Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: IBM Think Notebooks - Set of 3

I bet you're surprised to see these notebooks on here. Kevin gave me these and I wasn't sure what to expect from them. Normally I'm picky about my notebooks so I was kind of grouchy about having notebooks I didn't pick but in the end, they worked out well... read on to find out!
IBM Think Notebooks All Together

Size: 5.1" x 8.3"
Color: White
Ruling: Dot
Sheet Count: 48
Price: $8.99USD
Where to buy: IBM


These notebooks are very close to being A5 sized (5.8" x 8.3"). There were three in this pack - pink, green, and blue. They have smooth covers that say "THINK" in white font and IBM on the back. They have pretty squared edges and they are staple bound. Inside, the pages are white with solid grey dots.
IBM Think Notebooks Back

The paper feels like "normal" paper - no coating, and not particularly outstanding. I wasn't expecting it to be anything special. However, I was pleasantly surprised by its performance. First, because they are thin notebooks, they are easy to open and fold back so it's easy to write on both sides of the pages all the way to the end. In addition, they easily lie flat.
IBM Think Notebooks Writing Sample & Drying Time
Back and front of the page.
The paper takes dry and wet gel pens well - such as the Pilot Hi-Tec-C and Sakura Gelly roll pens. It is also surprisingly fountain pen friendly. While there is show through, and bleed through in particularly saturated areas of ink, there is no feathering! I still consider paper fountain pen friendly even if there is show through and bleed through when it is within reason, as in this case. You may disagree of course! Drying times are quicker than average, especially with dry/fine nibs. 
IBM Think Notebooks Writing Sample
IBM Think Notebooks Writing Sample
 My favorite part is I noticed the sheen of the J. Herbin Rouge Hematite I was using showed up. Great shading, too!
 IBM Think Notebooks Close Up Sheen

  • Dot grid ruling.
  • Fountain pen friendly paper.
  • Convenient size.
  • Decent price.
IBM Think Notebooks With Pens
  • Not appropriate if you love Apple.
  • Bleed through and show through may prevent you from using the back side of some pages.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by these notebooks. At $3 each, they're affordable, they have dot grids which I absolutely love, and they show off the sheen of certain inks! While there may be some show through and occasionally bleed through as well, there is no feathering. If you want to try something different, I'd recommend these notebooks! I think they're cute. Of course, if you are a die hard Apple fan, you may want to steer clear...


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