If you enjoy taking notes with a physical pen and paper but want to store and manage your notes in a digital way, Rocketbook might be the right solution for you. While there are various product types available, this review focuses on the Rocketbook Everlast notebook (now also called Rocketbook Core) in the executive version, which is a little smaller than the regular version.
How does the Rocketbook Core work?
When you get your Rocketbook, it’s packaged in a plastic bag, a little as if you’re buying edible snacks in some regions of the world. The first feeling that you have about “unboxing” the product isn’t a high-value feeling. It comes with a little manual, only available in English, even if you buy it in a different location and a Pilot Frixion Clicker pen. Using Frixion pens is essential because they are the ones that are erasable. The set also includes a small microfiber towel.
A new Rocketbook Core comes with 36 pages, and while this doesn’t sound like much, it’s not a problem because the solution is designed to have the users wipe the pages clean after some time. So you first write down your notes, then use the Rocketbook app to scan the page, and then upload it to a cloud destination of your choice. As per the instructions, you should wipe your pages clean within a month’s time, or there might be some residue left on the pages.
What’s good about the Rocketbook Core?
The design of the Rocketbook Core is efficient and straightforward. The product is lighter than most notebooks because there are fewer pages included. Each of the pages is designed and prepared to be perfect for getting scanned by the app with a grid, QR-code, and a frame around it. You can predefine your favorite cloud destinations for uploading your notes and then quickly mark the corresponding symbols on each page with your pen, so the app will understand where the files should go. The writing sensation is way different from writing on ordinary paper, but while this was a little weird at first, I actually liked this smooth kind of flow that is provided by the coated pages.
What’s not so good about the Rocketbook Core?
Even though there is a black border around the writing space on each page, the scanner does not recognize anything you write near the border. Even though it might still be on the white space, anything close to the black edge will not appear on the scans, which is unfortunate and not understandable for me. When you buy a new Rocketbook, they only come with a single black pen, but I think it would have been much better to include at least two different colors or even more. If you’re doing even only a conceptual drawing or want to highlight something of your writing, having alternative colors can help a lot.
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Also, I found it difficult to “store” the pen as it had no spot where I could really attach it well to the notebook. If both are meant to work with each other, I think they should have some kind of smart solution to keep the pen with the notebook. After erasing the writing, I could still feel there was a little bit of a “dent” in the coated paper, and while they warn you not to press too hard while writing, I think that I only wrote my notes in a normal fashion. My guess is that the coating will look ugly after erasing a page a couple of times.
I like the idea of the Rocketbook solution, but I don’t think it’s quite there yet. You have to pay $32 for a couple of coated pages in a very simple ring book and the Frixion pen, which costs around $2 if you buy it on your own. The solution does not work out, in my personal opinion. The fact that you still manually have to use a smartphone app to scan the pages makes everything else redundant. Of course, one might say that it costs that much because the app comes for free but come on… taking a photo with your smartphone and then sharing it to your cloud storage? Does not sound like a newly developed innovation.
Because the Rocketbook Core is so expensive in my eyes, I’d suggest you can just as well get an awesome notebook from your favorite maker for this money and then use a document scanner app such as Microsoft Office Lens or Adobe Scan. Some cloud storage apps, such as Google Drive, even come with integrated document scanning functions.
This product review isn’t meant to bash the product entirely either. I am sure that some of you might enjoy it even if I didn’t. They also have other notebooks that get erased when putting them into the microwave. That’s far out and cool. I hope that they might read this article and think about the design and the pricing before they launch another new product. If that happens, I’d be delighted to review the new notebook solution yet again.
How do you feel about the Rocketbook Core? If you actually love using it, please be my guest and share your experiences below in the comments. Many thanks!
YouTube: Introducing Rocketbook Core (formerly Everlast)
Photo credit: All used media is owned by Rocketbook and has been provided as part of a press kit for media use.
Editorial notice: The review is based on using the product for two days.