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Friday, February 24, 2012

Notebook review - Norcom Composition

Time for another notebook review, this time, of my favorite go-to notebook!

These notebooks can be had at your local Wal-Mart for the princely sum of $0.99. :)

They're cheap, they work well, and I like them! Read on for the detailed review!

For the longest time I searched for paper that worked moderately well with a FP, could be purchased locally, and most importantly, was very inexpensive. Sure, I like CF paper, and other stuff like that. But I have to order it online, and when I stated repairing pens and tuning nibs, I was not willing to use that expensive of paper. The cost would be ridiculous! 

So, I finally looked around long enough and came across these gems! Very, very, very inexpensive. :) Anyone can afford a stack of them at only $0.99! I bought a huge amount, and now have a big stash of them in my desk.

There is one big catch to these notebooks however: You have to, absolutely have to make sure you get the ones that are Made in Brazil! There are notebooks that are the exact same, made by the same company, in the same stack, that are made in Vietnam. Those ones are horrible for FP's, and do not work at all.

Now, that aside, let's dive into how great these are!

So, here you have it - the Norcom Composition notebook.
Looks just like a typical composition notebook.

These are your typical "string-bound" composition books, with that little cloth cover thingy on he back edge. In my experience with them, they hold up very well under stress. I  cannot speak as to how they'll hold up for students carrying them around daily, but I imagine they'd do just fine. And that is definitely an area where these notebooks excel: for those students who don't want to shell out $10.00 - $15.00 for a high-end FP friendly notebook. These are so economical at their current price, it's hard not to buy them in bulk!

Now, moving on to paper performance:

Here's the paper performance with a thick swab of Diamine Red Dragon:

There is bleed-through on the swab. A disadvantage of these notebooks - I personally find that I cannot use the backside of these. How ever, even with that, you're still getting 50 sheets for $0.99. :)

Here's some Diamine Red Dragon, written with my Pilot VP, fine nib. Feathering is extremely minimal, and really nonexistent in this case.

Here's a thick line laid down y my Ahab flex in Noodlers Black. Almost no feathering!

The backside of the above page: Show-through, but no bleed-through.

How does it handle the infamous Noodlers BayState Blue?

Remarkably well!

Overall I'm very pleased with this papers performance! It has extremely minimal bleed-through, and moderate show-through with wet nibs.

A bit more on the notebooks:

These are normal sized composition books. They are unfortunately wide-ruled, which I do not like.

The come in a variety of design, from your typical composition book cover, to other wild variants.

The bottom line is this - if you go through a lot of paper, and you're just going to toss it (notes, rough drafts, etc.), then this is the paper for you. It's super cheap, works good enough, and is available locally!

For the price, you really need to go pick up at least one notebook from your local Wal-Mart, and give it a try. I think you'll like it. :)

Please drop me a comment and let me know what you think of the review! Does anyone else out there use these too? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on them.

Lastly, just to be safer than sorry, be sure to get the Made in Brazil ones. :)

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