I want to remove everything on my desk and put just a giant moleskine notebook and this pen on it.

See details here.

I… want… one… pack!!!

See details here.

Isn’t that just the coolest looking pen you’ve ever seen? Takumi Yoshida is amazing!

aptus pen

Quick Facts:
Pen Type Gel pen
Point Size(s) Ultra Fine, Extra Fine(.5mm), Fine (.7mm) and Bold
Water-resistant No – regardless of what some office supply sites may claim
Ink Color 14 – Black, Blue, Red, Green, Purple, Pink, Turquoise, Burgundy, Orange, Hunter Green, Navy Blue, Periwinkle, Lime, Carmel
Capped/Retractable Retractable
Clip Yes
Approx Price ~$2 for 1 pen. $16 for 8 color pack
Review:

I’ve been refusing to get/use G2’s since I first saw it from a coworker in the office many years ago — because they are so tacky looking. They look quite clean at first, but the clear barrel showing off the yellow/orange gel(?) at the end of the refill just looks yucky, and golden color label on the clip just looks cheesy. I just can’t picture using it. At the time, I was using “Zebra Sarasa Gel Retractable” and “Uniball Signo 207” which are both more elegant looking to me.

It wasn’t until recently that I took a second look at the G2s again. Everywhere I turn, everyone seems to be using it. Even people who are normally not picky about pens claim to like it a lot. I needed to know what they are so drawn to. So I decided to take the plunge and get one. I was at the store and saw the standard package of “1 black, 1 blue, 1 red” pens and “2 black” pens. Looking at them, I remember all the reasons the G2 did not appeal to me. As I was walking away, I noticed the package of “turquoise, purple, and pink”. I wasn’t very fond of the pink, but the turquoise looked very interesting and purple is always a good color to test (I have a theory that purple ink is the most difficult to get right based on experiences of the many purple pens that died unexpectedly on me).

Anyway, back to the review of the G2…

The grip of the pen is pretty awesome – one of the things I was suspicious about regarding the grip was the shape. There’s a slight concavity followed by a slight bump. I’ve had some bad experiences previously with pens that don’t have a straight shape grip that did not fit the fingers/hand properly – sliding/slipping in wrong direction, etc. But the G2 does not have that problem. Now that I think about it some more, it’s actually a very smart design. Usually people with smaller hands want smaller grip and they tend to hold the pen closer to the tip. Whereas people with bigger hand would want a bigger grip and hold the pen higher. By creating this increasing barrel size as you get farther from the tip, it satisfies a much wider audience than that of a straight grip. And the genius is that it tilts back out really near the tip creating a cradle for the fingers and added extra horizontal grooves to increase friction.

The flow of ink is pretty smooth and consistent – on the better end for a gel pen. The weight and balance of the pen is good. It’s a bit heavier than the zebra sarasa – which I like. It gives it a more substantial feel (i.e. less cheap). But then again, I’m comparing a new g2 with old sarasa, so may be it’s the weight of the gel ink. Hmm, let me just remove the ink and redo the test in my hand. Ok, so correction, the 2 pens are about the same weight without the ink (never realize how heavy the gel ink was). Btw, an interesting design note, the screw on the G2 is in the middle of the barrel instead of the more common placement – at the tip of the pen. This is a great design decision – making it much easier to screw on/off (because of larger surface area to hold on to) than its other retractable competitors.

Overall, G2 is a good, solid, well balanced pen. But at the same time, it is also one of the more commonly seen pens in the office. So if you don’t want to look like everyone else, or just want to add a little bit of spark or personality, get one in a unusual color that you like. I am currently in love with turquoise. (And I still hate the black and blue ones – probably for the wrong reasons, but I don’t care!!) Looking forward to trying hunter green some day.

