recently used the Rotring Trio Stylus/Pen to help clean
out my PDA databases (deleting, entering, correcting),
and to plow through a pile of editing in several contracts
using Documents To Go. What I was hoping for throughout
the extended experiment was to find the perfect stylus/pen
combination and I think I came close. This one is a sophisticated
writing instrument which can be used for extended periods
of writing, note taking and gaming on your PDA or smartphone.
The model I reviewed is made of cast & ground brass
in matte black with a hexagonal rear barrel and a cylindrical
front barrel and tip. The tip and pushbutton sections are
finished in gloss lacquer. The Rotring Trio 600 includes
a 0.7mm pencil, ballpoint pen (medium point) & stylus
Rotring name (literally, "red ring" - each
model has a distinctive red circle located somewhere
at or near the top) is associated with extreme durability,
long lasting quality, weight and noticeable dimensions.
The Trio 600 (not to be mistaken for the Palm Treo 600
series of smartphones) is no exception, but for the fact
that it is much better balanced than the Initial
Data Rollerball Stylus Pen model we reviewed in 2004.
The improvement in balance makes the Trio easier to use
and shortens the time needed to get used to the heavy
weight and feel.
tips are loaded by gravity. Roll the barrel so that one
of the indicator dots is facing up. Click the pushbutton
to extend the selected tip. The retraction mechanism
is a rotating cylinder section located immediately below
the pushbutton and can be actuated with a two-finger
grip in either hand. The pocket clip is mounted below
the retractor, placing it lower than normal on the rear
barrel. The pocket clip position necessitates a slightly
higher carry, although the overall weight of the Trio
is likely to keep it out of most shirt pockets anyway.
This model is better suited for carry in briefcases,
inside jacket pockets, notebooks, daytimers and anyplace
else that can support a heavier writing instrument. The
pocket clip is made of flat spring steel finished to
match the barrel, and sports an engraved Rotring logo.
The clip mouth has a rounded lip and very good clearance
which means it will fit easily over a wide variety of
cloth and leather pockets, notebook covers and so on.
daily use, the Trio 600 has proven to be a good performer.
Aside from the attention it frequently gets when I use
it in public, the reliability of the mechanism, the quality
of the ballpoint and stylus tips, and the sturdy feel
of the instrument have made me forget the price. What
that means is that I have stopped treating the thing
like some sort of expensive, delicate orchid. I've been
treating this thing roughly, tossing it around, using
it in sub-zero weather, using it to nervously drum the
edge of desks and tables, and above all else, using the
stylus tip almost exclusively (instead of the horrible
little telescoping toothpick supplied with my Sony Clie
TH55). The Rotring has been dropped in puddles, dropped
in the snow, knocked off my office desk (5 times? 10
times? I've lost count), left outside overnight in below
zero weather and generally used the way I typically use
a trustworthy stylus/pen: roughly, exclusively, demandingly.
The Rotring has come through weeks of this without so
much as a scratch, abrasion, loose part or indeed anything
else which might detract from its perceived and factual
as a writing instrument, you'll find quite a bit of competition
for the Trio 600. Other Rotring models may even be better
ballpoint writers. But the Trio 600 is a competent writer
no doubt. I've been able to use it exclusively in meetings
for note-taking and meeting minutes with little fatigue.
The Rotring mini ballpoint refill has a well designed
tip which works smoothly on a variety of paper stock.
Ink flow is good, not great, and provides clean, legible
results. I like the feel of the Trio 600 in my hand.
trick, when using a heavy writing instrument like this
one, is simple: relax your hand; don't grip tightly.
Let the heavier weight of the Trio 600 do the work. The
ballpoint refill does not need much pressure to work
well on most clean papers, and the weight of the pen
when using the stylus is more than sufficient for good
response on all PDAs when writing Graffiti, tapping or
entering data freehand.
to do with the quality or inherent usefulness of this
pen, but both the Rotring and Sanford USA web sites are
really terrible. There are pictures aplenty, but a mystifying
absence of technical details about individual products
and rather poor navigation and usability. Many Rotring
designs feature heavy rear barrels and the Trio 600 is
no exception, so while it's well worth the money and
a terrific piece of work, it will take a little time
to get used to the weight and balance. The ballpoint
ink capacity is limited by the physical size of the Rotring
mini ballpoint refill and we think that in this price
range, and considering the excellent usability of this
model, it should be designed to accommodate a somewhat
larger ink capacity.
can drive nails with this thing. Rotring designs its
pens, stylus/pens and everything else they produce to
last a very long time. The materials, fit and finish
are excellent. I mentioned that the Trio 600 is a bit
top heavy, but the weight is nowhere near as noticeable
as it is in other Rotring models such as the Initial
Data Rollerball. You will quickly get used to the
weight and balance. The Rotring ballpoint tip is well
designed and writes very smoothly on a variety of papers.
The stylus tip is very kind to all of the screen surfaces
we've tried. The stylus tip is also extremely durable
and its bright yellow color helps to improve tapping
accuracy. One of the best stylus/pens we've reviewed.