Rocketbook Fusion Review
Helping other young people start their lives off right
You probably know that feeling when you run out of pages in your notebook or you accidentally write on the wrong pages and your organization system in your notebook is ruined. Notebooks are one of the most popular supplies for office workers and students throughout the world, but they have a few issues — you can’t easily organize the pages, they run out of pages, and your notebook collection can become pretty out of hand if you write a lot. The Rocketbook solves these inconveniences and more.
What is the Rocketbook?
The Rocketbook Fusion is a smart notebook that includes pages that can be continually reused. You write on the pages with a specific type of pen. Once you’re done, you can scan your pages with your phone camera and send it to whatever cloud platform you wish. With a slightly damp cloth, you can wipe the pages clean and reuse them as many times as you wish.
The writing experience with a Rocketbook feels like a cross between writing in a notebook and writing on a tablet. The pages feel more like plastic than paper, but that’s something I actually enjoy; it makes the writing experience smoother than with the rougher texture of regular paper. You can’t write in the Rocketbook with a pencil or even a regular pen. You have to use a specific series of writing instruments known as the Pilot FriXion (US / NO) series. They offer pens, highlighters, and markers all in a variety of colors and weights, so you have a wide variety of options. A black Pilot FriXion Ball pen is included with the Rocketbook. Depending on how small your writing is, the included pen can seem a bit thick. One of the biggest downsides to Pilot FriXion pens is its long drying times when used in the notebook. While regular paper soaks up a lot of the ink, allowing it to dry faster, the smooth pages in the Rocketbook don’t. With the included pen, I’ve found it takes roughly 10 to 15 seconds for the ink to dry fully. If you generally write with your left hand, this can be quite the obstacle. Writing under the line mostly solves this problem. With this pen, though, smearing isn’t just a left-handed problem; if you’re drawing or have to go back over the content you’ve already written to add anything, you are very likely to accidentally smear large parts of your notes or drawing, regardless of which hand you use. Even after the ink dries, the ink still continues to have a wet, inky look, which is rather unfortunate. One of the disappointing things about erasing the ink is how there remains an indentation within the pages where you can still see what was written. This is a minor annoyance, but it definitely would not be a good option for secret messages. After erasing, be sure to rinse out the cloth, otherwise, you’ll just be smearing old ink all over your other pages.
The pages within the notebook are quite unique. With the 42-page Rocketbook Fusion, you have a variety of pages: task list, weekly calendar, monthly calendar, goals, ideas, along with several lined pages and graphed pages. The very first page of the notebook has several strange icons. Next to them, you can write which cloud platform you wish to send your scans to, for example, OneNote, Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, and Google Drive, as well as your email. You can see a full list of supported cloud platforms by visiting the official Rocketbook website here. Looking at the bottom of the following pages, you can see the same icons. Just bubble in one of the icons, and it will automatically send to whichever cloud platform you select within the Rocketbook application, which we’ll discuss later. The first few pages are useful templates. If the templates don’t seem to fit your needs, you can always go with the Rocketbook Core, which is essentially the same as the Fusion, just without the templates. You will also probably notice light grey dots for the graphed and lined pages. These will not show up in your final scan.
The free Rocketbook application is available for iOS and Android and has a wide variety of awesome features. It’s definitely something you’ll want to use if you have a Rocketbook. Within the app, you can click “New Scan” at the bottom to scan your pages. I like to hold my phone at a slight angle. It prevents the shadow from the phone and still scans the page very nicely. You can scan as many pages as you wish. If you bubbled in an icon, it should send the page to that specific location. If not, it will ask you where you want your scans sent. These are known as destinations and can be changed in the destination tab. The destinations will all default to your email unless you change them. Within specific destinations, you can also select OCR Transcription, which will automatically transcribe your notes and send the transcription to your destination. These transcriptions are searchable like any regular text document. After scanning, you can also search your handwritten notes from the history tab, which is a very helpful feature. The scans are not perfect, but they are of good quality and a lot better than I expected. Another neat feature is that you can title your notes by writing two number signs on each side of your desired title at the top of your page. The Rocketbook app will transcribe this text and title your scan whatever you titled your page, making it much easier to organize than “Untitled 64856.”
Why wouldn’t you buy a Rocketbook? I personally think the Rocketbook is a great option. It’s priced at $37.00 for the Rocketbook Fusion Letter on their official website and similar prices through resellers throughout other parts of the world, which may seem a bit pricey, but if you take a lot of notes, it could save you money and the environment. The Rocketbook lineup comes in various sizes and colors. The Rocketbook Core (or Everlast) is slightly cheaper but lacks templates. The Rocketbook Mini is a much smaller version that is a notepad rather than a notebook. If you like typing more than writing, this probably won’t change your mind. If you like writing on a tablet, like a Surface or an iPad, this might be for you. In my opinion, the writing experience is far superior to scribbling on a slab of glass. If you like writing in traditional notebooks, this might also be of interest to you.
While the upfront cost is slightly expensive, it has a lot of great features and will likely last much longer than a traditional notebook.
Since this is still relatively new, I don’t know the long-term durability, but the indentations after just one time are less than desirable. The notebook does feel very premium and durable, though.
While the smearing isn’t great, I really like how smooth the writing experience is. I actually like the pages better than regular paper. I don’t like how the pen options are limited, but at least Pilot does sell a lot of different pens within the FriXion line, all of which are compatible.
Digital Aspect: 5/5
The app is modern, easy-to-use, and reliable. There are a lot of great features and the scans are fast and look nice.