Have there been any knockoffs of the classic HP calcs? I cannot imagine wasting time and money counterfeiting old calculators, but it certainly wouldn't be much of a technological challenge. I bought a batch of counterfeit high end tools 5 or so years ago that not one person in a thousand could tell they weren't the real thing. They were bought on E-***.



I was wondering the same thing. I recently visited Saudi Arabia, and the amount of knock-off ipods, iphones and other tech gadgets they had selling there was amazing.


The closest knockoffs that I have seen are imitation of the HP-45 and HP12C by other vendors selling machines with identical functionality to the 45 and 12 but under different names. I have seen at least 3 non-hp models imitating the 45 and 2 models (by Victor and Aurora) for the 12C. Only HP has full knowledge whether or not these vendors violated any patent or copyright. I don't get the impression that these quasi-knockoffs were hot sellers.


Edited: 21 Dec 2009, 9:06 a.m.


Hey Namir...what knockoff of the HP-45 are you talking about?

Pictures please! :-)


I remember in 1978 I bought in Baghdad a Sanyo calculator that was a replica of the HP-45 and I bought one. I don't remember the model number cause I left the country soon after. Sanyo was selling a set of scientific calculator models at the government run electronics outlet stores. I was at one of these stores by accident when I saw the new models and recognized the model with the ENTER key and other stack operation keys. I bought one right there and then!



Namir & Gene;
Is/was it this?


Yes it is :-)



Your link reveals quite the collection of RPN calculators. Very impressive!!!



Ok, it's RPN and it shares many functions with the HP45. I would neither call it a knockoff nor a clone, however. Else one may call many many scientific calculators clones of others, since they share their function set.


Very true. If the Sanyo RPN and the whole Corvus class of calculators is a "knockoff" of the hp45, then the hp32e is nothing more than a knockoff of a non-hp RPN made in Texas. From what i've heard; the scene was really a bunch of guys who all knew each other, who traded jobs, outsourced parts and even borrowed tools among hp, Fairchild, National Semiconductor, Mostek and others - and were just paid to one-up each other. Was a great time and place to be in, i think.


TI has a knock-off competitor: Sentry. They make TI-83/84 clones and put stickers on them saying "compares to xxx" model. I've been curious as to exactly how similar, so I just picked one up recently. I'll let you know if it's truly a "clone" or not.



Hey Bruce, I've seen a few TI-83 Plus wannabe's too. I think Meijer carries the Sentry, and Walgreens had a pathetic 83 wannabe too that was just miserable. I know lots of folks here hate TI's, but the 83 Plus is the gold standard of school graphing calcs, like the 12c is the gold standard of financial calcs. There is no capable substitute for the gold standard in either case.


If you are referring to this, then a close inspection reveals that, far from being a clone of the TI-93 (which it does claim to "compare to"), it appears to be a clone of the venerable Casio FX-7000G or one of its derivatives, at least from the pics -- I haven't seen one in the flesh. Here's a pic of the Casio for comparison:

And for good measure, here's a review (and pic) of the Durabrand 828, which looks like another clone of the Casio, and therefore almost identical to the Sentry... but is in fact a clone of the Citizen SRP-320G... which was a clone of the Casio. I have one (a Durabrand, that is), and a more cheaply-made feeling and appearing calculator I have never held. So little attention was paid to the ergonomics that the shift key colors do not correspond to the shifted function legend colors.

After looking a bit further, I'm tempted to replace this entire post with a link to this page where all this information and more can easily be found. Pity I found it after typing all this.

I suppose that in the Far East, where these units are made, neither TI nor HP are common enough to clone, whereas Casio rules the roost and is therefore the clone fodder of choice. Odd that I've never seen a clone of a Sharp...


Yup, you are indeed right. My purchase arrived last night and I was playing with it here and there for a couple of hours. It's definitely not a TI-clone; not even a basic TI-83 clone. It is extremely light and cheap feeling, but surprisingly not too bad in terms of quality. The keys work good and have some feedback, the screen is easy to read, and they actually include a perfect-bound manual with 136 pages in it. On the bad side, the printing on the face of the keyboard is really poor and crammed in there. In some cases, I can't even tell what key does what function. They printed a legend on the top of the calc, but even that is a bit confusing.

I'll take your word about it being a Casio clone (it looks like the keyboard layout is the same, for sure), but it doesn't even seem like a true Casio clone. I've got about a half dozen Casio units here, and none of them have this rather unusual programming function that the Sentry has. It's really kind of a strange unit.

But, definitely not a TI clone, no matter what sticker they put on the outside. ;-)



Odd that I've never seen a clone of a Sharp...

Sharp EL-506P. Copied verbatim, cloned, knocked-off etc. Appears in all shapes, forms and sizes. Recognizeable by the ->BIN, ->OCT, ->HEX, ->DEC above the /, *, -, + keys and the single variable stats mode entered with 2ndF-ON/C. I wrote a manual for such a clone here.

Well I sort-of consider the current production HP-12C to be a very good quality Chinese knockoff of the original HP-12C.
It just happens to be sold by HP :)

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