For many of us, Rhodia’s wonderful paper and minimalistic design mean their notepads are often our go-to writing papers. I’ve been using their pads for a long time but always kept to the basic lined top-stapled pad, eventually migrating to the wire bound rule notepad and of late, the dot Pad which is many a notebooker’s favorite Rhodia.

Rhodia R Premium notepad

Let me say, knowing that I may commit blasphemy in the eyes and ears of the Rhodia dot pad faithful, to say that the Rhodia R Premium line may be a notch above the beloved dot Pads. Unfortunately, the Rhodia R line only comes in ruled or blank. If it were available in a dot Pad layout, I might never use another black-cover, white-paper, dot Pad again. For comparison, the R Premium and the dot Pad were the A5, or about 6″ x 8″ sizes.

In my pen and graphite tests, the R Premium performed identically to the dot Pad. I suspect there will be less show-through with the heavier R Premium paper, but in terms of writing it’s the same silky-smooth stuff. That said, I liked the slightly heavier paper experience a little better. For graphite users who like a little tooth, the R Premium performs the same as the dot Pad, i.e., no tooth, just a buttery-smooth experience.

So is the difference in the R Premium worth it for the slight extra cost?

The R Premium does feel like a nicer pad (but that’s not saying the dot Pad isn’t nice). The R Premium has heavier paper, a soft and smooth cover, that stunning black outside/orange inside cover, and for my tastes, gorgeous ivory paper. I won’t try to talk dot grid lovers into accepting lines, so that’s probably going to be the decider for a lot of users. But if you want something that makes you feel a little more pampered, a little richer writing experience on that smooth ivory paper, then you can’t go wrong with the Rhodia R Premium line. Your fountain pen, Blackwing, .3 gel pen, or rollerball may never let you go back to any other paper after you let them loose on the R Premium notepad.