Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Banditapple Carnet Vs Moleskine Cahier

It's a killer of a notebook!
Back in 2011 if you can remember that far, another blogger from Seize the Dave , I was reading a horrific report of his Moleskine Cahier's he bought. His particular quarrel for this notebook is because Moleskine had changed the paper thus leading to poor writing experience with fountain pens and such. I asked Dave if I he would be kind enough to send me a notebook to review. In January on my birthday of all days I received a package in the mail containing one such notebook and another notebook which I will gladly review later this year.

I discovered Banditapple about a month ago and relized that they look similar if not for the size comparison. But Banditapple Tablet is roughly the same size as the regular Moleskine or A5 size notebook.

Banditapple comes directly from Taiwan *Banditapple Carnet is designed in Seoul, and handmade in Vietnam* and cost around $5 and some change. I purchased mine at Goulet Pen Company. There is a total of 64 pages of 80g paper. There is no rear pocket available. The notebooks come in three sizes, Handy (4.33 in. x 8.25 in.), peewee (3.5 in. x 5.5 in.) and Tablet ( 5.11 in. x 8.25 in.) In Blank, Graph, Lined, and  Planner types. 

Moleskine Cahier you can find Barns & Noble, Office Depot or online. It's price can vary but the manufacture sells them for $18.95 for a set of 3 and in varies in sizes. There are 120 pages in total and an included pocket. They come in blank, lined, and graph. It is my understanding that Moleskine get's it's paper from a variety of sources around China and the quality from notebook to notebook can vary.
Tablet on top Moleskine Cahier on bottom
 Above you can see the size differences. On top is Banditapple's Tablet, their largest notebook to date roughly 5"x 8.25" as the Moleskine Cahier is roughly 7.5"x 9.8".
Tablet vs Moleskine Cahier

 Both notebooks are very business and professional like, perfect for the office meetings, scheduling, orders and such. It looks very classy sitting on your desk and it commands respect to all who watch with awe. To every stroke of your mightiest of pens these notebooks make a third rate employee into an office exec, ready to tackle those TPS reports even in the face of the "Mondays."
Moleskine Cahier Notebook Fountain Pen Test  
 The Moleskine Cahier has a manila cream color, it's pages are velvety soft and glide with a soft whisper as you turn page after page. It's smell reminds me of a brand new cd album cover.
Banditapple Tablet Notebook Fountain Pen Test
 Banditapple's Tablet looks more like cheap office paper from Office Depot... the really really cheap kind. But it's not at all cheap, in fact it's off white 80g paper surprisingly performs well.
Virtually no ghosting, and no bleed
 Writing on several fountain pens proves that it can take on the most challenging ink. I noticed no bleeding, feathering, or of coarse no ghosting. If any thing what you really are seeing is the impression the pen left behind on the other side.
You can see right through it like a starving child in Africa
 A picture is worth a thousand words... this is just screaming with frustration. This paper is riddled with problems, everything you can think of to solve common problems like feathering or bleeding it does the opposite. Baystate blue bleeds, feather's and obviously goes right through the page, and the next, and the next and the next. Even Noodler's X-Feather feathered horribly, and bleed too. I wonder if a pencil will bleed half as much but I might rip a hole trying.
Moleskine Cahier with pocket on back
 The only thing missing on the Tablet is a pocket, but if your crafty and creative you can easily look up pockets somewhere on the internet.
Banditapple Tablet on top, Moleskine on bottom.
Another thing that surprised me is the stitching. You can clearly see that the stiching  of the Tablet is twice that of the Moleskine Cahier.

Although I did give both notebooks a fair shake at my pens, I find that the inconsistency of the Moleskine paper quality just can't hack it to the superiority of Banditapple's Tablet notebook. But I find that this particular notebook is just one of many other good notebooks from the Moleskine line. I own the Artist Collection Cahier notebooks, they come in packs of 2 for about $12-$15 and B&N. To my knowledge they only carry lined paper but... the paper itself is miles ahead of this Cahier and it does perform adequately for most of my fountain pens and inks.

In conclusion, I find that the only writing worth performing is a Bic pen and a pencil... other than that there is not much else. So if you are an unlucky owner of the Moleskine Cahier this might be the perfect replacement and a whole lot more!

*The ink is Noodler's Red Black, and the pen was Noodler's Ahab Demonstrator.*