GeekDad Review: Nomad Makes a Pen Now

California-based Nomad is best known as being in the top tier of third-party Apple accessory makers. With a focus on Apple’s mobile devices—think iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods—the company has become my go-to for premium upgrades, accessories, and protection. With Nomad, I can count on solid design chops, great aesthetics, and the use of premium materials like Horween Leather. I’ve reviewed a number of Nomad products for GeekDad over the years and have never had a poor experience. I believe the latest was the Active Strap for Apple Watch (highly recommended, by the way, featuring waterproof Heinen leather from Germany). Along with leather cases for the new iPhone 13 series, a recent shipment from Nomad also included something new: the Nomad Pen.

The Pen comes in Nomad’s usual minimalist and sustainable packaging. (Photo by Brad Moon)

Given that this is Nomad, you might think the Nomad Pen was an optional replacement for Apple’s Pencil stylus. It’s not. This is an actual, clickable, ballpoint pen. For use with old school paper, not touchscreens.

At one point in my life, handwriting was a big deal. Believe it or not, the primary school I attended in Stratford (Ontario) forced us to learn to write using a straight pen and inkwell. This was in the 1970s, not the 1870s…

Anyway, I did learn an appreciation for handwriting at an early age. That led to an early collection of fountain pens. However, as computers found their way into my day-to-day life and then dominated my professional life, the keyboard took over. Add smartphones and tablets with virtual keyboards in the mix for taking quick notes on the go, and pens have virtually disappeared from my day.

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However, they are not gone entirely. Jotting notes from phone calls and writing down the results from product testing is my primary use of handwriting these days. But I still appreciate a good pen. I’m not a fan of the disposable throwaways my kids use for school. They feel scratchy when writing and they feel cheap (some are even bent). If I stash one in a drawer then don’t use it for a few weeks, the tip often clogs up and I have to scribble to get the ink flowing again, usually tearing the paper in the process.

Nomad’s new pen isn’t cheap, but at $49.95 it’s not terribly expensive either. It looks fantastic, with a two-tone black and dark gray color scheme. The barrel is Grade 420F stainless steel, while the top and pushbutton are 6061 aluminum. Nomad says the all-metal, machined body is coated with a physical vapor deposition (PVD) layer, and then anodized. It has a nice heft to it (about 1.13 ounces), and the barrel has two flattened sides for a more secure grip. The pushbutton mechanism has a satisfying click.

Nomad includes a smooth-writing Schmidt EasyFLOW 9000 ink refill. (Photo by Brad Moon)

It also writes very nicely, which is pretty much the ultimate point of any pen. The Nomad Pen ships with a Schmidt EasyFLOW 9000 ink cartridge. This is a German-made hybrid ballpoint pen that works more like a rollerball, making for a very smooth writing experience. The refills are inexpensive and easy to find on Amazon, and Nomad says if this particular cartridge doesn’t do it for you, the pen is compatible with any Parker-style G2 refills.

If you’re looking for a Christmas gift that’s not going to be at the mercy of chip shortages, keep the Nomad Pen in mind.

My new favorite pen, and something to keep in mind as the holiday gift-giving season approaches. (Photo by Brad Moon)

The new Nomad Pen is easily my favorite pen at this point—both in appearance and writing experience—and all those other cheap pens have been banished from my desk drawer. The challenge now is to keep my wife and kids from borrowing it and having the situation devolve into a Kids in the Hall sketch

Disclosure: Nomad provided a pen for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.

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This post was last modified on October 15, 2021 9:31 am

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