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Aurora Idea student pen


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15 replies to this topic

#1 vans4444

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 20:52

Aurora IDEA TRANSLUCENT

There does not seem to be a review of this pen so I thought I would produce a quick review.
It is a student pen in the same price bracket as The Lamy Al-Star and Pelikan Future so I will add a few comments to compare the three pens although this is not meant to be a rigorous comparison.

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First Impressions (7/10) – The Idea came in a nice little cardboard box, slightly better presented that the smaller Future cardboard box or the Al-Star blister pack. However the Al-Star came with a useful little pen sac. My first impression was that the cap of the Idea reminded me of a vintage Skyline.

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Appearance & Design (6/10) – The colour is meant to be black but in reality more of a charcoal gray with a hint of amber. The cap has a metal silver clip the rest of the silver embellishments are plastic. The pen has a soft satin feel, warm to the touch. Capped it sits well in my hand feels well balanced.

The Al-Star and the Future have very similar designs to each other. Both have flat tops, both have a small ink viewing window. The Lamy has the metal wire clip, the Pelikan a plastic clip. The Lamy seems a little wider in the barrel and has two flattened sides to the barrel. The Lamy has more of a gloss sheen finish, the Pelikan a satin aluminum finish.

The section on the Idea has a little ridge at the end to prevent the finger slipping onto the nib (not a problem that I have ever experienced). The section of the Future has three small soft inset panels for the fingers. The Al-Star’s section is triangular.

I feel the Future’s soft panels add nothing and the Idea section is a little narrow and short. I have got use to the triangular Al-Star section and find it comfortable.

In summary, I don’t really like the aesthetic design of any of these pens. The Al-Star is a little too tube like for my liking and the Aurora a little cheap looking but such things are about personal taste rather than performance.

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Dimensions (7/10) – The Idea is 135mm capped, 10 mm barrel diameter. You can't really see it in the picture but the Idea is perhaps 2 or 3 mm shorter than the Future or the Al-Star. Posted the Idea is 154 mm, the Future is 156 mm and the Al-Star 170mm. In the hand there does not seem to be much difference in the weight of these pens. Perhaps the longer Aurora cartridge adds a little extra weight to the plastic pen. The cap of the Al-Star is notably longer than the others.

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Nib & Performance (9/10) – I asked for a fine nib but that was not available so I took a medium nib. The nib design looks just like an Aurora Ipsilon nib. The strange thing is the medium Idea nib writes no wider than the Aurora Ipsilon fine, perhaps a little narrower. The AL-Star has an extra fine (EF) nib and again the Idea writes no wider than the Lamy EF nib. The Future has a medium nib.

In their own way each nib is excellent. The Idea feels like an Ipsilon nib. It gives good feedback, laying down a medium dry line with just a hint of flex. The Al-Star nib is my favorite of the three. The nib feels slightly smoother on the page than the Idea and wetter. The Future is a lovely smooth writer, laying down a wet line.
Each of these pens are comfortable for long periods of use. The balance is uniformly acceptable. I have large hands so of the three I prefer the posted Al-Star.

Filling System (8/10) – The Idea takes a long Aurora cartridge that holds a reasonable amount of ink. The Lamy cartridge is also quite long and the Pelikan uses international size cartridges with a space for a spare.

Cost & Value (9/10) – For the price I paid for the Idea (£8.00) it represents excellent value for money and the pen can be forgiven for looking a bit cheap. The extra fine (medium) nib is a pleasure to use.

The Pelikan Future cost £14.00, The Lamy Al-Star cost £10.00 but normally retails for £20.00 and the Idea cost a little over £8.00 but retails at £16.00.

Conclusion (Final score, 7.6/10) – In summary, the Idea is a good, reliable cheap student pen. I prefer EF and F nibs so was very pleasantly surprised by the width of the Idea nib. In use the nib is similar to the Ipsilon as are the dimensions so at a stretch it could be viewed as a cheaper version of the Ipsilon.

Below is a comparison picture of the Idea and the Ipsilon. The picture is deceptive, they are both about the same size.

