Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shout-Out to the Lunatik Touch Pen

I'm a bad blogger, I know.  The number of posts I have written on this blog would not fill the smallest dimple on the smallest thimble.  Maybe it's something in the water or the air -- all of the pen/pencil/paper blogs I follow have been pretty much MIA for weeks now.  So I decided I would rectify the situation by posting a blog entry myself.

Today I feel compelled to give a shout-out to a pen that I have been using for several weeks now: the Lunatik Touch Pen -- Alloy Model.  I originally ordered one of these when they were being offered as part of a Kickstarter campaign.  But then the production and shipping on the pens was delayed, so the company sent me a free pen (the regular all-plastic body version) for my "inconvenience," which I assure you was only in their heads, not mine!  (Lesson #1 on how to be a Great Company: surprise your customers with little -- or big -- presents even once, and you will have a happy customer for life.  Just sayin'.)

(Image from the Lunatik website where you can buy this awesome pen!)
(Image from the website where you can also buy this fantastic pen!)

My crappy picture of my Touch Pen resting comfortably on my MacBook.  But look at the silver alloy of the pen -- it's essentially the same finish as the MacBook, which means it's WONDERFUL.

So now I have two of these pens.  And even though I just carry one at a time, I love both of them.  I did NOT love the ink cartridge they came with, however.  The ink was fine initially -- jet black and free-flowing, just exactly how I like it.  However, it wasn't long before the pen began sending out nasty blotches of ink that began getting all over my hands and papers and my students' hands and papers.  Don't get me wrong -- I like ink blotches as much as any other pen aficionado, especially when they come from a PaperMate Write Bros. pen, for some reason.  But this really was nasty, and it simply wouldn't do.

So I investigated the internal situation of this pen and found a cartridge that looked suspiciously like a Pilot G-2 ink cartridge.  Not labeled as such, of course, and more than likely made by a different manufacturer.  But the spitting image otherwise.  So I cannibalized a black G-2 I had sitting around the house (and since this is one of my favorite pens of all time, I had LOTS), and the G-2 cartridge fit perfectly.  And WORKED perfectly, with no more annoying blots.  (In other words, it wrote like a G-2!)  Now it is a perfect pen in every way.

But wait, there's more!  (Echoes of every bad infomercial you've ever seen on TV.)  This pen is also a stylus, of course, when the pen is retracted.  And it's a darn good stylus too.  I speak as one with experience, having bought at least 5 or 6 different styluses when I first got my iPad.  I don't use a stylus a lot (so you were right, Mr. Jobs) but there are times when I just want one.  And when I need one, I need it to work perfectly and fool the iPad screen into thinking it's my warm, greasy finger touching it.  That doesn't sound very complementary, I know, but the stylus part of the Touch Pen is a VERY GOOD stylus, just as good as your finger.  And that's saying a lot, if you have also been on the hunt for the perfect stylus like I have.

(I know the effect of a stylus is just as much a function of the app you are using as the nature of the stylus itself.  HOWEVER, this stylus really does seem to give me more control over what I am doing on the screen than do other styluses.  That's what I was trying to convey with my lines and squiggles.)

The pen is thick, which you can sort of tell from the pictures, and initially I thought I wouldn't like a pen that thick, since I do normally gravitate towards thinner pens.  But the Touch Pen turns out to be a perfect thickness for writing of every kind, and more than one of my students (who get to use my pen when they sign their registration forms or other important documents) have commented that it "feels really good" in their hands, and "that's a nice pen."  (These comments are from students who I'm pretty sure don't have the same pen/pencil/paper sickness I do.)

So in conclusion?  I am very happy with this pen.  I would promptly buy another one if I ever lost the two I have.  I carry it every day, and I use it every day.

And just because there are people out there who care about things like this, I was not compensated in any way, shape, or form for this review.  I did it because I really, really, really love this pen!

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