I've enjoyed using Rotring pens for years, and like some of my other pens, they come and they go. The main thing I liked about Rotring pens back then was the quality of the craftsmanship put into each and every pen. The Rotring Trio I had a long time ago had heft to it. When I held it in my hand, it felt substantial. The ink cartridge inked strong vivid colors of ink. The blacks were really black, the blues really blue, and the red really bright red.
The current Rotring Trio does not in my humble opinion have that same quality. It feels rather light weight and cheap. I know that Rotring has been through some company changes over the last thirteen years, but their history speaks to their dedication in supporting the needs of the technical community, particularly in Germany where they were started. Rotring was a name associated with precision, technical innovation and high-end functionality. Rotring launched its first multi pen in 1935. The combination of one pencil and two colored pens in one instrument was an innovation Rotring placed in the then market. The red ring meant something then. The company expanded until their quality products were world reknown. The same quality that went into their $200 pens, went into their $20 pens. Indeed Rotring was one of the companys along with Pilot, that sold me on the idea of multi pens.
The Rotring Trio multi pen is truly a disappointment. It has none of the quality appointments found in other Rotring multi pens. It feels like an afterthought. Your hands slip down the barrel when gripping the pen to write. The ink looks rather washed out on paper, not rich and full colored. The pen has definite rattle when shaking it. Now don't get me wrong, I love the Tikky 3 in 1, the 600, the Rapid Pro, the Axtension Quattro Data Multi Pen, but that is not what the Trio is. It is virtually a chore to write with this pen. I am considering hijacking the ink cartridges and replacing them with Lamy M 21s, just to help the pen flow.
So, in conclusion, this pen really underwhelmed me as a huge Rotring fan for years. I cannot recommend the Rotring Trio Multi Pen even at the $10.00 price tag.