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I bought the Future when I was on holiday because I wanted to try some Herbin cartridges I found in a tiny corner shop. I used it for two weeks and found it a pleasant pen. Only when it is put side by side with the Al-Star does it look a little lacking in character. Perhaps a fairer test would have been against the plastic Lamy Safari which also retails at £14.00? I prefer the Idea to the Future because of the nib.

Of the three pens I prefer the Al-Star. It is has a slightly better nib than the Idea and is slightly bigger pen. However, I bought the Lamy EF nib as a replacement for the original M nib. If I was comparing the Idea to my original Al-Star M nib it would be a much more difficult choice. Perhaps the big advantage the Al-Star has is the ability to buy spare nibs for just a few pounds.

Below is a comparison picture of the Future and the Al-Star. In many ways they are very similar pens.

Posted Image

Edited by vans4444, 11 January 2010 - 10:54.


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#2 vans4444

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 20:54

Sorry I have posted this to the wrong forum, can admin move it to Pen Reviews?

Thanks

Edited by vans4444, 11 January 2010 - 08:19.


#3 Carrie

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 21:13

Consider it moved :)

#4 dandelion

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 22:12

The Idea is much more handsome than I had expected! Thanks for a very informative and good review!
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#5 Ed Ronax

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 22:45

Excellent review, thanks.
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#6 Gojira

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 01:11

Thanks for the review! I'd been mulling over an Idea and now I may just pick one up for the fun of it.


#7 buffalowings

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 02:17

many thanks for posting this review
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#8 shaqin93

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:59

I totally agree with you about it looking like a skyline. Great review.

#9 diplomat

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 20:51

It's nice to have an Italian pen in the "School pens" area. A bargain for £8!

Thank you for the good review.

A.

#10 aovelez

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 09:54

I have a couple of these pens in translucent yellow. Similar to the one reviewed and the other one has a plastic silver cap. They are good for everyday use and they take the same nib and section as the Ipsilon. I get to interchange medium and fine sometimes. I have a B Ipsilon which was ground to a cursive italic and might use that too. If you don't have Aurora cartridges you can use a Parker converter.

#11 Lady756

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 03:04

I have this pen in red and it's a pretty decent pen. I use a number of pens throughout the day and this is one that gets used often. I was pleasantly pleased with the Idea and I'm eager to move up and purchase a higher-end Aurora now.

#12 rollerboy

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 13:07

Can anyone recommend an online retailer that sells Ideas? I'm in Canada so it'll have to be someone who ships internationally. The Aurora online retailers I've encountered seem to bottom out at the Ipsilon or occasionally the Style. I've yet to find one who carries the Idea.

#13 Lady756

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 23:42

Can anyone recommend an online retailer that sells Ideas? I'm in Canada so it'll have to be someone who ships internationally. The Aurora online retailers I've encountered seem to bottom out at the Ipsilon or occasionally the Style. I've yet to find one who carries the Idea.



I had a hard time too. I ended up getting mine off of eBay. I think it was sent to me from someone in Australia.



#14 ericthered2004

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 01:13

Thanks for the review. It's a shame the Ideas are not more widely available, as they're wonderful pens. I agree that the newish translucent bodies do make them look a bit cheap--they also can show up unsightly if inconsequential cracks after a while. The older ones looked functional but not school-penlike, and were lighter without the brass lining in the barrel.

The nibs on these things, though, are terrific--I've been using one pretty much daily for the last fifteen years, moving it eventually to a Style once the original Idea's cap started to give out. Enjoy your Idea!

regards
eric
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#15 ailleurs

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 14:02

Nice review. I had one of these and left it in a classroom at the start of the semester. By the time I realized what I had done, the pen was long gone. :crybaby: It was a great pen for having on campus: reliable, good ink flow, didn't skip if I left it uncapped for a few minutes.
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#16 deansellers

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 14:37

I have two of these pens, one red & one yellow. I love the way they look and they are two of the most reliable writers, even though they are the least expensive pens in my growing collection. The main drawback is the construction of the cap. My red one eventually wore out so that it would not stay closed. If held vertically by the cap (like clipped in your pocket!) the pen will fall out!! So, for a school pen, not so good. Also, as ericthered said, cracks appear pretty quickly in the barrel as a result of posting. I still feel they are worth owning due to their wonderful nibs but beware of that cap!






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