I was at one of my local big box retailers recently and stopped by the pen aisle (who wouldn't?) and stumbled upon something new, the uni-ball Air rollerball pen. In blue! Of course I purchased a pack to try out and to give my thoughts.
Trying to remember, but I think a three pack ran me about $7, so not too pricey. Uni-Ball pens seem to be on the slightly higher price spectrum for your average throwaway, but this is pretty in line with others.
The pen is all plastic and has a sleek and futuristic looking black barrel. On the barrel is a sort of circuit board-esque/tribal design in contrasting matte and shiny black. The design does have some very subtle texture which almost subconsciously adds a slight amount of grip.
You have to run your finger or thumb across it and think about whether you feel texture or not, but it is there. I'm going to wager more for design rather than function.
The clip of the pen is an integrated piece of blue plastic that flows with the overall design of the cap. It isn't really an add on so much as it is a part of the overall cap design and aesthetic. It is super flimsy, but sufficiently stiff for its purpose. If you really bent it back it would strain the plastic enough to where it would no longer be effective.
How does it write? Extremely smooth and extremely wet. The pen pushes out a lot of ink and even on thicker paper like a Doane Paper pad, the letters feathered a bit. Rollerball pens are generally the sweet spot on these pads, but this one seems to react differently.
This leads me to believe that the function is not the same as your traditional rollerball. The tip of the pen seems to have a bit more of a flex to it, almost like a porous point.
The closest pen it reminds me of is the Pentel Rolling Writer, a classic rollerball (technically) that behaves a bit more like a plastic tip pen. A really strange hybrid, but one that makes for a super smooth writing experience. A pen I haven't used for awhile, but is really fun.
The lines seem to perform better on the Doane Paper Flap Jotter (slightly smoother paper), but the ink floats on paper like Rhodia almost like a fountain pen. This equals long dry times...
I think the Air is a really fun writer and is worth giving a shot, particularly if you have used a pen like the Rolling Writer before and enjoyed it. The feathering is kind of a pain due to the heavy ink flow which could cause some problems on most papers.
There doesn't seem to be much out there on this pen as of yet and I couldn't even find it on Uni-Ball's website...