I think the first time I read about the Pilot Frixion line was around 2009 or 2010, and the review(s) were less than stellar. Add to the fact that I was way more interested in pens like the Hi-Tec C, the Zebra Sarasa, and any super fine tipped pen that came in lots of different colors and it was easy to view this pen as an over glorified gimmick.
Fast-forward to 2016. Most of the pens I buy these days are fountain pens, limited edition Retro 51s, and the "slowly getting harder to find" refills for my well loved Sharbo X. However, when your best friend gives you a very thoughtful gift of a Pilot Friction "Biz" you eagerly accept it, and you come to appreciate the simplicity of a no frills pen again.
The Biz is a nice looking pen. The entire pen is various shades of black save the tip and the section, which are both metal. Advertisement is minimal, with "Frixion" being written in gray below the well implemented pocket clip on the cap. This kind of visual design makes the pen very understated, which is good for being able to use this pen in any kind of situation, at any kind of job without getting odd stares. (Some places tend to look at things like fountain pens or *GASP* pencils as an oddity. Go figure.) One thing of note, this pen is skinny. At 8.3mm wide, it feels more like holding a pencil than a pen. For comparison, the Zebra Sarasa is over 10mm wide! The cap attaches securely for posting, but I tend to leave it off as I think it feels more balanced unposted (and leaves easy access to the eraser).
Writing with this pen is a nice experience. It has a well formulated black color that I like, and it is smooth and consistent in laying down a line. I have used this pen in various notebooks, from Rhodia to Field Notes, to Word, among others. It plays nice with all of them.
I am impressed with the "erasing" quality (I put erasing in quotes as it's actually the heat from the eraser making the mark disappear. It's still on your paper, and you can make it come back if you are so inclined.) Magic! Using pencils a lot it is nice to have a pen that I don't need to scratch out things, or feel frustrated with sub-par erasing quality on a pen like I did when I was a kid.
Part of me almost feels silly for writing this review. On the desk I am writing this review I have a bunch of inked fountain pens, with various steel and gold nibs in various sizes, filled with inks that have great shading, rich colors and other interesting properties to them. Even with all of that I find myself grabbing the Frixion Biz more often than I ever thought I would, and I really enjoy the experience every time I pick it up. I think it's the simplicity of it. I uncap it, I write what I need to and that's that. While I love my fountain pens, there is some work and effort associated with that experience that a pen like the Pilot Frixion Biz just will not ever have. Is it a mind-blowing experience? No. Is it a pleasant and consistent one? Definitely. Thank you simplicity.