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11. 10. 2004

Look Out 007, I've Got My Bic E 3 - Pen Pencil Stylus

There are a lot of writing instrument aficionados out there who know about and collect fine pens like a collector of fine wines or historic cars. As for me, I'm not so discerning. I enjoy my not so fine pens and pencils and writing instruments probably as much as the fine ones (but for different reasons of course). While I do appreciate the elegance of a Mont Blanc or a Waterman I don't discriminate against your everyday Pentel, Bic or the trusty No. 2 pencil. Maybe it's nostalgia for the tactile days when we put pen to paper instead of fingers to keyboard to ones and zeros on the screen, but I love carefully picking out a pen or pencil out of the giant cup on my desk to hand write something down.
The latest addition to my collection is a 3-in-1 pen/pencil/stylus made by Bic. It has a thick barrel that you can really grab your hand around. While the pen and pencil work just fine, the stylus is what makes this pen worthwhile. It has a thick broad tip so when I have had too much coffee I don't have to worry about being super precise with that dainty stylus that came with my Sony Clie'. The top piece twists, allowing you to choose which instrument you want to use, but there are no markings to let you know which way to twist for each instrument. So, I twist around and back until I find what I need. Granted this isn't a huge issue, but it is annoying. Maybe the only solution would be to have three different buttons at the top like in those multi-colored Bic pens.
There's a huge pricing discrepancy on the E3. Ace Hardware of all places sells a pack of 6 for $35.05 plus shipping while, Office Storeroom sells it for under $5 and has refills for under $3.

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