First off, as a higher numbered model the D800 should be larger than the D400, and as you can see from the comparative photo this is indeed the case. If the D400 is one of the smaller to mid-size models then the D800 is one of the larger sized ones.Photo - Top = D400, Bottom = D800
Overall the D800 is only 7mm (1/4”) longer, but it gives the appearance of being considerably longer because it doesn’t have the narrow push-top button of the D400. This also gives it a much more substantial and impressive look. I mentioned that the D400 didn’t really seem to weigh enough, well the D800 corrects that criticism – it weighs 27g versus 17g for the D400, and it’s a very top-heavy weight as well so you really notice it. This extra size and weight combine to produce a completely different writing experience. Far superior. Call me shallow, but in this case it appears that weight certainly does = value for money and customer satisfaction.
The change to the top of the pencil is a reasonably significant stylistic change, but also mechanistic as well – from push-top ratchet mechanism to twist action ratchet mechanism. The mechanism is exactly like that of the Pelican Pura I recently reviewed – the whole top half of the body pulls off to reveal the eraser, and then its that complicated unscrewing ‘carry on’ to get to the lead chamber.The pencil insert takes 0.7mm lead. I found this twist-action mechanism a little easier to operate one-handed than the Pura’s because of the more prominent pocket-clip. Speaking of the pocket clip, it’s the same styling but somewhat larger pelican beak than the D400 – 41mm versus 35mm long. Even better looking!
As well as looking more substantial the top of the D800 is also somewhat reminiscent of a crown, the sovereigns’ crown I guess. So stylistically I’m much more impressed with the D800 than with the D400. The colour scheme of my D800 is black pinstriping on a blue background. As with the D400 I’m not too impressed by the pinstriping apparently being some sort of sheet wrapped around the barrel.
Overall I am much happier with my D800 than with my D400, and whilst I would recommend the D800 I’m not sure that even my lax value for money system feels totally at ease with it.
- Best Points – Looks and feels substantial. Love that pelican beak.
- Not So Good Points – Complicated lead refill system, tip not retractable.
- Price Range – High.
Dimensions – Length 143mm, diameter 10mm lower body. Balance point about 95mm up from the tip.