Posts filed under Maruai

Maruai Basic Notebooks Review

Maruai Basic Notebooks Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

At this point, most people are familiar with pocket notebooks — pen addicts and non-addicts alike. The popularity of Field Notes in the last several years has opened the flood gates for lower quality, lower cost alternatives in big box retail stores, and it's because the pocket notebook is an invaluable tool. Well, I recently learned that there are pocket notebooks, and then there are pocket notebooks that can fit in the pockets of those aforementioned pocket notebooks.

Maruai Basic Notebooks

The Maruai Basic Notebooks line is a selection of miniature notebooks that are even smaller than the standard 3.5" x 5.5" size with which we're all familiar. The "Mini" Notebook comes it at a whopping 3.2" x 2.2", while the "Pocket" Notebook is a much larger 4.1" x 2.4". While both notebooks are quite diminutive in size, they have a lot to offer in quality and easy-to-store-literally-anywhere-ility.

Let's start off with the common aspects of these two notebooks. Both share the same quality paper, which is a pleasant ivory color. I don't know the actual weight of the paper, but it performs about as well as the standard Field Notes paper. I wouldn't say it's fountain pen friendly, but it holds up pretty well. For gel, ballpoint, and hybrid ballpoint inks, it's fantastic. The paper is smooth with a small amount of texture, providing a pleasant level of feedback.

Maruai Basic Notebooks Writing

Both notebooks also come with the same color options — Black, Orange, Yellow, Green, Gray, and Navy. The colored covers are simply that — each color uses the same paper and line type, unlike other brands that use the color to indicate the line style on the paper.

The covers are also made of the same robust, textured material. They aren't smooth, and the subtle texture feels great in the hand. They're the weight of a very light cardstock, very similar to other pocket notebook brands.

As far as similarities go, that's the end of the road. The differences at this point aren't gigantic, but they might certainly sway your preference outside of the size option alone.

Maruai Basic Notebooks Paper

Starting with the (adorably) smaller Mini notebook, it offers 48 pages in a twin-staple binding. The paper on this size is all blank, so you don't have any decisions to make on that front.

At just over 3 inches tall and 2 inches wide, it shares the dimensions of a credit card. Sure, it's a lot thicker, but that's pretty impressive. Like JetPens claims, you can store this notebook in a credit card slot of a wallet. This shows just how many options you have when it comes to storing this little guy. In fact, it's so small that it becomes prone to being lost. It can easily slip into places other items can't, increasing the likelihood of misplacing it or mysteriously vanishing.

The binding (which is on the side of this notebook) and cover are well made, but once you start using this notebook, it will not stay closed.

Maruai Basic Notebooks Pocket

Moving on to the larger cousin, the Pocket notebook is only slightly larger, but it also sports a sewn top binding, which completely changes the usage options (at least for me). I've always been a huge fan of top-bound notebooks, and this unique size has been interesting to use.

With 64 pages of 5mm grid paper, this notebook offers the structure many crave. While it won't fit in a credit card slot, it's still incredibly small and capable of fitting places other notebooks can never dream of. I've really enjoyed using this notebook over the Mini because it seems to be easier to use when writing and jotting down quick notes. That might be because it's larger, is top-bound, or a combination of both.

The Mini comes in at $4 and the Pocket is $5.75. This is a premium price considering how you can usually pick up a three-pack of notebooks for around $10 from other makers, and the paper quality isn't amazing by any stretch. To me, this is a niche notebook that fits a size criteria that other notebook makers simply aren't offering at large scale. If you have a specific use for these notebooks and their diminutive size, I'm sure they'll serve you well! As far as notebooks go, they perform quite well for jotting down notes and disappearing when not in use.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Maruai Basic Notebook
Posted on July 3, 2019 and filed under Maruai, Notebook Reviews.

Maruai - The Basic Notebook, Pocket and Mini Size Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

I think we can all agree that you should have a pen or pencil and paper on you at all times. Pocket tech can't replicate all of analog's necessary functions--people need paper. Especially paper that fits in your pocket. It's what makes pocket notebooks so wonderful--except pocket notebooks don't fit well in my pockets. It's not the notebook's fault--it's a known issue with women's jeans: skimpy pockets. It makes me thankful for handy pocket notebook cases, but I still need paper in my pocket. Sometimes it just needs to be that handy.

My solution has been to use mini notebooks. I've been using the Moleskine minis for years, but I don't love their paper, so I was excited to try these new Mini Notebooks from Maruai.

They come in two sizes, the mini and the pocket size. The mini is 3.2" by 2.2" with 48 blank pages, bound with a side staple. The pocket size is tall and narrow at 4.1" by 2.4", with a sewn and glued top binding and 64 5mm grid pages. Both are small enough to fit in a pocket, and the mini can even fit in a wallet card slot. The pocket size works well as a memo pad with its back cover slid into a planner pocket or wallet slot.

They have nicely textured, flexible cardstock covers. They're very durable. I've carried one for weeks, and apart from some blue dye transfer from my darker jeans and a slight gluteus curvature, it looks brand new.

The ivory paper is very smooth and pleasant to use. It stands up to a variety of inks. Broad or wet fountain pens had significant bleed-through, but fine fountain pens with dry inks worked well, and rollerball, gel, ballpoint, and pencils were all great. These notebooks pair naturally with a pocket pen like the Fisher Space Pen or the Midori Brass Bullet Ballpoint pen.

One downside to the notebooks is that the pages are not perforated. My pocket notebook is often my "have you got a piece of paper" go-to, for handing out contact info or book/recipe/website/pen recommendations to friends. I'm still going to tear pages out of these books--I'm just going to have to mangle the notebook a bit to do it. It should work okay for the top-bound book, but tearing a sheet from the staple-bound book could cause the other half of the leaf to loosen and fall out. Still, pocket notebooks were made to be mangled. I look forward to mangling a whole stack of these.

They do cost nearly twice as much as the Moleskine minis (which have perforated pages), which is a bit of a bummer. The paper and covers are definitely nicer on the Maruai, but I can't say they're twice as nice. They feel good in my hand, though, and they'll be the perfect thing to drop in my cart to bump it up over that free shipping threshold. I'm glad to see more mini notebooks out in the world, and these are lovely, useful things.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Posted on April 13, 2017 and filed under Maruai, Notebook Reviews.