As promised in my ZNO review, here is my comparison post/video of ZNO’s Little Timeline Book and Chatbooks. The two books are almost completely identical, so let’s see who does it better. Important! I am only comparing the Chatbooks Series Photo Books, not the Custom Books!
About the companies:
Chatbooks is photo book creator app that allows you to turn your Facebook/Instagram feed into good looking little books. They break your feed into volumes trying to get you to buy as many books as possible. They look great, they are a one click book and their quality is pretty decent too. They are becoming a cult book for intensive Facebook/Instagram users.
ZNO is a flush mount book giant well known for their supreme quality (wedding, portrait albums etc…), however, this is not reflected in their Little Timeline Book, which is one of the few non-photographic books they have in the range. Since it offers roughly the same editing and physical features as Chatbooks, it’s one of the only true direct competitors as of now.
Chatbooks was created with the specific goal of turning your feed into volumes of books, while ZNO was established as a professional flush mount book company. Despite ZNO’s best efforts it is quite clear that these books are not their main focus but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth the price.
Chatbook web: https://chatbooks.com
My Chatbooks review:
ZNO web: http://www.ZNO.com
My ZNO review:
|Paper||#100 (148gsm) silk (satin) – 60 pages||#100 (148gsm) silk (satin) – 100 pages||NO WINNER|
|Printing||Digital/ HP Indigo
||Digital/Heidelberg (some pixelation)||CHATBOOKS|
|Binding||Perfect Bound||Perfect Bound||CHATBOOKS|
|Delivery||FREE USA, $4 International
||FREE USA, $2 International
|Deals||First book free||None (at the moment)||CHATBOOKS|
|Full Price||$10 for 60 pages||$12 for 100 pages||ZNO|
Both companies offer two covers, a glossy softcover and matte hardcover. I chose the hardcover for both. They are almost identical, both really smooth and matte (ZNO had a very, very subtle sheen). Very nice material, great quality. On the front: only one photo, no titles. On the spine you’ll find the automatic volume info and the company logo. In the case of Chatbooks you can choose a title for the spine. The back covers are blank with the company logos in the bottom. Since they are close to identical, no clear winner here.
Both books are perfect bound (glued together) and they both start with a blank double page spread (grey for Chatbooks, cream for ZNO). They are both sturdy and high quality, however, Chatbooks has an extra fabric touch on the spine, which is always a winner for me. ZNO’s more expensive books all have this, but sadly not this one. For this reason, Chatbooks gets the points!
A tie here again. Both companies use the same paper type, an acid-free #100 (148gsm) silk/satin stock. These are very standard, entry level photo book papers. For these kind of books (Instagram/Facebook) I think it’s perfectly satisfactory. They have a nice, subtle sheen, they ain’t too thin and have a smooth texture too. No clear winner!
Chatbooks uses digital HP Indigo Printers. Their colours and tones are very well balanced and the print was sharp too. ZNO uses Heidelberg High Def printers. Colours and tones were just as good, but they must have downscaled my images because I noticed some pixelation in the print which was NOT a problem on my end. The same photos (from the same Instagram account) printed fine in the Chatbooks book, hence, Chatbooks wins the battle here.
Since they are both one click books editing is very limited. Once you have logged into your account and pulled the photos, you can exclude pics from the feed but that’s about it. One photo per page, furthermore, you can choose your cover photo and enable/disable geotags, date and captions. Besides these, Chatbooks allows for full bleed images, aspect ratio changes, some cropping and caption editing, so slightly less restrictive than ZNO.
Both books arrived within a few days and were nicely packed. Chatbooks charges $4 International and it’s free within the USA. ZNO charges $2 International and it’s also free within the states. ZNO wins here.
Chatbooks has a free trial for first time users, you can get your first Chatbooks Series Photo Book by using the code CBLOVE. ZNO’s discounts don’t apply to the Little Timeline Book.
At full price:
Chatbooks is $10 for 60 pages
ZNO is $12 for 100 pages.
ZNO wins the price battle.
If you want to find out more about these books and how they compare, watch my YouTube comparison video below (Prices got swapped up in the video, sorry):