It must be the summer of analog notebooks! A few weeks ago I reviewed Pad & Quill's Journal Notepads, which are actually paper notebooks (the type you write on with a pen) from a company that usually makes Apple-related accessories. Today I'm looking at the Tesmo Universebook, a product on Kickstarter that's a paper notepad/planner and wireless/wired charger in one. The Universebook is currently at almost three times its funding goal with almost a month to go, and I was able to test one of the prototypes for Apple World Today.
From the outside, the Tesmo Universebook looks just like one of those leather-bound planners you may have carried in the 1980s and 90s, and what a lot of people still use over the electronic versions we currently carry. On the front is an embossed graphic that looks a lot like a science textbook drawing of a solar system. Place your iPhone X or other Qi-compatible device on that graphic and guess what? It starts charging!
Flip the cover of the Universebook open, and the left side of the leatherette cover features card slots and larger slots for paper money or documents. The right side? It has a number of cables in neat little slots: a USB cable for charging the Universebook, a micro-USB cable for charging non-Apple accessories, a Lightning cable for charging non-wireless iPhones and iPads, and even a micro-USB to USB-C adapter for charging USB-C devices.
A button allows the user to check the level of charge in the 8,000 mAh power bank, with four LEDs that light up to show the relative charge level. The Tesmo Universebook delivers that power at 10 Watts for Android devices and 7.5 Watts for iOS devices.
In between the covers is a six-ring binder using standard A5-size paper. This is important to point out, as if you're not fond of the day planner pages inside -- which include monthly focus, weekly plan, and daily priority pages -- you can replace them with blank pages or other planner pages. It could easily become just a standard notebook or sketchpad, but with the ability to charge a lot of devices.
My life is pretty tied up in the standard Notes/Reminders/Calendar/Contacts world of iOS, so I don't really need a day planner. For those who really want to work on their productivity and life/work balance, a day planner like this can really help out! I ended up replacing the pages with something I will use -- grid dot pages that I can use for sketching or just writing handwritten notes.
The Qi charging pad in the cover is brilliant. The moment I plopped my iPhone X onto the "target", I felt the haptic response from the phone that indicated that it was charging. Since the iPhone X has a 2,716 mAh battery inside, I figure that the Tesmo Universebook could recharge it almost three times.
I really like the organized, neat layout of the charging cables in the back cover as well. If you're one of those people who, like me, constantly loses cables, the Universebook makes it a lot more difficult to do so!
For paper notebook and day planner fans who could use a charger that won't take up any additional space, the Tesmo Universebook is currently a bargain at the backer price of $59 (including shipping). The company will obviously ship on time in September -- this prototype is extremely well manufactured and I have a feeling the company is cranking them out as fast as they can.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★