This pocket sized (5″x3.3″) Life Noble Notebook Mini Ring from our friends at JetPens (buy here) is probably one of the nicer notebooks you can buy for your money, if you aren’t concerned about price. Not that it will set you back a ton of money, but this is definitely a case of getting what you pay for, so keep that in mind if you are considering this or any alternative in the same category of a premium pocket notebook. Also, just a quick reminder that this notebook was acquired as part of our sponsorship with JetPens, although nothing about my opinion in this review has been influenced by said free stuff.
The inside of this Life Noble Notebook Mini Ring notebook has 40 sheets (even though the JetPens website says 30) of ivory colored 85g paper with very subtle grey rulings. The rulings are set at 7mm apart, and the bottom left side of each page bears the “LIFE” brand name in a pretty non-intrusive way. I forgot to mention that above in the first picture you can see the blue cover (also available in orange or brown with graph or blank pages) has a great looking old embossed “LIFE” logo across the front with some very nicely done artwork and lettering that gives it sort of a Victorian look.
While the front cover of the Life Noble Notebook Mini Ring feels similar to the weight of a decently sturdy index card, the back cover is a significantly thicker slab of cardboard. This is a great addition to any pocket notebook as it gives you a solid surface to write against when you fold the pages over and are writing, likely holding the entire notebook in one hand. The double coil binding also helps in that department making for a nice firm surface to write on. The back cover and double coil binding also make it stiff enough that its easy to slip into a pocket without bending too much, and the slightly rounded corners help to prevent snags when doing so.
Writing in the Life Noble Notebook Mini Ring was an incredibly smooth affair. Fountain pen nibs in both EF and M sizes felt very smooth against the surface of this 85G paper. It did seem like pens tended to write a bit more dry when using this paper though, so I think the finish on it doesn’t really suck the ink up as much as some other papers. My only gripe was that for some reason the Lamy Petrol fountain pen ink really didn’t perform well as it showed as good deal of feathering, while the other inks tested had none or very minimal feathering. None of the inks showed through to the back though, so that was a positive. Overall the quality, design, and writing experience with this is pretty much top shelf, so as I said before, expect to pay for it, but you won’t be disappointed. Check them out right here at JetPens.