Both Evernote and Whitelines are offering a product + app combination for easy scanning digitalization of notes taken on paper. Since the product offerings are quite similar, I spent some "unproductive" time creating this review and comparison. To be honest, I have not used the any Evernote Smart Notebook, but I have filled a few Moleskine notebooks. I do however use the Whitelines LINK A5 notebooks quite often.
The Whitelines LINK notebooks use their trade mark white lines on gray background. I have found that the ink does not flow so well when writing in Whitelines notebooks. The LINK notebooks have printed fiducial markers on each page in the notebook. The markers enable the iPhone (and soon to come Android) app to recognize the page boundaries and which upload options (if any) the note taker has chosen. The result is a fluid workflow where the user starts the app, then frames the page in the display and the app automatically takes the picture, correts for perspective distortion and email the picture and/or uploads it to Evernote/Dropbox.
Whitelines has a wider range of products compared to Evernote. You can choose between two sizes (A4 and A5), two kinds of covers, and two page styles (ruled or 5mm square grid). The cheaper cover made of glossy thick paper and is spiral bound. The more expensive cover is also spiral bound, but made of harder, matt black paper, and has a rubberband to keep the notebook closed when not in use. The hardcover versions contain 80 sheets of 100g paper compared to 70 sheets of 80g paper used by the softcover notebooks.
Evernote Smart Notebook
Evernote's notebooks are made by Moleskine and do not use printed fiducial markers. They are basically regular Moleskine notebooks (see below). So if you want to use a fountain pen, you are better of buying one of these.
The Evernote Smart Notebook comes in two sizes (Pocket: 3.5'' x 5.5'', and Large: 5'' x 8.5'') and two page styles (lined and square) in its product lineup. The smaller version has 96 sheets, whereas the large version has 120 sheets.
The "smart" Evernote notebooks, differ from the "stupid" Moleskin notebooks by having lighter, dotted lines (instead of solid lines) making them less visible after scanning the note. Other differences are the light green rubberband and placeholder cloth ribbon. The cover is also emblazened with glossy decorations using Evernote's graphical profile.
Since no printed markers are used capturing a page from the Evernote notebook, operating theapp (both iPhone and Android versions available) is slightly trickier.
The Evernote notebooks however, come with four sheets with six different kinds of "Smart Stickers". These stickers do have fiducial markers printed on them and can be associated with their own tag, enabling you to tag your scanned notes.
If you look at how much paper you get, i.e. price per squared unit, the most expensive paper is packaged in the Evernote Smart Notebook 3.5'' x 5.5'' at 69.48 SEK/m2 (USD 0.97/ft2). The cheapest paper is packaged in the Whitelines LINK A4 at 7.48 SEK/m2. Comparing all products, the Evernote/Whitelines price ratio is between 1.0 and 9.3. That is, depending on which products you compare, the amount of money you pay per writable space can cost up to 9.3 times as much if you choose a Evernote/Moleskine notebook over the most cost effective Whitelines notebook.
However, you do get 3 months of Evernote Premium with notebook. Taking this into account (subtracting $15 from the price) and doing the same comparison. The cheapest paper is still the Whitelines A4, but the most expensive paper is suddently found in the Whitelines LINK Hard Wire A5 (i.e. the smallest hardcover Whitelines product).
The most fair comparison however, would be between the Evernote Large Smart Notebook (5'' x 8.25'') and the Whitelines 232 LINK Hard Wire A5, as the form factor is the most similar. Comparing these two products, you actually get more paper for your money if you buy the Evernote Large Smart Notebook.