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Yesterday I received the wonderful HP2009 calendar (A great THANKS to Jake et.al.) and learned about three "exciting" new calculators.
One of them caught my eyes immediately, the nice looking SmartCalc 300s. WHY?

More than one year ago Texas Instruments introduced the TI-30XS MultiView to catch up with the Casio "Natural Textbook Display" calculators, e.g. fx-300ES. End of 2007 Sharp followed with "WriteView Display" calculators, e.g. EL-W535.

I purchased these three calculators and compiled a Roadtest to compare them in every detail.
TI-30XS MulltView Roadtest

It was in Summer 2008 when I was browsing for the Back-To-School 2008 campaigns the different stores and located in the local Office Depot a new "MathIO" calculator, the rather unknown Ativa AT-30SX. I bought it, tested it, disassembled it - and learned that it actually is a rebadged Citizen SRP-270X.

Comparing the keyboard and specifications of the SmartCalc 300s this morning with the Ativa AT-30SX reveals a 100% match! Expect an OEM product manufactured most likely by Kinpo.

HP - where is the innovation? A rebadged Citizen / Ativa calculator is not what we expected in 2009!

Regards,
Joerg

At least Mike Sebastian's calculator forensics went well with the Ativa / Citizen:

TI-30XS MultiView: 9.000001077372

Sharp EL-W531: 9.000000098906

Casio fx-300ES: 9.00000000733338

Citizen SR-270X: 9.000000001246692

Edited: 21 Jan 2009, 9:14 a.m.

To add one more point: The calculators you mentioned feature e.g. 32 x 96 dot matrix displays with some fixed indicators around and sell for less than 20 US$. It's very hard to understand for me why HP is not able/willing (please check) to give us a calculator with a comparable display for more than the triple amount of bucks.

Ceterum censeo: HP, launch a 43s.

Walter

Addendum: Just checked - HP sells the SmartCalc 300s for 14.99 US$. The 20b is offered for significantly more and has an inferior display. Don't know about the keyboard, but the one of the 300s can't be a lot worse than the 20b. I sincerely hope one of the many economic gurus at this forum will be able and willing to explain this to me.

Edited: 21 Jan 2009, 10:16 a.m.

is the 300 available and if not, when?

Does that SmartCalc use the same display as the Casios with natural displays? The HP looks like a clone of the Casio ...

The number of pixels is identical at least.

I wonder ...

  • ... why the cursor cross is not positioned below of a line of keys, since it's obviously possible to dislocate it. This would allow for a line of softkeys, as was discussed here many times.
  • ... whether this SmartCalc offers some limited connectivity like the 20b.

Cyrille, if you're reading this, may you answer?

Walter

Edited: 23 Jan 2009, 6:17 a.m.

The "original" design is a 95% clone of the Casio. The menues and functionality are more or less identical.

Regards,
Joerg

hello,

I am sorry, but I can not answer most of the questions as they relate to how we do business.
smart calc does not offer connectivity, sorry.

regards, cyrille

Cyrille,

Thanks for your answers anyway. I appreciate you read our posts.

Ceterum censeo: HP, ...

Walter

Jörg,

Did you (or anybody else) get such a SmartCalc already? Did you have the opportunity to open it? We don't get this toy in Europe so far.

What I'm thinking about: Form factor is a bit large, but this calc may serve as supplier of parts (case, keys, LCD) for a small lot of something better at a still reasonable price.

I am sorry, but I can not answer most of the questions as they relate to how we do business

I hope this does not mean:

We (HP) buy (or build) the SmartCalc at the same chinese plant as Casio ... ... ...

Walter,

Wow - my German name written with "Umlaute" - I appreciate it!

According to the press release the calculator should be available in March 2009. I own both the Citizen and ativa calculators, my "experience" is based on the 100% identical keyboard labels/ 2nd and 3rd functions. The keyboard arrangement itself is different.

Regards,
Joerg