Jinhao is a brand of Shanghai Qiangu Stationery Co., Ltd, which started in 1988 in Nanchang and relocated to Shanghai in 2003. Some of its writing instruments have historical themes, such as those about historical figures like Confucius, Zhuge Liang, and Emperor Taizong of Tang; and some have some cultural connection, such as those about the Great Wall; but most of its models do not. The X750 is one.
While not unexpected for a steel pen, this pen is relatively heavy. At 20 grams without the cap, and 38 grams total, some might find this pen too heavy. However, the weight of a pen has never had any significant effect on me. I find that the center of balance has a much greater effect. The center of balance on this pen is about 2cm above the section. The cap snaps onto the body and can be posted, but that moves the center of balance to about 5cm above the section, making it practically unusable for me. Most people can use this pen without posting the cap. If you can't, your hands are bigger than Rachmaninoff's and the center of gravity when posted should suit you. The length is 141mm capped, 128mm uncapped. The largest diameter is 14mm. The diameter at the middle of the section is 11mm.
This pen uses cartridges or cartridge convertors. It came with a piston-style convertor, which holds about as much ink as small international cartridges. I don't have any cartridges, so I don't know which kinds of cartridges it accepts, although it appears to work with short and long international cartridges.
The section is round and is in what appears to be matte-textured plastic. Round sections are the best for me, as many shaped sections expect the user to grip the section at two places about 30 degrees to either side, and one place opposite of, the center of the nib. That is not my grip and I question whether or not that really is the ideal ergonomic grip. Anyway, the nib is 24mm long. Given the same gripping position on the section, this long nib lets one write using smaller movements than on shorter nibs, but others might want to write using larger movements, where a shorter nib would be more desirable. I find the long nib very easy to control. The tip is stub-like, where vertical strokes are fine and horizontal strokes are closer to extra fine. This produces line width variation inherent to the nib.
In addition, the stroke width is more sensitive than usual to varying writing pressure. This is not due to the tines spreading, but due to the tip having an overall round shape as opposed to a foot. This combined with the stub-like tip produces what some might call "expressiveness" in writing, while sacrificing smoothness. This tip is not the smoothest it can be, although it is not scratchy. Some might describe it as having "feedback," where one can feel the texture of the paper through the pen as the tip moves across the paper. Flow is on the dry side compared to most pens I have (which tend to be Pelikans; maybe it's average compared to most other pens). The following is a writing sample using Noodler's American Eel Blue on Roaring Spring 5x5 quad ruled paper.
I bought this pen because it was one of the few Jinhao pens, and Chinese pens in general, that I didn't find too gaudy. That Jinhao tries to incorporate traditional Chinese design elements into their pens is ironic, because traditional Chinese aesthetics is understated and minimalistic. Anyway, this pen's rather simple lines and colors of steel and black plastic or rubber give it an understated, businesslike appearance. That the steel on most of the pen's body is brushed and that the section has a matte texture makes it resistant to fingerprints.
It seems all nibs of the design used on this pen are the same, only some are plated and some are not. The nib has "18KGP" stamped in it, which I suspect is to describe the versions of this nib that are plated with 18 carat gold, and Jinhao does not mind the inaccurate description on the unplated ones. I much prefer the unplated steel nib on this pen, but I find it unnecessary to indicate that a nib is plated on the nib. It would be better not to say anything about plating on the nib like most other manufacturers.
I got this on eBay for $7 including shipping. 'Nuff said.
Jinhao X450: I like the X750 better, functionally because the section of the X450 isn't entirely round. It has grooves on the section where it expects the user to grip. The nib of the X450 is smoother, but I think these are the same nibs and any difference is due to manufacturing variation. Aesthetically, I prefer the X750 because the cap band isn't as plain, and the metal doesn't appear to stand out as on the X450, although it might be because of the colors of the pen.
If there were a brushed steel X450, then it would be closer. Furthermore, there is selective gold plating on the nib of the X450, but it is inaccurate. I would rather have no plating or total plating rather than inaccurate selective plating. For more information, see my review of two X450's.
Pelikan M600 and M620: For more than 20 times the price for the M600, and more than 40 times the price for the M620, they had better be better. But it is remarkable that the X750 can even be compared with them. I currently have a M600 with a nib from a M620, which I review here. The M620 flows faster, and so it produces a more consistent line. The nib is more forgiving of varying writing angles, and is just very easy to use. It can be taken to very fast writing speeds and not make me worry that it can't keep up, while the maximum flow rate of the X750 is just too dry to give me that confidence. However, the longer nib of the X750 makes it easier for me to control, and its sensitivity to varying writing pressures gives me greater ability to vary my stroke shapes. The M620 has an integrated piston filler, which gives it much higher ink capacity. Aesthetically, the two pens are so different that they fit into different niches. For the M600, aesthetics are closer to the domain of this X750. Functionally, the they are so close that the current price of the M620 cannot be justified. From a logical perspective, the X750 is the obvious choice, but this is the FPN. People pay a lot for aesthetics, finer workmanship (even where it doesn't matter), and other stuff.
Lamy Safari: Now this is an interesting comparison. I review this here. The Safari has a shaped section, which made it unusable for me. For me, the obvious choice is the X750 regardless that the Safari is about $20, but for those that can use the shaped section, the flow of the Safari is faster than that of the X750, which gives it a more consistent line and gives the writer more confidence, like the M620. The filling system is the same. The body of the Safari is lighter. Aesthetically, I find the X750 more versatile. While the X750 won't look out of place in more uppity settings, the Safari might stand out, in a bad way.
Edited by Renzhe, 27 May 2010 - 02:00.