In the world of high-quality, affordable notebooks, you really can't go wrong. This is one of my favorite categories of notebooks because they provide so much value for the price. For just under $8, you can get a fantastic notebook that includes a sturdy binding, tough covers, and 70 sheets of high-quality paper.
There are several comparable options in this particular market, but right now we're looking at the Apica Wizard notebook. This is a newcomer to JetPens, and it's a welcome edition. The only option you have is between gray or blue covers — both of which are subdued colors.
Look & Feel
The Apica Wizard has a sturdy feel to it. It features a twin ring spiral binding that can take a beating (although you could probably bend them if you stuff it into a bag with other large objects). The front and back covers are both made of a medium thickness card stock that will hold up to your average semester of commuting. It's not nearly as thick as something like a Doane Paper Idea Journal, but it's a sturdy thickness.
The first page features a blank line for a title, followed by an index table. Like most Apica papers, there's a "No." and "Date" area in the upper outside corner of each page, followed by 6.5mm-ruled light gray lines with a dot next to each 5th line. Nothing ground-breaking here — very standard.
The front cover has a unique design compared to most of these economical spiral notebooks. It's very simple and somewhat spartan, and doesn't come in overly pastel colors. I'm so accustomed to pastels or ornate designs on these notebooks that I'm not entirly sure if I like it or not. I think my subconscious appreciates the subdued, calm cover design. It's refreshing and still manages to pique your interest.
How's the paper do? Great. Like most Apica papers, it handles fountain pens with ease. It's not the smoothest paper, but it is very resistant to feathering and show-through. It's a fantastic work horse of a paper. There's a tad of ghosting when writing on the back of a page, but for my tastes it's completely bearable. If you're using a gel pen, pencil, or fine fountain pen, you'll hardly notice anything showing through.
Dry time for the paper is quick, probably because the paper tends to soak the ink up since it lacks a smooth coating on top.
When you consider the price for this notebook ($7.25 right now), there's really nothing to complain about with this paper. It's a fantastic deal if you tend to enjoy spiral-bound notebooks of semi B5 persuasion.
This is an easy notebook to recommend. If you need a notebook of the semi B5 size and don't mind lined paper, this is definitely worth your time and money. I also like that there's no difference between the blue and gray covers. A lot of notebooks use a color scheme to denote different line formats, blank, grid, etc. paper types. I like that the color option is simple here: just pick the one you like better (or both).
This is a fantastic notebook that packs a lot of value into 70 pages. Definitely give it a try!
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)