A while back I got this Pentel Tradio Energel Combo pen from the nice folks at JetPens.com, and its about time I get to reviewing it. In the past I’ve reviewed the Pentel Tradio Stylo which has a similar body, but is more of a felt tip pen.
The Pentel Tradio body is a really solid piece of writing equipment, that just has a sturdy feel to it when you pick it up. This version has a nice matte finish, which almost feels like it is coated in a super fine grain of sand, but it is not rough at all. It has the same little window in the cap that lets you see the tip of the pen when capped, and the grip section is solid smooth plastic grip section with a bit of a wavy pattern imprinted to make it easier to hold onto. I remember that the other version of the Tradio that I reviewed had a more glossy finish on the body that actually made the cap never feel like it was posted firmly on the back of the pen, but with this matte finish, it adds just enough extra friction to make the cap feel more firmly posted.
The really impressive thing about this pen though is the Energel ink in it, which writes incredibly smoothly, leaves a nice solid line, and dries pretty quickly. The ink is composed of a combination (hence the Energel Combo name) of gel and liquid inks. I really loved the feel of the pen gliding over the paper when I tried it out on my Black n Red notebook and it also wrote very nicely on my Levenger paper that I use daily. The is supposed to dry very quickly and be great to prevent smearing for left handed writers, so of course I wanted to do my own little test. As you can see from the writing sample, the ink dried fairly quickly in the Black n Red notebook, but to be honest I didn’t expect super fast drying on this paper because of its slightly more glossy finish. On the other hand though, it wasnt even worth scanning my writing sample on the Levenger paper because even after only one second, you couldn’t smear the ink, so the Energel ink with Levenger paper is a great option for a lefty looking for a pen and paper that wont smear on them.
You can pick one of these up from JetPens (thanks to them again for the free review sample) in a variety of colors and two different finishes. Also, if you want an additional review before deciding to purchase this pen, check out Brad’s review over at PenAddict.com.