Posts filed under Uni-Ball

Uni-ball Vision Elite BLX Roller Ball Pen - 0.5 mm - Purple Black Review

In the world of non-standard inks, purple black is only behind blue black as my favorite color outside of the standard black, blue, red trifecta. If I could only use blue black inks the rest of my life I would be happy, but dang it if purple black doesn't sneak into the rotation frequently.

Uni-ball introduced their BLX lineup in 2012 to some fanfare but I personally never fully embraced it. That was a mistake because these are really good pens. And after using the Vision Elite 0.5mm Purple Black model I think I am ready to name it my number one liquid ink roller ball when I add that list to my next Top 5 Pens update, which will be out before the end of the month.

I've defaulted to the Pilot Precise line as the best liquid ink roller ball pen for years, but the Vision Elite is where it is at, especially in the 0.5 mm tip size. The line is super clean and as smooth of an 0.5 mm pen as you will find. The barrel design is great, including the comfortable cross-hatched grip. On top of that, the Vision Elite uses archival ink, and the pen is airplane safe. What more can you ask for?

The only knock you are likely to have is that while the pen is refillable it is not very cost or size effective. Due to the design, and assumedly to keep it airplane safe, the "refill" comprises replacing at least 50% of the total pen, if not more. It is a huge piece that includes the grip section and pen tip, along with the ink reservoir. I think most users would just buy a new pen.

That oddness aside, I love this pen. I've long been a fan of Uni-ball's use of lavender black in the Signo DX and Signo RT so I am glad to see this similar color make its appearance in on of Uni-ball's main line products like the Vision Elite. The Signo 207 and Jetstream lineup also feature the same colors. I hope to add those to the arsenal soon.

(JetPens is a sponsor of The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on October 6, 2014 and filed under Pen Reviews, Uni-Ball, Vision Elite, BLX.

Uni Style Fit Meister 3 Color Multi Pen Review

Image via JetPens

Image via JetPens

My Top 5 gel ink multi pen list doesn’t change very often. The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto is entrenched at #1, with the Uni Style Fit a solid #2. The Uni Style Fit Meister is the newest barrel in Uni-ball’s gel multi pen lineup and I’m not sure it will crack the list at all.

On the surface, the Meister is a great looking pen. The lightweight metal barrel is an upgrade over the standard plastic barrel and the clean lines make this a pen people will notice. The Signo DX refills are excellent too. While you can choose Jetstream or pencil cartridges, I generally stick with the gels. It’s hard to beat the DX for smoothness and color vibrancy, although I believe the lines are a bit sharper from the standard single cartridge DX as opposed to the multi pen refills.

There are two annoyances with the Meister that keep me from heaping full praise on it. One, it uses a twist-deploy method for the ink cartridges. Some pens get this right, but not the Meister. The twist from station to station is quick from 1-2-3 and 3-2-1 but the second you go past slot one on the way back the barrel starts to unscrew. There is no buffer between that station and taking the pen apart.

Secondly, and this is something that may only annoy me, but the entire top section of the pen is able to be pressed down about a quarter of an inch for no good reason. Looking at the pen, you can depress the top of the pen like it is retractable and it covers most of the ink window in the middle of the pen. It serves no purpose other than to make me fidget with it and drive me insane. What can I say, I’m weird. (UPDATE: As my Twitter followers quickly let me know, I'm an idiot. What is my annoyance is others pencil click mechanism. Maybe I should try that component sometime?)

The Uni Style Fit is an excellent gel ink multi pen but stick with the entry level plastic body for one-fifth of the price. It is a no frills, knock-type multi pen that uses the same refills and gets the job done in a simple, efficient manner.

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

Posted on September 22, 2014 and filed under Multi Pen, Pen Reviews, Uni-Ball.

Uni Power Tank Smart Series Review

The Fisher Space Pen is the quintessential write-anywhere ballpoint pen that most people have seen or might own. There are several other pens that utilize a pressurized cartridge to achieve the same results, and the one that I've really taken a liking to is the Uni Power Tank.

There are three things that stand out to me that make the Power Tank a greater value than the Space Pen: Price, Grip, and Writing Performance. Bold claims, right?

At $3.30, the price is obviously much lower than most Fisher Space Pens. But, the price doesn't detract from the writing quality of the pen, which is what makes it a great value. I have several of these in different places. There's one in each of our cars, a couple in random bags of mine, one at work, and probably a couple others that I've forgotten. I can buy several and not flinch.

The grip on these pens is something I especially enjoy. The grip section sports tightly grouped grooves that provide an excellent writing grip. The thickness of the section is also very agreeable. It's on the thick side of average. I've written a lot with these pens, and I've never been annoyed by the grip.

The refill is excellent as far as ballpoints go. I don't think it uses the same ink technology as the Jetstreams, but it's pretty similar. Smooth, dark, and skipless. This pen keeps up with fast writing in less-than-ideal conditions and positions. On top of that, it's a 0.7 mm point, which is what I prefer. It's the same line width as the Jetstream 0.7 mm points. Prefer something different? You can also get 0.5 and 1.0 refills, although color options in all are bare.

One of my favorite things about this pen when compared to something like the Fisher Bullet is the fact that it's retractable. Sure, it's longer than the Bullet when it's closed, but you can't beat the simple one-handed operation of a retractable pen.

This pen is a real winner for me because it significantly over-delivers on what it sets out to do. It's trustworthy, and I love it for that.

There are five colors to pick from, as well as a premium metal body that's only available in pink on JetPens. They used to carry a silver and black version, and I wish I would've gotten one when I had the chance. The body colors are extremely exciting, but there's plenty of choice. Personally, I think you can't go wrong with the Yellow or Silver bodies.

(You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution, Twitter, and App.net.)

Posted on July 9, 2014 and filed under Pen Reviews, Uni-Ball, Power Tank.

Uni Jetstream Prime 3 Color Ballpoint Multi Pen Review

The latest entry into Uni-ball's ever changing Jetstream multi pen line, the Prime 3 Color Ballpoint is the professionally-styled pen many users have been waiting for. It features the first metal barrel in the lineup and a classic style perfect for the office. But is it worth the premium $45.00 price? Maybe.

There is no denying the design of the Prime is excellent. I chose the two-tone black model and it is sharp looking with chrome accents against the black barrel. The grip is smooth and I had no troubles gripping it but sweaty fingers might pose a problem. The retractable mechanisms are flawless - very responsive and snappy. They pop out one of the three ink colors, all of which are standard D1 refills. That is a big deal because that opens up a wide range of refills to use, like my favorite D1 the Zebra Sharbo X Gel 0.4 mm.

On the downside, the Prime falls victim to what all most barrel multipens have trouble with: Rattling noise while writing. It is almost unavoidable with all of the moving parts. It just depends on how much it bothers you. This pen falls in the middle of the noise category. I've used quieter and louder. What actually bothers me more is the silly faux jewel on the top of the clip. Why it is there I have no clue. This pen has many beautiful Lamy-like design elements going for it then boom! Tacky jewel.

I like the Jetstream Prime a lot but in the end it comes down to a value proposition. If you want the full metal barrel and D1 refill flexibility then it is worth it. If that is not important to you and you just need a good Jetstream writing experience then their less expensive models will suit you just fine. I have reviewed some of them here:

Uni-Ball Jetstream 4+1 0.7mm Ballpoint Multi Pen

Uni-Ball Jetstream 3 Multi-Pen

Uni-Ball Jetstram 3 0.5mm Multi Pen

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

Posted on February 17, 2014 and filed under Jetstream, Multi Pen, Pen Reviews, Uni-Ball.