Friday, August 19, 2011

Uni-ball Alpha Gel Slim Ballpoint

The Uni-ball Alpha Gel Slim Ballpoint has a grip that reminds me of the Sensa pens, but it's made out of some type of springy rubber that springs back into its original shape like one of those stress balls.

I like the design of this ballpoint, it's slim only in comparison to the regular Uni-Ball Alpha Gel pen. Otherwise, there are lots of curves to this pen starting with the grip and continuing through the barrel and the clip.

It's also a big pen, measuring 5.75 inches with the plunger fully extended, about a third of an inch longer than my burgundy Zebra Sarasa.

(Just a note that while I adore JetPens, they are selling these Alpha Gels for $13.50 while Tokyo Pen Shop has them for $10. TPS offers free shipping on orders of $25 and up too, and they just added fountain pens to their lineup so do go over there and browse around. I've ordered several times from TPS and found them reliable and fast.)

I can't tell from the packaging if this is a 0.5mm or 0.7mm tip, while the pens are usually marked on the clip or plunger this one isn't. Nor is the ink refill above, so I'll have to guess that it's a 0.7mm (not a 0.5mm as I wrote above).

Something I hadn't noticed before that's a great little detail is the small piece of cotton at the end of the ink refill, which would keep ink from escaping the back. I'm not sure when this would be needed (high altitude?), but it makes you appreciate how much attention to detail is paid on all aspects of these Uni-ball pens.

The royal blue color accents are nicely place, with a darker blue on the tip of the clip and the end of the barrel as well as the top of the plunger and a more powdery blue coloring the grip. The pen is actually very light in the hand even with the metal barrel, and writing takes very little effort.

Looking for a ballpoint in the $10 to $15 range, something that looks good and writes well? Here's a great option for you.

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