The other day I was walking through the supermarket that makes up the lower level of the office complex/shopping mall that I work at and stumbled upon this.
The teNeues CoolNotes notebook is a pretty straight forward Moleskine lookalike. It'roughly A5 in size, the covers are black and the elastic band and the bookmark are in in louder, more flashy and modern colors, like orange in the one that I picked up. The bookmark is adequate, but the elastic band that is closing the book is much too weak and flimsy.
When you open up the book you see the most distinguishing feature of the CoolNotes, a stylish pattern that makes up the inside cover. Other patterns and Colors where available, all of them even more garish and unispired than the one that I picked here.
Same in the back, all the way down to the pocket on the back cover.
The first pages gives you ample opportunity to write down all kinds of personal and contact information. Too much if you ask me, and information of limited usefullness. This looks like it was made for a young person about 5 years ago. MSN? Seriously? As you can see on top of the page I had some trouble with quality control. The first pages where glued together in a spot and had to be carefully separated to remain usable.
The paper is off-white and feels a little thicker than regular Moleskine pages. Unfortunately the actual weight is nowhere to be found, your guess is as good as mine. The left page in a spread is blank, the right page comes with dotted lines. Interesting, but I am struggling to think of a possible use case for this design.
My horrible writing samples show us that the paper has limited use for fountain pen users. Fine nibs work alright, medium and above results in feathering.
Same picture on the back of the page. Writing with fine nibs shows through but leaves the back of the page usable, medium and above bleeds through the page.
The teNeues CoolNotes came discounted to 5 Euros, down from 10. That's still too much. The paper is not what you want if you are using fountain pens, the quality is at best on par with regular Moleskine and in many regards worse than that. The design is something that you either find tasteful or you don't, but it is hard to argue against the understatement of a regular notebook that fits in everywhere.
Oh, and the books reek. A strong chemical smell that I find unpleasant at regular writing distance. I am not squeamish, acrylic pens like my Ahab or my Edison smell fine to me, but this is bouquet is unacceptable.
I'll stay clear of these books in the future.