I’ve written a short review of the 0.3mm Hi-Tec-Cs before, but wanted to give a more in-depth one, because they deserve it.
These were my very first Hi-Tec-C pens. It was a case of love at first sight, then some second thoughts. See, the first time I tried them, no ink came out at all! I scribbled frantically on a piece of paper, hoping that my money wasn’t wasted, and that these pens would be as great as they look. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. While I did get them working after a while, only one of them is nice to write with. The others are very scratchy, and have to be convinced to actually leave some ink on the page. Like some other reviewers have mentioned, I found that the scratchier pens got better after some scribbling, like they needed a good warm-up first. Still, I’m not impressed with how they perform even after that.
Regarding the tips, however, they don't seem too fragile to me. They like it better when treated gently, sure, but isn't that true for a lot of the good things in life? ;)
To my delight, the one that did perform satisfyingly, happened to be my favorite, strawberry pink/red. (Funny coincidence, the color happens to be an almost exact match to my nail polish, which is Revlon’s Electric Strawberry.)
If you get a color with a nice-flowing ink, these are very pleasant to use. If not, well, better luck next time. I’d say go for the 0.4mm just to be on the safe side!
Like I said in the first review, I’d love to get my hands on the same set in 0.4mm, because the colors are definitely worth it to me (aside from the green, but maybe the thicker line will help it show up better).
As for the colors, here we go:
Strawberry: A vibrant, dark pink that really pops.
Grape: Not hard to read, lovely shade, I just don’t like how it appears washed out in writing.
Mango: Not bad for a yellow, but don’t use it to write with, you’ll strain your eyes! Nice for doodling, though.
Soda: Nice shade of blue, reminds me of a lot of the sky blues out there. Pale, but readable.
Muscat: I don’t like this one at all. While the color is pretty, it’s almost impossible to see, even in daylight.
All in all, only the strawberry is really worth it. It feels like a completely different pen than the others in the set, which surprised me.
Pens tried on generic notebook paper (we're talking CHEAP here), because that's what I usually take notes on, and I suspect that many people do. Luckily I'm not a paper addict yet, unless it comes with cute designs. I can't afford another obsession :p (She said, while monitoring a couple of ebay auctions for the pink Moleskine Volant…)
::Edit:: I tried Old Geezer's suggestion of cleaning the tip with alcohol (I used normal rubbing alcohol) on the scratchiest one of the bunch, and it appears to have worked. Thanks! It's a lot smoother now, and the ink flows nicely.