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X-Pen Legend 404 Review

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#1 dimeotane



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Posted 29 July 2008 - 18:57

X-Pen Legend Blue Lacquer 404f Review

First Impressions 5/5
While shopping for a new pen as a memento of my trip to Montreal, and visiting Boutique du Stylo (one of the few pen stores in Canada), I noticed an attractive luminescent blue lacquer pen with mirror chrome accents. It appeared somewhat similar to my Pilot Knight which I've really enjoyed as a solid daily writer. My first impression of the X-Pen Legend was that it's classy looking but not overly chintzy with ornamentation. It has a simple modern design with clean smooth contours. Although the X-Pen company was unfamiliar to me, I was impressed by the apparent design quality, attractive style, and very attractive price of $30.

Design 5/5
Upon handling the pen, I was further impressed by the quality of materials and manufacturing. It was made of metal, and as a result a very solid feel.
The blue lacquer gives the body a gloss shine but with an pearlized glow effect of royal blue to the highlight and blue black in the shadow.
The grip section and barrel attach firmly by chrome metal screw threads which look, feel and age better than plastic. This it where I think it is better than the Pilot Knight that has a short unattractive plastic grip section. The Legend's grip section tapers towards the nib nicely and feels great in the hand. It has a pleasing chrome ring accent before the nib begins.
The cap design is what initially appeared to me to be similar to the Knight. The chrome clip is a long secure spring loaded design. The brand name is under the clip, casted in the chrome cap band, rather than only silk screened on (like Pilot on the Knight). It uncaps with a tug, the cap posts firmly without marking the end of the barrel, and recaps with a satisfying firm click.

Size & Weight 5/5
It's about the same length as a Pilot Knight or a Pelikan M800 at about 140mm or 5.5" capped. Posted it's 160mm or 6.25", which is a nib longer than the Knight. It weighs somewhere around 30g, similar to a Pelikan M800 and a bit lighter than the Knight. Width wise it's 12mm (~3/8ths") which is slimmer than the M800, and the same as the Knight. Personally I like the feel of larger and heavier pens, and find this balances and fits well in my adult male hands.

Nib 3/5
The nib is a steel two toned, gold and chrome, firm ball tip with "Fandini" printed on it. Everyone who's tried it says it's really smooth to write with, flows well, and feels better than nibs which cost more than the whole pen. I'm giving it only 3 because I'm pretty sure it's a cheaply made basic nib, nothing innovative. And for some reason I think it might look nicer with only a single white tone, but perhaps thats just me.
The feed is a tapered oval design without any 'fins'. The ink filler/ejecting hole is right under the base of the grip section. When filling the pen from bottle, there's always ink to wipe off of the grip section before handling (perhaps I just need to fill the converter directly if I don't wish to wipe the grip?)
My writing sample shows how the nib writes a 'Pilot' medium line, which is like a Pelikan fine. With my current Waterman green ink, it flows continuously without skipping and seems to be able to sit uncapped for a few minutes in between paragraphs and still start easily.

Filling System 1/5
The pen came with a couple universal cartridges, but no converter. I had the retailer find me a Waterman converter which fit nicely, but raised the price tag another $10 or so. My Duke pens which cost the same came with a converter. And a little plastic converter can't cost that much for X-Pen to include can it? However, you may already have a 'universal' converter laying around...

Cost and Value 4.5/5
In Canada at Boutique do Stylo it's selling for under $30 in store, and can be ordered online with them. I think it's excellent value at that price, considering how well it's made, and it's attractive appearance. You could spend a lot more to end up with something with the same features.
Lately I've been into finding pens that have the best quality for the cost lately after having damaged a favourite $100 pen by accidental dropping on the nib (and felt nauseated by it), I've come to appreciate my daily writers that can be handled and carried more freely with less emotional trauma.

Conclusion A great pen!
I'm pleased with my purchase, having found a good quality daily writer that should provide many years of enjoyment. It's pleasing to write with, performs reliably, has a professional sophisticated appearance, and is solidly made. This pen is a good purchase either as a $30 gift for someone or for your own personal enjoyment. I paid quite a bit more for my Pilot Knight, but I like the X-Pen Legend better.
In interest to find out more about X-Pen, I did find the manufacturer's X-Pen Legend web page for this pen. I wasn't able to find a review yet for X-Pen on the FPN, and since I've so often found the reviews here helpful, I thought it was time for me to write this one!

More Photos
Here's a close up of the logo, metal threads and cap design, and a shot to compare side-by-side with the Pilot Knight. Also a writing sample in Waterman green to compare with a Pilot Knight (in Waterman's blue-black).

Edited by dimeotane, 29 July 2008 - 19:02.

my top picks:
favourite writers: Hero 100 & 200a, Sheaffer Imperial 444, Rotring 600
favourite inks: Noodler's Baystate Blue, Noodlers Violet Vote, Lamy Blue

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#2 Abhik



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Posted 30 July 2008 - 07:29

Good review! Good looking pen, though I never heard about this pen! Enjoy your lovely pen!

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