A technophile lawyer rediscovers the joys of pen and paper

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blogger-only giveaway of the world's most overpriced notebook memo pad: Metaphys Blanc Fabric Covered 44113 Memo Pad (Updated with deadline)

Metaphys Blanc 44113 memo padThat headline tells you all you need to know about what I think of this notebook. Which is why I am limiting this giveaway to other pen/paper bloggers: I want a second opinion! So, as a condition of entering this giveaway contest, you must agree to post a review of this notebook within two weeks of receiving it from me.

Now, here's why I think this is the world's most over-priced notebook . . .

Metaphys Blanc 44113 memo pad end papersThis notebook sells for $10.50 at Jet Pens, and its tiny! It has to be the most expensive notebook I own, on a price per square inch of paper basis!

Actually, it's not a notebook. It's a memo pad with a cover and end papers. (To be fair, Jet Pens actually calls it a "memo pad." But the Metaphys site calls it a "notebook.") Granted, it's got really cool end papers -- black, giving it the stealth look of a Rhodia Webbie -- but neither they nor the durable cover transform this into a bona fide notebook.

The glue binding allows the pages to tear out very easily. If you want a memo pad, this is fine. But if you like to carry your notes with you for a few weeks, like I do, it's not so good. I can see these pages coming out accidentally very easily (though I didn't really put that theory to the test).

This notebook is small. Tiny. Here it is atop a stack of 3x5 index cards:

Metaphys Blanc 44113 memo pad

The paper is nice enough. Very smooth to the touch and when writing on it. It does bleed pretty severely with fountain pens, much less so with rollerballs and not at all with the gel pens I tried. But even the gel pens had pretty significant show-through. Probably not a problem for most folks, since there's really no practical way to write on the back, because of the reporter-style design of the notebook, unless you tear the sheet out first. There was no feathering with the rollerballs or gel pens, and only one or two of the fountain pen inks I tried feathered at all, and then very lightly.

The paper has a very faint grid pattern that's very difficult to see. however, it nonetheless seemed to aid my writing, as if I could see it subliminally even though I had to have the light just right to see it on the paper. From what I can tell, the vertical lines are solid and the horizontal lines are dotted.

The worst quality of the paper, to my mind, is that is feels so thin and delicate. I prefer a "substantial" paper. However, this reviewer at Jet Pens says the paper holds up as well in his wallet as a dollar bill!

The cover feels quite durable, both because of the weight and the fabric covering.

Another drawback for me is that I like to keep a pen with my pocket notebook, and there's no practical way to do that with this memo pad. My Zebra Mini T3 Ballpoint Pen slips quite nicely into my pocket-size Moleskine Cahier (my usual pocket notebook), and its pretty darn small, but there's no practical way for it to clip to the Metaphys:

Metaphys Blanc 44113 memo pad and Zebra Mini T3 ballpoint pen

I know what you're thinking: Booker, you knew how small this notebook was when you ordered it, so what are you complaining about? Well, I'm not complaining, exactly. I don't hate this memo pad. I just can't figure out why it should cost $10.50! In fact, that high price is what made me buy it . . . I just had to find out what made it special, but I still haven't figured it out. Maybe I'm missing something!

Available at Jet Pens for $10.50.  Also available directly from Metaphys directly from Metaphys for 765 yen ($8.78 US at today's exchange rate). More photos (including photos of the bleed-though) at the Flickr photo set for this review.


To enter the giveaway, you must have a blog about pens, paper, notebooks, stationery, office supplies, or something similar. Leave a comment on this post with a link to your blog. A link to you Blogger, Wordpress, or Typepad profile will suffice, as long as it has a link to your blog. And, I need a way to reach you, so if your blog or profile page does not have an email link, shoot me an email at notebookeresqATgmail.com so I can contact you if you're the winner. (I will choose the winner by random selection of a comment using the random number generator at random.org.)

Remember: by entering, you agree to review this product on your own blog within two weeks of receiving it, so I can get my "second opinion." Perhaps you can even pass it on to another blogger!

Good luck!

UPDATE: gee, I should have set a deadline for entering, don't ya think? OK, Midnight GST Friday night (Dec. 17). Yes, you read that right: GST = Google Standard Time, meaning I'll use the time stamp on your comment.



  1. Hi, I'd love to review this. My contact info is on my blog.

  2. I do a semi-regular review post on my blog (which is mostly writer based). I would love to win one of these! My contact info is on the blog!

  3. It would be interesting to find out why this memo pad is so much. I'd be interested in trying it.
    I think you have my email, but I will shoot you one anyway.

  4. I always carry a 3x5 notebook in my back pocket and would love to try this this one - I'll send you my email directly.


  5. 3"x5" cards are where it's at, but that memo pad does look very nice.

  6. It looks cool, but it's unfortunate that it is overpriced. I hope I win the giveaway so I can try some inks on it. Thank you!

  7. Something that's over-priced but perfectly formed in a tiny packet: that's the one for me.
    I'd love to review it for you.


  8. I'd give a once over.

  9. I'll jump into the fray, now that you've got me curious. I do like tiny and would like to see some pics of what the pages look like with fountain pen ink - front and back. Will post those if I win. If not, hope the reviewer will post some.


  10. I would be happy to ink it up a bit. Sometimes the prices are justified... but so far, this seems not to be.


  11. It's a little late to be posting this comment, but, speaking of overpriced notebooks, how about this one from Smythson of Bond Street: http://www.smythson.com/SmythsonSite/product/Books_View%20All/1006573.htm. It's 4.25" x 2.75" and costs 35 pounds! Mind you, it's leatherbound and the paper is apparently very high quality. And I really, really want one, but I just can't bring myself to spend that much money on a notebook!