I’ve been meaning to review this Bic Duo Highlighter for a while now, but Amazon only had them in bulk quantities so I kept holding off on buying som. I finally gave in and picked up a pack of them because I was so curious to see how they worked. Lets take a look at Bic’s pen and highlighter in one and see if there are truly any efficiencies gained by combining these two writing implements.
The body of the combination pen and highlighter has a fairly thick body, however it is not overly large and bulky. I am a big fan of the black body with the shiny pearl white cap, although it might seem kind of dull, I like the contrast of the two colors with the subtle accents of the yellow and orange markings.
With the cap removed you can see that the grip section is white and the same hard plastic as the rest of the body, and has slight dimpling which I assume is to give a little added grip to the pen. Posting the cap on this pen highlighter combination was reassuringly firm, which is always welcome because I hate when a posted cap doesn’t feel like it’s firmly attached.
The really cool and interesting thing about this combination pen highlighter is pictured above. I’m still getting used to the new camera so please excuse the slightly dark and not so great photo. If you click on the photo for the larger version, it is really easy to see how this pen and highlighter works. The highlighter tip is actually a tube that has a ball point pen running through it. A simple twist of the grip section extends the highlighter tube out over the ball point pen tip. The ball point itself never moves and is always extended. Before I even wrote or highlighted with this pen, I wanted to open it up to see how the highlighter refills worked. Once I had inspected the inner workings, I was kind of upset to realize to see that when I twisted the black tip back on to the pen to seal up the cartridge chamber, I immediately stripped the plastic threads. I don’t think I applied all that much pressure, but sure enough I quickly found myself trying to twist the tip back on, only to have it kep spinning around.
Writing with the Bic Duo pen highlighter didn’t quite go as great as I had hoped. My gripe with this attempt at a highlighter pen combo doesn’t have anything to do with the dual functionality, it is actually just the design of the grip that makes this pen so difficult to write with. The grip actually makes the writing experience very tiring on your hand because there is no rubber and there is no taper or lip to help reduce the amount of pressure needed to hold onto the pen while writing. The smooth perfectly straight grip section had me applying way too much pressure to hold onto the pen, and after only a few words my hand started to get tired. A simple rubber coating or vase-like shape to the grip would have made a huge difference in the writing comfort here.
The writing and highlighting capabilities of this pen highlighter function pretty nicely, although I have read some other reviews that indicate that the highlighter ink runs out kind of quickly. In doing the writing sample I was impressed by how quickly I was able to highlight over the ballpoint text without having it smear.
Overall, I like the concept here, but I think that with some minor adjustments to the grip, and by making the highlighter and the ball point pen refillable it would be a much more comfortable and effective pen and highlighter combination.