Review by Laura Cameron
The GlideWrite pens have medium point (1.0 mm) ball point tips in a white plastic barrel with a rubberized grip. They boast that they are retractable (true) and refillable (unverified, I was unable to find refill packages listed at retailers nor at Pentel). GlideWrites are available in black, blue or assorted colors.
To me, the most interesting feature about the GlideWrite pens is that apparently they use a mix of gel and ballpoint inks for a smoother flow. This creates a low viscosity ink designed to reduce buildup in your pen, while also creating a smudge resistant ink. My impressions on this are mixed.
The pens do write very smoothly to my touch and the ink is light and smudge resistant. I didn’t find any globs of ink on any colors the way you sometimes can in ballpoint pens. I didn’t FEEL anything in my writing, but if I look at the words I wrote close up, I still see the characteristic skips of the ballpoint pen in my lines. I tried to get a close-up of the Light Blue ink in which it was most obvious.
Overall, I didn’t think these were a bad pen if you’re looking for a few fun colors in ballpoint pens, and they do seem to perform better than some of the standard ballpoint pens. But if it were my money, I think I’d end up buying the PaperMate InkJoy Gels ahead of these. I realize comparing ballpoints to gel pens is kind of comparing apples to oranges (and Pentel has gel pen offerings) but I know I’d reach for the InkJoy Gels first over the GlideWrites. The InkJoy Gels are also quite a bit more expensive (Jetpens, $23.50 for a pack of 14) but I prefer the experience and the writing they produce.