Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notepad A5 - @Exaclair

To celebrate its 80th aninversary year, Rhodia has released the Rhodia Ice notepads, a sleek twist on the usual orange and black notepads we're all used to.
Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notepad A5 - @Exaclair

Size: 5.875 x 8.25 inches/No. 16/A5
Color: White
Ruling: Graph
Sheet Count: 96
Price: $5.50USD
Where to buy: Goldspot Pens


The Rhodia Ice pad had my attention from its release... mostly because I'm a sucker and attracted to all new things, new colours, new items, limited editions, etc. It's a tragic existence. Anyway. The Ice pad is just like the regular dotPad No. 16s in terms of its size and set up. The cover on the Ice is white (big surprise) and Rhodia is written on the front in silver lettering. It's a very sophisticated and classy colour scheme: cold and a bit chilly, but in a beautiful way. As Sunny (from Exaclair) says, "I sometimes just stare at the pile in the office which looks like an iceberg". I wouldn't mind being hit by that iceberg. (Bad taste? Sorry. I also implied I'm like the Titanic, so I think it was fair.)
Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notepad A5 - @Exaclair
The back cover is stiff, like the regular pads. Inside, the paper is white, though not bright white, and the ruling is a very nice muted silver-grey. It's easy on the eyes and not obstructive to writing, a feature I love about the dot grid and a quality that has carried over into this graph ruling. I'm surprised I enjoy this graph ruling so much and it is no doubt because of the colour of the ruling.


As with the No. 16 dotPad, this Ice pad has quickly become a favourite. For me, this is the perfect size: perfect for toting around but it's not too big nor too small. I can write from top to bottom of each page, end to end. Smooth paper, not too slick, so the drying time isn't terribly long (I love the Rhodia R pads because they are seriously deluxe but the drying times are very long for when on-the-go). As mentioned in the previous section, I really enjoy the colour of the ruling: the soft colour is pleasant to look at and it makes the entire writing and reading experience very enjoyable.

Dry gel pens won't perform all that nicely on this paper because the paper is smooth. Why are you using dry gel pens on quality paper anyway? I don't know. But there you have it. Steer clear of dry gel pens. Everything else is good: normal gel ink pens, ballpoints, pencils, and liquid ink pens. I didn't bother putting a Sharpie on here because it'll bleed but really now, who writes with a Sharpie in a Rhodia notepad? That's just madness.
Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notepad A5 - @Exaclair Pens Test
Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notepad A5 - @Exaclair Pens Test Back
Fountain pens perform nicely. I tested with broken in pens (as in, no weird, scratchy new nibs), and felt the writing experience was very pleasant, as it's always been with Rhodia paper. Which is why I like Rhodia! There was no feathering or bleed through and show through was minimal to moderate, and limited enough that both sides of the page were usable. It highlights shading and brings out the sheen in inks very nicely, and if you're fortunate enough to have the right combination of nib and ink that results in an outline, you'll see that, too.
Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notepad A5 - @Exaclair FP
Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notepad A5 - @Exaclair FP Back
Drying times were reasonable; they are slightly longer than when compared to copy paper, but not so long it's terribly inconvenient. Of course, everything dries faster if you use a finer nib or one that puts down a line that is not so juicy. Very simple: the more ink your nib puts down, the longer it'll take to dry. It's like magic.
Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notepad A5 - @Exaclair Drying Times
Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notepad A5 - @Exaclair Pros Cons
The only thing that drives me nuts about these notepads is that sometimes you get one where the perforations are too close to the binding, and you can't fold the page properly to tear it off, so you get messy tears. I hate messy tears. It's hit or miss, and if you buy them in person, you can pick which notepad you get, so you can look for the safe ones. Otherwise, you just have to hope you get a safe one. If you don't tear out your pages, you don't have anything to worry about and this downside won't affect you.
Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notepad A5 - @Exaclair
On the bright side, you could always whip out a pocket knife and cut the paper out. 

The Bloc White Rhodia "Ice" notepads are not so different from the usual Rhodia pads in terms of quality, but aesthetically, I feel a lot of people may find them more work appropriate than the very obvious orange covers. These are elegant and appealing while delivering the quality we expect and have come to love from Rhodia. Plus, they are available in five sizes. Highly recommended.

This notepad was sent to me for review by Exaclair. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. All opinions you have read here are my own. There are no affiliate links in this review.


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