10 Japanese office products you didn’t know you need
Image 1 of 9
Tombow MONO plastic eraser
Speaking of smudge-fests, the standard issue pink eraser is absolutely terrible at everything. Tombow’s MONO plastic eraser requires a fraction of the pressure, smudges less, and does not damage paper.
Tombow products are officially sold outside Japan, at Amazon and office supply stores.
Sanwa Supply SD memory card file case
If you have an abundance of SD, SDHC, or SDXC cards to keep track of, this file case can help you do that. It comes with three index sheets to label what slot has which card, and is the size of a standard A4 file case.
Samwa Supply makes two models. The double-sided FC-MMC22SD (pictured) stores 72 SD cards, and the single-sided FC-MMC20SD stores 36 SD cards. The company doesn’t sell products outside Japan, but they can be found on Rakuten Global Market and eBay.
Panasonic chalkboard eraser cleaner MC-330EP
Most companies have since moved to dry erase boards, but the odor from those markers can be too intense for some. Chalkboards could make a comeback with the Panasonic MC-330EP chalkboard eraser cleaner, which—as the name implies—vacuums the dust out of your chalkboard erasers.
Panasonic doesn’t sell the MC-330EP outside of Japan, but it can be found on Rakuten Global Market.
Sanwa Supply SL-7H-3 notebook webcam cover
Masking tape and sticky notes covering laptop webcams are ugly—the SL-7H-3 is a webcam cover that slides open for laptops that don’t have that functionality built in.
Century iMac monitor arm CEN-IMAC-SV2
Apple’s iMac all-in-one is not VESA-compliant, making the prospect of using a desk mount for the system rather complex. Century’s iMac desk mount uses the cord management hole in the integrated stand to create a retractable monitor arm, capable of expanding 50cm away from the desk. The arm supports up to 11 kg (24.25 lbs), and is compatible with the 21.5″ and 27″ iMac, through the use of a spacer. The somewhat beefier iMac Pro weighs in at 21.5 lbs, making support for that system likely.
Sanwa Supply 20-port USB charger
Have a lot of USB-powered devices that need charging? Sanwa’s ACA-IP64 charger provides a full 5V/1A on each port. It commands quite the premium, however, with retail price set at 63,000 yen ($580 USD) before tax.
You might be able to find cheaper options on the streets of Akihabara, however.
King Jim Pomera DM30 Keyboard
There’s something undeniably jaunty about a company selling office supplies called “King Jim,” but the name aside, the Pomera DM30 was offered on crowdfunding sites as a distraction-free writing experience, with a 6″ E Ink display attached—freeing writers from the constant distractions of Slack, email, and any of the other things that can pop up to interrupt the flow of words.
While the crowdfunding effort wasn’t successful, the Pomera DM30 is still available in Japan, and supports English (if you can work out how to select that menu option).
Sanwa Supply 400-MA099R Bluetooth Trackball
Sanwa’s Bluetooth trackball is a quite affordable option for trackball users at around 3,500 yen ($32). Trackballs are a fair bit easier to use than traditional mice, though are a bit less convenient for left-handed users.
Epson Endeavor NA520E 13.3" Notebook
The Epson Endeavor NA520E delivers all of the features of classic ThinkPad systems, at a lower weight than the ThinkPad X390, and with competitive specs—adding just 2.1 mm of thickness allows for two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, permitting up to 32 GB RAM, as well as two M.2 2280 SSD slots, configurable from the factory with capacities up 1TB SSDs per slot.
The NA502E has a wealth of ports, preventing the need to use external dongles, with the port selection distinctly utilitarian—a full-size Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI, and VGA port are on the back. Certainly, it is odd to ship a new computer with a VGA port in 2019, though with an abundance of external monitors and projectors mounted to the ceiling in conference rooms that rely on the 32-year-old connector, the inclusion of that port is certainly convenient.