The Staples Gel Mini Pens are short versions of regular gel pens. They make a nice gift, and the quality seems high.
This is a set of pens in a clear plastic box about the size of a double deck of cards. The pens are 3 inches long without the cap, and 3 3/4 inches with the cap on.
The twelve colors in the box are dark, medium, and light blue, dark and medium purple, red, pink, dark, medium and light green, orange and black.
The points are 0.8 mm, which makes a nice solid line. The ink flows smoothly and looks nice on the paper.
The caps snap on and off with a click, so you can tell if you have the cap on tight. Each cap has a clip. The clips are pretty cheap, are too long, and will break off.
I like the fact that the pens are small. I have a lot of trouble using up the odd colors of gel pens before the ink starts to separate and they don’t write smoothly anymore.
The one drawback that I can see to these pens is that their short length would make them difficult to hold if you have large hands. They were almost too short for me.
But I plan to give them as a gift to a child, and I think they will be perfect for that. If I kept them for myself, I would use them for scrapbooks and albums.
Update On Oct 04, 2008: I bought some of these for myself and used them to mark maps and make notes on our hike. They were perfect to keep in the ziploc bag with the map. Most pens are longer and poke holes in the bag. These saved both weight and space.