I purchased this sketchbook at Lee’s Art Shop in NYC (which is always worth a visit if you’re in town). I was attracted by the size and shape, as you don’t see that many slim softcover sketchbooks that are truly pocketable. This one certainly is– it’s flexible enough to keep in a back pocket but the covers seem substantial enough not to get too beat up. It could be described as looking like a thicker version of a Moleskine Volant. Shown below next to a pocket hardcover Moleskine for comparison– it’s a bit smaller and thinner.
It’s very basic– no elastic, no pocket, no ribbon marker. Once you peel the sticker off the front cover (which seems like it will peel cleanly), it is plain black and free of any branding inside or out, except for the gold-stamped brand on the back cover (which looks a bit cheap, somehow).
Inside the paper is smooth and creamy– not so different from Moleskine paper in feel, though it is said to be 90 GSM. All the pages are perforated, but the notebook really doesn’t open flat. I guess it’s no loss, in a way, as you won’t want to draw into the gutter when the pages are perforated.
The smooth paper feels great with fine point pens, and fountain pens work nicely except for taking a bit longer to dry (still smearing at about 10-15 seconds). But show-through and bleed-through performance was not so great.
So I’m left wondering who this sketchbook is for? If you want to just scribble some little sketches on the go with fine pens or pencils and then tear them out to use elsewhere, I guess this will fit the bill. But otherwise, I’m not sure it really provides any advantages over other notebooks and sketchbooks on the market. The list price for this sketchbook is $10.90, and I think that is about what I paid at Lee’s. Blick has it for $6.99, which seems like a better value. Other sizes are also available.