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I recently purchased a NIB HP48S, just because I never owned one before. And the first thing I did was (I know you'll think this is corny) to smell it. I dont know why, but to me all those older HPs had a particular smell when new, that the newer chinese models don't have. Anybody ever noticed that?

Probaly similar to "new car smell" - an interesting olfactory combination of plastic outgassing (which the car manufacturers have learned to emphasize and capitalize on)! Here in the States, at least, you can buy spray cans of stuff that give the same effect.

NO, he's right.. it is a different olfactory effect than car gassing.. I remember that HP smell! It was unmistakable on my first 48g. Until this past year I Hadn't smelled it since about 2001; it is the unforgettable smell of QUALITY.

pray tell me if this smell of QUALITY is quantifiable, say in parts per million (PPM) ;-).

what was the score for an HP48G, my favourite calculator?


hpnut in Malaysia

Hi all,

Smell is for sure the most evocative of human senses. And indeed I remember HP appliances smell different from any other manufacturer's.

I've probably opened hundreds of HP boxes; most of them containing measurement equipment: Oscilloscopes, Spectrum analyzers, Selectivel level meters, Frequency Counters... and eventually some HP computers (I started my computer learning -BASIC- on a 9835A even before I get my first HP-41C)

All and every of these devices brought this unique smell (call it quality if you want.. :-) OK... I do know they come from the specific plastic compound HP use for their equipment enclosures... but I must agree that "Quality Smell" sounds like real poetry... ;-))

Thanks for bringing this memory back.


I double that; I'll never forget the smell of my first HP-41CV, HP-28S, HP-48SX and several HP-48GX, yes, THAT particular smell of QUALITY! Quite different to the 49G+, 50G and 35S smell and yes, I omitted HP on purpose ;-)


Yes, we always used to enjoy the smell of a new HP41 back in those days.

I had the privilege to buy a couple of NIB HP41CXs some years ago and the first thing I did when taking it out of the pouch was to enjoy the wonderful smell of a new HP41CX!!!

Afterwards I sealed one of them in a plastic bag to keep the smell for as long as possible!

Background history to getting two spares was that I already had a HP41CX, so buying a spare made me dare to use the original one I had. Then I thought, what if it breaks and I need to take out the spare? Then I would again be in the position of being afraid to use it.. so I got a second spare! Now I think I can live all my remining days knowing that I will be forever be able to use a HP41CX!

This whole thread made me laugh because I have had the same experience: remembering the smell--buying a brand new old HP and being awestruck by the long forgotten smell!