UPDATE: These Zequenz Notebooks are now available via Amazon.com
It sometimes takes a bit of time before I can actually get my hands on review samples of products that I see when I go to the National Stationery Show in NY, and in the case of these Zequenz journals, it was totally worth the wait. Pictured above are the 4 samples that the folks from Zequenz sent to me, for review. The notebooks are available in black and red, in graph, blank, and ruled in multiple sizes, and although they are not able to be purchased through an online sore yet, the manufacturer has told me that I can supply the following to email addresses for now (firstname.lastname@example.org@gmail.com) if you are interested in purchasing them. They can currently accept PayPal as a form of payment as well, and if you would like to check out their website it can be found at Zequenz.com …so now on to the review.
The Zequenz notebook is available with your choice of either a black or red cover that has a soft and flexible leather-like feel, and each has the Zequenz name and logo embossed in a subtle way on the front cover. They are available in Mini (9 cm x 14 cm), Small (10.5 cm x 14 cm), Medium (12.5 cm x 17.8 cm), and Large (14.8 cm x 21 cm) sizes with blank, ruled, or graph paper versions. Each Zequenz notebook also comes with a thin magnetic fold-over bookmark which can be seen in the first photo of this review on the upper right corner of each notebook.
I’ve also included a close up of the magnetic bookmark above that shows some of the features in an illustrated fashion which is a little better than my attempted photography.
Something that really sets these notebooks apart from some of the similar ones you will find on the market is the quality and flexibility of the binding. You might not be able to tell from the first photo there, but check out the photos below for some of the yoga-like feats that the Zequenz can pull off.
From my hands on experience with these Zequenz notebooks, I definitely get a sense of the fact that much thought went into creating these, and there was also an obvious focus on quality materials and construction. One of the more impressive features is the binding on these notebooks. As pictured above, the notebook easily opens and lies flat with no need to press it down to force it open.
Taking things even one step further, the Zequenz notebook even folds over 360 degrees with the front and back covers meeting as pictured here. Amazingly enough, this is done with what feels like no pulling or stress on the binding itself. Also, when you return the notebook to its normal closed state, there does not seem to be any damage done, as it just closes back up as it did when it was brand new.
One last trick that the Zequenz notebook has up its sleeve is that the larger sizes are easy to roll up. My picture above is not quite rolled, but a little more folded, but you will just have to take my word for it that it rolls fairly nicely, it is just hard to do that with one hand, and get a decent picture of it with your other hand. Regardless though, if you are on the go with your notebook, it is nice to be able to roll it up like that and be on your way.
I tried a variety of pens in the graph paper version of the Zequenz notebook, and each of them glided very smoothly over the paper. None of the pens showed any significant feathering, other than a VERY minor exception for the two fountain pens. Each of the colors that I wrote with also stood out nicely against the bright white paper and the subtle gray grid marks.
The next picture probably looks like a big white rectangle, but I wanted to give you an idea of the show through that I got when doing the original writing sample. I feel like different people have very different tolerances for show through, and for me, the Zequenz is right on the border for my personal preference of what is acceptable. I could probably deal with writing on both sides of the page, especially if I was a little more selective on what pen I used, but click on the writing sample above and judge for yourself.
The last writing sample here shows the dry time because I know that left-handed writing folks sometimes have a hard time finding notebooks that will work for them. For the most part, my small sample size of fountain pens and fountain pen ink dried a little on the slow side, but for me as a right-handed writer, it is not a big deal, especially considering how smoothly the writing experience was on the paper with the two nibs that I tried. All of the other pens including some Sharpie Pens, Gel Ink pens, and hybrid ink pens all wrote very smoothly and dried pretty quickly.
In summary, I really like these notebooks. The overall quality seems great, especially compared to other similar notebooks in this class, and their flexibility, design, and quality materials have me looking forward to spending a lot more time using these. Dont forget to shoot an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in buying one…or some of these great notebooks.
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