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Notebook Review #001: Colorverse Nebula Note

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome!πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ

Today I have for you something very special and interesting! I recently (well today) got my hands on a new product soon to be released by Colorverse and I’m telling you it’s going to be great! 🀯Especially at the price point they are targeting for the current design. Naturally before we delve into anything I would like to thank C.K. for providing me with samples!

Oh and let’s just do a quick recap of who Colorverse are!

Colorverse is a South Korean ink maker best known for their beautiful colors, their use of natural dyes in their inks and of course their unique glass bottles. If you want to check out there inks please click here.

Okay I think that was quick enough. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚ Let’s get down to business!

Colorverse decided they are going to expand their product range with a new product and they called it the Nebula Note. Now if you have read the title or have seen the cover photo you already know that the Nebula Note is their notebook that’s going to appear in the near future.

Check out their website here.

I personally think it was a nice idea and the next natural step in growing their business. It gives them the perfect medium where they can show off their beautiful and unique colors!

The Nebula Note

The Nebula Note comes in two versions. While they are identical from the outside they are slightly (or quite, depending on how you look at it) different on the inside. Both covers are plain white with branding on the front and details about the paper used on the back.

Colorverse Nebula Note

The first version features 100 sheets of Tomoe River 52 g/m2 (gsm) white paper while the other version features 90 sheets of “Japanese” 64 g/m2 (gsm) paper. Both are available in A5 size. Even though we get the white version of Tomoe River the other paper is ever so slightly whiter.

Colorverse Nebula Note – Tomoe River 52g/m2 (Top) & Japanese Paper 64 g/m2 (Bottom)

When you open the notebook you’re greeted with a window that opens into space starting you on your journey through the beautiful cosmos, the Colorverse.

Colorverse Nebula Note – The Journey Begins

Neither of the notebooks have any ruling in them, the pages are completely blank, however Colorverse likes to pay attention to detail and have included a guide sheet with various markings so that’s pretty much taken care of.

Colorverse Nebula Note – Guide Sheet
Colorverse Nebula Note – Guide sheet

Another extra bonus is a sticker pack which at this point I don’t know why it surprised me since they include stickers with their inks as well. I think it’s a nice touch and I’m sure a lot of people appreciate it and why wouldn’t they? The stickers are really cute…too cute! (I don’t have the heart to arbitrarily stick them somewhere and then regret wasting themπŸ˜‚)

Colorverse Nebula Note – Stickers
Colorverse Nebula Note

As expected from them and as I said previously, they pay attention and put thought into their designs and it’s refreshing to have a clean, clear and simple notebook in your hands. There’s no bling out of the box. It’s just you and that beautiful white paper!

Colorverse Nebula Note – Clean, simple design

The notebooks themselves open flat! I think that’s really really important and Colorverse said they specifically took care that it does so and I’m glad this didn’t skip past them. I’m at the point where I don’t even consider buying a notebook which doesn’t open completely flat. Once you go flat, you can never go back!

Colorverse Nebula Note – The notebooks open flat

The sheets can be super easily ripped out since the notebook is not thread bound. It’s glued at the spine nicely and the pages are held tightly. I wouldn’t worry about this notebook falling apart or pages just flying out. It’s done like those memo pads, blocks or watchmacallit where a page can be torn out with ease.

However if you’re looking for a hardcover with a sewn spine, get a Leuchtturm1917. 😏

Okay so, let’s move on to the main attraction

The Papers

Now most of you reading this review already know what Tomoe River paper is but for those of you who don’t, in brief, it is considered by most of the fountain pen community to be the best paper you can get for your hobby. It has a silky smooth touch to it and it’s main characteristic is that it doesn’t absorb ink easily. This means that ink dries on the surface of the paper which leads to extreme sheen even with some inks that don’t usually produce any on papers like the all so popular Rhodia 80 g/m2 (gsm). – which by the way is also a totally good paper.

The Japanese Paper in the second version of the Nebula Note is similar to the touch. It is also silky smooth and it is also whiter than the Tomoe River paper in the other version. Colorverse wouldn’t tell who makes the paper for this version. I’m actually curious how it compares to Tomoe River so let’s find out!

Even though the paper is thicker I wouldn’t necessarily say that the guide sheet is harder to see. Both were usable even in low light conditions.

Colorverse Nebula Note – Guide sheet under Tomoe River 52 g/m2

The Comparison

So the tl;dr is Tomoe River is better than the other Japanese paper.

Okay okay, so before I begin, let me present to you my arsenal.

Pens – Sorry for the glare, whoops

Now some actual thoughts. I started the writing test with Tomoe River 52 g/m2 because I was already familiar with it. As expected all inks and pens I tried out wrote smoothly and the experience was nice. The guide sheet was also easy to see and follow. All of the sheeny inks from the list had sheen just as it was expected of them. The downside of Tomoe River is that ghosting is very visible on the backside of the sheet.

Colorverse Nebula Note – Tomoe River 52 g/m2

The Japanese 64 g/m2 paper had provided a similar experience but nonetheless while it was a close call Tomoe River remained unbeaten. The difference between the two isn’t that big to be honest. If you want the next best thing after Tomoe River, then this is it.

My issue with it is, what I believe to be, due to the coating of the paper. It’s as if ink has a slightly harder time flowing from the nib when writing on this paper, and maybe the paper was softer and the nib dug in deeper but the feeling on horizontal strokes was note as smooth as on the down strokes. This has led to an inconsistent writing experience, it was nice on down strokes but on horizontal strokes it was as if the pen would do a brake check. You were expecting to write at the same speed but it would ever so slightly speed up on down strokes and I experienced this resistance to sliding horizontally whenever I wrote “t” letters.

Now there are of course positives as well. All sheeny inks apart from Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo had the expected sheen albeit it was not as pronounced as on Tomoe River. What’s considered a downside of ink flow can be considered an upside to some because it has led to a more visible shade on some inks like Pelikan Edelstein Star Ruby, Diamine November Rain or Diamine Oxford Blue.

(As a side note, props to Colorverse Supernova! That ink is so wet, juicy and if flows so nicely. With that ink I didn’t experience that feedback difference with vertical/horizontal strokes so I guess it also depends on the ink you use as well.)

Colorverse Nebula Note – Japanese Paper 64 g/m2

Scans

The scans were not edited apart from straightening the pages. My scanner tends to oversaturate the colors because it’s a pretty mediocre scanner. If you view the full size scan you’ll be able to see better and in better quality which inks sheen and shade.

As a quick reference here are the inks that are known to sheen: Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Budo (gold sheen), Diamine November Rain (red sheen), Diamine Oxford Blue (red sheen), Colorverse Supernova (red sheen). Click on the images to view them at full resolution.

Ink and writing test – Tomoe River 52 g/m2
Ink and writing test – Colorverse Nebula Note Japanese paper 64 g/m2

Final Thoughts

All in all I think both of them are great notebooks but as far as I know both of them are currently planned to have the same price. So the clear winner and unbeaten champion is still Tomoe River 52 g/m2. Not only will you get 10 more sheets (90 vs 100), but you will also have a slightly better performing paper.

Although I do wonder when will someone find or come up with a paper that if not surpasses than at least matches the performance of Tomoe River. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ While we’re at wondering, let’s also wish that on that magical day that magical paper will be half the price of TR. πŸ˜›

Inks Used

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