Remember the good old days when PDAs were 'smart' devices and styluses were the digits of portable electronic superiority? And when giving or receiving a nice pen as a gift was still something people did?
Well, it seems that the market for pens and pointers is back. This is down to a combination of apps for iPads and the onset of 'phablets' – supersize smartphones such as Samsung's 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3. Where such gadgets have built-in styluses, they are small, thin and easy to lose.
Enter former gift favourite, Cross. It has come up with stylish pens that double as touchscreen styluses. It's not a particularly clever technical innovation, as the stylus part of the pen is simply a rounded ball placed at the opposite end to the ink barrel.
However, the pens work nicely and the metallic finish retains a cool temperature, which is a tonic for hands that perspire under intense scribbling. If you know someone who frequently uses a tablet, this is a nice little gift.