There’s no doubt that I’m a minimalist at heart, and that means that if I have the opportunity to pare down my EDC kit to fewer items while keeping or increasing the functionality of the items within that kit, you better believe that I’ll take that opportunity. That’s why when the chance to review the O’Pen Pro from OLIGHT came my way; I immediately jumped at the chance. Let’s take a look at all the ways this clever little device will make your life easier.
There’s no doubt that I’m a minimalist at heart, and that means that if I have the opportunity to pare down my EDC kit to fewer items while keeping or increasing the functionality of the items within that kit, you better believe that I’ll take that opportunity. That’s why when the chance to review the O’Pen Pro from OLIGHT came my way; I immediately jumped at the chance.
The O’Pen Pro is a compact three-in-one Pen, flashlight, and green laser pointer. It’s the sort of daily carry instrument that EDC minimalists dream of. Before I continue my lavish praise, I have to admit that one of the pen’s functions, namely the green laser pointer, had decidedly only two uses in my life. One is keeping a six-year-old entertained for a few minutes, and the other is keeping my cat occupied for a similarly long period of time. Of course, I’ve now extensively used the pen portion to scribble in various notebooks, and the built-in LED light has come in handy for multiple purposes.
I’ve now had the pleasure of owning several OLIGHT products,
including the Baton 3 Flashlight, but there is something truly special about the O’Pen Pro that may supplant all the others as being my favourite OLIGHT product I’ve yet to lay my hands on. As for the company? OLIGHT, since its inception in 2007, has become known the world over for its high-quality LED flashlights, survival lights, tactical flashlights and headlamps.
I rarely note a product’s packaging, but I have to make an exception for the O’Pen Pro, which does an excellent job presenting the product at hand. The box it comes in is fairly nice, though nothing special, but where it really shines is the plastic box it arrives in. This box not only serves as a tidy storage place for your pen but also includes grooves on the side that allow for tidy storage of the included recharging cable and an extra ink cartridge. I give OLIGHT an A+ for cleverly designing storage into a box that you won’t mind keeping around to keep things nice and tidy.
DESIGN & AESTHETICS
The overall look and feel of this three-in-one LED-Green-Laser-Pointer-Pen are excellent. Available in six colours, the majority of the body is made of nicely finished anodized aluminum. It features smooth milled grooves that spiral around the part of the pen you normally hold for added grip. Various body parts are well colour matched, and every surface features a high level of workmanship and precision.
There are even a few unique aspects of design that stand out with this flashlight-pen combo. First is the fin-shaped end of the clip that gives the pen a unique look. Next, along the clip is the unusual circular-shaped milled to be inset at the top of the clip facing out. That’s just an example of two small pieces of unique design flair that are fairly additive in giving this pen an interesting overall aesthetic.
However, perhaps the strongest part of this device’s design is the smooth blending of the two aluminum colours. In this case, the blue and black naturally blend into each other across the length of the pen’s body. The result is a smooth, slightly textured look that provides a touch of elegance, which would be lost if the pen was a single colour.
The only downside of the design is a fairly prominent serial # and QR code, imprinted in white at the top of the pen near the laser-pointer emitter. I’m not sure why this was done. Perhaps it is owing to regulations around green laser-pointers, but it’s not ideal from an aesthetic point of view.
While the pen portion of this device might be the least interesting part, it does bear mentioning. The writing instrument is a decent ball-point pen with relatively smooth writing features. The previous generation of this device featured a pen cartridge that some complained about, but I see no significant issues to worry about with this updated version. The default cartridges the pen comes with write in black, and the refill is easily replaceable by unscrewing the cap at the bottom of the device and letting it fall out along with the spring.
The pen performed fairly well in my tests, with quick-drying times and decent fidelity on a wide variety of paper types I tested. As with most other ball-point pens, this one tended to perform best on medium-tooth paper finishes. Because of the device’s intergraded LED flashlight, it makes for an ideal device for writing in the dark, perhaps out in the field or if you prefer to do your writing in an atmospherically dimmed environment.
THE LED LIGHT
Both the integrated LED light and green laser pointer exist in the upper half of the pen that can be unscrewed and used without the bottom half as the pen as an internal button that can be used to activate both functions. I’m not entirely sure I can envision a scenario in which you’d want to separate the writing instrument portion from the rest of this device’s functions, but if the need strikes, it’s there as an option for you.
The LED light, which sits squarely at the bottom of the clip, is capable of four modes of intensity, from a five-lumen output to 120 lumens of light. Which, to be honest, for a staggeringly small LED is quite impressive. It’s bright enough to serve as a capable small flashlight in a pinch. And it is a resoundingly capable flashlight able to brightly illuminate tight and small spaces you normally wouldn’t be able to get a regular-sized flashlight into.
The LED light is rated to run for up to 8 hours on one charge at the five-lumen level, and that manufacturer’s claim comes pretty close to our test, which tapped out the battery after 7 hours and 26 minutes. Even at the 5-lumen level, the LED is bright enough to read by in a dark room.
Here are the various run times we were able to achieve in the various modes:
- 120 lumens – ran for 21 minutes
- 60 lumens ran for 47 minutes
- 20 lumens ran for 138 minutes
- 5 lumens ran for 7 hours and 26 minutes
THE LASER POINTER
I don’t have a great deal to say about the green laser pointer except that it performed quite well and casts a fairly non-scattered point of light at a good distance. Ideal for anyone doing presentations and needing to point at things, the laser pointer is powered by a 3.7 V 110mAh/407mWh Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery. I think what’s most important here is that both my kid and my cat enjoyed playing with it, so that’s the kind of seal of approval you can take to the bank!
IN PRACTICAL USE
The pen’s clip, which houses the LED light is extremely tight, but if you think you’ll be using your device hands-free while you use your LED light to illuminate what you’re working on in front of you, this is an ideal situation. The clip tightness will ensure that this device stays put, attached to whatever you’ve clipped it to.
When it comes to daily use, despite OLIGHT’s attempts to keep this product as light as possible, and it definitely is relatively light, it still has some heft to it. That’s to be expected, given its internal components and the lithium-ion battery. As such, its combination of slightly thicker circumference and weight will likely prevent you from using this pen as your daily driver if you find yourself writing for extended periods.
Another practical outcome of the pen’s components and design choices is that it definitely has some weight imbalance. This means the pen is a touch top-heavy, making it less ideal than perfectly weighted pens that often have more weight towards the bottom, writing-end of the pen.
Perhaps the best feature of this pen is the L-TYPE bolt control. This one mechanism is a smart integration of tactile controls that allow you to control every aspect of the device in one place. Sliding the bolt down and into the L-shaped groove pushes out and retracts the pen tip. Pushing up on the bolt activates the LED light and green laser pointer through various timed actions, such as quick clicks or holding the bolt towards the upper portion of the pen.
Finally, the pen also features a hidden USB-C port that allows for recharging the device’s lithium-ion battery from dead to full-charge in about an hour.
I love this little device. It’s a perfect companion in so many different situations; I’m sure I still haven’t discovered all the many uses I’ll get out of it. From built-quality to features set, to ease-of-use and the cleverly designed L-Bolt mechanism, there’s good reason this is one of the most highly rated products I’ve ever discovered.
- Weight: 35 grams
- Length: 6.02 inches
- Body diameter: 0.5″
- LED colour temperature is 5700K
- IP-X6 waterproof