Be Original, Be Sharp

It used to “Be Sharp”, but these days the company slogan of the Sharp Corporation  (now majority owned by the Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturer, Foxconn1) is Be Original.

Sharp’s original colour of choice for its personal e.t.s, e.t.s like this circa 1990 PA-3000, was BLACK.

Grey-beige or cream-beige variants do exist, but they’re harder to find:

These e.t.s are more common in the U.S.A. and the U.K., of course.

Despite being Korean-made, in the U.K. they were often sold with a Union Jack sticker to help cement “Sharp” as a U.K. based brand.2

I had thought this series of portable e.t.s was Sharp’s earliest, but advertising seems to date them to 1990 and no earlier, whereas advertising for e.t.s of the dual-platen-knobbed PA-3100 series goes as far back as December 1986.

PA-3000 series e.t.s, and later II and III generation models, take a non-cassette wheel, while earlier e.t.s of the PA-3100 series take a cassette wheel.

It’s hard to understand why Sharp didn’t stick with a cassette wheel like Brother did across different typewriter categories and series.

But these e.t.s are clearly not built to the same standard as early Brother e.t.s2 or, for that matter, Sharp e.t.s of the PA-3100 series.

Like early Brother AX series e.t.s, these PA-3000 series e.t s might be described as having a “hatchback” rather than a sports car styling:

The typing feel is good, although the print speed (10 cps) is a little sluggish.

On the plus side, you can replace the print wheel without having to remove the ribbon cassette first, which is unusual for typewriters with a non-cassette wheel.

Later Sharp PA and QL series portable e.t.s were given a racier profile (they’re quicker too at 12 cps) and a variety of colour schemes, however the lack of a visible typing line lets them down …

1 Foxconn acquired Sharp Electronics, beginning in March 2012 and finalised in February 2016, mainly to take advantage of the latter’s LCD production capabilities.

2 Like Brother Industries, Sharp established a production plant in Wrexham, Wales, in 1985. The plant manufactured video tape recorders (VCRs), microwave ovens and electronic typewriters for export around the world.