The fine folks over at Poppin sent me another package. This one was filled with boxes of their gel pen assortments. Each box includes six different gel pens in a rainbow of vivid colors.
These gel pens have a similarly simple aesthetic to the ballpoint pens I reviewed last week. For the gel pens, the casing is colorless transparent plastic to see through to the colored ink core. The top of the cap and the metal clip match the ink color. The pens are minimally branded and don’t have any special ergonomic features.
I tested the pens on both the Poppin lined notebook and in my standard testing notebooks, the Quo Vadis Habana. My results were pretty consistent between both books. I wanted to test it in both a high end and a mid-range notebook since these are the type of pens, based on price and style, that I would be more inclined to use at work or to leave on my desk for passersby who need a writing instrument. The Poppin gel pens would most likely be used on copy paper, legal pads and 3x5s so I wanted to be sure they were tested on comparable paper.
The colors of the ink are bright and vivid. The line width looks to be about a 0.7mm. On the Poppin notebook, I included a comparison ink color from my stash. I didn’t have anything close to the brightness of the pink, orange or green short of a highlighter. The blue was similar in color to the bright blue Marvy LePen and the purple is close in color to the Pilot Juice Grape. The gel red is the least vibrant color in this set, more of a true red. Think fire trucks and maraschino cherries.
All the colors dried quickly though the purple had a bit longer dry time on the Quo Vadis. On the Poppin notebook, I didn’t notice any dry time delays. I do think that all the pens preferred the slightly toothier Poppin notebook to the super smooth Quo Vadis. It is a subtle difference but I think these everyday pens will perform best on everyday paper.
I had a little trouble with the purple pen being a bit skippy. I tried one from another pack to make sure it was a fluke. It was. This could also be casued by my slightly wonky left-handed writing style. I often have trouble with gel and rollerball pens if I hold them at too severe an angle which basically chokes off the rolling of the ball bearing in the tip.
Overal, the Poppin gels worked fairly consistently. These are definitely more of a budget range pen, obviously, but their performance was consistent with the results I get from a Pilot G2 or other gel purchased at a big box retailer. What makes these gel pens stand out is the bright fun colors and the clean, simple designs.
Packs of 6 assorted or single color gel pens sell for $9.
GIVEAWAY: Would you like to win a box of these pens to try yourself? I am giving away two boxes (that’s two chance to win!). Leave a comment and tell me which color in this assortment would be used up first.
FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Monday August 19, 2013. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winners will be announced on Tuesday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money.