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Rhodia Lined Pads And Holders


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#1 Silvermink

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 03:38

Well, here it is - my very first stationery review. Be gentle. :) I'll link to larger versions of the pictures next time, but this time I had an attack of dumb and deleted the originals. Pardon the lighting - my E-1's flash isn't working right now and I had to use the on-camera flash on my old PowerShot S40.



A while ago (a fair while ago, I note with some chagrin), Quo Vadis Canada sent me a few things for review - the centerpiece of the package, to me, were the two Rhodia pads, a #16 (A5) and a #11 (A7) with matching leatherette holders. Those of you who've used them know the paper in these is great, and the holders are pretty convenient, too.

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The paper is Rhodia's 80 gsm white. It's very smooth and dense, with little texture, and is a great writing experience overall, though the density of it means that ink will take a little longer to dry than it does on lower-grade paper - not always a good thing for jotting notes, but it's a more-than-acceptable tradeoff in most situations. The paper compares well with that in my pocket-sized Quo Vadis Habana, though I have a slight preference for the Habana's cream-colored paper.

Bleedthrough is... well, it isn't. I haven't noticed any, and I've used my Pelikan M1050 M and my Montblanc 146 1.0 cursive italic - two of my wettest-writing pens - on this paper. Heck, I even got a blot of ink on it and still no sign of bleed. Feathering is similarly nonexistent.

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The #11 pad is a great pocketable size at 2.9" x 4.1" (7.4 x 10.5cm), excellent for jotting notes - I'd say it has about the same pocketability as my Habana, if not a little more - and the #16 is a good size for doing more serious writing at 5.8" x 8.3" (14.8 x 21.0cm). The little #11 doesn't give you a lot of space per page - and the stapled cover eats into it - but it's the sacrifice you make for portability and durability.

Speaking of durability, both the pads and holders are nicely durable. I've been carrying them around in my laptop bag and my pockets for a while now and everything's still in great shape. The holders come in the standard Rhodia colors of conservative black and flashy orange (I like the orange, myself).

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Both pad holders have a slit front pocket where you can stuff torn-out pages, etc. I originally had thought the front cover was supposed to slide in there but that doesn't really work. The #16 holder also has a leatherette pen loop which will accommodate a slimmer pen but is too small for my FPs (though I imagine it'd accommodate something like an Aurora Hastil or a Sailor Chalana) - I would've preferred an elastic loop. I've pictured it with a skinny Cross ballpoint I had around, but it'll accommodate something a bit larger than that, probably up to about a Bic stick's width.

Both of the pads have 80 sheets and 7mm ruling - the #16 also has a margin rule, though the #11 doesn't. They're also available blank or with 5/5 grid ruling. There's also a #16 dotPad - I have one of those and might review it too at some point.

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I think these pads are a good value as high-end paper products go - the #16 is around $5 and the #11 is around $2 online. This makes the #11 a pretty attractive alternative to pocket-sized notebooks like the Moleskine or Habana or Rhodia's own Webnotebook, though, of course, you don't get the expandable pocket or the elastic closure. The holders are around $10 and $24 online for the #11 and the #16 respectively, which includes one pad.

These are great little pads, and I've been pretty impressed with them - the negatives I mentioned are really just minor quibbles for the most part. Thanks again to Quo Vadis Canada for providing the samples.



If you'd like to see my original handwritten pages, I've posted scans of them here. And since I know someone will ask, they were written on the #16 pad with my Montegrappa Historia in Private Reserve Tanzanite. :)
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#2 geoduc

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 04:19

Thanks, Silvermink. Nice review.

I have been using the #16 pad holder for several months now and quite like it. It's a very convenient size to carry around.

#3 mrphyig

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 04:27

I've been enjoying the No. 16 for a few months as well, though I find the pencil loop actually pretty annoying: it gets in the way of my hand when I write and it makes a disruptive bulge if it winds up behind the pages of the pad. It hasn't been serious enough for me to set the whole thing on fire and run weeping into the sea, though. Yet.

(Thanks very much for the review, Silvermink!)

Edited by mrphyig, 27 October 2010 - 04:28.


#4 geoduc

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 04:31

I've been enjoying the No. 16 for a few months as well, though I find the pencil loop actually pretty annoying: it gets in the way of my hand when I write and it makes a disruptive bulge if it winds up behind the pages of the pad. It hasn't been serious enough for me to set the whole thing on fire and run weeping into the sea, though. Yet.

(Thanks very much for the review, Silvermink!)


I decided the loop was a useless appendage and cut it off of mine.

#5 Silvermink

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:57

I've been enjoying the No. 16 for a few months as well, though I find the pencil loop actually pretty annoying: it gets in the way of my hand when I write and it makes a disruptive bulge if it winds up behind the pages of the pad. It hasn't been serious enough for me to set the whole thing on fire and run weeping into the sea, though. Yet.


I decided the loop was a useless appendage and cut it off of mine.


It sort of is, unfortunately - any pen large enough for me to be comfortable using it for any length of time would be too large for the loop (and I wouldn't be carrying a pad as large as the #16 for quick notes). I think the motivation was good, but an elastic loop would be much nicer if they're going to include one.

Thanks for the comments!
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#6 jde

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 13:35

Very nice review! hmmmm..... a holder for my notepad.... the purchasing is never ending!
 
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#7 mrphyig

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 13:51

I decided the loop was a useless appendage and cut it off of mine.


I was considering that; is it possible to do cleanly, Geoduc, or do you wind up with a bit of ratty material/thread?

(New avatar, Silvermink? Crazy! I feel like you had the old one since forever.)

#8 kreinhard

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 14:49

I decided the loop was a useless appendage and cut it off of mine.


