Tuesday, November 19, 2013

InkJoy Redux

Last month I was pretty underwhelmed by Paper Mate's new line of InkJoy pens, but after reading Shawna's comment about how much better the stick variety were (versus the retractable type I tried) I resolved to give the product another chance. I found a big package of multi-colored stick InkJoy pens during a recent visit to Target and sat down with them last night for a test drive.

The biggest and most immediate difference with this set of InkJoy pens is that I didn't have to deal with removing a ball of goop on the business end, as there wasn't any goop (I imagine the molded plastic top caps keep the ink fresh.) There also seems to be a wider variety of colors in the stick version, including two shades of a green and an ink I've never before seen made available in a ballpoint pen: brown. No clips fell off (they were molded as part of the top caps) and I did not notice the smell of the ink as much this time, either.

A new problem with the stick variety of InkJoy was the tendency of the ink to blob; this happened most frequently on curves and was most noticeable with the lighter colors. If you want to use these pens for decorative purposes the blobbiness of the ink will likely be an issue.

The orange ink still seemed a bit too light in color to be practical for reading, as did the light green ink. The red still looks like a dark fuschia to me, too.

Also, while the ink flow from the stick InkJoy pens was easy and uninterrupted they wrote pretty much like every ballpoint pen I've ever used, so I'm still wondering what is supposed to be so revolutionary. The InkJoy stick pens were lighterweight than the retractable model, which actually made them a bit more uncomfortable for me to write with (weightier pens tend to provide more control for people like me with motor skill challenges.)

All things considered, I think for the average user these InkJoy stick pens will make a decent everyday writing instrument, but I wouldn't pay a lot for them. To me there just wasn't anything special about them to make them worth the investment of any extra $$$.

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