An unexpected and impressive reusable notebook. If you enjoy taking pen to paper you shouldn’t be disappointed with this gadgets notebook.
Reusable and reliable
Effortless and fairly fast scanning using the app
Multiple supported cloud services
The dry time of the ink could be an issue for a left-hander
The cover scratches easily.
Many do still prefer the pen and paper for taking notes. The drawback is how hard it is to share and to preserve. The inconvenient and dated methods to digitize the notes can be a hassle and that alone often drives you to use your computer for taking notes.
A company is trying to solve the problem for us by allowing us to take notes the old fashion way while still being able to digitize and share them with ease. That company is Rocketbook.
The company has numerous successfully funded Kickstarter and Indiegogo products:
In 2016, $574.699 were raised for Rocketbook Wave on Kickstarter. First generation reusable smart notebook, where you erase it with heat, by putting it in the microwave.
In 2017, $1.823.227 were raised for Rocketbook Everlast on Kickstarter. Second generation reusable smart notebook, where you erase it with a damp cloth.
In 2019, currently raising for Rocketboard on Kickstarter. A whiteboard stickers to enable support for the Rocketbook App.
Table of Contents
What is Rocketbook Everlast
Rocketbook Everlast is perhaps the only notebook you’ll need for years to come. It’s reusable, meaning you can erase the pages by simply using a damp cloth. Before you erase your notes you might want to digitize them and share them to the cloud. It’s a feature-rich notebook that you might never have thought of before.
What you receive in the package is the notebook, a FriXion pen and a microfiber cloth.
How it works
You write on a synthetic paper with the included FriXion erasable pen. The FriXion ink is washable so in conjunction with synthetic paper it’s erasable.
The papers in the notebook have a dot grid pattern so the mobile application can scan the paper from corner to corner.
In the lower part of the pages you can see icons that enables custom settings, such as what format the scanned file will be and the destination for the upload.
You’re able to use more than one icon on a page so you can upload to many different cloud services simultaneously.
In 2018 they also added a support for Handwriting Recognition (OCR). It’s currently only supported in English and it enables the following:
Smart Titles: Rename scans using text between double hashtags (ex. ## Title ##)
Smart Search: Search handwritten text in scans
E-mail Transcription: Embed transcription in e-mail
My Experience and Findings
Writing with the included FriXion pen on the synthetic pages might not feel exactly like writing on a real paper but you get used to it fast. I also appreciate that the pages are designed for the FriXion pens that are widely available for a fair price.
Drying time of the ink can be a concern for those who are left-handed. The official statement is that it takes 10-15 seconds for the ink to dry. In my testing I had a different result. The results can vary by factors such as humidity and heat. In my indoor conditions in Iceland (42% humidity, 19°C) it took about 5 seconds for the ink to dry.
How I came to that conclusion was by writing down numbers that indicate the seconds before I try to make them smudge.
For a notebook from the future, as they call it, I would have expected an easier storage solution for the pen that’s included. They do however offer an accessory, they call it Pen Station. Customers at amazon weren’t very fond of it so I didn’t go for it, many of them claim that it breaks easily.
I opted for the executive size of the notebook, it’s lightweight or about 142 grams with its 36 pages, and its size is 14.24 cm x 22.35 cm. It has a thick cover and a heavy plastic coil binding. For me the design feels spot on except for how easily the cover scratches.
Cleaning the pages with a damp cloth works well but I should mention that I see a minimal wear after the cleaning. I wouldn’t worry much about it now that it’s only seen from specific angles in a proper lighting. It’s probably just a thin layer that wears off after the first cleaning and it doesn’t seem to get worse after multiple cleaning. I wasn’t even able to get a good enough picture of it to share with you.
You should also be careful to not have wet hands when using the notebook unless your plan is to erase from the pages.
Scanning the pages with the mobile app is fairly effortless and reasonably fast. The application doesn’t scan the page unless it manages to focus the page. I’ve yet to experience a bad scan.
I’m impressed with the result of the scan. To me the quality feels like it’s from “a real scanner”.
I was also able to get a reasonable scan with a very poor lighting; albeit it can take a while to focus. How forgiving the scanning procedure is depends on the camera on your mobile phone. I’m using Samsung Galaxy S9+ in this review. The letters aren’t as sharp and you’re able to see some noise but it’s still very readable.
You can although notice in both scanned pictures that the third exclamation mark is missing. It appears as the border that the scanner recognize is actually a little smaller than the black border around the edges of the page. You’ll therefore have to keep your writing about 3 mm within the black border.
After the scan you upload the file to the cloud depending on the configured icons settings.
You’re able to do a bundled scan if you choose .pdf. There is also an option for group scans to make an animated GIFs and of course the option to save the scan as .jpeg.
You can choose to upload the scan via e-mail or to various cloud destinations. Personally I don’t feel like anything is missing here.
There is a newly added handwriting recognition (OCR) setting in the app, albeit English is only supported.
You can use the handwriting recognition to name the file, they call it smart titles. I tested it in my scans, ## rafn.is headline## gave me the filename “rafnis headline.pdf”.
Another interesting feature available with the handwriting recognition is the smart search, as they call it. The scanned files are transcribed and you can search, using the app, for the transcribed texts within the scanned files.
The last feature available with the handwriting recognition (OCR) is the e-mail transcription. You’re able to send the transcribed text along with the scanned file, when you send an e-mail. Here’s an example of a transcription I got sent by an e-mail with the page I did scan earlier in a good lighting.
Handwriting Transcription (beta)
##rafn.is headline ## This is a OCR handwriting recognition for the rafn.is blog Lets hope it works well Hope you like my new blog. Please comment your ideas. Testing the edges!!
It wasn’t as reliable in a very poor lighting.
Handwriting Transcription (beta)
#rafn.is headline ## This is a OCR handwriting : recognition for the room is blog Lets hope it works well Hope you like my new blog Please comment your ideas. Testing the edges!
The reliability should also depend on your handwriting clarity. I’ve although had strange transcription happen where the words are transcribed correctly but they aren’t placed in the sentences as they should.
If you’re right-handed and looking for a convenient way to store and share your notes digitally, the Rocketbook Everlast is a very viable option.
The supported cloud services are plenty and the handwriting recognition features are a welcome addition if you’re writing in English.
You should although keep in mind that the camera in your mobile phone can be a factor of your experience with the notebook.