I'm not going to go as far as calling it a fatal flaw since we all see things through our own filters, but with my anal-retentive and sometimes overly picky views, I have a bad problem with the new Zebra NuSpiral mechanical pencil. The grip area on this pencil is contoured, which is considered a feature of its ergonomic design. This is a problem, because as all pencil users know, you need to rotate the pencil around as the lead flattens to maintain a sharp point. That is all well and good, but don't design the grip so that it is made for only holding in one position.
If you couldn't tell, this is a big pet peeve of mine. This particular grip is soft enough to where it is usable, but it is just too annoying to be rotating the pencil to get a sharp point and have your fingers end up on the ridge of the grip. This design can work on a pen, but it is no help at all on a pencil. Even the swirl of the barrel pokes you in the hand differently as you rotate it around because is is not cylindrical in design.
This pencil is part of the new product line for Zebra in 2010 and was provided to me by Zebra. From what I am hearing, most of the new pens and pencil I have been reviewing from them will be on the shelves in early summer. I was in Staples this week and haven't seen any yet, but I will keep an eye out and post when they are available.
Click here for the XL review.