Carson, December 2004, send
by: Lamy, go
to the web site
from: StylusCentral, go
to the web site
(retailers sell for less)
is nothing quite like a stylus/pen that contains refills
which can be switched lightning fast. While twist mechanisms
are extremely popular these days, especially in the higher
quality pens, many of those mechanisms can't be operated
with one hand because the position of the rotating front
barrel or tip section is too far from a convenient fixed
section. Not enough leverage when attempting to twist the
mechanism with one hand means you have to employ your other
hand to extend, retract or switch refills. We want a push
button mechanism that orients easily and deploys the refill
of your choice using only one hand. In other words, where
can we find a Lamy Logo?
sells a number of Lamy multipens and we asked to review
this one mainly because several readers have asked about
it and secondarily because I had, enviously, seen it in
action in the hands of a client. In my ongoing quest for
the perfect stylus/pen I was intrigued by Lamy's modest
barrel diameter, clean & contemporary design, and high
quality and variety of refills. A quick check with the
writing instrument experts also revealed some reverent
comments about Lamy in general and several of the company's
writing tools in particular: the Logo being reviewed here,
the TwinPen IT, the Swift, the AL-star, etc. Lamy designs
aren't demonstrably elegant, tending rather to sleek tech
and innate functionality. The designs also just beg to
picked up and used. Lamy is based in Heidelberg, Germany.
Multisystem Stylus/Pen is a variant of the standard Lamy
Logo pushbutton ballpoint pen which is usually supplied
with the large Lamy M16 refill. Lamy has replaced their
proprietary single refill mechanism with a triple refill
version containing two standard capacity Lamy ballpoint
refills (one black, one dark blue) alongside a full length
yellow stylus refill. The pen tube is brass under the cyclical
matte finish stainless steel outer barrel. The push mechanism
is actuated by a composite button that is integrated with
a spring-mounted steel pocket clip. Circular ribbing on
the front part of the single barrel, just above the tip,
provides a remarkably secure and non-abrasive grip just
below the center of balance.
The trick with using stainless steel to design and manufacture
pens has to lie in the weight and balance of the component
parts. Too much barrel wall thickness and you end up with
a pen that weighs too much and causes fatigue, writers'
cramp, and constant readjustments in your grip. Add a cap
or top-heavy mechanism or a brass tube that's too heavy
and you've got a disaster on your hands. Lamy has taken
the high road and smartly designed a strong device with
a center of balance that should please people with medium
sized hands and larger. In point of fact however, a number
of people who attempted to (ahem!) permanently borrow the
pen during the review period were women with smaller hands.
So in this particular design configuration, it's the pleasingly
moderate diameter which seems to be more important than
the overall length, center of balance and so on. The truth
about any stylus/pen's usefulness is whether or not users
stop drawing the OEM stylus out of its silo, reaching instead
for the stylus/pen clipped to a shirt pocket or daytimer.
Where this Lamy model is concerned, almost everyone who
tried it began reaching for it (and preferring it) over
their standard stylus very quickly indeed.
Cons: May be slightly long for smaller hands resulting
in the need for a moderate to tight grip, or a long grip,
for best writing and tap control. It's a minor quibble.
Both the pen and stylus refills can be replaced with different
colors, but there's no way to change the colored indicators
embedded in the push-clip. Stylus replacement requires
a bit of patience because of the single barrel design,
which means that the actual refill mounting tube is high
up in the middle of the barrel. The process usually requires
a few 'pokes' to locate the mounting tube and fully seat
a new refill.
Pros: The M21
and M70 refills (blue & black ballpoint
and stylus tip respectively) are extremely competent and
functional designs. Ink flow from the M21 is very well
controlled with no discernable clumping, no clogs, and
a very clean hand - no drag except on the worst kinds of
paper. Extend, retract and switch tips with one hand; the
gravity actuated selector is almost flawless and very forgiving
even at odd actuation angles. Works well for a wide range
of hand and finger sizes. Extremely accurate stylus tip
which centers almost perfectly as it extends from the barrel.
Solid feel to the stylus tip, with very little flex when
forming Grafitti strokes and smooth, well controlled tracking
on longer strokes, during game play and when writing freehand
using BugMe Notepad. Stylus tip compound tracks well on
screen surfaces and on a wide variety of screen protectors.
Spring-loaded pocket clip is very forgiving on a wide range
of pocket materials and thicknesses and we couldn't bend
the clip in normal use. Grip rings on the front barrel
provide excellent control with little or no slip even outside
on cold days. Excellent finish and manufacturing quality.
If you need a clean looking work horse to do daily double
duty for notes and to fully replace the OEM stylus in your
Palm or Pocket PC handheld, this Lamy model is a terrific
choice. Highly recommended.
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