Friday, August 13, 2010

Pentel Jolt Mechanical Pencil: 0.5 mm

(Sorry, Hari the wooden mannequin is on vacation)

I first laid eyes on the Pentel Jolt while on a trip in Shanghai, China. I was tempted to buy one, but it was ridiculously expensive – $5.10 a pop! The reason why it's so expensive is because China has a deal with Japan to import some of their goods for a much higher price (I guess to pay the distributor, the store, and the company), while their Chinese goods are sold for much cheaper. (Unfortunately I didn't acquire any Chinese brand stationery) Then when I got back, I went to office supply discount store and found these on sale. I was so happy that I decided to get two: one in lime green and one in navy blue.

The one I'm reviewing is the lime green pencil. They come in lime green, navy blue, pink, and orange. The pencil has a modern feel to it, with the colour scheme being lime green, black, and white. The grip has grooved curved lines and a wavy design to compliment the modern feel. There's a clear window that shows the shaker mechanism, but I think it's supposed to be held a particular way to show the window. I usually grip my pens/pencils using the "death grip," (the improper way), while this one wants you to hold it the "proper" way (two fingers on the grip).

I pressed the top just to test the default mechanism. I shook it lightly to expose some lead, nothing. Shook it harder, there we go! Then I retracted the nib and shook it. Only the lead comes out, not the nib. You have to press the top to expose the nib, then shake it for more lead. Also, the weight of the shaker puts a lot more weight on the pencil, making it heavier than other pencils.

So to recap...

-Nice, modern design
-Shaker mechanism works fairly well if nib is exposed

-Takes some force to get the shaker working
-If the nib is retracted and shaken, only the lead comes out

Costs: $2.75 on Amazon

Overall, I give this pencil a 9.3/10!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rhodia Webnotebook 3.0

Many thanks to Stephanie for offering one of these beauties to review, and thanks to Karen Doherty who made this possible! I entered a giveaway held by Stephanie at Rhodia Drive not expecting to win one of 10 Webnotebooks. Later that day, Stephanie emailed me asking if I wanted one of these to review on the blog. In a heartbeat I replied yes, and boneheaded-ly turned down the 2nd Webbie to giveaway (since I didn't think many people would read this blog). However, there are some bloggers out there giving one away! (I'll mention them at then end)

Moving on, when I got it in the mail, I tore the mail packaging open and squealed with delight at my new Webbie. Of course the people in the elevator gave me weird looks, especially the dogs. (When I told a few of my friends about this, they thought I got a new computer notebook and not a writing notebook, since I mentioned it was a Webnotebook. Hehe.) I delicately opened the plastic and document this moment (too much eager beaver?). Then I took out the rubber band, opened it, and ran my fingers across the paper. Never in my life have I felt paper this smooth before. Reading the back, it's Clairefontaine paper, which to me is like the Holy Grail of paper. Turning to the back cover I notice a folder to keep papers in. Surely that meant that this was surely something.

Fandom aside, let's get to why you're really here. Mind you I've never tried a Rhodia product before, so this is something new. A difference Stephanie mentioned to me was that the Rhodia logo was missing from every page. Of course I haven't seen it with the logo, but I assume this meant more writing room and not overlapping the logo. ...Actually, why don't you let the written sample do the review for you?

Now that you've at least skimmed to the end of this, enter in these great giveaways! There's nothing to lose except a few seconds of your time!

-Rhodia Webnotebook Giveaway! (Peaceable Writer)
-Rhodia Large Blank Webbie and a Giveaway! (Pocket Blonde)
-Rhodia Webnotebook and a Giveaway (Faint Heart Art)
-Rhodia Webbie Review (Madame Purl)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pilot FriXion Point: purple 0.4 mm

This FriXion is a huge improvement from the original Pilot FriXion. The FriXion Point is thinner than the original FriXions, taking corrective precision to a new level.

Instead of the top of the cap being useless like its predecessor, on it "04" is printed showing the tip size. The cap is transparent bearing the Pilot and the FriXion logo in silver. The rubber end is translucent and pointier than the the original FriXion counterpart. It's thinner too.

As far as the ink goes, the purple ink is a nice, pretty dark purple for an erasable pen. Moving onto the main event of this pen... The rubber end is much, much, MUCH better than the original. It doesn't leave eraser-like residue, it doesn't rip the paper, basically it's much better than the original FriXion. However, the rubber is still located at the butt of the pen, meaning you either take the cap off to use it or leave it off.

So to recap...

Pros: Huge improvement from the original FriXion
-Rubber doesn't leave shavings, doesn't rip through paper
-Wider variety of colours to choose from
Cons: Rubber is still at the wrong end of the pen
Costs: $3.30 at Jetpens

Overall, I give this pen a 9.6/10!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pilot FriXion: Blue 0.7 mm

Previously I reviewed one of the better versions of the FriXion, the FriXion Color Pencil-Like. I feel it's time I reviewed the original pen. So here it is, the Pilot FriXion pen in blue!

The pen comes in a 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm in eight different colours. he pen has silver flames painted on the body with 0.7 in the midst of the flames. On the cap is printed "Pilot FriXion" in silver. The 'eraser" is on the butt of the pen, making it inconvenient to erase. You either have to leave the cap off or take it off to erase. There's a dimpled grip by the tip of the pen, and it's pretty comfortable. There's a small area at the tip of the cap that's unused. Why couldn't have Pilot put the "eraser" on top of the pen cap? Oh well, I guess that's why they made the Color Pencil-Like line... And with more colours too.

Now to the ink... The blue is more of a watercolour than an ink, but that's one of the downsides of having an erasable pen. The ink flows pretty well, no problems of skipping. But let's get down to the main function of the pen: the FriXion. The "eraser" is a gimmick. The "eraser" leaves residue reminiscent of eraser shavings. If you don't wipe those shavings away, the eraser could smear it into the paper, making it almost impossible to get out. If you erase it harder, you might even rip the paper. Basically, the ink is what brings out the good in this pen. The whole purpose of this pen is...mediocre.

So to recap...

Pros: It's an erasable pen!
-It erases, yay.
Cons: The eraser isn't that great
-Leaves eraser shavings
-If left on the paper, eraser shavings smear
-Eraser's on the butt of the pen
Costs: $3.00, extra for packs

Overall, I give this pen 8.6/10. (Really, the ink saved it from getting a much lower score.)