The Tombow Zoom 2000 gives me the impression that it is a writing utensil of the future. It looks like the Terminator dropped it on his way back to help John Connor save the world. It has a brushed chrome finish and an unique "spacepod-like" shape. Diamond-like cuts repeat in a pattern along the central band of the barrel. The design is simple, yet extremely intriguing as you turn the pen in the light. The grooved pattern flashes its facets like fine crystal.
The smallish cap would be the payload of this futuristic writing missile. It fits very tight on the business end of the pen, ensuring that the liquid rollerball refill will not be dry when you pick it up to write. It posts nicely on the back-end of the pen and doesn't add any significant weight to cause imbalance when writing.
Speaking of the weight, although the pen is solid metal, it is lighter in the hand than you would think. However, it does not give the impression of being flimsy or cheap. My only issue with the overall design is the grip. The brushed chrome barrel drops off to create an uncomfortable edge between the front section and the rest of the pen. When holding and writing with it, I feel like my grip is further away from the point than I would prefer.
Aside from the slightly awkward grip, writing with "sputnik" is a smooth, enjoyable experience. The Tombow rollerball refill is smooth, rich with a dark line and fine-pointed (also available in extra-fine). If you are used to writing with fountain pens all the time, this is definitely a good alternative. There is a slight amount of bleed-through on Levenger Circa paper, but nothing more than what fountain pen ink would usually produce.
- Writing Quality : Tombow 05 Fine rollerball ink flows very nicely. The light weight and balance of the pen make it easy to write for longer periods of time. I gripe about the grip, but that could just be me. (grade A-)
- Aesthetic Quality : Very space-age with high-tech appeal. (grade A)
- Utility : The small cap can easily be misplaced. The firm snap of the cap ensures ink refill freshness. Clip is well build and attaches smoothly to the pocket. (grade A-)
- Price : At $100 retail (on sale for $79.95 at Goldspot.com), the bargain would be the Tombow rollerball refills, which we sell for $2.10 each in a variety of colors. Compare that with a Waterman or Parker, which rollerball refills cost $4.70-$5.75 each. (grade B+)
Final Grade : A-
If you like the space-age aesthetic and smooth-writing rollerball refill, the Tombow Zoom 2000 should definitely be on your Christmas list for an everyday writing pen.