HP 15C LE Keyboard Survey Redux

Back again...

As of Tuesday afternoon I have responses for 72 calculators of which 9 have keyboard issues giving a "failure" rate of 12.5%.

I have to say that I am surprised that there are only 72 from 42 people (including myself). I was hoping for many more to make this a meaningful exercise.

So in the hope that I can get some more responses I am pushing this back to the top of the forum.

For those of you that did not see the earlier post: I am trying to get a feeling for the seriousness of the keyboard problems being reported on the 15C LE. The more responses I can get the more meaningful the exercise. If you have not responded yet and you have received a 15C please let us know how the keyboard is. I only care about non-working (requires extra pressure, does not register, etc.) keys. I don't care about the state of the f and g keys as to alignment and looseness/rattle as long as they are responding properly to user input. If you would like to participate just provide the number of units you have purchased and tested and how many of those failed the test. 2:1 would mean that you tested 2 units and 1 failed.




OK. I bought 2, one is perfect, the other has a divide key that needs to be pushed hard to register.




I've two good and no bad.

- Pauli


Bought two, zero keyboard problems per Self-Test 3.


Back again...

As of Tuesday afternoon I have responses for 72 calculators of which 9 have keyboard issues giving a "failure" rate of 12.5%.

I have to say that I am surprised that there are only 72 from 42 people (including myself). I was hoping for many more to make this a meaningful exercise.

42 respondents doesn't seem like it's very few. I don't think it's like a thousand people regularly visit (or at least post) at this board.

I'd estimate the error as 1/sqrt(72), so the failure rate is about 0.72%-24.28%.

You'd need many times the number of respondents, not just additional respondents, to tighten up that estimate.


2 Good
1 Bad: EEX key


Agreed. But more is better (if only a little). I actually made the same point elsewhere. I was hoping that with this new calculator available and all the people on this forum that wanted one that I would get at least 100 respondents with 200+ calculators. Maybe unreasonable but that was my hope.



Edited: 20 Sept 2011, 6:54 p.m.


Received four, no keyboard problems, passed all working self tests

Lowest LE # I got was 00918


Bought one, no keyboard problems.


Received 2:0 bad



I just received my two 15C LE from Samson. I just test them, with the keyboard test. Both are fine, the F & G rattle slightly for one, and are very good for the other one.

2 good, 0 Bad

Very happy, thanks a lot HP !


PS : Samson changed teir price today. It's now : retail price 99.99, our price 149.99 !!!


Have two, no problems with the keyboard.


PS : Samson changed teir price today. It's now : retail price 99.99, our price 149.99 !!!

Another Classic Blunder!

Someone referred to the release as a circus in another post. All things considered it is really headed that way. Just glad HP finally re-released it.


Wow. It was 119 yesterday. I guess they're really trying to milk every last dime out of this.


Samson Cables / Innovations has been all over the place with their pricing. Even if they were to lower their price to HP retail, I would never buy anything from such a sleezy outfit.


How many responses do you really think are necessary?

If you look at an AQL level chart like here, I think we have more than what we need. link

If we pick the most stringent Inspection Level of 3, and we assume this was a 10,000 piece production run, then that falls under the "M" on the chart, which calls for 315 samples.

Yes, it calls for 315 samples, but the number of rejects to reject the whole lot, if we just use AQL of 1.0, is just 8. We are beyond that already, not counting the new rejects in this thread.

If you pick a Level 2 which calls for 200 samples, and the same AQL of 1.0 then you can only have 6 rejects, so playing around with this chart doesn't help you much unless of course you really open up the AQL level. I don't think most HP calculator owners are the type who accept much in the way of defects so that does not seem very acceptable to me.

Edited: 20 Sept 2011, 8:57 p.m.


Two good, zero bad. Since it is known that 10,000 units are being produced it would be more fair to calculate failure rate from that population size. You're much more likely to get responses from people experiencing keyboard problems.

From a standpoint of production quality control: Presuming the 15C and 12C come off the same production line, where are the complaints about the latter?


