Thursday, January 19, 2012

4sevens SHOT Show Leaks

Well SHOT Show is still going on so there are probably a few more announcements coming, but 4sevens has three major announcements that have made it out of Vegas so far.  In my opinion all three are disappointments, marking the first time I can remember where 4sevens completely missed the boat with product releases and designs.

First up, 4sevens has decided to join the "tactical pen" market which, as you know from a previous post, I think are kind of silly.  Here is the product page for their tactical pen.  When I saw it I was little underwhelmed, especially for the price.  Then a clever forum member at EDCF pointed out why this was so underwhelming.  This is a rebadge of an already existing pen, found here.  The original is exactly the same minus the stupid glass breaker tip and it costs around $30 less.  I'd prefer the original even if they were the same price, as the "glass breakers" usually end up being used more often as a "leg poker" than their intended use.

Strike One.

Second, is the Preon P0.  Here is the product page.  This is clearly aimed at the Arc AAA-P, Fenix E05 market--cheap, low lumens, long lasting keychain lights.  On low, 24 lumens, it lasts for an impressive 120 hours.  On high, 25 lumens, it lasts 1.2 hours.  Huh?  Right.  The specs must be screwed up or something because that makes no sense.  It is cheap, around $25, but the competition here is stiff.  The Arc AAA-P is a great light.  The Fenix E05, a light I got my nephews for Christmas, is an amazingly good buy (and for them an awesome primary flashlight; they are 5 and 2).  Maybe there is something we are missing, but if not, I am not sure the Preon P0 will have any market impact at all.  Especially with new challengers like the Olight i-series lights out there and stuff like the super tiny DGQ AAA.

CORRECTION: I am a moron.  The low is POINT 24 lumens or about a quarter of a lumen, which makes a whole lot more sense.  Still, even with that, this is a BORING light.  The magnet on the end is actually a neat idea, useful in machining and woodworking (giving you a portable spotlight for your stationary power tools).  But that cannot save this light.  It is just not the innovative new product design you expect from 4sevens.  

Strike Two.

Third, is the announcement that they will be releasing for sale their latest gigalight (I am trademarking that term, so don't even think about stealing it) 18,000 lumen XM-18.  Here is a video from last year's SHOT show:


Awesome light. No question.  But really how many people are going to buy this thing?  Even more to the point, how many people are going to actually USE this thing?  And once they do use it and post the beam shots on CPF, what will they do after that?  Nothing.   And then the price will probably be staggering.  Great technical feat, truly, but so what?

Strike Three.

4sevens does make great products, but what's leaked out from SHOT show 2012 so far has been less than impressive.  Let's hope they have other stuff we haven't seen yet.  Also, the badge swap on the tactical pen with the $30 price increase is really kinda bullshit.  They still have the best value lights out there, so this stumble isn't a fatal one, but something of a big let down.

Here is a good application for the XM18 (thanks to a reader comment below):


  1. If that XM-18 had a depth rating more people would be onto it! But doesn't Hinderer Knives already have a knife called the XM-18?

  2. Maybe they just fixed it, but I'm seeing .24 lumens as the low level on the Preon P0.

    Neither of these products get me excited either...


    According to that link, it also says that low is 1/4 lumen.

  4. I can't read. Even with .24 lumens it is still a boring offering.

  5. I am a Fenix E05 fanboy. I just gave a slew of 'em as Christmas gifts. Let me play devil's advocate for the Preon P0. (I agree it is clearly 4Sevens' response to the E05.)

    1. As Rob saw, the low mode is 0.24 lumens. That gives the Preon P0 a versatility the E05 lacks, with its single 27 lumen output. You could view the P0 as a bare-bones disaster light! To my mind, these little vampire lights are the reason AAA lithium primaries exist. In my experience an Energizer Ultimate Lithium increases the runtime of my E05 by 70-75% over published max (4.5+ hrs of bright output). By extension, lithium AAA should give you over a WEEK of constant moonlight low from the P0. That's kind of awesome in a 0.46 oz gadget.

    On the down side, some will find the P0 low too low. (I sometimes wish my E05 had a low, but I'd want a 2.4 lumens "reading low for myopic people" rather than 0.24, especially if the beam is a diffuse flood.)

    2. If the stats are right, the P0 at 2.2" length is even teensier than the pinky sized E05 (2.57"). We're rapidly approaching the theoretical limit on miniaturization imposed by the size of the AAA battery itself.

    3. The P0 is stainless steel, kinda classy. Only weighs a couple of grams more than the feather-light aluminum E05.

    4. The P0 has a MAGNET integrated into its base!!11!eleventy! ;)
    Just kidding, that's slightly interesting. "For hands-free convenience," says 4Sevens. Huh.

    Thanks for the SHOT scoops, really enjoying it.

  6. I'll let someone else handle the eighteen kilolumen monster, but I thought that pen looked familiar.

    In an unusual turn of events for items such as these, I can get it for £20 ($31) cheaper than from 4sevens, right here in the UK...

    They should stick to torches, I think.

  7. Gotta say I agree with Anon R.D. about the Preon 0. I'm actually in the market for a new keychain light, and was between a DQG II and a Thrunite Ti. The Preon however, seems to take the best of both of these lights and mash them together (at least for my needs). I love the firefly mode, I like that it's slightly larger than the DQG perhaps making it easier to use/handle, and it comes in at $10 cheaper. I'll probably be picking one up pretty soon.

  8. Commissioner Gordon might like the XM-18 for signalling Batman.