In my quest for a decent writing premium multi pen, I decided to give the Rotring Quattro Multi Pen (via Amazon) a shot. I figured since Rotring has a great reputation for quality and construction it was worth giving it a try even at a little bit of a bigger price than some similar offerings.
The Rotring Quattro Multi Pen is well put together with its all metal body and clip, however it falls short for the same reason that the Fisher Space Pen Multi Pen (review here) fell short for me. Rotring calls their multi pen selection functionality “Magic View” but I really find nothing magical about it. Although from an engineering perspective, its pretty impressive to be able to make the single plunger activate a color based on how you are holding the pen in your hand, its just not at all user friendly. It just requires too much visual analysis and precise manipulation of the pen to select the option you want. Instead it should be quick, effortless and require nothing more than a quick glance.
Once you jump through the hoops of picking the color ink or the pencil you want from the Rotring Quattro Multi Pen, it is at least easy to retract the likely mistaken option you have chosen. The solid metal clip hangs on a pretty sturdy spring clip that you simply press in at the top where you see those three oval divots and that slips the currently selected option back in the body of the pen.
Inside the Rotring Quattro Multi Pen you can see the easy to swap pen and pencil components. The pen refills are the short D1 style, that I’m not usually super fond of because I don’t get much writing life out of them, but they aren’t too bad. Somewhere inside that exposed metal lies the “Magic View” mechanism that in my opinion ruins this multi pens usability.
Like pretty much every other mechanical pencil, or in this case multi-pen with pencil, the eraser is nestled away inside the plunger cap. The metal cap removes easily from the plunger to expose the replaceable eraser, but oddly the first time I removed it, the eraser was actually lodged up inside of the cap. It hasn’t happened since then so I’m assuming it was an anomaly.
Rotring Quattro Multi Pen Writing Sample:
Although I’m not a fan of the “Magic View” selection method for picking the writing tool within this pen, the overall writing experience minus that was pretty nice. Each of the black, red, and blue inks flow very consistently and smoothly, and there was no noticeable rattle or play in the tips of them. After the pencil point is deployed, a quick and simple extra push of the plunger button to expose more lead. It does feel slightly bottom heavy to me, but not in a way that hinders any long writing sessions.
Overall this is a great writing pen that feels very solid and comfortable in the hand, but I just can’t get behind the need to constantly look at and precisely position the pen in my hand to pick the color, hoping that I got it right. I want 100% confidence that the color I’m trying to select is going to come up. Check it out over on Amazon if you think this will be your ideal multi pen, but this one won’t cut it for me, sorry Rotring.