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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

Uni-ball Vision Elite

Quick Facts:
Pen Type Roller pen
Point Size(s) Micro (0.5mm), Bold (0.8mm)
Water-resistant Yes
Ink Color 8 – Black, Blue, Blue/Black (basically dark blue), Red, Green, Orange, Purple, Pink (looks more like magenta)
Capped/Retractable Capped
Clip Yes
Approx Price $2.50 for 1 pen. $20 for 8 color pack
Review:

Uni-ball Vision Elite is a roller pen that comes 2 point sizes (micro / bold) and 8 colors. I tried bold and was not a big fan (mostly because I prefer fine points). I have been using the micro point for the past 2 years in black and blue. I used all 8 colors in the last year.

The micro point has a black body and the bold point has a white/silver-ish body. I think the black body looks quite handsome. The tip of the cap matches the ink color fairly accurately.

The clip on the cap is very sturdy and makes the pen a good candidate for your pocket or any fabric less than 3mm.

The barrel has a clear part that shows you how much ink is left. So if your pen won’t write and you don’t see ink in the barrel, then you know you don’t have to give the pen a second chance and just chuck it then. (Although, based on experience, pens given a second chance usually don’t deserve it 😦 )

The grip of the pen is fair. The grip is fine under normal use. But if your palms are sweating (during an exam, 2 hours of note taking, or just in a hot office), then it feels slippery. (Also not recommended for writing on mass transit like subway or bus since it’s slippery and has 2 parts (cap and body).)

The shape of the grip is parallel to the barrel (no curves) which I think is the most natural shape for fingers anyway. The grip is slightly smaller than the barrel to make space for the cap. (Personally, I would have preferred the grip and barrel to have the same diameter.) Both the grip and the barrel are a decent size (too small would be hard to hold on to and too big would feel awkward and difficult to control).

The pen is a little on the light side. It wouldn’t hurt to give it an extra 20% in weight. The balance of the pen is good without the cap. With the cap at the end, the end is heavier than the front. I need to apply more pressure to the nib when writing (which kills my control or tires my hand out). To avoid this problem, I simply leave the cap on my desk (which gets lost from time-to-time which is annoying).

When closed, the cap does hold on to the barrel tightly so you are unlikely to lose the cap whether you drop the pen to the floor or dump it in a backpack full of other items with rough edges. However, the cap does not hold on the end of the pen quite as well. If you have it at the end while writing and the pen fail to the ground, there’s a very good chance the cap will separate from the pen.

A minor issue is the barrel of the pen has a tendency to unscrew itself upon many capping and uncapping actions. You just have to tighten the screw again. I think it has to do with the material they use that just doesn’t screw too well.

The nib of the pen is sturdy, fine yet smooth. It doesn’t give you the feeling you are scratching the paper (like many extra fine point pens). It doesn’t create much friction that would slow you down (or tire your hand out). It has just the right resistance against the paper.

The ink flow is superb. A lot of the times, when the point is this fine, the ink flow becomes inconsistent. But not this pen. It always delivers a perfect ink flow. Not too much that it bleeds or creates ink blots. Not so little that the ink disappears from time to time.

I have never had a pen leak thus far. It claims to be fade and water resistant. I have not tested the fade resistance yet, but the water resistant part is quite true (once it dried). Depending on quality/absorbency of your paper (such as loose leaf), you might notice a bit of bleeding if you pause the nib on the paper.

Really minor thing: I find it difficult to differentiate between blue and blue/black. Statistically, over the last year, I have 2 blue/black ink pens that won’t write after a few weeks/months of use (while there is still ink visible in the barrel). I have not had this problem with the other colors (such as black, green, and blue which I use more often than blue/black).

Also, what they claim to be pink ink is really a magenta color (darker).

The smooth nib plus the consistently perfect ink flow is what makes this pen such a joy to write with! And the color variety definitely does not hurt. (Go to your local staples and try it. You will fall in love with it.)

Rating: 15/20
Nib/Ink flow 4/5 (flawless flow, ink might bleed a little on absorbent paper)
Design/Looks 4/5 (professional looking)
Grip/Balance/Weight 3/5 (a little slippery, a little on the light side, good balance w/o cap)
Construction 4/5 (body unscrews over time)
Official Site:

http://uniball-na.com/main.taf?p=2,3,1