Appearance 8/10: This is a handsome pen. The finish is matte black with what look to be laser etched silver horizontal and vertical lines. It would be easy to screw this up, but the lines are all perfectly done with no glitches that I can see. Even nicer yet, when the cap is secured fully, the lines on the cap correspond perfectly to those in the body of the pen. This pen uses threads for posting as well. Even more remarkably, everything lines up when posted too. Like the MB Starwalker, the cap is crowned by a half dome of glass. In the MB model, the snowcap is suspended in this dome while the Jinhao has an empty dome. This is a bit of a drawback since they do nothing whatever with the dome. There is no logo underneath; just a plain glass dome. From afar however, it is a pen that could easily be mistaken for its more expensive cousin.
Construction: 8/10: The pen is brass with what looks to be a paint, rather than lacquer overlay. The finishing is very good overall, with everything fitting to tight tolerances. The threading on the section and on the blind cap are well executed and very much up to standard. The converter sits solidly in place. Overall, this is a well-built pen. My main misgiving is with the finish, which looks great now but, given that it is only paint, seems unlikely to stand up over the long haul. Still, in the three weeks I've had the pen, nothing has gone wrong with it so far.
Weights and Measures: As one would expect of a brass pen, the weight is moderate, but not extreme. It is comparable to the MB 146. The balance is very good with the pen posted or unposted. The pen is identical in length to a MB 146.
Nib/Writing Quality 7/10: The nib is a simple steel affair modestly adorned with the Baoer rainbow logo along with the name Baoer printed vertically in open lettering. It's a nice enough nib, but hardly comparable to the MB that it is imitating. It writes smoothly, but was very dry when I first got it. Some small tweaks to spread the tines now produce a smooth, wet line. It is not silky smooth like a MB, but has some feedback like an Aurora nib. The main drawback is that the pen is a hard starter, requiring wetting at the start of the day to get it going. It produces a perfectly nice, western medium line without any distinguishing features. The nib does not flex.
Filling system 8/10: It fills via converter, which is smooth to operate and works perfectly well.
Cost/value 10/10: For under $10 including postage, you get a very credible clone of the Starwalker that writes smoothly and well. What more could you want?
Conclusion 8.2/10: As under $10 Chinese pens go, this one is a clear winner. You get a beautiful design evoking a top line pen and a solid writing, if rather pedestrian, writing experience. It has many nice touches like the glass dome, the threaded cap and posting system, and the precision of the lines on the pen. The big question mark is the durability of the paint job, which remains to be seen. Certainly compared to pens like the Hero 616, this is vastly better. Even compared to other Baoer pens, like the 574, which sell for a similar price, this one is vastly better crafted. A good purchase.
Note: Please forgive the quality of my photos. Shot with my iphone because I was too much in a hurry to pull out my real camera gear.
Edited by watch_art, 24 March 2013 - 19:01.