My first impression of the Nordic Color Animal W Ring Notebook was that it's a cute little thing, fun for class notes. I didn't take it terribly seriously. I wasn't even sure if I would review it. But then--the paper. This paper, you guys. Behind this unassuming fluffy critter illustration is the paper of a beast.
The general specs: This notebook is A5 sized with W-shaped twin-ring binding. The coil appears to be copper--it's very sturdy and doesn't feel like it will mush in my bag. There are 40 sheets of non-perforated, 7mm lined white paper. It's a softcover, but the back cardboard is sturdy enough to use as a writing surface. The front cover is clear plastic with a pocket, and behind that is an adorable illustration by Shunsuke Satake. The lines of the paper are faint dashes--a good guide, but subtle enough to ignore if you so desire. Along the top line are also subtle vertical guides to assist with any outlining or other alignment. And at the top of the page is room for a date or other label.
This notebook is really ideal for class or meeting notes--particularly things you want to keep as one unit, since the pages aren't perforated. One downside is that using the front cover pocket will obscure the cute illustration--but that also opens up the option for some custom decoration, so it's not all downside.
Now, about that paper. Holy cats, guys. This is some pleasant paper. It has just the right amount of texture to it to feel smooth while also providing good feedback. I had zero feathering with any of my inks or pens, and no bleedthrough at all. And barely any showthrough, even with a juicy flex nib. I was definitely not expecting this level of performance, especially in a notebook that costs less than five dollars. If you've been wishing for a lightweight notebook that you can use your serious business pens in, give this one a try. I'm taking a closer look at Kyokuto's other paper products now, and kind of wishing there was a sewn-bound book of this paper with a few hundred pages, with or without the adorable critters.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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