Posts filed under Hybrid

Pilot Acroball Color Ballpoint Pen - 0.5 mm - Light Blue and Orange

One of my favorite pens keeps on getting better as Pilot has added color to its excellent Acroball ballpoint pen line.

The Acroball has picked up steam since I first reviewed it in 2009. At that time they were only available in Japan, but soon started showing up at importers in the US like JetPens. Nearly four years later, Pilot decided to put the Acroball on the store shelves and at least by the chatter surrounding it, it seems to be doing well.

Why does it take a popular Japanese pen from a major manufacturer four years to hit the market in the US and other countries? I'm still searching for that answer.

Back to the Acroball Color before I go completely off the rails. It's great - as good as any Acroball I have used in fact. If you have never used one or heard of it, what sets it apart from most ballpoints is the use of a hybrid ballpoint ink, similar to the Uni-ball Jetstream that is so loved. This gives it a smooth, clean ink flow that is as good as you will find in a ballpoint. It allows for a vibrancy in color too, which is shown in the writing sample below.

The use of the Miami Dolphins color scheme is unintentional, but it kind of works, doesn't it? Both light blue and orange are difficult to get right in ballpoints but Pilot pulls it off here. I could use both of these colors on their own without pause. And the grip? Why this hasn't propagated through Pilot's offerings (especially the G-2) is beyond me. It is fantastic.

The Violet model is in my future, and if they come out with a good blue black it might be game over for the Jetstream.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on January 13, 2014 and filed under Acroball, Ballpoint, Hybrid, Pen Reviews, Pilot.

Pilot Acroball 2013 US Version

Pilot Acroball

A few weeks back I was discussing the results of my Field Notes Expedition Edition ink testing on Twitter. The conversation covered the pens that were working well, and of course, the ones that were not. I didn't test every pen at my disposal but tested at least one sample of most ink types. I mentioned that hybrid ballpoint inks worked the best, and that caught the eye of @PilotPenUSA, who touted the Pilot Acroball as a great fit.

Being the fan of the Acroball that I am I inquired if that meant it would finally be making its way to the US. The answer was yes, and soon - March of this year to be exact. They also offered to send me some samples, which you see pictured above.

Fortunately for the US market Pliot decided to keep the barrel design and grip used in the original Japanese model. I am a fan of both, and wish some of these elements would find their way into the old and stale Pilot G2 design. The white barrel/pastel accent color scheme leaves a little to be desired (all are black ink) but at least they are offering the 0.7 mm tip. The black barrels you see in the pic are marked with an "M" on the clip as opposed to the 1.0 mm which they are. I'm not sure why that isn't consistent across the product line.

Regardless, this is a great pen that hopefully more people will have access to in a couple of months. I highly recommend it and thanks to Pilot Pen for providing me with these samples.

Here are a few of my previous Pilot Acroball reviews if you want to read why I enjoy this pen so much:

Pilot Acroball 0.7 mm Blue

Pilot Acroball 0.5 mm Blue

Pilot Acroball 3 Color Multi Pen

(P.S. - I'll pass out if the 0.5 mm or Multi Pen ever make it to the States. Your move Pilot.)

Posted on January 10, 2013 and filed under Pilot, Acroball, Pen Reviews, Hybrid.

Dong-A Cronix Hybrid Ink Ballpoint Review

Dong-A Cronix Hybrid Ink Ballpoint

I’m not up on my Korean, but does Cronix translate to “Jetstream” in English? Apparently, Dong-A would like you to believe so because the Dong-A Cronix is awfully similar looking to the black Uni-ball Jetstream Basic Series. Turn the grey grip into black and adjust the markings a bit and you are right there. The should have just gone ahead and called it the Dong-A Jetcloud or Dong-A Rocketstream for goodness sakes.

Too bad they couldn’t mimic the writing performance - that would have been an impressive feat! The Jetstream is widely known for its smooth, solid lines and its hybrid ballpoint ink is a personal favorite of mine. I tested out the blue Cronix for this review and while it is not a terrible pen by any stretch, everything about it is a notch below the Jetstream.

The ink is smooth, but not as smooth. The lines are solid, but not as solid. The ink is blue, but not as blue. The barrel is sturdy, but not as sturdy. The Dong-A Cronix is a good pen, but not as good as the Uni-ball Jetstream.

Why not spend .40 cents more and get the best?

Dong-A Cronix vs. Uni-ball Jetstream

Posted on August 6, 2012 and filed under Ballpoint, Dong-A, Hybrid, Pen Reviews.

Pentel Hybrid Gel Roller 0.7mm Review

Pentel Hybrid Gel Roller


One of the best parts about running a site like The Pen Addict is that you get to hear from a lot of readers about their favorite pens, pencils, and stationery. Even more fun is when they actually send you their products to try out, like Pen Addict reader Joshua, who sent me this now discontinued Pentel Hybrid Gel Roller. Thanks for letting me give this pen a spin Joshua!


One of the reasons he sent it to me is that he was looking for a pen recommendation to replace this one. The Hybrid Gel Roller is a long, sleek, 0.7mm gel ink pen, and Joshua was wanting something similar. My first thought was the Pilot Choose, which has a similar barrel design, but then it hit me. The Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip at JetPens is pretty much he same pen, but with an 0.8mm tip. That being said, Joshua stepped out of the box and tried a few of the more popular gel ink pens like the Uni-Ball Signo DX and the Zebra Sarasa Clip (I think the Signo DX 0.38mm was his favorite btw :).


So, what are my thoughts on Joshua's Hybrid Gel Roller? It's just average. The ink is nice and dark, but it wasn't near as smooth as other 0.7mm gel in pens I have used in the past. It wasn't scratchy, but it felt like the tip dragged across the page as opposed to gliding like most other similar pens. I did like the length of the barrel when writing, but the overall package just wasn't there for me.


Thanks for sending me this pen Joshua - it is much appreciated! I actually have another user submitted pen review ready to roll on Wednesday, so if you have a favorite pen that I haven't reviewed previously please let me know and I'll try to pick one up.

Posted on May 23, 2011 and filed under Hybrid, Pen Reviews, Pentel.