Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: PaperMate InkJoy 700RT 1.0mm Ballpoint Pens

This is a review of the PaperMate InkJoy 700RT 1.0 mm ballpoint pens in black, blue, and red.
PaperMate InkJoy 700RT
I saw the InkJoy not too long ago at Staples and I was itching to try it but I kept telling myself, no, no, Ziza, you have too many pens. Of all six styles of InkJoys, the 700RT have my favorite barrel design. I think I was attracted to its simple barrel design and clean, white look. The glossy barrel is shaped like a stretched out hourglass. I don’t know how the writing is stuck to the pen (sticker? etched?) but I don’t think it will be chipping or peeling off. The color scheme is white and grey, with metal ends. The body is quite sturdy and should last awhile - perfect because this pen is refillable. This also makes the pen more affordable and economical.

The color of the ink is indicated by a ring around the clicker (I really don’t know what the proper term is for this). The clip is metal and is moderately snug. I don’t care for the clip too much. I think it could be a bit “cuter”, but oh well. I’m sure a lot of InkJoy 700RT users wouldn’t want a “cuter” clip. 

The grip is grey and has indented waves (I’m sorry. I don’t know how else to describe it) along it, and it is flush with the barrel of the pen. As it is on the end, it’s a bit wider than the center of the barrel. It’s not soft and mushy but is rather smooth and slightly rubbery. Despite its texture, it doesn’t attract lint and fur/hair. 

The pen is heavier towards the tip and of course, since it’s retractable, there is no cap to post to balance the weight. I prefer when retractable pens are evenly weighted rather than tip heavy but the easy flowing ink covers this - there’s no pressure needed from you while writing. The 1.0mm tip provides a steady flow of bold ballpoint ink. There was a little jelly blob covering the tip so as soon as I removed it, the pen started writing instantly. All three inks are really nice colors - although just black, blue, and red - they are very solid. The ink and tip size allows for great coverage (great for doodling). But, with larger tips, lines aren’t as clean and crisp as micro tips (such as the Uni-ball Signo DX).
PaperMate InkJoy 700RT
As with all ballpoint ink, blobbing and smudging becomes a concern. In a “drying time” test, ink still smeared even after 10 seconds which is a pretty long time when you’re scribbling really quickly with ballpoint ink. The 1.0mm large tip also allows a lot of ink to flow out of the pen and as a result, ink collects on the tip and when you least expect it (or even when you do expect it, there’s not much you can do about it), you get a big ink blob. And boy do those ink blobs ever smear - on paper, on fingers, and on anything else it touches! Beware of the blobbing and smudging. If you’re a left-handed writer, steer clear of these bold writing ballpoints.

Despite the ink blobbing and smudging, I still really like this pen. I did kind of figure out a way to not get blobs - as explained in the picture below.
PaperMate InkJoy 700RT Writing Sample
Despite blobs if I'm not holding the pen at the right angle, the pen itself looks really simple, but sophisticated and cool, it’s comfortable to write with, and I can’t wait to doodle properly with it because of the great coverage and smooth flowing ink! And even better, PaperMate makes the best smelling ink ever. I always write a little and lean over to sniff the page. It just smells so inky, so for me, InkJoy is very appropriately named. It makes me think about the inky-smelling ink.

The clicking mechanism is a little bit stiff and feels like it’s rubbing on something as I depress it. The click is still soft and satisfying. As always, I wish the 700RT line had more ink colors! But the 700RT is also available in a high-gloss black body as well, which I must admit looks really awesome. 

Some recycled content wouldn’t hurt. Recycled plastic tends to be glossy anyway (at least in pen form) so it would likely fit in very well. 

More InkJoy
Price
Staples - $19.99 for a dozen 
Shoplet - $16.35 for a dozen (~$1.36 each) (with quantity discounts)

Overall
Okay, so these pens are a bit more expensive than the classic Papermates, but they’re pretty, easy to write with, and have great smelling ink. You may not want to write a novel with it because your hands will get inky, but it’s a cinch for having on the desk to sign documents or just to scribble down a note here and there. Or, in my case, it’s perfect for learning how to Zentangle because of its fantastic ink coverage and easy flow! They’re still too nice to lend out though. So keep some crappy pens in your pencil case for those just-in-case moments when you have to be an (unwilling) pen provider. 

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Creative Commons License
GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.gourmetpens.com.