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Quite a few German pen companies seem to tailor a portion of their line for students, starting with primary and all the way up to university. The German pen company, ONLINE, is one of them, and they offer quite a range of economical fountain pens for youngsters and adults alike. The company is fairly new - established in 1991 - and currently offers two major lines: Young.Line, and Top.Line. The Young.Line is mainly purposed for students, with trendy styles and durability in mind. They also offer things like erasers, pen cases, and other pen paraphernalia. Since they are a newcomer to the German pen industry where many major players have been waging marketing wars for a century, they seem to have focused on everyday-usable pens. For European customers, the Online pens are available - guess what - online, and probably in retailers if you are in Germany. If you are in the US, their products are available from Paradise Pen, but ONLY the Academy Flash line. ______________________________________________________________________ Appearance & Design (1-10) - A modern spin on Lamy Safari? The pen is not flashy in design, despite its name. Germans seem to have some preference for big, silver clips, and this one is no exception, with a big, "look at me" kind of a silver clip attached to the cap from a black top. I purchased the pink model, but they are also available in black, orange, red, white, and yellow. They also have the "same design but different metalwork" kind of a model, called Viva Colori, which are available in black, purple, lilac, blue, green, and yellow. In this version, all the black parts are replaced by stainless-steel-looking equivalents. The logo of the company and the country of origin are engraved on the cap's black portion, right above where the clip is attached, and also on the nib. http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w614/GabrielleduVent/DSC_0278_zps67dc39b5.jpg There is something a little odd going on with the cap, and where the cap end generally meets if you cap the pen or post it. For some reason, the cap end is cut into a wave, with the back of the end cut slightly lower than the front. This dictates the orientation of the cap - it doesn't allow rotation without getting the cap loose - which was something new for me. http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w614/GabrielleduVent/DSC_0279_zpse62d3b95.jpg It does, however, allow seamless attachment. http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w614/GabrielleduVent/DSC_0276_zps9fc4b6f6.jpg 9/10 Construction & Quality (1-10) - It seems to handle some beating well. It's clearly a student pen, so it's designed to handle a 10 year old running around with a rock inside the bag next to the pen. I haven't tried to scratch it or drop OED on it, so I'm not sure just how much pressure or momentum this thing can suffer, but the construction is quite sturdy. The nib is made of iridium, and it doesn't allow much flexing. The clip won't be coming off any time soon. A bit of rough-handling won't mar this pen. The grip is an ergonomic grip, and has a rubbery texture. It feels comfortable, but has the same scheme as Lamy Safari's "thou shalt place thy finger here in this manner" kind of a "wedge". For those who abhor that Lamy grip, this won't be your new best friend. http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w614/GabrielleduVent/DSC_0283_zps52ef1e31.jpg http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w614/GabrielleduVent/DSC_0286_zps22818f94.jpg 9/10 Weight & Dimensions (1-10) - German pens seem to have a standard. Weight: 41g Length: 141mm x 17mm x 12mm, 169mm long posted Upon comparison, the length is almost identical (capped, at least) to Lamy Safari. http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w614/GabrielleduVent/DSC_0275_zpsc8f006a4.jpg It fits my hand well, and it's not too thin nor too thick. The cap is light, so it doesn't make the pen head-heavy when I post it. 10/10 Nib & Performance (1-10) - Slippery when wet? The nib is only available in M if you are in the US. If you are buying directly from ONLINE, you can also purchase in EF; there are also nib/grip portions available separately as L (for lefties) and ballpoint. http://www.online-pen.de/shop/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/G/r/Griffstuecke_Academy.jpg_14.jpg The nib itself allows very little flexing, and the tip is rounded. This, for some reason, returned almost NO feedback; it isn't the smoothness of slicing into cheese with a very sharp knife, which is what a Japanese pen feels like, but rather slipping on oil that someone spilt on a tile floor. As I'm not used to that kind of slippery nib, it took me by surprise. The nib is not the angular shape Lamy Safari and Platinum Preppy sport, but the standard shape. It has the engraving "ONLINE Germany" on it. http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w614/GabrielleduVent/DSC_0277_zps64cf4f34.jpg Or it might be the ink. I filled it with Noodler's Shah's Rose. 7/10 Filling System & Maintenance (1-10) - Cartridge system, will take international converters The filling system is your regular international cartridge, and accepts long international converters. http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w614/GabrielleduVent/DSC_0280_zpscc0238e2.jpg It came with a blue cartridge, and an inexplicable object that is shaped like a cartridge, but is empty, and has no bottom. The part where the nipple goes into the feed is a slightly transparent plastic, and the plastic itself is almost black, so I don't think I'll notice if there was any staining anyway. http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w614/GabrielleduVent/DSC_0281_zpsdac58611.jpg 10/10 Cost & Value (1-10) - It's priced appropriately for a student pen. The price in the US is $18.95, plus local tax. If you buy it direct from the website, it is 10,99 plus 19% tax (that's roughly $15, tax not included). It's not going to break your bank, and it serves as a pen, and it probably handles rough handling. Including tax (which came out to be 13,08 euros), the US equivalent would be about $18. So either way, it's very appropriately priced. The exchangeable nibs are 3,99 per grip/nib, plus 19% tax. 10/10 Conclusion - It's a good pen for students, and those who want a pen that they don't have to fuss about. While this pen would not be replacing my most often-used pen, it's definitely going to be kept in rotation. My only gripe was the lack of nib varieties, but I generally don't use italic so I have no problem with that. It'd look odd on an executive desk, but for students, writers, and those who are looking utility rather than design/prestige, this would be a good pen to buy. TOTAL: 9.16/10 (Grip image courtesy of ONLINE Schreibgeräte.)
missphoenix posted a topic in Fountain & Dip Pens - First StopI graduated from college recently and started using fountain pens almost a year ago, and reading between the lines on FPN, I *think* this makes me one of the younger people on this forum. I'm curious to know if your kids, nephews, nieces, grandchildren, etc. also use and hopefully love fountain pens. Alternatively, are there any other people here who are in their twenties or teens?
ohlookitsliann posted a topic in Fountain & Dip Pens - First Stophi fpgeeks! i just want to know who is in australia and love fountain pens and please share your views eg. where you get your pens (knowing australia doesnt have much pen shops) and which blogs do read and yea.. just anything
So it seems to me, after the year or so that I've been into pens, that most fountain pens are designed with a much more stayed, classy look that looks best worn with a suit. Meisterstucks, Sheaffer Valiants, Parker 61's are great, but really they look silly clipped in a madras shorts pocket, used by a guy with a bandana, long hair sticking out, and a beard (guess how I know this). On the other end, there are Pilot Varsity's, Petits, Preppy's, and other similar pens that are great, have a cool look, but are similar to any cheap normal BP or RB pen sold in blister packs. Let's talk about pens that are stylish, but look best clipped to a Banana Republic or Gap shirt. Something nice, but modern. Also, I'd love to hear about anything that's hit a nice point in its age where it's retro-cool, maybe a Wing Sung 233. Here's my picks: Pilot Prera (any bright color works) Picasso 916 Malange (again, bright colors work best) Nemosine Singularity demonstrator Sailor pens in bright yellow (especially not the 1911 cigar shape) Borderline too fancy but still pretty modern looking: Visconti Wall Street Delta Dolce Vita David Oscarson Harlequin