It seems like there's been a rash of these "super-smooth" ballpoints going around lately: the Uni-ball Jetstream (okay, that one's actually been around for quite a while), the Pentel Vicuna, the Zebra Surari, and now the PaperMate InkJoy. Frankly, they all start to blend together in my head after a while, so that I keep asking myself, "Wait a minute, which one was that again?" Generally, I think they're the kind of pens that, if the only pens you've ever used are the kind you can buy a dozen of for a dollar at a back to school sale, then you'd be pretty impressed by them. But if you're a serious pen
fanatic addict user and you've already discovered gel pens, liquid ink pens, and even fountain pens, then these "super-smooth" ballpoints may not be quite that exciting. These days, a ballpoint pen has to be truly exceptional for me to get excited about it.
Anyway, excuse me while I get off my tangent and get back to the main purpose of this post: to review the PaperMate InkJoy. My first impressions on using this pen were positive. I'm afraid that whenever I think of PaperMate I always remember these awful erasable ballpoints I had back in grade eight. The tips would always get all gummed up with ballpoint lint, and the eraser merely smeared the ink around on the page. Trust me, they were awful. So I was quite happy (and yes, even a bit joyous) to discover that the PaperMate InkJoy is a distinct improvement on those erasable ballpoints of my memory.
Still, it's not that exciting. Writing with the InkJoy, I can still tell that, yes, this is definitely a ballpoint pen. It still writes with that slightly streaky, greyish line that I associate with ballpoints. It occasionally deposits the odd glob of ink on the page. Although it is somewhat smoother than the average ballpoint, it is really not that smooth, and certainly not nearly as smooth as the Uni-ball Jetstream (a pen that can, on occasion, almost, almost, fool me into thinking that it's a gel pen).
The InkJoy comes in a number of different models. (Check them out on the InkJoy's website.) Most of the models come in a variety of different ink colours, but the one I'm trying out here is the 700 RT model, which is in my opinion the classiest looking of the InkJoy models but which is also only available in black, blue, and red. The thing that I like most about the 700 RT is its sleek, understated white body. For some reason, pens with a white body always appeal to me, perhaps because they aren't all that common, or perhaps because they exude an atmosphere of purity and serenity that I hope will leak over into my writing (unlikely, I know, but I can still hope).
The PaperMate InkJoy 700 RT sports, in addition to its sleek white barrel, a firm, slightly grooved grip that I find wholly unremarkable, and a shiny metal clip that appears to be both sturdy and relatively flexible. One thing to be careful of: If, for some completely innocent reason, you end up with ink on your fingers and then pick up this pen, the ink will transfer from your skin to the shiny white surface of the pen. The ink will rub off again with some effort, but you may be best off to simply avoid this particular model of InkJoy if you have a tendency towards inky fingers.
In conclusion, if you're looking for a slightly-better-than-average ballpoint pen, the PaperMate InkJoy, while it certainly is not the best place to look, is not a bad place to look either. If ballpoints are the pens you mainly use, then you'll probably love the InkJoy. I surrendered this InkJoy to my mother, who really only uses ballpoints and thought it was a great pen. If, on the other hand, you've discovered other, better kinds of pens and you're trying to decide whether or not you really need another ballpoint pen, then. . . you probably don't. Or at least, not this one.
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