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Online "tango" Pen Review
Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:54
So, here we go:
Where I live, Online is mostly known for its very flashy and colourful school pens, but it seems that recently, they have started producing more elegant and "grown-up"-looking pens. The Tango seems to be somewhere in the middle between the two. It is available in black, white and various floral designs, as well as a calligraphy set with three different italic nibs.
I picked a black one with a medium nib, which was the only non-italic size available. It didn't come in a box or any other kind of packaging, just the pen and a single Online brand cartridge inside.
1. Appearance & Design: 9/10
The Tango closed...
...and open with cap posted. It snaps onto the silver part at the bottom with an audible "click" and stays there without falling off, which I found very useful for taking quick notes on the go:
I like the design very much. It's sleek, black and shiny and I think the detail on the bottom tip is a seriously cool idea. It doesn't look like there is a cap posted but rather like this is where it's intended to be in the first place, if that makes sense. It looks organic.
The only thing I don't like is the design (or lack thereof, rather) on the nib:
It's an interestingly designed pen, so I would've loved to see an interesting nib decor to go with it. Instead, we get technical details that look like something you could find on a screwdriver. Disappointing.
2. Construction & Quality: 8/10
Very sturdy, almost indestructible. It has been living in my somewhat disorganised purse for almost two months now and only has a few scratches on the metal parts (unsurprisingly, considering the low price), and none at all on the plastic.
The nib/feed part tends to unscrew itself once in a while, which I find annoying, but otherwise not a big problem.
When posted, the cap feels loose, rotates easily and tends to rattle a bit, but does not come off unless I want it to.
3. Weight & Dimensions: 9/10
This pen is a bit on the heavy side, which I personally like, but might not be for everyone. Unposted, it's a little short for my hands, but with the cap posted, it's long enough, nicely balanced and makes for very comfortable writing.
Unfortunately, the short barrel has a significant drawback, which I will come to in a second...
4. Nib & Performance: 8/10
The nib felt nice and smooth with every ink I tried, even the problematic ones. It seems pretty wide for an M and provides some very subtle variation in line width:
Performance-wise, I got wildly different results depending on what ink I used. With dryer inks, it took a lot of work to get halfway decent flow out of it and was an overall pain to use, but as soon as I tried a wetter ink, it was great. The words practically wrote themselves. Never having used anything remotely high-end before, I was very impressed.
5. Filling System & Maintenance: 7/10
This is where the short barrel starts being impractical: In order to use a standard converter with the Tango, I had to file down the piston to about 5mm, so now it can hold only about half a cartridge worth of ink at a time, making it somewhat tedious to use in situations where I have to do a lot of writing in one session.
I found that if the barrel was just a few millimetres longer and the bottom tip was constructed to be hollow, this wouldn't have been a problem, so I still think the dimensions are close to ideal (for my hands at least).
6. Cost/Value: 10/10
I paid 18€ at a local department store and consider it money well spent.
7. Conclusion: 8.5/10
The Tango is not a perfect pen by any means, and I did have a bit of a rough start with it, but after a while, it really grew on me.
I'm still not a big fan of the filling system (I prefer bottled ink with unhacked converters) and the metal parts look a bit cheap (which makes sense because they are), but for the price, I really can't complain. It's a sturdy, comfortable everyday pen and once I figured out which inks to use it with, it was lovely to write with and is now my favourite!
...I hope this was helpful to some of you. It's also my first review of anything here, so any feedback would be appreciated
Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:39
That's an interesting pen. My sister had an Online pen when she was a bit younger. I think she still has it but doesn't use it much now.
Online isn't very popular in the states sadly. I think it is a good brand.
Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.
Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.
Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:58
BTW, I love the quote.
Edited by Uncle Red, 31 December 2012 - 05:02.
Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:33
With the 1,1 mm italic-nib (has been added to the M-nib in the package, also 1,4 mm italic) it writes wonderful - everytime and everywhere
Posted 01 January 2013 - 19:57
Great review. Could we see a picture of your modified converter?
BTW, I love the quote.
Here's the modified converter on top and and unmodified one on the bottom for comparison:
(this is the most ink I could fill it with and still be able to use it in the Tango)