Appearance & Design (7/10)
The pen in my opinion looks alright,especially as a starter pen. It is on the lighter side and unfortunately does not come with a converter. The pen is mostly made of plastic with a cap that weighs more than the pen itself. The barrel of the pen is not stainless steel rather chrome plating which makes the pen very slippery if you have wet hands. Overall the design is a little old/vintage, but not anything extravagant or ugly.
I'm sure many of the people who have used any cross before would agree with me that it is one of the smoothest nibs around, maybe even more than my sonnets. I think the pen works better with drier or well-behaved inks because the cross ink that it cam with tends to feather.
Filling System (6/10)
The pen only comes wit one cartridge of black ink. A really good cross converter is possible for like four dollars on amazon so not too many hard feelings.
Price and Performance (9/10)
At forty dollars it writes like a 200 dollar pen(Parker Sonnet) with a minimal problem of slipping that occurs to me minimally. It a good deal because i can only think of two other pens worth that a similar price and has c/c(not pilot varsities), actual nib(not parker vector nibs), and caps that don't dry up your pens.
For the price, a great starter pen not only because it writes smooth but because you don't have to face drying up problems of piston(pelikan and mont blancs) and flushing the pen before using it(parker sonnets and some unlucky waterman users). But if you are planning to be a daily user i would recommend the new TWSBi 540 because piston hold alot more ink than c/c pens and its about the same price.
Edited by shamankl, 17 August 2011 - 16:30.