Specialty online store JetPens sent me a couple of their products to check out. Yes, pens, but they import many of their products from Japan and Germany, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find most of these stateside. And yes, even when it comes to something as mundane as writing, the Japanese and Europeans have some different ideas than we do.
I received 2 products, the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 5 Color Multi Pen and the Tombow AirPress.
The Tombow AirPress
First, let me hit the Tombow AirPress. The geek factor in this one is that it injects air pressure into the ink cartridge every time you press the cap to keep the pen writing even on dirty or wet surfaces. Of course, I had to test out the ‘wet’ claim. I splashed water onto a sheet of paper, and before it was absorbed completely by the paper started writing. Well there was some ink bleeding of course (can’t help that), but sure enough, the pen wrote. Impressed. On the other hand, I can’t imagine having to write on wet surfaces too often.
The Tombow also wrote pretty nicely, although not as smooth as a felt tip pen, but then again a felt tip wouldn’t do well in water. I also found it a little short, but that’s personal preference that is heavily influenced by the way I hold my pen.
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 5 Color Multi Pen
The next pen took me back to my high school days when I had a similar, but much cheaper version ‘multi pen’ made by Bic. That one had 4 colors and they were pre-set. The Coleto takes 5 ink cartridges and you get to pick the colors that go into it, and you can replace the cartridges as needed. Love it. This one will stay on my desk, as I’m always looking for a black, red, blue or green pen, and now I won’t have to keep 4 or 5 of them around.
I found the writing to be a little scratchy, but that’s due to the smaller nib on these pens. I’m not about to write my next bestseller with it, so I can live with that in exchange for the convenience. Oh, also cool is that you can also insert a mechanical pencil or stylus as well. Take a look at the video to see how the 5 carts fit into the body.
While you’re persuing JetPens, you may also want to check out the Uni-Ball Kuru Toga that keeps the pencil lead constantly sharp. The Monteverde One Touch Ballpoint is a pen, but flip it over and you have a touchscreen stylus. Apart from pens and pencils and of course refills, they also stock specialty paper, journals and notebooks.
(Disclaimer: Gizmos for Geeks received a complimentary review copy of this product.)