Here's a kind of product most of us haven't seen for a good few years: an electronic pen with handwriting recognition. The airpen records notes scrawled on regular plain paper in its onboard memory and then transforms them into digital data for uploading to and editing on a PC.

The ¥39,800 (£177) airpen is sold by Just Systems but made by Pentel and features handwriting recognition that is claimed to be superior to similar products that have failed to catch on in the past. The 2MB of memory in the pen can hold about 50 A4 pages of notes, charts and doodles, while the PC connection (Windows XP only) is via USB 2.0.

The airpen runs on two SR41 watch batteries, which should last about three months, and - if you're feeling particularly flush - there's a 'premium' edition with a crocodile-skin notepad binder for ¥159,800 (£711). J Mark Lytle