This week's review is something of a departure for this column.
The gadget doesn't light up, plug in, emit annoying bleeps or even control your TV. It's just a pen.
Admittedly, it is a very nice pen. Hewn from a solid billet of stainless steel, it is manufactured to such fine tolerances that the pen pops like a cork each time it is unsheathed from its laser-etched ruler holder. The pen's nib, which is based around an obscure but brilliant range of Japanese gel ink refills, writes beautifully and looks like the kind of tool reserved for architects and rocket scientists.
It's clever, exquisitely crafted and beautiful, but not very high tech.
The technology angle explains how this pen came into existence. The brainchild of two Brooklyn-based artists, Pen Type-A grew from their obsession with Pilot Hi-Tec-C pens, which are brilliant for writing and sketching but, they argued, spoiled by the cheap plastic housing.
Last July the pair shared their vision for a durable stainless-steel housing for Pilot pens on Kickstarter, a US-based site which lets you pitch for private funding for any product or concept. In their Dragons' Den-style three-minute video the pair talked about the pen they'd like to make. They sought a modest investment of around £1500 to take their concept to a small production run.
Within days, news of their venture had spread throughout the internet, and when funding closed on August 15 they'd comfortably reached their target. In fact they'd smashed it, bringing in more than £175,000 in pre-orders for a pen that didn't yet exist.
In the following months, investors – including me – were treated to regular updates on production progress and pitfalls. Arguably more interesting and valuable than the product itself, their story chronicled everything from design failings (such as a lid so tight it sucked the ink out of the pen) to problems in scaling up manufacture to deliver many more pens than they'd planned (US manufacturers couldn't meet demand, and seemingly legitimate Chinese manufacturers turned out to be loose collectives of craftsmen working out on the street).
Last night my pen arrived and I have to say my emotions are mixed. The pen is perfect – exactly as described and everything I hoped it would be – but it's sad to think this is the end of the journey. I'll miss their fortnightly updates. Perhaps it's time to back another Kickstarter venture. This one has been worth every penny.