The Zebra X-701 is a relatively new (released in 2018) addition to the Zebra family of rugged pens. It’s the first “X” pen Zebra has released and it’s the fourth addition to the top-tier “7” line of Zebra’s Steel Series. The X-701 is not a replacement to the famous F-701 ballpoint but rather an alternative to it.
Zebra calls the X-701 their “tactical ballpoint” which relays the ruggedness of its build as well as the companies intention with the pen. This is an all-purpose, all-weather pen (-30 degrees F to 250 degrees F) that it designed for use in every condition, there the F-701 is very tough but has shortcomings. Specifically the F-701 is hard to use with gloves because it is narrow and it does not use a pressurized ink refill. The X-701 also has a non-reflective matte black paint job where the F-701 is a shiny steel.
The X-701 has a few significant upgrades over the F-701, including the inclusion of a lanyard clip and a wider body. The most notable upgrade though is the use of a non-pressurized ballpoint refill that is pressurized when the knock is pressed. This is a patent pending technology that is very similar to that used in the TomBow Airpress pen. With the ink pressurized the pen can write at any angle, including upside down.
The X-701 was highly awaited by fans of “everyday carry” pens but it faced problems shortly after it’s August 2018 release. The pen was in very short supply initially and only sold directly from Zebra, where it sold out. The pen was criticized for its use of plastic components, the grip section in particular. People have also noted flaking paint on the coated steel body and the large amount of plastic used in the pen’s construction (both inside and out).
In summary, the X-701, in many ways, feels like a step backward from the F-701, not a more extreme version.
Zebra X-701 Ballpoint Information
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|Country of Origin||Japan|