Posts filed under Desk Accessories

Napkin 4.EVER Pininfarina Cambiano Everlasting Pencil Review

I must admit, when this little walnut box arrived at my doorstep I was a little apprehensive. In the world of stationery there are two clear writing tool categories, pens and pencils, well Napkin went ahead and merged the two together and spat out the 4.EVER designed by Pininfarina Cambiano.

It's marketed as a pencil, and in some senses that title suits. There's no ink so it's not a pen, but the mark it leaves is permanent. There's no need to refill it with more lead/graphite like conventional mechanical pencils or replace it entirely like wood cased pencils when they've been sharpened within an inch of their existence. So what is this thing? Well it's a beautifully designed tapered barrel made from aluminium with walnut inlays and a peculiar metal tip which replaces whatever you're used to marking paper with. This tip is actually an alloy called Ethergraph which contains zero lead or graphite and, from what I gather, leaves marks on paper by a process of oxidization. As the tip is dragged across your writing surface, it's the writing surface that changes as apposed to pens/pencils leaving a trail of ink or lead in their path.

That all sounds fun in theory but what does it feel like? Well writing with the 4.EVER kind of feels like a slightly dull hard grade pencil. The mark it leaves is quite light and varies depending on the paper you use. I experienced some friction when writing, sort of like it was grabbing on to the paper. Simply put it doesn't glide across the page like your favourite pen/pencil but it also isn't uncomfortable to use. Not much pressure is needed and I could easily write for extended periods of time using this.

Napkin claims that one of these Ethergraph tips could last 'forever', hence the name. This is down to the way it leaves marks on a page, similar to a pencils core it wears down but unlike a pencil this process is gradual and extremely slow. To say it would take a lifetime to use one up might not be an exaggeration.

Functionality aside the main feature of this tool is the design. Each and every one is handcrafted in Italy where it was designed by Pininfarina, the world renowned car designers that have worked with the likes of Ferrari, Maserati, Cadillac and Bentley just to name a few. So I guess you could say this is the Maserati of pencils?

The sleek body and smooth edges fits well in hand, available in two shades of black (shown) and a lighter silver. It weighs in at 55g (1.9 oz) and is very well balanced, thanks to the slim and tapered design. The walnut inlays on the barrel match it's presentation box that also doubles as a desk stand. Both lightweight box and pen have the 'Pininfarina' logo engraved into them which is a really nice touch. A slight groove is etched into the top of the box as a place to rest the pen, alternatively you could use the hole on one end to turn it into a pen stand. And when you want to store it, simply open the box with the 'Napkin' branded plastic cap and slide the pen into its case, a rubber lining keeps it secure inside the box.

Overall the Napkin 4.EVER takes luxury writing instruments to a whole new level. It's a novel idea that, for the right person, could be a really great addition to a desk top. This model has a RRP of $120 (approx. £77) so is more on the side of a splurge purchase of a special gift.

This Napkin 4.EVER was sent for review by Massdrop. They are a really cool "group-buy" service with a big community of people who vote on what products they want to buy. Whatever gets the most votes Massdrop will try to make available for sale, or what they call a 'drop'. People can then join the 'drop' and the more people who join the cheaper the product gets. It's a pretty fun way of getting the things you want, at a big discount. Massdrop is a members only site, so click here to make your account to see what drops they having going on currently and to vote on what drops you'd like to see in the future. Here is some more details on how Massdrop works!

Thanks for reading!

Posted on May 23, 2015 and filed under Pen Review, Desk Accessories.

The Writer's Block by Word. Notebooks - Review

Last year I wrote a post introducing a Kickstarter project by Word. Notebooks for a new desk accessory that I fell in love with instantly. If you missed that you can go back and take a read here. As I mentioned in that post I had backed the project myself for a stainless steel version of The Writers Block. A couple weeks back I picked up a small package from the post office that was unexpectedly heavy and I knew there was only one thing it could be, my machined chunk of steel!!

Now I actually have one sitting on my desk I'm even more in love with it. It's a tiny little block but has so much functionality, and I really do mean tiny. Sitting at 1.5″Wx2″Dx1″H (3.81cmWx5.08cmDx2.54cmH) calling it compact is an understatement. However in this instance lacking in size isn't a bad thing at all. I have quite the large desk and I have a large desk for a reason, whatever project I'm working on I like to spread it out and make use of every last inch of my workspace. So taking up space with large and bulky desk accessories just for the sake of organisation is kind of counterproductive.

Although the design is simple, the materials and finishes used create a very sleek and minimalist look. Adds a modern touch to any desk top.

The list of things you could use this block for is truly endless. There are the more obvious ideas that would work well for any desk/work environment, for instance your daily pen and notebook combo, a stylish business card holder, storage for notes and doodles you gather throughout your day. The slot is .385" (.98cm) thick, allowing you to accommodate many different things.

The options don't end at analogue tools as this makes for an awesome tech stand. I've used it for both my iPhone and iPad with no troubles at all. I'm currently using an iPhone 5S and it can hold that even with a case fitted, but the one thing I've found this to be a perfect tool for is an iPad stand! I have a thinner model of the iPad (Air 2, without a case) so when it's placed in the slot it is at a slight angle, which makes for perfect viewing of YouTube or Netflix while I'm at my desk. Or if I flip the iPad to portrait it is ideal for reading through my favourite blogs and news feeds! The block has quite a hefty weight, at roughly 308g, but this works in it's favour, even with a large tablet propped inside of the slot it isn't unbalanced in the slightest and I'm confident it won't topple over.
This isn't restricted to just Apple products as I'm sure any other phone or tablet with similar thicknesses will work just fine!

The Writers Block has two main features, of course the other that I haven't mentioned so far is the pen hole. It is foremost a sleek pen stand so I must draw attention to that. The hole has a diameter of .4375" (1.11cm) so will house many different pens with ease, the hole goes .875” (2.22cm) into the stand allowing it to grip onto enough of the pen so not to fall out. There is a slight lip around the opening which guides a pen into the block which also means there's no harsh edges that could scratch a pen when removing or inserting.

The only other design element on this block is the Word. Notebooks logo engraved on the underside, I only wish this wasn't hidden as it's a really neat touch but it isn't a deal breaker! Overall I've been really pleased with The Writers Block and I'm happy I decided to back the project. I feel like it would make an excellent gift for any desk, whether its your desk or someone else's is your decision to make!

The Writers Block is now available to purchase through Word. Notebooks, pricing information for each material is listed below.

Black Steel - $55 (approx. £36.27)
Stainless Steel - $77 (approx. £52.10)
Brass - $84 (approx. £55.40)

Thanks for reading!

Posted on January 20, 2015 and filed under Desk Accessories.