of days ago. The comparison test between the Rhodia 80 g web notebook, Letts of London baroque and Noteletts can be found here. Other reviews of it have been very positive towards it, so I’ve been very curious and was very happy when Okami/Julie at Whatever thought it was a good idea to swap a 90g webnotebook for a Letts of London baroque. Thank you, Julie! .

I’ve been on the hunt for a real good fountain pen friendly notebook as far as I can remember and this is very close to the real deal. It has the inner pocket, and a rubber band to keep it folded – everything that has made Moleskine so successful – and the best notebook paper that I have tried so far. It comes in black and the characteristic Rhodia orange with the logo imprinted stylishly on the front cover.

It stands the test more than well – both with regards to bleedthrough and feathering. Out of all the test writings above it is only Diamine Royal Blue that shows tiny, tiny signs of bleedthrough. The Royal Blue is also infamous for its extensive feathering and it is actually rather minor when used together with this paper. I really love the colour of the Diamine Royal Blue, but it feathers so much that I have become reluctant to use it.  This problem actually makes it a real good test ink. Another thing that is lovely with the paper in the webbie is the surface. It is so smooth. Not slippery, but smooth in a way that adds more joy to the writing. Even those nibs that aren’t that smooth seem to be making real good friends with this paper. The major drawback is that they don’t come unruled. If they had come with blank papers I would have cancelled my quest for the perfect notebook. But I must admit that these lovely, creamy sheets of paper lines almost make me give in completely and proclaim it as the notebook – despite the lines. When it comes to price – more expensive than Letts, but cheaper than Moleskine (despite that the webbie has to be shipped from abroad). The only possible rival is the Quo Vadis Habana, which I have yet to try. I’ll try to get my hands on one real soon to come with the final verdict.

Links to some other reviews of the 90 g webnotebook: Biffybean’s reviewOkami’s review with comparison between the web notebook and Quo Vadis Habana. You can also browse the Paper & Pen Parafernalia review section at FPN here.


About dandelion

perpetually moving
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14 Responses to close to perfection

  1. Kelly says:

    Webbies are.. well, like the title says, close to perfection – exceeept that the black and orange cover combo tends to get a bit boring after a while. That’s why I’m so glad I dared to buy/try a Paperblanks journal. The paper isn’t as smooth as Rhodia but it does cope with all of my fountain pen inks (even the VERY saturated ones!) and the covers are to die for. The Webnotebook will always be my first notebook love, though.


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  3. Julie says:

    Very good review and image! Thank you. One item to note — the Webbie comes unruled. I just received two and am loving them. Give them a ring to find out where you can find the unruled versions. They’re worth it.

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  6. E1M7 says:

    I’ve used the 90g webbie for a few days now and I have to say that I don’t like the paper all that much. It’s a little too smooth for me. Feels slippery, like wax paper.

    I’m going back to my favorite notebooks; the Muji A5. They only have 30 sheets (think Cahier), so you go through them fast, but I just love the paper. Perfect color, perfect feedback/texture, ruled with very, very weak subtle lines and the most consistent ink flow and the least see-through I’ve ever experienced.

    • E1M7 says:

      I was way too quick to judge!

      I was using the webbie as a notebook, and I take notes with a smooth XF binderized nib. And that did not feel right, at all. Now I’ve tested the paper with broader nibs and a nib with a little more tooth, and it was a completely different experience. Very nice actually.

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  10. Great review and I’m so glad that you are enjoying the Webbie. I personally preferred the Habana, but both are great.

    Hopefully I will find time to get the Lett’s notebook a proper test. I absolutely adore the cover.

  11. Tony Belding says:

    I’ve compared the Webnotebook and the Habana side by side. The Webby is a kind of super-premium luxury moleskine, and I consider it more efficient for journal-keeping. Meanwhile the Habana’s white paper allows colored inks to be more lively and truer in tone, and its wider ruling allows more elbow room with with broad nibs, stub nibs and such. In that respect I find it better for playing around with pens and inks.

    I sum it up this way. . . The Webby is great for journal keepers who want to use a fountain pen, while the Habana is great for fountain pen collectors who want to keep a journal. It’s just a subtle difference in emphasis there.

    • dandelion says:

      What an interesting (and well put) distinction – I think I get just what you mean. I had forgot (haven’t got one yet) that the Habana has white paper instead of the creamy that Rhodia has. That is a quite big difference. When it comes to journalling I belong to the first category – the journalling has followed me almost since I learned to read and write. Thank you for this thoughtful distinction. :-)

  12. gregamckinney says:

    Great review! IMO, the Rhodia is superior to the Habana, which shows a little show-through. No bleed- or show-through on my Web Notebook either.

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