Prognosticating about HP's future plans


I did not understand all the fuss on here about the new "silver" version of the 17bII+ (I mean, how much difference can the color make?) until I actually saw a picture of one. It's the same form factor as the 35S, no? That made it seem that HP was going in the direction of a whole series of models based on this FF, like the Pioneer series. Hope for a 45S?

Then they confuse us (at least ME) by coming out with the 20B. A new direction, or a parallel line? Based on Gene's initial review, in spite of his describing it as a "low end" financial calculator, except for the loss of the Solver, it seems more capable than the 17bII+ (at least the gold one).

So I wonder.


Though looking similar in design, the dimensions of the 35s, 17bII+silver, and 20b are all different, as is seen in the respective specifications. So, there must be enough margin to pay for the molds.

Spacewise, any of these models could host more advanced calculators (below of the realm of RPL), as has been mentioned and shown here quite often. So, either these are future models in the pipeline (I did not visit any HHC, so I'm free to guess) or there must be striking reasons why HP does not feed "us".

I join you wondering.


I'm rather puzzled too. I think most serious finance people who would use these calculators would never touch the Solver. They just want the TVM, bond, deprectiation, etc. functions they need. From Gene's review, the 20B sounds like the superior product. The 17 seems to have lesser financial capability built in, but it has an alarm clock and IR printing -- which I doubt many finance professionals would use.

As for the physical design, I like both the 35S/17BII+ style and this new style, but I much prefer the old hard shiny plastic keys and shift keys that are solid blue/orange. I use my 12C (made in U.S.A.!!) for finance, and my 42S for other stuff.

Unfortunately, my mind-set is from the days when calculators were expensive, treasured possessions, and they were all the computing power we owned. Now they are marginal subsets of other products (PCs, PDAs, smart-phones) and are made to be disposable.

Edited: 11 June 2008, 10:38 a.m.

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