Rating: 17/20
Nib/Ink flow 4/5 (consistent, smooth for fine point – I’m reserving the last point for when I try the other point sizes)
Design/Looks 3/5 (depends on color – for me at least)
Grip/Balance/Weight 5/5 (superb grip, great balance, good weight with full ink)
Construction 5/5 (well made, very sturdy, especially like the the screw in middle of barrel)
Official Site:

http://www.pilotpen.us/products/gel/#anchor_g2

razor_large.jpg

Quick Facts:
Pen Type Marker pen
Point Size(s) Extra Fine Razor — (estimated 0.3mm)
Water-resistant No
Ink Color 5 – Black, Blue, Red, Green, Purple?
Capped/Retractable Capped
Clip Yes
Approx Price $1 – 1.60 for 1 pen
Review:

Uni-ball Vision Elite has been my defacto pen for quite some time now. However, I recently have a new boss who magically turn my usually 5-task-per-day list into 30 (from what i still can’t tell is lack of planning or overwhelming number of “brilliant” new ideas from him). The first thing I did was change from college-rule paper to something finer. (Don’t ask me where/how i get something finer than college rule — i have my ways…) Then I noticed issues writing at that size with my Vision Elite.

So i thought to myself, what pen can produce (ridiculously) thin, precise and consistent lines? Why, it’s Pilot Razor Point! There are a number of reasons I don’t use it as my primary pen – its line lacks character (too consistent), gets scratchy after a while (the point “dies”), only 5 colors. But if there’s one thing it can do, and do very very well — it’s to provide (ridiculously) thin, precise and consistent lines :D

Always wonder what the difference between this and Pilot Razor Point II is. As far as i can tell, the point/ink flow is same. Only the shape (and avail ink color) is different. The latter looks more cooperate-y. The “original”(?) looks kinda 70’s — which is part of the charm in my book anyway.

Rating: 15/20
Nib/Ink flow 4/5 (ink flow is very consistent, a bit scratchy toward later of pen life)
Design/Looks 4/5 (looks a bit 70’s?? which could be a charming, retro thing.. the black body is fine.. the other colors can look a bit tacky)
Grip/Balance/Weight 3/5 (grip is same material as rest of pen, balance and weight is fine w/o the cap)
Construction 4/5 (well made, not refillable though — i don’t think)
Official Site:

http://www.pilotpen.us/products/markerpens/

uniball_signo_207.jpg

Quick Facts:
Pen Type Gel pen
Point Size(s) Micro (0.5mm), Medium (0.7mm) — Could only find assorted color set in Medium point :(
Water-resistant Yes
Ink Color 8 – Black, Blue, Red, Green, Light Blue, Purple, Orange, Pink
Capped/Retractable Retractable
Clip Yes
Approx Price ~$1.70 for 1 pen. $13 for 8 color pack
Review:

Uniball Signo 207 is a retractable gel pen that comes in 2 point sizes and 8 colors. The ones I own have no clear labels on them that tell me what point size they are. It is not until I dissembled one of the pens, read the part number off the ink refill and look it up on google that I figure out it’s medium point.

The pen is stylish and somewhat professional looking. (It’s a little more on the cute/edgy side.) The barrel is clear and slightly tinted to a dark shade, but you can still clear see the ink level. The clip seems well made (totally speculative as I don’t clip pens on anything.) The retractable “button” is quite interesting in design. It’s a color-tinted clear plastic covering a solid colored stick. Why did they design it that way? It’s not especially pleasing visually, yet it uses more material than a single piece of plastic. Don’t know, it’s not bad, just seems odd.

The grip of the pen is ok. The material used is good. There’s some texture on it which shows good intentions. But the texture is going in the wrong direction. Also, the grip is fatter than the barrel, which kills the control a bit for me :(

Ink flow is quite good: consistent and smooth. It produces a very pleasant and fluid writing experience.

Overall a good pen, good weight and balance, good attempt at the grip, and very good ink flow.

