There are many excellent drafting pencils on the market but none with the name recognition and history of the Rotring brand. The Rotring 600 is an all-time classic, with older models being passed down through generations as an heirloom. The Rotring 800 is a popular upgrade to the 600, giving the user a retractable lead sleeve to protect it from damage. The latest model, the Rotring 800+ brings this great product into the modern age with the addition of a capacitive stylus tip.
I'm of the opinion that some classics should be left alone, but Rotring has handled this correctly by adding the 800+ to the product line, not replacing one of their already popular other pencils. The stylus option will be devisive, but in the end the choice is up to you. I don't necessarily find it useful in my everyday life, but I can see how many would welcome this addition. A perfect use case came up in Apple's 2014 WWDC Keynote intro, with architect Daniel Libeskind using an iPad to draw using the Paper app. I could see architects, engineers, and artists using this pencil to transition back and forth from paper to tablet with ease.
I've owned my 600 for years and the 800+ falls right in line on the quality front. There is a density that you feel in the metal barrel but it isn't overly heavy. The hex barrel gives it a traditional look, as does the grip knurling, which is in the mid-range of roughness. The lead sleeve extends and retracts with a quick half-twist of the top of the pencil, and the stylus is quite responsive when in use. There are no negatives that I have run into yet in my short time with this pencil.
So, what do you think about updating classic pens and pencils to fit today's modern use cases? I would be sad to see older models vanish off the shelf and be replaced with NEW! SHINY!, but as additions to an already great product lineup? I think that only benefits us all in the long run.
(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)