Received 3, bad:0.


Maybe I am missing something but wouldn't it be:

1/sqrt(72) = 11.79% range giving me a failure rate of between 6.61% and 18.39%? Or am I missing something? Is it really 11.79% either side of my observed rate or is it 11.79%/2 either side of my observed rate?

Admittedly still a wide range but lets say we get 200 samples we get down to 7.07% range or (if the observed failure rate at that point was the same) 8.96% - 16% which definitely indicates a problem even if we assume the very lowest possibility. In other words the experiment becomes meaningful. Or am I missing something again?

BTW, as the sample size goes up the observed failure rate appears to be going down--the squeaky wheel gets reported theory that I have espoused previously. People with bad units are going to step up and report their problems before we get a good handle on all the good units out there--at least that is my expectation.





Received one. one bad :(





Also 2:0


Bought one, and it has two keys which need greater pressure (1/x and x (times)).


I have two 15C LE calculators, and both seem to work fine, Marwan. 2:0



S/N 01664 received; all keys fine; passes self-test.


Two (2) HP-15cLE's
2 good: 0 bad


15C LE #01216 from Samsons. Passed keyboard test 3.


I got one 15C (from the same Mississippi warehouse that many of you got yours from), unit #00888, and the keyboard is perfect.





2 good, 0 bad


I have one. The keyboard is fine.


I have one. Keys are great.


I ordered 4 total.

Ran the keyboard test on all 4 with no issues on any keys; all read 15 firmware. Only the slightest movement on the function keys. No rattle when shaken.


cna1310kbb - 02201
cna1310krs - 01951


cna1310k8y - 01038
cna1310k8z - 00857




S/N 158: STO key needs extra pressure; 1:1


Purchased 1 15C LE from Samson Cables. Shipped in protective cardboard box.


LEN: 01581

No keyboard issues. Very welcome addition to my small collection!!


2 good : 0 bad


Received 2 calculators from Samson Cables, and there are no keyboard problems at all. Thank you HP!


From Samson Cables:

Received 1
Bad 0


1:0, from SC LEN 00129, f and g keys are a bit loose but still register well.

Edited: 24 Sept 2011, 12:16 p.m.


I bought one, the keys are good, but quality control is bad.

I have a big scratch on the number 4 key ... .

As I will use the calculator at work, I don't bother. But for a collector, this would have been pure horror.


I bought two. One is almost flawless except sloppy shift keys. However, another has some scratches and dents. I think a factory worker dropped it and unconcernedly shipped. :-(


Bought six, one has a bad "4" key.


I need to amend my original response. Instead of 2 purchased and zero problems, it's now 4 15c LEs and 2 with bad keys.



2/2 Good (but one f/g keys loose and rattle)

Bought two from Samson Cables and shipped to UK - I got fast two day shipping which was very expensive but no problems and I did get the $99 (now $149 !) )price which probably balanced out the shipping cost. Hoping they will eventually appear over here in which case I'll buy another, hopefully much cheaper.

The first with serial 1881 has firm-ish function keys which normally I wouldn't have noticed were any different to the others. The second, opened a couple of days later, surprisingly had a serial in the 500s and had noticeably looser function keys with a slight rattle.

Neither calculator has any other problems - keyboard test passed just fine. And I do actually like the keyboard on the limited edition better than the original. I found that the original's feel was not tbat positive with its much more limited key travel, and in particular the [Enter] key was attrocious], although it worked fine in practice. On the limited edition the only concern I have is that it seems the display easily acquires very fine scratches - as does the 35S. The original voyagers don't have this problem. Pity they couldn't run to a harder protective plastic like on the 50G.


Bought: 1, Good:0

Bought one and it had a defective EEX key. When firmly pressed it works, but out of 10 clicks, 5 or so are missed, even when I hear the "click" sound of the key. Also the g-key rattles quite a lot. Bought mine at Samson and had it shipped to Switzerland, so I'm not that keen to send it back because of the high shipping cost...
Serial CNA1320910, Limited Edition Nummer: 121 (wow, quite a low one :-)

Btw, the ON key is full height? On the picture on the manual (and as written in the manual itself) it seems the ON key should be a smaller/half-height key?

