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Product Review

  The square cross-section..., April 4, 2012
The square cross-section provides maximum volume with minimum apparent size. The main compartment opens up and forward, keeping the footprint small, forming a stable V-shaped holder, where you can see much of the items. The vivid yellowish orange color outside and strong orange color inside makes it unusual, lively, and fun. In contrast, a simple, low-height, tray-shaped case was faster to load and retrieve items from, but was boring, and had a bigger footprint. A small footprint is ergonomic, for dividing table space among laptop, binder, book, and papers.

In contrast, the PE-07 has a tall rectangular cross-section, so you have to dig way down to fish-out items at the bottom, and it looks unstable, falling over, forming a bigger footprint. With this PE-08, you never have to dig down very far. The PE-09 flap-type case is ridiculously big, so it is more of a niche, specialized case for carrying around a large collection of items -- and lacks elegant symmetry. The 07 and 09 pouch- or purse-shaped cases look like they tend to lie down, forming a bigger footprint, with the opening aimed horizontally rather than angled toward you, thus spilling rather than holding the contents presenting them toward you.

The PE-08 genuinely solved the problem of tangled items in the bottom of my deep, dark backpack pockets: it protects small, delicate items, and I'm no longer digging around my overloaded backpack, but now, my wonderful stationery items are presented to me brightly and invitingly.

I'm not embarrassed to put the PE-08 case on the table in the coffeehouse or library: it doesn't at all remind one of a purse; it doesn't look specifically masculine or feminine, but looks interesting and thus cool. Neither does it put your items too much on display like a stand-up shape or tray-box shape, and neither is it fiddly, ostentatious, or big-footprint like a roll-up case. It's a moderate yet worthwhile size; it doesn't hold so much as to raise the question of "Why do you need so much?" or hold so little as to ask "Why do you need a case at all; isn't that gratuitous and affected?" This right-sized case is small enough to be low-key, yet big enough to be intriguing: what fun and cool things are surely in that pencil case?

The other most-sensible model might be the compact PE-06, but it's not compartment-shaped or mouth/cup-shaped like the PE-08 main compartment, so it's not good for free-form holding the maximum number of items in a small space; it doesn't use its volume as efficiently, and it doesn't look quite as fun, except for the compactness. I'd like to see a compact version of the PE-08, with a similar pouch/mouth main compartment, rather than book-like with pen slots like the PE-06.

I had a really great time buying the red (orange inside) PE-08 for a friend and filling it with surprise gifts. She immediately said "I'll be able to find this red case in my luggage!" This tasteful and fun design is good for guys and girls, where the potential embarrassment or silliness of having a pencil case is overcome by the coolness of this design. This case really makes sense and is helpful and uplifting, just as many reviewers have reported. This model would make a great gift for anyone, for general use, especially if filled with some JetPens and college bookstore stationery items.
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