Friday, September 30, 2011

Fjader Capped Black Chrome Ballpoint Pen

Fjader (pronouned "Fader") means feather in Swedish and this pen's unique shape resembles a feather. Weighing in at 10 grams, it is almost as light as a feather.  The unique shape is also ergonomic which gives this pen a very comfortable grip when writing. 

Developed by Gustav Innovation, launched in 2008, Fjader sought to bring an offering to the market that spoke elegance, beauty, and ergonomic styling. 

Enter the Fjader Capped Ballpoint Pen.  Available in three colors: black, red, and white, the pen comes in the rollerball variety as well as the desk model with stand. 
For this review, I will focus on the capped black chrome offering. 

The Fjader Capped Ballpoint is ergonomically constructed.  The feather plume body design is made from a hard rubber material.  A chrome metal tip forms the business end of the pen.  This section is triangular in form, connecting with the the rubber section, and then tapering off into a narrowing section that ends sharply to a tip.  Being a lefthanded writer, I appreciate the inward curve it takes at about 1.5 cm upward from the chrome tip.  It allows my thumb to comfortably sit in the curve, while my index finger rides naturally on top.  The rubber body allows natural gripping to be accomplished with ease.  On the bottom end, close to the chrome, is a logo, "G" with a crown.  The "G" is for Gustav Innovation, the creator of Fjader Pens. 

When deconstructing this pen, the chrome section unclips fom the rubber body, revealing the ink cartridge held within.  It is a medium tip, with branded on its side.  I am not a big fan of how it inks on paper.  It has a sort of generic, non-distinct color, sort of washed out.  I am considering swapping it out with a Lamy m21 refill.  Performance on such an ergonomically designed implement simply needs to have the best performance mechanism within. 
With that, I believe the Fjader would become a very smooth writing implement. 
I give this pen an average performance recommendation, with a high recommendation on overall design.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Muji Aluminum Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm

There's only one word to initially describe the Muji Aluminum Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm at first glance.  Wow!
I know its been reviewed before, but there is a feel that this pen has when holding it between your fingers and writing that needs to be explained in your own  words.

This pen, designed by the Japanese based company, Muji, is definitely minimalistic and utilitarian.  It is a matte silver color, constructed of a light weight aluminum metal.  No where on the pen boby will you find the Muji name.  Interesting.  At 13.5cm, the pen is average in size and slim in width, and very eye appealing. 

The tip is a needle point, 0.7mm ink cartridge.  This cartridge is one of the largest I have seen to date, more on it later.  Moving upward, the barrel begins with a knurled grip section which feels secure when gripping the pen between your fingers.  It also adds to the eye appeal of this amazing writing implement. 

The remainder of the barrel continues cylindrically to the top where things become even more interesting.  At the top is a recessed inner section that holds the pocketclip / cap section of this rollerball pen, allowing you to post the cap.  Initially when posted, the cap held firmly in place.  However, after removing and reposting over a period of several days, the cap loosened when posted.  Muji could have avoided this issue by simply machining screw threads within the recessed area. 

When deconstructed, what is obviously apparent is the enormous size of the ink cartridge.  It is of such proportion, it gives the impression the barrel was designed to accomodate it first and not the other way around.  An ink cartridge holder, if you will. 

This pen glides across paper and produces a nice thin ink line.  I love the needle point cartridge, but fear non-availability may be an issue in the future.  If there is someone reading this who knows of comparable substitute cartridges for this pen, please let me know. 

Meanwhile, I will continue enjoying using this finely crafted, beautiful work of art.  I highly recommend the Muji Aluminum Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pilot Hi - Tec C Coleto Lumio 4 Color Multi Pen

After reading several reviews, I was sort of intrigued with the Pilot Hi - Tec C Coleto Lumio Multi Pen.
It has a rather slim form factor, and can house four writing implements within its barrel.  It gives you the option of adding different color ink cartridges plus a 0.5mm mechanical pencil. calls the Hi - Tec C Coleto Lumio: " a business color line of plastic bodies in metallic shades for the workplace."

