More 35s First Impressions


First impressions may be old news now that everyone is moving on to bug hunting but they bear stating (or repeating) for those that are still trying to decide whether to buy. It is also my customer feedback to HP product development, should they be monitoring the forum.

So here’s my take based on SN 72103313:

  • My display is not skewed at all but the annunciators are barely within the window when viewed perpendicularly. This seems unnecessarily close given the free space at the bottom of the display they’ve allowed for viewing at an angle. This is not unique to mine as even the unit pictured on the User’s Guide has the annunciators obscured by the shadow of the window.

  • Display pixels have a 1:2 aspect ratio making for some very rough looking digits. I would have preferred a 1:1 pixel aspect ratio – like the 28s or 42s – for smoother characters.

  • Excellent keyboard. So thankful for the return of the beveled keys and large enter key. I would have used yellow and blue plastic keys for the left and right shifts ala Voyagers as the silk screened colors may not wear well on these more heavily used keys. I don’t notice the key stops (the tabs below the metal mask that keep the keys in place) on the 35s. These were very visible with the 42s and 48G. Cosmetic yes, but the larger gap around the keys of the latter meant larger entry point for debris. The printed labels on the 35s keys have very crisp characters unlike those of a lot of late model 12c’s where the edges appear to have bled.

  • No PDF manual (yet). The 49g+ and 50G had the PDF manuals on the included CD and are also available on-line. If HP is going to produce a DVD, then it should include the User’s Guide and all the training modules (55 of them). PDF manuals are important because I keep the manuals at home and use PDFs at work.

  • Nice case. I was not a fan of the Coconut zippered cases because it was difficult to get the calc into the case without zipper contact. The 35s has a clam-shell zippered case that will open 360 degrees. It is also semi-rigid so it will protect the calc better. The elastic band that retains the 35s surprisingly doesn’t detract from its appearance or use.

  • Nice balance of key functions versus functions available by menus. Key functions I like that I haven’t seen before are the <-ENG and ENG-> (engineering notation decimal shift by 3 digits down or up with a corresponding change in exponent).

  • The annunciators for flags 0 through 4 are present. These were great for 41C program debugging and I'm glad to see them on the 35s.

Overall, the 35s has the engineering-driven design all of us die-hard HP fans of the past crave. No attempt was made to cater to the commodity consumer electronics market as was done with the 9s, 30s, 33s, etc. – i.e. nothing ‘stylized’ just for marketing purposes. THANK YOU HP!

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