Friday, July 23, 2010
Uni-Ball Fanthom: Purple
...And do I dream again? For now I find... The FAAAAAAAANTHOM OF THE OPER--okay, I'll stop. From the horrible singing, you might have guessed that what I'm reviewing today is the Uni-Ball Fanthom. Here it seems like Uni-Ball is trying to compete with Pilot in the erasable pens market. In the earlier days, erasable pens weren't so great. The eraser was like any mechanical pencil eraser, the ink would leave some kind of remnants, smear, and the eraser would leave gunk all over the table. Now, erasable pens have improved and the FriXion pens (which I plan to review soon) were one of the first and popular erasable pens on the Japanese and American market. Uni-Ball decided to compete in the market and thus the Fanthom is born!
First things first, the pen has semi-torpedo design, since the the erasing mechanism is in the cap (something the FriXion lacks). It takes a bit of strength to take off the cap, but you can put it on top of the pen, so when you write, you can flip it over to erase. In the functionality of the design, the Fanthom wins this round. There's no grip to this, but it has a total of 24 ovals engraved into it to attempt mimicking one. This part of the pen feels slightly slippery when held. One major note is that the pen side and the barrel can be easily unscrewed, especially while writing – a major downside.
As far as the ink goes, it looks like watercolours. For the purple, I'd say it looks like a dark lavender. The ink takes a few seconds to dry. I wouldn't suggest trying to erase while the ink is still wet. When erased, you can see most of what has been erased quite clearly. If you erase a particular area a lot, that area becomes "glossed" up. (But I assume this is a problem with most erasable pens) Even then, you can still see clearly what you erased. The tip of the pen cap is used as the eraser. The tip doesn't make such a great excuse for an eraser. As I said earlier, it tends to gloss up the area and you can see what you erased clearly. When the tip is erased with frequently, it starts to dull down. It wears down where you erased with. I assume that as I erase with this, it will get so dull it'll look like the tip never existed. If you look closely at the picture below, you can see the dents made on the cap.
So to recap...
Pros: Next best erasable pen next to FriXion, ink is somewhat dark
Cons: Can still see erased area clearly, tip of the pen cap dents as it's erased with, may dent paper, pen tip and body unscrew easily
Costs: $3.00 at Jetpens
Overall, I give this pen an 84%, or a B.