Review: Quattro Notepad

12 05 2008

Here’s one I hadn’t seen before.  I haven’t had a chance to give it a real thorough test, but here’s a short take.

It’s an 80-sheet pad that’s styled a little like the Rhodia pads, with the stiff glossy-ish cover that folds over (this one has a pea soup-colored cover).  Overall size is 3.4″ x 5.5″, and the sheets are micro-perforated.  It’s made by the Hand Book Journal Company (an offshoot of Global Art Materials) based in Kansas City, MO.  I picked it up at The Art Store in Des Moines for $3.  They’re available in an interesting 8×8 quadrille-ruled format (scan below), a lined format that I didn’t look at, and a blank one.  One thing that’s cool about these things is that Hand Book has also released leather foldover covers for them.  I didn’t check the prices, but with the notepad priced at $3, it probably won’t break the bank for the leather cover to go along with it.  If I decide I like these, I might spring for one. 

The paper is finished, but it’s not the same type of finishing process that Clairefontaine uses for their Rhodia pads; it’s more like the finish on the Ampad Gold Fibre legal pads.  Still, with a fine point, you shouldn’t have many issues. 

Initially I tested it with a Vanishing Point loaded with Pelikan Royal Blue.  Seemed to work fine, although I think the line might have spread out a little further than I’d have expected.  Later, I used a wet-writing Omas 360 on it with good results (better than I expected, actually).  I also tried out a needlepointed nib on it and got predictable results. 

I couldn’t find any traces of feathering, and no bleedthrough.  Granted, I wasn’t using the world’s most saturated inks, but with the Omas being such a wet writer, if it was going to bleed, it would have. 

If you want to try one, here’s a few pictures so you’ll know what to look for.  Happy hunting!  (Pardon the poor photo quality on these…pressed for time!)

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12 responses

12 05 2008
Patrick Rhone

Mmmmm… Lovely grid on that there unit. Might have to go an scare me up some of these.

12 05 2008
Speedmaster

Nice work on that review!

16 05 2008
Chris

Prizm had these on sale a couple of weeks ago, buy 2 get one free. I got 3 and carry one of these as “disposable” notebooks, if i’m going to be getting dirty or wet or whatever.

16 05 2008
Speedmaster

Nice work! I submitted this to Armand over at Notebookism.com and I see it’s up there this morning. 😉

16 05 2008
Eric

Hey,
I’ve been looking all over for these since the art store at my school has sold out of them. I’m an architecture student and I’ve love carrying these around as a sketch/note pad that fits in my back pocket. I only like using the blank pads but I can’t find them anywhere online and I can’t find it online at TheArtStore either. Did you find them in person, or have you seen them online anywhere?

Thanks!
-Eric

21 05 2008
15 09 2008
Deb

Anyone know where to order these? I live in Ohio, but would love to get my hand on some of these.

25 09 2008
Kerry

We’ve got them, and all the OTHER Hand*Book items, too. They are wonderful!
Toll-free 877-ART-FITS.

11 11 2008
patrick

i carry a tiny pad in my back pocket at all times, and while I am a long-time Rhodia user I have to admit the Quattro has some advantages. The perforation is tighter, so pages don’t fall out by themselves– a great advantage if you want to keep ongoing lists. As you noted, the paper is not quite as smooth as the Rhodia but it is very close. I may just be switching allegiances.

4 12 2008
all of us

Nice review Ryan. I have seen these up here in Minnesota and may have to pick a few up for the holidays. Keep up the great work.

Munson Pens

5 12 2008
NateB

DickBlick carries these in several sizes.
http://www.dickblick.com/zz106/34/

27 01 2010
louise

I picked up a quattro pad, but chose the one with blank pages. The grid sounded like a good idea until I took a closer look. It seemed distracting for every-day scribbling and note-taking. I wish it were a more simple grid like normal grid paper instead of one that’s divided into four quadrants and margins on the side.

Overall, the blank paper version of the quattro seems to work fine. As you said, the paper is finished, which means that it takes an extra second or two for my fountain pen-written words to dry (noodler’s ink bulletproof black) but once it does, it’s there for good. I’m happy there’s no bleed-through.

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