Pocket pens are always a fun category to get into. The unique designs and limitations in this genre produce interesting and delightful pens that can sometimes out-perform their full size cousins.
In the case of the Lamy Pico, the pen has been around for quite a while already. But, the Laser Orange color option is brand new, and it's fantastic. In person, the orange color is florescent and impossible to miss. If you happen to own a Nock case that features the Mandarin/Blue Jay color-way, imagine the bright orange factor being ticked up a few notches. It's loud, and it's great. It means you'll also be able to find it if you drop it into a large bag with dark interior colors. It's just bright, and I happen to like that about it.
The main selling point of this pen is the fact that it's small when closed, but extends to a normal length when the refill is extended. At just over 3.6 inches closed, it opens up to 5 inches to offer a comfortable writing experience. For comparison, the Kaweco Liliput is about 4.8 inches when open with the cap posted. Another bonus of the Pico is that the barrel diameter is larger than the Liliput (12.7mm vs 8.3 to 9.3mm on the Liliput). For some, the Liliput is a bit too thin to hold comfortably. I don't mind it, but I definitely feel that the Pico is more comfortable in hand.
It's a round body with no clip, so be prepared to catch it when it rolls away on a flat surface. There's a very small "Lamy" logo on the side of the pen, but it's not raised enough from the body to prevent it from rolling if the slope is great enough. It does help prevent rolling, though. Still, pocket pens aren't really known for always having clips, and many of them feature a totally round design that makes rolling extremely probable.
The click mechanism on the Pico can be a bit unpredictable at times, and this is my only complaint about the pen. The click mechanism could use some work to avoid the number of failed attempts you make when trying to open or close it. For example, if you don't press down far enough, it won't open or close. You can feel some tactile indications that you've done something, but if you don't go the full 100%, the mechanism doesn't engage/disengage properly. This can be annoying, but once you've gotten used to the pen and learn that you must press firmly, it's not an issue. Even still, I wish the click mechanism had a more hefty, sure feel.
The body of the pen is metal (and bright orange), but the insides are all plastic. When the pen is extended, you can see part of the plastic in the middle of the pen which provides the extra length to improve the grip feel when writing. I would love to see this bit of plastic replaced by metal of the same color as the rest of the body. I'm not sure why they chose to use plastic here. It breaks up the aesthetic, feels cheap compared to the rest of the pen, and takes the overall experience down a couple of notches. Another complaint about the design and quality is that the spring inside of the pen is a bit noisy. The click mechanism sounds normal and has a healthy "clunk" when opening and closing the pen, but the spring can make some annoying noises at times that make the pen feel cheaper. Again, not a deal-breaker, but seems like something Lamy could fix really easily with some higher-quality springs.
Now, the refill in this pen is also surprising. When I hear "ballpoint," I automatically recoil in disgust because of the many, many bad experiences I've had with regular (non-hybrid) ballpoints. I'm not sure if the Lamy ballpoint refill is a hybrid ink formula, but it's fantastic. Compared to others like the Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 and the Uni Jetstreams, it's not as dark and bold, but it's every bit as smooth and reliable. I'm actually really impressed with the refill.
The pen ships with a 0.7mm "medium" point, but you can also order a "fine" 0.5mm or "broad" 1.0mm point separately. Additionally, you can choose black or blue for any of these refill sizes.
Given the price of this pocket pen, I'd like to see some of the components upgraded with higher quality options, but it's still a great pen at a great value. It easily fits in your pocket or bag, and the metal body gives it a great feel and weight when writing or hanging out in your pocket.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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