Review: Pentalic Illustrator’s Sketchbook, New Version

A few years ago, I reviewed the Pentalic Illustrator’s Sketchbook. I quite liked it but found that the paper was a bit thin and show-through was more than average. A commenter on that post noted that Pentalic had “beefed up” after these were initially introduced, and that seems to be true. More recently, I bought another one, after noticing that it seemed thicker than the one I already owned.
In the photo below, from left to right you see a pocket Moleskine for size comparison, the new, thicker Pentalic, and the older Pentalic, with the belly band.
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In this photo, from top to bottom you see old Pentalic, new Pentalic, and Moleskine.

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In this one, Moleskine is on top, then new Pentalic, then old Pentalic.

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The new and old Pentalic are pretty much identical other than the thickness– same features and design. But the new one is definitely thicker, and as you’ll see in the pen tests, it’s much better on show-through and bleed-through (new Pentalic on the top, old Pentalic below). It’s so nice to see a manufacturer actually improving their product instead of cutting corners and making it worse! The old notebook said it had 70 GSM paper– unfortunately, the new one was missing its belly band when I bought it, but Pentalic’s website now shows these as having 100 GSM paper.

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The only slight gripe I have about both versions is that the glue seems to have been applied a bit heavily on the spine, so they feel a bit stiffer to open and don’t quite lie flat without being pressed down. (Old Pentalic on the left below, then the new one.)

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But other than that, with the new paper, the Pentalic is a great little sketchbook! I’ve seen them in various art and stationery stores, usually for a pretty reasonable price of around $10-11. I was surprised to see that on Amazon, they are actually a bit more than that: as low as $11.75 for the pocket size, and only about a dollar more for the 5 x 8″ size. Both are available in black, white and brown. Listings on Amazon still seem to say 70 GSM– not sure if that is just a holdover from the description of the prior version of the product, or if they still have stock with that paper weight. Buyer beware!

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2 Responses to “Review: Pentalic Illustrator’s Sketchbook, New Version”

  1. […] Pentalic Illustrator’s Sketchbook, New Version (via Notebook Stories) […]

  2. […] The sketchbook itself is a 5×8″ version of the Pentalic Illustrator’s Sketchbook. […]

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