After all the disappointments I’ve had in trying to find a premium version of the Uniball JetStream multi pen, I’ve shifted my efforts to finding a premium version of any multi-pen that I actually like. Recently I decided to pick up the Fisher Space Pen Q4 Multi Pen (via Amazon) to see if it would do the trick for me. One leson I learned right off the bat though was that I should probably read and research a bit more before such an impulse purchase.
The Fisher Space Pen Q4 Multi Pen has a metallic body, clip, and plunger with a rubber grip, and comes in a hardened plastic case as pictured above. The body is a dark grey or gunmetal shade while the clip, plunger, and nose cone are more of a straight up silver, and obviously the grip section is black. Visually I like this pen, but lets keep looking.
Upon closer inspection I saw that the options to select each of the three writing implements and the stylus were printed out in white on the side of the body. The first issue that I have with this method is that its not even color coded, and to be honest, reading white print on a reflective gunmetal in any sort of bright light is pretty much impossible. This doesn’t even touch on the fact that actually selecting the option you want is a bit clunky and not at all user friendly. Even if it was easy to read the side of the pen, you need to hold the correct text in the correct position facing you in order to get the right option to come out when you press the plunger. In one instance it took me 6 tries to get the black cartridge to expose itself. Maybe I’m an uncoordinated idiot with no hand eye coordination, bu this method is NOT my cup of tea. Switching between options needs to happen in 1 second or less, with minimal cognitive effort.
Next, there is a button on the side that retracts the tip back into the body of the pen. Luckily this one button retracts all four options, regardless of which way you hold the pen. In terms of the visual presentation, it passes, but its not great. When it comes to user friendliness, not so good as its not as quickly accessed as a typical plunger or selector on a multi-pen.
For me, this next picture shows the real downfall of this pen, which was really my own fault for not picking up on when I purchased it. The stylus option on the Fisher Space Pen Q4 Multi Pen is not, I repeat NOT a capacitive stylus. This means that if you own an Android phone or tablet, or an iPad or iPhone this is nothing more than a plastic tip that you can use to clean the dust between the keys on your keyboard. In other words, its a stylus for your 10 year old Blackberry thats in the bottom of a drawer or landfill right now. Great! At least the grip is comfortable though.
Much like other multi pens, the eraser is replaceable and can be found under the metallic plunger cap. And as you can see, the Fisher Space Pen Q4 Multi Pen takes a different refill than the regular stubby refill you find in the bullet series pens. This is identified as the U series refill and is sold in longer lengths than you would use here and you just snap off the longer part in order to have it fit this particular pen. Link is below for where to grab the refills though.
Fisher Space Pen Q4 Multi Pen Writing Sample:
In terms of writing with the Fisher Space Pen Q4 Multi Pen, it was a decent experience. The Fisher Space pen refills (here they are on Amazon for the Q4) are the Universal ones or the U-series, not to be confused with the more stubby ones that are for the bullet pens. For some reason the black wrote fine, but the red and pencil had a little bit of a rattle to them. Overall the actual writing performance of both was as expected from my previous use of any other Fisher Space pen. The ink is always smooth and consistent with no splotching or skipping. I guess you could always swap out the stylus with a blue cartridge, but that still doesn’t make up for the other shortfalls. Anyway, here it is on Amazon if I haven’t scared you off from buying it.
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