Jet Pens sells the body separately from the ink cartridges which you then opt to purchase based on your choice of color and ink tip size.  This allows you to really customize the pen to suit your needs.  It currently comes in three colors; black, silver and blue.  I purchased the matte black version which has a business appeal and feels great when writing. 

My caveat would be, I would add a rubber grip onto the lower barrel to give it a more secure feel.  But that is my preference.

Jet Pens gives you the option of purchasing 0.4mm or 0.5mm ink cartridges.  I chose all 0.5mm tips.  Of course in time, I may decide to switch out ink cartridges.  This pen is very light weight, but has a professional look and feel.  It inks smoothly on paper and the ink cartridges change rather easily from one to the other
when the plunger of each is employed. 

When purchasing the total ensemble of pen body, ink cartridges and pencil, the total cost came to $21.00 plus shipping.  When I look at that price point, I have to ask was it worth it?  After using the pen for several weeks, here is my response.

The Hi - Tec C Coleto Lumio has several features which make the value of this pen noteworthy. 
First is the employment of gel ink cartridges.  The use of gel ink really upgrades the writing experience of this pen.  This pen glides quite smoothly across paper.  It allows virtually effortless use.  The fact that you can switch from 0.4 to 0.5 mm cartridges and/or have them housed side-by-side evens up the versatality of this pen by leaps and bounds.  I only wish this pen was constructed from a better quality of plastic.  It has a somewhat fragile feel to it when gripping.  The plungers also feel rather flimsy when switching from one cartridge to another.  I don't know how many bumps and bruises this pen can take before breaking. 
This is not a pen I feel comfortable carrying in my pants pocket on a daily basis back and forth to work. 
I would worry about it potentially breaking during transport.  But it is a great desk pen.  A pen to write letters, blogs and figure out bills with. 

So in conclusion, I give the Pilot Hi - Tec C Coleto Lumio a Good recommendation overall, with a High recommendation on performance.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Coast LED Lenser- LL7590 Write & Light Pen Flashlight

I'm a fan of Coast flashlights; so when I saw the Coast LED Lenser- LL7590 Write & Light Pen Flashlight, I thought it appeared to be an interesting tool / writing instrument. 

Let me start by saying, this pen is very well constructed.  Coast maintains a reputation for producing quality products across the board.  Delivered in a metal gift box, this pen has elegance and heft to a quite stylish looking implement.  Made from brass with nickle alloy coating, the pen measures 12.5 cm in length, somewhat short in stature.  At the tip, a simple twist engages / disengages the 0.7 mm ink cartridge.  Above is a cylinder with finger grip ridges which covers most of the bottom half of the pen barrel.  The pen is a matte silver with the Coast logo along the upper side of the barrel. 

At the top of the barrel, the pocketclip protects the photon tube reflector micro tech switch for turning the flashlight on and off.  This switch has two different flash frequencies.  An initial flashing light, then it speeds up to a faster flash, and when pressed a third time remains constantly on.  I personally don't know of too many instances when I would employ the first two features, with the exception of an emergency situation. 
That said, it legitimizes the flashlight as an essential component of the LED Lenser Write & Light.  The flashlight employs Nichia LEDs, powered by four AG5, 1.5Volt batteries which have 110 hours of run time.  It should be stated, these batteries are somewhat difficult to find.  I have only found them on several websites, and they have a tendency to be out of stock at times.  While this is not a deal breaker, it does present an issue should the websites or stores discontinue carrying them alltogether. 

The Write & Light, it should be noted, is an either/or tool.  Because the pen and flashlight occupy either end of the body, you can either choose to write with the pen or employ use of the flashlight, not both at once in the way of working synchroniously, ala the Pilots Pen.  This sort of really asks one to understand their reasoning for having this pen.  For me, it is having the duo ability of pen and light at my fingertips.  I can find my way at night from my car to my house and open the door quite easily using the very bright light source offered by this pen.  Additionally, the ink cartridge, with a medium tip, literally glides across paper, making this a writing implement of choice.

At $20.00, I find it a worthy addition to my pen collection, if I can only keep it in batteries.  Therefore, I recommend the Coast LED Lenser- LL7590 Write & Light Pen Flashlight.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Rotring Trio Silver Multi Pen

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.