HP 20b front


I really like the new HP 20b except the shiny front surface. It shows every little fingerprint. Anyone else not happy with this or am I the only one with greasy fingers?


I've noticed the same thing. The "Piano Black" look is in style with automobile interiors and electronics (look at all the shiny black laptops from um... HP), so I guess the new calculator has to have it too. It collects fingerprints and dust. It would make a decent mirror if it weren't for all those pesky keys.

I'm not loving the sharp edges of the upper lip of the case either. Looks cool in profile, but doesn't feel so good in the hand. I guess they have a different set of product design objectives than they had in the old days.


I, too, don't know what HP was thinking with the shiny, smear-prone, scratch-prone shell. I also don't like the concave, casserole pan look of it. With that said, since it comes without a case of any kind, you can flip the unit over when not in use and have it lie flat nicely on a table top.

These are minor problems compared with the really annoying squishy keys. If they can produce newer calculators like the 12C Platinum and the 35S with the better keys, why didn't they just stick with them?

The overall usefulness of the 20B is very much welcomed, however; especially the bringing back of scientific functions (including the hyperbolic ones) usually missing in other business calculators. I would give a 4 out of 5 stars. It is a step in the right the direction (squishy keys notwithstanding).


Edited: 26 July 2008, 12:13 p.m.


Yeah, sadly I have to agree -- the physical case of the 20B is less than exciting. Fingerprints are obvious (which makes ANY financial calculator look really tacky...), it's easy to scratch, and it stands out like a sore thumb. The back cover, especially, has fingerprints all over it. Ick.

The sharp edge, the concave front (makes me think it will catch water) and the really poor keys just don't impress me. I guess that's what we have to deal with for a $50 calculator though.

By comparison, the new 17bii+ and 35s are BEAUTIFUL in design, form factor and aesthetic appeal. I wish the 20b guts were in the silver 17bii+ form factor.

Clearly, the guts of this calc are huge improvements over the other two. If HP can ONLY get the two aligned, I'd be in heaven. ;-)




By comparison, the new 17bii+ and 35s are BEAUTIFUL in design, form factor and aesthetic appeal. I wish the 20b guts were in the silver 17bii+ form factor.

Actually I wish the 20b's guts were in the 35s form factor (or better yet, the Pioneer form factor, but I'm under no illusions that will ever happen), meaning the packaging and color, not the keyboard layout. Where is it written that a business calculator has to be a different color than its scientfic brethren? Well, I guess one can only dream of a 20bII.

I'm not whining (OK, just a little), I love that they brought back the large ENTER/INPUT key...finally. I also dream of a 50gII (or 50g+, whatever) with the large ENTER key.


Edited: 25 July 2008, 9:51 p.m.


The new 17 Bii++ (silver) has, almost exactly, the Pioneer form factor.


... and there was a design posted for a scientific/engineering calc on this basis in March already.


...nicer and more elegant than the 35S (and also more readable)!


Well, since there isn't anything printed on the metal bezel, it looks like a good candidate to be "modded". That is if the metal faceplate can be separated from the rest of the unit.


How about adding a thin foil on top of it? Choose any material you like instead of separating anything. Just crossed my mind...


It's easir to "mod" a front panel (an overlay would do) than the legends on the keys. Is hard to make custom-engraved keys. I vote for plain keys except for numbers and "universal" functions like basic math, clear, input, etc. Financial or scientific functions should be in menus or in overlay-labeled positions. This makes for a truly adaptable platform, à la 41C Blacknut.


For our german readers:

"Dass es HP mit der neuen Wende zur Lifestyle-Company ernst ist, zeigt aber auch ein am Rande der Veranstaltung fast untergegangenes Detail: In Berlin wurden neben allerhand modischem IT-Equipment auch neue Taschenrechner vorgestellt. Das Top-Modell HP 20b Business Consultant sieht schon fast aus wie ein iPhone mit Tasten - von weitem jedenfalls. Good Bye Langeweile!"

Source: http://www.zdnet.de/itmanager/kommentare/0,39023450,39192020-2,00.htm

Summary: HP introduces designes into their product range as "trendy" as Apple did, not even shy at bringing the iPhone look to the 20b.


Yeah, but you have looked at an iPhone? It's all smooth edges and curves, not sharp or abrupt edges. And when it does smudge, it doesn't smudge as bad. Even the screen, with fingerprints on it, is perfectly clear when illuminated.

If the iPhone was the model for HP, I'd say they missed the mark.

My $0.02 anyhow.


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  HP's thinking behind the 20b/30b? John Ioannidis 3 1,679 09-07-2013, 10:21 AM
Last Post: Tim Wessman
  20b, 30b not in HP's web store Eric Smith 3 1,491 02-08-2013, 11:52 AM
Last Post: Walter B
  A non 20b/30b 34S Matt Agajanian 22 5,211 08-20-2012, 01:06 AM
Last Post: Reth
  [WP-34s] IR conversion of 20b Alexander Oestert 3 1,542 05-18-2012, 05:38 PM
Last Post: Harald
  Why hp-20b more expensive than 30b? Masaki Adachi 9 2,963 10-14-2011, 12:08 PM
Last Post: megarat
  missing segments on 20b running 34s db (martinez, ca.) 4 1,663 10-05-2011, 01:27 AM
Last Post: Walter B
  Flashing HP 20b for WP 34S Steve Brenton 10 2,719 09-30-2011, 09:03 AM
Last Post: Marcus von Cube, Germany
  Case for 20b/30b/34S? David Hayden 1 982 09-29-2011, 03:41 PM
Last Post: Walter B
  First post & a question re:20b/30b E.Lub_EU 10 3,423 09-20-2011, 02:36 PM
Last Post: E.Lub_EU
  HHC 2011 is 5 weeks away --- bring your 20b/30b to be flashed and the programming contest... Gene Wright 27 6,671 08-21-2011, 05:08 PM
Last Post: gene wright

Forum Jump: