As I was interested in this book X47 have offered a discount for a review. Thank you, X47! Still trying to be as neutral as possible reviewing this great piece of craftsmanship.
|X47 MaBook notebook|
X47 products aren't aimed at the youthful traveler but rather the distinguished businessman. Being neither of these I still like both systems and appreciate the variety. The MaBook immediately gives the impression of being extremely well made. The books are sewn by hand here in Germany using fine calfskin. The leather has a glossy surface which doesn't show minor scratches and also should be pretty immune to stains and discoloring. It should keep its pristine look for many years - no patina intended. Still - and very importantly at least to me - there is no plasticky feel to the surface and at the spine or the pen loop you can feel the leather is soft and supple.
The front and back cover seem to have some sort of stiff inlay so the book provides a hard surface to write on even if it's just resting on your legs. Let's look inside!
|X47 MaBook notebook - inside the front cover|
This is the inside of the front cover. There is room to insert an additional A6 notebook which is really neat. The one I'm using right now is slightly smaller than A6 (but it has Tomoe River paper! :D)
I'm not sure what the thing above the notebook space is for. It's a stamp sized opening with a leather flap which you can pull out. I've tried to imagine some use for this but can't really find one. Storing passport photographs maybe? Someone definitely put some thought into this so I'd like to find out. Let me know if you have any ideas!
|X47 MaBook notebook - the lower end of the spine and beautiful ribbon bookmarks.|
It's plain that there are no Midori-like rubber bands here. Also there's apparently nothing going through the middle of the refill notebooks. So how do you put a refill in there?
The answer lies within these slim metal rods. The curvy parts belong to the MaBook covers. The straight parts can be taken out and have two thorns which go through the spine of the refill. The ready made refills provided by X47 already have a rod attached to them so exchanging them is quick and convenient. They're also not hard to "hack". Remove the rod from the original refill and attach it to any cahier you'd like. All you need to do is punch two small holes into the spines at the right location.
My MaBook now houses a Midori MD light, a Rhodia and a Semikolon cahier. A fourth notebook could be added but as the Rhodia is pretty thick I'll stick with three for the moment.
|X47 MaBook notebook - inserts are held by slim metal rods|
Here's the metal rod holding the Midori MD notebook in place next to one not holding a refill. The system is nice because it takes very little space inside the MaBook, much less than rings, and of course looks more elegant than rubber bands. On the other hand it's an additional effort if you want to use your own refills.
As you can see above there are three differently colored ribbon bookmarks sewn into the spine. The ends of those seem to be dipped in resin or glue, they are a little stiff and won't unravel for a long time. Another one of these well thought out and beautiful details.
|The X47 MaBook notebook is full of nice details.|
There's also a pen loop large enough to hold fountain pens. These last pictures show the color best (the light wasn't too great when I took them), a deep chestnut brown. They also come in black and red with various finishes, even crocodile print if you're into that.
The inside of the back cover has additional room for some business cards. X47 have told me there is already a new generation of the MaBook with extra space for some sticky notes but I'm just as happy with the old one. They come in A5 and A6 size, mine being the A5 one. It weighs 570 grams with 3 refills. The manufacturer can be found here: X47
How do you like the MaBook? I have to say I feel a little intimidated by it sometimes as it's such a nice piece of work and I feel like I'd need to become some bigwig CEO to use one. However the book still appears slim and subtle and unobtrusive enough to use in any daily context - even if you, like me, don't plan ever to be a bigwig of any kind.