Stabilo is mainly known for its ergonomic range of pens for children, especially the odd-looking and even more oddly named 'S Move Easy, one of the best pens on the market for young left-handed writers. The company's pen ranges are distinguished by their unique barrel shapes designed to assist finger placement and use of bright primary colors, as befits a company geared toward kids.
But in the last few years, the German penmaker has been expanding outward, looking to take its reputation for comfort into both the office and university, as well as remaining the go-to pen for schoolkids.
The new EASYball is Stabilo's latest step in that direction.
It's a retractable ballpoint pen with a moulded plastic grip that allows the forefinger and thumb to rest in a comfortable position, no matter which way the pen is turned. According to Stabilo, it writes a smooth .05 mm line in either blue, black, or red. The blue ink is 'document-proof.'
The company says:
It brings an ergonomic trendy looking ballpoint pen to a ballpoint market full of many boring looking pens.
My initial take is that, while it isn't a bad-looking pen, it definitely still has a grade-school aesthetic that will make it more popular with younger writers than adult professionals. And, as a ballpoint, it will have limited appeal to serious pen enthusiasts. However, with the comfortable design and usual Stabilo reliability, it's still worlds better than a typical ballpoint – and is more versatile, since it comes in left- and right-handed versions.
The second new entry in the Stabilo range is the COM4, a sleeker, more adult retractable that is available either as a ballpoint or a gel. The COM4 has a comparatively slim barrel with an extended triangle-shaped non-slip grip and a broad, flat clip. It writes a .05 mm line and offers 'anti-smudge' ink in the gel model. Ink colors are blue, black, green and red.
A Stabilo spokesman described it:
The COM4ball and COM4gel are going to be big players in the office as well as at school or at home due to their high quality, ergonomic features, and low price. Why would anyone buy an own brand, boring pen when they could have a sleek and sexy branded pen for a similar price?
This is the one I'm looking forward to. It's a solid, adult-looking pen, especially in the black/anthracite color combo, and promises to be an extremely smooth writer. Also, while I've tried triangle grips before and never found them particularly appealing, Stabilo's reputation for comfort gives me hope that this one will do the trick.
Along with launching these new products this month, Stabilo says it also will be repackaging its range of high-lighters to focus on the feature that sets them apart – the anti-drying technology that allows you to leave the cap off a Stabilo highlighter for up to 4 hours with no worries.
The company also plans to release a 'new product suited towards technology-savvy individuals' sometime in January. We'll let you know when we know.
(By the way, Tiger Pens should have these new Stabilos in stock by the end of this week.)