Rating: 16/20
Nib/Ink flow 4/5 (fluid, consistent, smooth – I’m reserving the last point when I get to test micro point size)
Design/Looks 4/5 (good look for late-teens and very early twenties)
Grip/Balance/Weight 3/5 (grip material is good, bigger grip feels awkward)
Construction 5/5 (well made, should stand up to some wear and tear)
Official Site:

http://uniball-na.com/main.taf?p=2,2,3

pen_one.jpg“A sensor, positioned in a pen grip, captures a fingerprint in less than a second confirming identity in real time, with certainty, while simultaneously capturing the written signature.” This is stupid. If you have my fingerprint, then why do you still need my signature? And why bundle pen with fingerprinting? It’s like the pens that has a clock on them.

Anyway, if I own the Pen-One company, I’ll make the pens really cheap (maybe even lose money) and make sure the refills are proprietory and crazy expensive. (Kinda like how they make money w/ xbox360 and ps3).

jon_stewart_pen.jpgI was just watching “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and for the very first time, noticed the pen he was using. It’s a Bic round stic in black. I can’t believe I’ve never notice it before. Perhaps it’s because I just did a review on Bic round stic, or perhaps it’s because I never watched him on a 123-inch projection. I was so sure that it’s Bic round stic when it hit me. It could just be Staples ballpoint stick – they look so similar. But no, that tip(nib), the color that I could only describe as #ab915e is so distinctively Bic. I always find that color repulsive. Yet, that’s the one unique quality that I can depend on to claim that Jon Stewart is (99.99%) holding a Bic round stic.

stephen_cobert_pen.jpg Anyway, about Cobert’s pen. I can’t figure out what it is :(

It’s got a light blue metallic barrel and light/white cushiony looking grip. It’s definitely retractable. At first, I thought it’s the “Pilot Dr. Grip Ltd Rectractable (someone need to fix the spelling in the PhotoShop file for their site, and for the Gel one too) Rolling Ball” pilot_drgripltd_name.gif – the color and material matches perfectly.

pilot_drgripltd.jpg

But… and it’s a big but, from some shots the shape of the grip looks wrong. The grip of Dr. Grip is curved in like this ) (. Yet Cobert’s pen looks curved out like this ( ). Could it be simply an optical illusion? I tried pausing, but then all I see are pixels. I do have a HD tv, but Comedy Central is not broadcast in HD :(
Cobert – stop covering the pen with your hands!! So is it a Dr. Grip or not!? I don’t know… I can’t tell… ahhh.

bic_round_stic.jpgOk, I found this pen in a long forgotten corner of a seldom-used drawer. I was excited at first. I tested it. And I take back everything I said when I compared Staples Ballpoint Stick Pen to Bic round stic. Bic is worse!!

I’m convinced someone who works at Staples sneak into my house and hid this defective pen so I can find it, test it and get extremely disappointed. This has to be an anomaly. I’m going to a store that let me test pens and try this pen out.

That’s all I got to say for now :(

swiss_jewel_aroma_green.jpg I find this idea about the pen with a vial for inhaling the oil disturbing. Isn’t it enough for us to tolerate the perfume from some members of the office who thinks that’s a good way to announce their presence from the other side of the floor? Now we have to deal with people in the cubicle next to yours sniffing pens. (Btw, these pens will get confiscated at the airport.)

Ignoring the scent-related qualities, the pen’s barrel colors combined with the marbling texture looks a bit cheesy. (Solid matte color would be so much better.) The green one shown here is probably the best looking one. Their magenta, red, hot pink looks disgusting. The grip seems non-existent. It is probably heavy. So it’s ready to slip out of your hand and into your cube neighbor’s eyes. The case is the only cool looking feature. But this is created out of necessity instead of design. Think, without the case, you will lose this pen very very quickly.

(Since I don’t actually own nor have access to this pen (and don’t want to spend 30lbs), I can’t give it any more than a purely speculative review. If someone want to lend me one for review, let me know :) I promise to send it back after I’m done.)

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