Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: PHX Pen by Big i Design

It's a strange thing, reviewing a pen.  It's such an everyday item that we don't really think about, but in my relatively short time in the real world I've learned that pens are fairly important.  Sure, it doesn't matter which pen you grab to jot down a note here and there, but then you get into what to bring to an interview, using pens as promotional items for a company, and so on, and you realize that these small tools play big roles, even if it's all about appearance.

The style-over-substance approach works well, because the PHX isn't technically about the pen, but rather the casing.  It works with the Pilot Hi-Tec-C and Uni-ball Signo DX, which are fine pens in their own rights and work really well.  As part of their Kickstarter campaign, Big i Design even included a Hi-Tec-C pen.  What the guys at Big i Design have done is provided a sleek, stylish home for these inserts, and they've done a fantastic job with it.

The PHX case is polished stainless steel that will look at home in an office, workshop, studio, or...well, home.  The top screws off to reveal the pen tip; for those worried about losing the lid, and alternate, threaded base was included with the Kickstarter so you can screw it to the bottom and replace it when finished.  I'm not sure if, going forward, the PHX will include the basic plug or the threaded, but the whole thing is convenient, easy to use, and doesn't mess with the simple and straightforward aesthetics they were going for.  The pen insert itself is easy to remove and replace so you can keep your PHX filled and ready to go at a moment's notice.  To top it all off, the PHX was shipped in a nice black sleeve so you can keep it covered up if you're planning on storing it or otherwise not using it for long periods.

I bought the PHX as a fan of the drive of Big i Design and their previous projects.  What I ended up getting was a versatile, excellently-crafted tool whose usefulness will easily outweigh its price.

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