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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Review: Schneider Slider XB Ballpoint

My last order from the good folks at Cult Pens included a free sample pack of the new Schneider Slider XB Ballpoints from Germany in black, blue and pink. Once I'd got over the shock of such a lovely surprise I thought I really ought to put the Sliders to the test.

My sample pack arrived in the card slipcase pictured above, inside of which was another card insert holding the three pens and providing me with loads of information about the Slider product line; this also included a test area so I could try the pens out straight away - what a nice touch.

The Schneider website tells me that the Slider product line features their new revolutionary ViscoGlide® - Technology ink which, they say, makes the Slider like writing with liquid silk. I'm not sure I would go quite that far, though to be fair the Slider's performance is reminiscent of Uni-Ball's Jetstream line, and the sample's XB tip, whilst a little wide for my taste, did indeed lay down a smooth, skip-free line. My sample Sliders were very smooth to write with and slid effortlessly across the paper - it looks to me as though the Jetstream has some serious competition here.

Schneider puts the performance of the Slider down to a combination of their new ink, coupled with a 'special Direct2Point' tip which they say, guarantees instant ink flow; I can't argue with that as all three of my review pens started instantly.

Dimensions are as follows:

Length (capped): 152mm
Length (uncapped): 140mm
Length (posted): 163mm
Barrel diameter: 8mm
Weight: 10.2g

The pen itself feels a little too slim for my hand, though the rubberised grip is well positioned and of a decent size to provide a pleasant enough grip. The grip, based on my limited test, is also not a lint-catcher - always a bonus.

The biggest problem I have with this pen is Schneider's choice of ink colour/tip size combinations:

XB (1.4mm): Black, blue, pink, red, orange, purple, light blue and light green.
M (1.0mm): Black, blue, red and green.
F (0.7mm): Black, blue and red.

I would have preferred a wider choice of colours in the finer tip sizes as I'm not a fan of wide tips/nibs, though having said that I'd estimate the XB to be producing a line width of around 0.7mm (the tip sizes listed above are from the sample packaging). Cult Pens lists the M tip as producing a line approximately 0.5mm wide and the F approximately 0.3mm.

All in all I like the Slider - it's one of the better ballpoints I've tried recently, and I'm really quite impressed with the ViscoGlide® ink - it certainly seems to live up to the claims made on the packaging. Also worthy of note is that the black ink is listed as being waterproof.

I'd like to hope that Schneider will consider expanding the colour choices in the smaller tip sizes and may produce a retractable version of the Slider as the product line develops; there is a retractable ballpoint which uses ViscoGlide® ink, it's called the Xtension and is available from Cult Pens here.

At a Glance:

Model: Schneider Slider XB ballpoint
Colour choice: in text.
Available from: Cult Pens in the UK
Price: rrp £1.75; Cult Pens price £1.55
Overall: 4 out of 5*

* restricted colour choice in some tip sizes and narrow barrel.



Peter said...

I bought Slider F and I wondered why nobody reviewed it. The black version is too grey for my taste, but the price is amazing. Slider is 3 times cheaper than Jetstream here! It's probably more economical than Jetstram too. Schneider makes really good ballpoint and gell refills.

Sam said...

I have a feeling Schneider is relatively new to the UK, I've certainly not seen their products other than on the Cult Pens website. I like the Sliders and don't have much of an issue with the ink colour, though I do know where you're coming from as I have exactly the same problem with Zebra black ballpoint ink. I must admit, build quality seems good, I also have a Base fountain pen which is really nicely put together.

The Archer said...

hey sam, i got these pens too! i think i got them in a packet of 5 and the pens came as gift from someone. they're great, right? i got a lot of schneider pens - fountain pens (the Base is great, but the Zippi is kinda toothy), gelpens, and yes, ballpoints! i read about the Asda FPs you sent to Okami. can you help me get those? :) i'd love to have them! thanks a lot and i enjoy reading your blog a lot!

Sam said...

Archer - thanks for those kind words about my blog, I really appreciate it. I'm just discovering Schneider as a brand, I also have a Base FP, a white one, and I like the look of their new iD FP.

re: Asda FP - if you want to hit my Kontactr button and send me an email I'm sure we could work out a trade. ;)

[ edit: for spelling - can't type this morning!]

Mike said...

Great post! These pens look really great - seems like they are really easy to use.

Sam said...

Thanks for those kind words! :) Yes, the sliders are well named - very easy to use and buttery-smooth to write with.

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