Pros: Available in assorted colors, super strong, elastic closure band, expands to almost an inch.
Cons: Once you expand this it is hard to get it back to its original shape.
Xerox used to make one of the best document folders, X-It. I can't remember exactly where I first got them but they were something that saw a lot of use around the house. Everything from coupons to recipes, invoices and payment stubs went into them. They came in a lot of different sizes and colors so you could use them for color coding things or just to add some variety to grocery shopping. For what ever reason they stopped making them ... and if they still make them I can't find them anywhere. The products in this Beautone series remind me a lot of the X-It poly pocket organizers and folder; they hold an incredible amount of stuff and rarely ever rip or tear. They make flat document folders that will hold about fifteen to twenty sheets as well as massive 26 pocket organizers. In my opinion they are a great value, well made and can help keep things [that would otherwise get scattered all over the place] in one spot.
Beautone Docu-Manager Super-Line Translucent Blue Document Wallet
So what makes this so special? If you have specialty copy or ink jet paper you know that in order to get the best results you have to store the paper some place where it isn't going to be exposed to a lot of dust or dirt. Once you crack open the package you have to find your own storage solution unless that is if you purchase the higher end papers that come in a box. These will expand to almost an inch so they have the capability to hold a nice sized stack of paper until it is needed. The downside is that once you expand the folder, trying to use it to store only a few sheets is a pain. The plastic doesn't pop back to it's original flat shape so you are better off having a few flat file pockets around to store smaller amounts. Beautone's name of these is a little misleading; when you hear the words 'document wallet' you might think that this is for smaller items but it is for letter sized paper. It's twelve and a half inches wide and almost ten inches high so if you have something a little larger than standard letter size [8 1/2 x 11] you can still use this without worrying that the edges will get bent.
The plastic that is used for this is super strong; it is flexible but almost impossible to rip unless you start pulling on the edges of the flap. Marring is always a problem with plastic products like this, if it is getting slid on and off of a shelf or between other folders after a while the surface will have some scratches on it but it's nothing that takes away from the performance of it. The blue color is really nice, in my opinion it looks more like a royal blue than a regular blue. When I bought a ton of these at Staples the boys scooped up some of them for their workbooks. They can put five or six of them into one of these and put them on the shelf; since they are inside something they don't flop around or slide under books. One of the really nice things about 90% of the Beautone plastic document holders is that it has an elastic loop to keep it closed. I didn't like these at first, I was so used to the snaps or slide in buckles that when I started using the elastic version, it didn't seem all that secure. The only time you will have a problem with the elastic closures is when you use the multi pocket files; when they start to reach their capacity the sides start to poke out a little but with the single serve ones like this, they are so easy that yes, even Jessica Simpson can use them.
How durable are they? If you've ever used Tyvek envelopes, these are comparable. They are almost impossible to rip, protect the contents from dust and dirt and since they come in a lot of different colors, you can set up your own unique filing system with them. I use these for storing card stock, worksheets, flat manila envelopes, old copies of magazines and more. As I said, the boys use these for workbooks to keep them from getting bent or sliding under books. If you have things like magazines that don't have a hard cover to them, these are awesome to use for storage. You can see through them but if you want to really get organized, you can put a label it or write out the contents with a permanent marker.
You can find these at almost all the major office supply stores but if you are going to order them online make sure you are going to get the correct item. Beautone makes a lot of different document folders and files so don't rely on just the image, read the details. These cost about $1.25 but I have seen them for as much as two dollars. If you have Dollar General, Big Lots or stores like that in your area, check to see if they have them. A few of our local dollar stores have a handful of Beautone products but so they haven't gotten this specific one in. Some places sell these in bulk packs but you will have to settle for a color assortment if you are going to buy them that way. Are they worth it? To me they are. I've never had a problem with them splitting or ripping and they do take a lot of abuse before they start to look worn. Even then, that's just the visual side of it, when they get some marring or scratches they are still capable of holding papers, photographs, magazines and more.
The Bottom Line
Beautone might not be a name that you are familiar with but they are a company that makes quality products but sells them at an affordable price. I like that these can expand to almost an inch and protect things from dust, dirt and warping but the downside to that is that once you pop it open it is hard to get the expansion part to go back to its original shape. That means that if you are only storing a handful of things there is a chance that they could bend at the bottom or get warped. This isn't a big deal but it is something that you should know about before you buy it. Whether you are buying these for your home, office or to use on the road, they are something that will hold letter sized items in place until they are needed. This company might not be a major player in office supply products right now but if they continue to manufacture items like this, they might just give bigger companies a run for their money in the near future.
As always, thanks for the read!
~^V^~ Freak ~^V^~
© 2006 Freak369
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