HP 20B calculator quality



#10

A guy calling him(her?)self crazymodem wrote in educalc.net site

http://www.educalc.net/1439486.post

"Poor quality in the HP 20b ends my relationship with HP. I am a long term HP calculator customer. That ended today when I opened my HP 20b only to find that the display had poorly manufactured pixels resulting in a screen that was partially readable. The keys clicked, but numbers did not always register. The overall impression is very poor. The manual is minimal and the user is guided to a website within HP that does not have the manual. Bad, bad, bad.
crazymodem


any other owners can vouch for the good or poor quality of their 20B?

hpnut in Malaysia (waiting for HP20B shipment ETA Malaysia Sept 2008)


#11

I second this request because I'm curious, and since I planned to buy a HP-20B before the end of summer, I'd like to understand if my money will be well spent.

Thanks in advance.

-- Antonio

#12

While the keys are clearly not as firm as a Pioneer series, they are quite reasonable for a $40 outlay. The 20b is quickly approaching 'preferred' status in my collection which is a place normally reserved for the 42s, 15c, 48gx... I am a user. The 20b is more useful because I can take it more places without fear of theft or breakage. I would NOT take my mint 15C or NIB 42S on a trip for fear of negating their value. Even my Silver 17bii+ sometimes sits on the shelf while the EURO rides in my pocket.

The EURO construction is solid, and the design is contemporary. In short, for the cheapest RPN calculator that HP has ever produced (I assume at razor-thin margin), this is certainly not a 42S but it is well worth the investment.


#13

Quote:
While the keys are clearly not as firm as a Pioneer series, they are quite reasonable for a $40 outlay. The 20b is quickly approaching 'preferred' status in my collection which is a place normally reserved for the 42s, 15c, 48gx... I am a user. The 20b is more useful because I can take it more places without fear of theft or breakage. I would NOT take my mint 15C or NIB 42S on a trip for fear of negating their value. Even my Silver 17bii+ sometimes sits on the shelf while the EURO rides in my pocket.

The EURO construction is solid, and the design is contemporary. In short, for the cheapest RPN calculator that HP has ever produced (I assume at razor-thin margin), this is certainly not a 42S but it is well worth the investment.


What is the EURO?


#14

The "EURO" was the code name for the HP-20b prior to release as the "Business Consultant".

I would say that the build QUALITY (emphasis on the word quality) is good to great. It is well built, nothing shakes or creeks, no screws are running around loose, etc.

I would say that the CHOICES that HP made aren't great. I'm sure they were motivated by price. I can actually live with the display, although it's not my favorite (shades of the same semi-visible decimal point with the 33s). I find the keyboard icky and mushy, but it hasn't messed up for me yet. The case is weird, but again, those are choices, not quality issues.

I agree with the general sentiment that the calc isn't as much of an HP classic as others, but it's not bad for $40. I -- personally -- would much rather hold and use a 35s or 17bii+ (both of which I think very highly of), but for cheapness, the 20b is pretty good. AND, it may be possible to make it into that calculator that we have all been wanting -- a cheap RPN scientific or custom build.

Unlike one of the other posters, it hasn't replaced the 35s or the 17bii+ as my "favorite to hold and use", but it's getting close. I do agree that it's easy to just toss it in the truck, or briefcase or whatever, because you really don't care if you keep it in good shape or not. ;-)

thanks,
bruce

#15

The manufacturing quality of my 20b is excellent. The keys register reliably, and the display is easy to read. I miss the key click of my other HPs, which this one does not have, but this is also the lowest priced HP I've ever purchased. The combination of features it offers for the low price makes an excellent value.

I dream of future high-end pocket-sized models from HP, made from over-built plastics, with high-end displays, and state-of-the-art features. Either this will come at a much higher price, which I would gladly pay, or it won't come at all because the market for such a thing is really just a few hundred "calculator collectors" like myself.

In any case, I highly recommend the 20b as in inexpensive, reliable, well-engineered, and versatile calculator.

#16

It is interesting to see that either people are happy with the HP20b, saying that after all it is not so bad, or they absolutely hate it. There seems to be no in between.

I have learnt one thing. When people say that it (an HP calculator) is "not so bad", (as they did or do for the 33s and 35s), I consider those calculators to be "crap" (bad felling, bad keyboard, elementary bugs, etc.) in comparision to what I call an "HP calculator".

Now when someone says that the 20b keyboard does not click, that it is not so bad, that it is better than the Casio keyboard, that ..., well then I know, that it simply is "crap".

Please don't get me wrong. I know that the market has changed and that it is no longer possible to produce top products with reasonable prices, but is that really what we want? Long live China!


#17

I've used my 20B for several days and the quality certainly isn't in the same league with 17B11, 19B11 or 10B. The manual is probably the biggest disappointment. It is minimal and I haven't been able to find an online manual. Can anyone help?

As has been pointed out, alot of the criticism is subjective in nature. The shiny plastic doesn't appeal to me. The keyboard is really not too bad. Some of the operations are not intuitive. Can someone tell me how to get the answer to days between 2 dates? It must be in the Quick Start manual, but I have missed it. It will take several weeks of use before it can be given a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

thanks

Don


#18

Appears to be a manual on the hpcalc commerce site.

There is a post with a link in the forum from the last couple of days.

For days between dates:

Shift Date

Key first date and press INPUT

Press downarrow

Key second date and press INPUT

Press downarrow. Display shows days between dates. Note that INPUT and = are active in the top right corner. This means you can either compute a result by pressing = or input a value and compute some other value using this latest input.

Press = and you will compute the number of days between dates.

Press downarrow and you'll see a menu choice displayed that can be changed between Actual and Cal.360 by pressing INPUT.

So, you have a menu setting and 3 values, 2 of which are required to solve for the third one.

Which date is 100 days after 7.012008?

Key 7.012008 into Date 1. Press downarrow twice to get to days between dates. Key 100 into this value. Now press uparrow and = to compute Date 2.

Note that these types of things are covered in the learning modules which are not yet up on HP's site, but they do seem to be available on eric's HPCALC commerce website.

:-)


#19

hello,

Quote:
Key 7.012008 into Date 1. Press downarrow twice to get to days between dates. Key 100 into this value. Now press uparrow and = to compute Date 2.

note that when you enter a date, a number (from 1 to 7) is displayed in the exponent section of the number. that number is the day of the week for the entered day (1 being monday, 7 sunday). just a little additional addon...

cyrille

#20

After some pondering moments, it's not so much that the keyboard doesn't "click" or have some sort of positive feedback. It's that it is so mushy. I can live with a soft touch, or no click, but it's quite another thing to wonder if you hit the key because you struck it on the mushy side, or top, or bottom. You can literally TILT the 20b keys on four axis... It's very disconcerting.

thanks,
bruce


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