And here is the test, as you would expect form a ballpoint the line is very precise and even, of course with all Cross pens it does not exhibit any skipping as can present with some ballpoints. The ink is, typically for a Cross, rather light from my personal preference, but having said that it is perfectly legible and dark enough for most people and their needs.
The pen has a very definite weight in the hand and could be tiresome for extended periods of writing for those with smaller hands, I have also found that extended writing activates the twist action, over time while writing (just a few minutes I find) the writing nib retracts into the pen barrel, meaning every few lines I have to stop and re-twist the barrel to extend the nib, my wife doesn't have this problem at all when she uses it, so it must just be me, but perhaps something to look out for if you have larger hands.
The pen itself seems to be a favorite for the corporate gift and present market as it has a large surface are for engraving, taking deep and defined engraving very well.
Of course there is no smudging, it's a ballpoint after all, although I am aware some ballpoints form the cheaper end of the market can & do smudge very badly, these tend to be very "wet" writing pens and are to be avoided, unless you like a "wet" pen, and you are a neater writer than me of course.I am using the standard Cross ballpoint refill, to be hones the refills for Cross pens are so reasonable there is not much benefit trying to find an aftermarket/3rd party refill for most cross pens, the fountain pen refills are also very reasonable. This is the standard size refill that fits many pens throughout the Cross range, some pens need the removal of the plastic knurl at the top of the refill you can see in the photo, a very simple job to do, it just pulls off.
The plastic knurl is needed for all pens that have a twist to extend action, the super fine pen that Cross makes takes this refill too, it's a very popular pen that is often marketed as a ladies pen, which is a bit unfair as I think it makes the perfect suit pen, very light and easy to carry without making too much bulge or drag on a suit jacket.
As you can see the refill screws into the lower part of the barrel the twist action actually working the black collar ring you can see in the photo, that's where the thread son the black knurl come in to action.
Here we can see the nib extended, as you can see the extension is not huge, meaning the pen writes very much like you see it, and manages to stand up to a lot of abuse for those who are very hard pressing writers, some ballpoints have a very long extension which can lead to trouble for the heavier writer, it also means that it can write very quickly and feels very assured and robust in the hand.
All in all it's a very nice pen, let down (for me and my use) by the annoying retraction habit it exhibits while writing, but other than that, give it a try, as an everyday pen it's hard to beat, or even as a nice gift for yourself or someone else.