Rhodia came out with a new line of notepads called ‘dotPads’ for 2010. These dotpads are essentially the same as your normal Rhodia pads, but the ruling is new.

DotPads have a new ‘dot grid’ ruling that’s a layout similar to the 5×5 grid (5mm square) you see in the Rhodia pads already. However, if you took and made a dot at the intersection of all of the lines in a 5×5 grid, then took away the lines, what you’re left with is a dotPad.

Rhodia notepads all use Clairefontaine paper that is white, 80g, and has just a hint more texture than the paper used in Clairefontaine notebooks (with the exception of Rhodia Webnotebooks and a select other few products not imported in the US like the ePure). The dotPad is no exception, it will take pencils, ballpoints, and fountain pens just as well as the Rhodia pads you already know. The difference is that the dot ruling is incredibly subtle.

I’ve heard from several people that don’t prefer the Rhodia grid paper because of the fairly prominent blue lines in the ruling. Especially because the grids are 5mm square, there are a lot of lines on the page to compete with your writing (especially if you’re writing in blue!). The dotPad is MUCH more subtle, in fact you hardly notice anything when you’re reading back your writing.

At the time of this posting, there are only 4 available sizes of dotPad, and you can get any color cover you want (as long as it’s black!). The four sizes of the pads are No. 12 (3.375″x4.75″, list price $2.75), No. 16 (6″x8.25″, list price $5.50), No. 19 (8.25″x12.5″, list price $10.00), and No. 38 (12.5″x16.5″, list price $16.00).

If you see them all side-by-side, each pad is about the size of two of the smaller ones put together. The one that seems to be tripping everyone up is that No. 19 pad. Standard American legal pads are slightly shorter, 3/4″ shorter to be exact. That’s the size of the No. 18 Rhodia pad, but there is no No. 18 dotPad, only No. 19! So if you have a clipboard, binder, or folio you intend to use with your dotPad, make SURE it’ll fit the 12.5″ long No. 19 pad!

I’m very impressed with the way the paper takes fountain pen ink. I wrote with 3 different pens and inks, and the paper took it like a champ. The paper rocks! The color of the paper is off a bit so the ink would look at least somewhat accurate….

There is almost no echo at all on the back of the page, even with the wet writing Script 1.5 with a fairly bold J. Herbin Rouge Hematite. You probably can’t even tell, but this is the back of the page in the picture above:

This pad would be PERFECT for kids in the car for long car trips. My sister and I used to play this game called “The Dot Game” (creative, right?). Basically, you have a piece of paper with all dots on it, and you take turns drawing lines connecting 2 dots. You alternate every line, with the goal of being the one to ‘close in’ a box. When you close a box, you get to put your initial in the box. You keep going again and again, until the whole pages is filled boxes. Then you count up your initials, and whoever has the most, wins! Then you start over again on a new sheet…..over and over….until you get sick of playing! Back when we were kids, we didn’t have any fancy-shmancy dotPads, so we had to use lined or blank paper and put evenly spaced dots on it ourselves. It was so tedious that we’d spend about 10 minutes doing dot-making and 5 minutes playing the game. We’d usually quit after 2 rounds because we just didn’t feel like making dots! A few times my mom actually would make dot grids while we were playing to give us more ‘game time’. What a great mom!

Here’s a Dot Game sample (I’m the B’s and my wife is the R’s):

Rhodia dotPads are available at The Goulet Pen Company for $2.50 (No. 12), $5.25 (No. 16), $9.50 (No. 19), and $16.00 (No. 38). Pads are available at other retailers as well ;)