Ditto. As much as I hated doing it, there was no point in keeping it. None of my fountain pens fit in it and it was always getting in the way. Great paper, though, and I do like the looks/functionality of the paper.

Nice review!

#9 limesally

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 14:50

Great review! I agree completely - I have both of these, in the exact combos you have, a black #16 and orange #11. I've already gone through a couple of pads on the little one and the holder is still going strong.

I do find the slot in the back of the #16 a bit tight, I had to struggle to change the lined pad for a blank one, but at least it's secure. I never use the pen loop, and just let it lie flat behind the pad - it's pretty unobtrusive.

I don't think I'd ever use either of these in the same way I'd use a notebook like the Habana, though. I've always torn pages out of my Rhodia pads, and they seem impermanent to me in comparison to Habana-type books. Maybe I'll try that more note-booky approach from now on, though. But the type of paper in this pads is my favorite - I like it even better than the 90g Clairefontaine type.

#10 trent

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 15:47

Why is it taking them so long to come out with a cover for the 18 bloc? That's the one I'm really anxious to have.

#11 Silvermink

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 15:54

(New avatar, Silvermink? Crazy! I feel like you had the old one since forever.)


Indeed! I finally got around to scanning some new art from a recent convention. :)
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#12 Silvermink

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 15:56

I do find the slot in the back of the #16 a bit tight, I had to struggle to change the lined pad for a blank one, but at least it's secure. I never use the pen loop, and just let it lie flat behind the pad - it's pretty unobtrusive.


It is pretty tight, yeah. I had to wrestle with it a bit to get the pad out of the holder for the one shot in the review - should've mentioned that. But, as you say, it's very secure.

I may swap the #16 dotPad into my #16 holder at some point.

Edited by Silvermink, 27 October 2010 - 15:57.

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#13 geoduc

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 19:54

I decided the loop was a useless appendage and cut it off of mine.


I was considering that; is it possible to do cleanly, Geoduc, or do you wind up with a bit of ratty material/thread?

(New avatar, Silvermink? Crazy! I feel like you had the old one since forever.)


I borrowed my wife's sharp sewing scissors (shhh..don't tell on me) and cut it off as close to the stitching as I could. The little bit that remains is not a bother.




Edited for spelling

Edited by geoduc, 28 October 2010 - 02:21.


#14 Silvermink

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 20:03

I don't think I'd ever use either of these in the same way I'd use a notebook like the Habana, though. I've always torn pages out of my Rhodia pads, and they seem impermanent to me in comparison to Habana-type books. Maybe I'll try that more note-booky approach from now on, though. But the type of paper in this pads is my favorite - I like it even better than the 90g Clairefontaine type.


I'm fairly unsentimental about my Habana and have been happy enough to tear pages out of it. :) My paper preference, as I mentioned, goes the other way - the relative weight isn't a big deal to me, but I prefer the ivory paper to the white.
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#15 glennmarcus

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 16:27

Thanks for the review. Good to know about another line of paper, since the quality of paper is so important to the writing experience. The poor experience of using low grade office paper does not enhance writing with a fountain pen. I have been using Clairefontaine paper for a number of years but I will be picking up some Rhodia pads to give them a try on my next order.

When visitng museums I always enjoy the cases that hold old handwritten documents, the writing, the ink... all fascinating. Rhodia paper is acid-free, so your test pages will stand the test of time. Most of our writings, on acid-based paper won't!

See you at the next meeting of the Vancouver Pen Club (www.vancouverpenclub.com)

Glenn

Edited by glennmarcus, 30 October 2010 - 16:27.

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#16 Silvermink

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 18:05

Thanks for the review. Good to know about another line of paper, since the quality of paper is so important to the writing experience. The poor experience of using low grade office paper does not enhance writing with a fountain pen. I have been using Clairefontaine paper for a number of years but I will be picking up some Rhodia pads to give them a try on my next order.


I noticed when I was at Perks yesterday that Richard had a number of the Rhodia pads on his rack including the #18s, but I forgot to have a better look at them before I left (I was ogling the new Diplomats he got in).

See you next month!

Edited by Silvermink, 30 October 2010 - 18:05.

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#17 Maja

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 19:36

I don't know a lot about paper :embarrassed_smile: but I know a good review when I see one :)

Thanks so much for the thorough review on the Rhodia lined pads and holders, Graham; I didn't know Rhodia made holders at all. I only have two Rhodia pads--the Rhodia No.12 and No.18 'squares', which are very handy if your handwriting tends to go wonky (like mine) even with the help of lined paper :rolleyes:
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#18 Silvermink

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 20:39

I don't know a lot about paper :embarrassed_smile: but I know a good review when I see one :)

Thanks so much for the thorough review on the Rhodia lined pads and holders, Graham; I didn't know Rhodia made holders at all. I only have two Rhodia pads--the Rhodia No.12 and No.18 'squares', which are very handy if your handwriting tends to go wonky (like mine) even with the help of lined paper :rolleyes:


Yeah, the holders are very helpful in making it kind of a "full solution" (whoa, there I go with the buzzword-speak).

I favor lined paper, too, because I can't write in a straight line without some kind of guide either. :) I'll probably try the grid at some point, too, and I've got a dotPad here, so I'll see how those work (the dotPad looks like a nice compromise between really explicit guides and visual clutter).
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#19 meghan

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 01:22

Great review! I'm a big fan of Rhodia notebooks (I stock up when I find them at Target) but wasn't even aware that they made such nice looking covers. I think I'll be treating myself to one for Christmas!

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#20 Mage

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 22:21

Very nice review. Decided to get Rhodia line pads after reading your review. They arrived today morning and just one word "AMAZING" :yikes: I don't know how I used my FPs on yellow pads before :embarrassed_smile:

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