Edited: 25 Sept 2011, 9:52 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


1/0 good

Seems like that should be "0/1 good."

Btw, the ON key is full height? On the picture on the manual (and as written in the manual itself) it seems the ON key should be a smaller/half-height key?

The ON key on the original 15C is significantly lower than the other keys, however, on the 15C LE it is the same. The manual is an exact copy of the original manual, such that it does not reflect differences in the new 15C LE. They even copied the original self-test incorrectly, although ironically it was the one for the original 12C. No doubt over time we will discover other minor differences as well. What concerns me a lot more are the bugs in the calc itself, such as the disfunctional PSE command. Personally, if I had a defective keyboard I'd demand a replacement, and that HP pay return postage. Absolutely no excuse or justification for all these problems.

Edited: 25 Sept 2011, 9:30 a.m.


Sorry, was a little confused with 0/1 which is which :-) so I edited it to make it more clear.

For the ON-key: it's just funny, because on the manual they have clearly written "Limited Edition" on the image on the front cover, but as you said, the actual image is probably an original 15c, just photoshopped with this badge. That confused me a bit.


Bought 2 Good 2

Anyone compare HP15CLE key presses against a NIB or very lightly used HP1XC? Just wondering if age or usage makes the keys get less snappy with higher activation pressure...


I don't think the cover image is photoshopped, since all the keys have the dull finish of the new models, whereas the original keys are glossy. What may have happened is that the prototype had a lower ON key design that didn't make it into production. The cover on the original manual has a totally different image, which does not even include a calculator. The text in the new manual is the same, however, which was what I meant. There is a note at the bottom of page 18 on both the original manuals that states "*Note that the ON key is lower than the other keys to help prevent its being pressed inadvertently." They even repeated the spelling error of "its" instead of "it".

Edited: 25 Sept 2011, 10:33 a.m.


very sharp observation, Michael. I didn't notice that the HP 15C LE and also the HP 12C 30AE ON keys are full height.


The originals have always had lousy keyboards - although obviously others disagree greatly with my view. As I've said in previous posts I've found the original's [Enter] key especially bad, and I don't think they've changed much over time. I still have a 16C which has been lightly used over the years, and my much used 15C (which got dropped a couple of years back :-( ) felt similar. Having said that - in use they never gave any problem - and hopefully the limited edition with its IMO much superior keyboard, apart from any f/G wobble, will last just as long. I find the new keyboard much like the older HP LED Scientifics in feel. In fact I distictly remember when first buying the voyager series, of being slightly disappointed that the keys didn't have the same feel of earlier HP calculators. And now they finally have !


# 00303 - perfect, no issues
# 00354 - perfect, no issues
# 00540 - perfect, no issues
all from buy.com, delivered in 5 days instead of eight, in a box with padding inside.

I cant figure out what happened. Almost everything computerized that i buy is shit: my garbage android phone, the worthless cell provider, the epson printer, my first laptop, the Ubuntu disc and book i bought for this one, the wireless i tried from fry's, the
american brand-but made in china DVD player...... Yet when i get an hp calculator or an IBM laptop; they work.


They even repeated the spelling error of "its" instead of "it".

Nope - that is correct. "being pressed" here is a gerund, thus acting as a noun, and requiring the possessive "its" (usually mispelled, even in this erudite forum, as "it's" - which is ONLY the contraction for "it is").


So, of course, while spouting proper English usage, I just misspelled "mispelled"!


Is it equivalent to "to prevent its pressing down"? Would that work?

The sentence in question sounds quite weird.


Is it equivalent to "to prevent its pressing down"? Would that work?

Not quite: a native English speaker would interpret that to mean that you are talking about the key DOING the pressing (perhaps due to its own weight), not being pressed BY something (someone) else.

While perhaps a bit convoluted, I think the meaning is clear - the key is lower so there is less likelihood that it would be pressed by mistake.

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