10 July 2017

REVIEW: Cross Pen Pouch with TrackR

Never lose your pen again.

Bluetooth trackers are great for finding things. You can attach the small coin-sized gadgets to your wallet, bag, remote control, bike, dog... whatever you need to keep track of. But what about personal items that are too small to feasibly clip a tag too, such as a prized pen? Classic US-based pen maker Cross seems to have come up with a solution, by teaming up with a company we've featured a couple times before; TrackR. We check out the Cross Pen Pouch with TrackR.

What is this? Well, TrackR Bluetooth tags (which we've reviewed here, and also here) are very handy for hanging from your keys and laptop case, but not on a smaller item. As Cross make excellent and, often, expensive pens, they've decided to offer their customers a way of keeping tabs on their favourite writing implement without having to reinvent the wheel, therefore the Cross Pen Pouch with TrackR is a an extremely simple affair.

So, have Cross created a pen with an integrated TrackR tag (like this wallet from Ekster)? Erm, no. Okay, have they created a pouch with integrated Bluetooth cleverness (like this wallet from Woolet)? Erm, nope.

Wait, so what have they done?

Well, they've created a very fine leather pen pouch, complete with zip fastener, that boasts a tiny little pocket on the inside that perfectly fits a TrackR Bravo. The Cross Pen Pouch with TrackR set includes a Cross ballpoint pen, the leather pouch, and TrackR Bravo tag. And that's it. You sync the TrackR to the app on your phone (details here), then pop in your pen. If you lose the pouch you'll be able to find it within Bluetooth range thanks to a loud chirp, or indeed use crowd locate to find it beyond your phone's Bluetooth range.

So, essentially, Cross have sewn a small pocket into one of their pen pouches. Job done. We know, we know... this doesn't sound very impressive, as all they've done is partner up with TrackR to include their product in this set. That said, it doesn't make the final product any less useful or convenient.

For a start, the included pen is first class, coming in brushed and gleaming metal with a smooth twist-open mechanism and precision ballpoint nib. The pouch itself is also very nice, snugly fitting the pen and coming in crisp soft-touch leather with a hard-wearing zip. And the TrackR is awesome, but we already knew that. It slides into the pouch well and seems to want to stay put, even if you're quite rough with the pouch and pen. Once its in there, you'll probably forget all about it - until you need to find your pen, that is.

We really don't need to re-review the TrackR Bravo tag itself, and a review of the Cross pen would likely result in a simple 'Yeah, its nice'. Instead what we can say is that if you use a pen you really care about, or are currently in the market for a pen you can care about, this is great place to start. And hey, you could always remove the TrackR to use on other things if you want, so there is some versatility in the design.

Apart from that - yeah, this is nice; it uses existing products to solve an issue, and looks pretty neat, too.


Visit www.cross.com

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