I picked up this Holtz SenseBook by transotype (via JetPens) a few weeks ago now and mostly just because it won the reddot design award in 2013 and it looked pretty cool. Maybe I’m a sucker for marketing, so lets take a look and see how this impulse purchase turned out.
Visually the one thing that caught my attention before I bought this SenseBook by transotype was the cover. It had a very different look to me, kind of like sliced cork from a wine bottle or something. In reality it definitely has that look up close and personal, but its really a much softer and leather like material, but still feels nice in the hand. I also like the white contrasting stitching and the even more drastically contrasting red accents such as on the label, ribbon page finder and labels. I always like the minimal branding, and for the most part this notebook covers that in only having that “transotype” text branded on the lower back cover. The cover itself is somewhat flexible, but a little on the stiff side, so putting it in a back pocket and sitting on it isn’t ideal. Its probably better suited for a scenario where you want a small notebook to keep in a bag.
On the other hand though, where the branding fails me is with the two sewen on cloth labels on the top of the front cover. And its not only a branding fail to me, its a practicality fail as well. It just seems like too much to me, forcing the brand name where it doesn’t need to be in an awkward place that actually just gets in the way. If it were one label I may have let it slide, but two? Really? Its a real head scratcher to me in this inconvenient location no less. But this won a design award? Maybe they were meant to be cut off.
One thing I have found myself liking a lot lately is the cover notch meant to help make sure the elastic closure band has a home to settle in. I also like the round cord style rather than the flat ribbon style elastic closures a lot more lately. Its for a rather unscientific reason, but I just feel like the round style seems to be a bit stronger in my experience. Its probably a completely irrational and subliminal thing, but it just seems like they are often more durable and strong.
Although I don’t frequently use it, the SenseBook does have a blank table of contents and each of the pages are individually numbered for your convenience in filling out that table of contents. With the close up shot like this of the page number you can also see that the number itself and the rulings in this notebook are a fairly light grey which gives a nice contrast on the ivory tone paper.
SenseBook by transotype Writing Samples Fountain Pens Included:
The bulleted list above with all of the features like the numbered pages, wood and acid free 80 gsm paper, 16 perforated pages, and so on was written with my Pelikan M805 and some Noodler’s QEternity Ink. As you can see the ink performed very nicely on this wood-free and acid free paper and didn’t spread or feather at all.
The problem with the medium point fountain pen and darker ink came on the flip side of the page though. As you can see, the show through is pretty significant. I can be pretty picky about how much show through is acceptable for me, but this doesn’t even come close in my opinion.
To be fair I wanted to test some other inks on this paper since it did handle the fountain pen ink very nicely on the front at least. As you can see here, I got pretty nice results with everything else I tried, only the Uniball Air seemed to spread a little bit in comparison to all of the other writing samples.
On the flip side of all of those different inks, you can see that the majority of them show through pretty badly on this scan. The EF Pilot Vanishing point with Pelikan Edelstine Topaz ink fared a bit better, so it may be tolerable in terms of show through for those of you that are not as bothered by it as I am. I think that besides the medium nibbed Pelikan M805, the Uniball Air was probably the worst offender on the show through front. Overall I’m kind of on the fence about the SenseBook as it looks pretty cool, but fails me in some categories that are important to me, so give it some thought and if it seems right for you, the Holtz SenseBook by transotype is available via JetPens who by the way is one of our sponsors.