Like the recently reviewed Twin Book, the Clairefontaine Basics is a notebook I received compliments of Exaclair, Inc. This 5 3/4 x 8 1/4, 96 page, staple bound beauty looks to be another great addition to the Clairefontaine product line. The 90g lined paper has a smooth satin finish, and while I didn't find it to be as smooth of a page as the Twin Book, the paper is still some of the best around.
I ran an array of inks across the first page of the journal, from fountain pen, to ballpoint, liquid ink, gel ink, and even highlighter, and not a single one of them feathered or bled through the page. I didn't even bother take a picture of the backside of the page because there wasn't so much as a dot of ink to see. It was stark white from top to bottom.
One thing I did notice about this paper was that I felt it had a little more tooth than the Twin Book paper (which has the same specs), and even the Rhodia pad that I use frequently. Now let me be clear - this is still top-notch paper. Comparing it to other similar items in its product line is like saying I prefer the black Mercedes over the silver one. I am obviously a fan of micro tip pens, and that is where I noticed it. Anything 0.5mm in width or greater I didn't.
The cover of this notebook is made out of cardboard, but it is thick enough to where I think it will be very durable. I like this style of cover more so than hardbound notebooks or journals. It is sturdy enough to write on your lap with, but it still retains some flex for when you might need it.
There are only few companies out there who just get it, and Clairefontaine is one of them.