Sharp PA-3100 II

Portable electronic typewriters like this Sharp PA-3100 II were churned out (in large numbers) from a foreign plant in South Korea and shipped globally to Japan, Australia, the USA, the UK, Europe.

This is the first to come up for sale locally and cheaply on Gumtree after several years of waiting, and boy was I disappointed.

Even before I got my hands on one, I didn’t like the look of the crudely moulded ABS plastic that seems to have been used for everything except the platen knobs and the power switch.

After comparing the PA-3100 II alongside the equally black Casiowriter CW-600 (Nakajima AX-65) I bought last year, I now have more respect for the wedges made by Nakajima.

The Sharp PA-3000 II is sluggish and has a bad typing feel in comparison—the ABS key-tops lack the gentle concavity of those on the CW-600, and the space bar is unresponsive, leaving you wondering if a key press has been registered.

The printwheel has quite a thick plastic sleeve …

Like the sleeved print wheels on Brother or Panasonic portable electronic typewriters, you can remove the print wheel without removing the ribbon cassette. Unlike the sleeved print wheels on Brother or Panasonic portable electronic typewriters, however, you can’t re-insert the print wheel unless you remove the ribbon cassette!!!

On the plus side, the PA-3100 II supports 10, 12 and 15 pitch print wheels (like the Casiowriter) but also supports proportional fonts (this according to the specification for what appears to be an identical PA-3100 H typewriter in a 1989 German catalogue: Info-Markt  Ratgeber Schreibsysteme/Diktiergeräte.)

The PA-3100 also has a very spacious cable-stow compartment …

And attractively chunky platen knobs on each side of the machine …

However the overall design of the Casiowriter CW-600 (Nakajima AX-65) is more refined …

… and the Panasonic KX-R250, even more so …

Overall, the PA-31000 II gives you the impression it was made on the same factory floor that churned out plastic Lego bricks. Still, credit where it’s due, it does what it was intended to do, thirty years after it was manufactured.

At the time of writing, an instruction guide could be found online at:


See Also: The World According to Sharp


One thought on “Sharp PA-3100 II

  1. aww, too bad. I found the thermal Panasonic PA mini-wedge pleasant and featurefull, but of somewhat cheap-feeling shell quality. I thought the keys felt nice, anyway. Too bad the daisywheels fare so badly.


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