HP Quality Is Gone


Just sent back my third HP49 because the paint wore off those goddamned rubber keys. Whoever designed those keys, you blew it, your design is a complete failure!

HP customer "service" just emailed me that this last unit is out of warranty, and I must buy a replacement unit. HP quality and committment to user satisfaction is gone. Queen Fiorina, please remove the name HP from your new company, because it isn't the old HP I was once loyal to.

Fighting Mad -

J.C. Randerson

Pueblo, Colorado




Recently, I was in Office Max, examining the HP-12c and HP-17bII business calculators.

The 12C's, now made in China, still have the same design as those made in the USA during the '80s, and the price is down somewhat (from $120 or so to a still-high $80), but the quality of construction has slipped.

An recently-replaced accessible display model suffered from noticeable paint fade on many of the keys, which felt hollow. The "ENTER" lettering on the key of the replacement display model was slanted upward, as though it wasn't sprayed on correctly.

All the key lettering on my 1983 HP-15C still looks great. The lettering might be inlays. Why can't HP still use those keys, if they had the technology? I don't think that this an America-vs.-Asia issue; my Singapore-made units of the '80s (1981 HP-34C, 1986 HP-41CV, 1989 HP-42S) are certainly of acceptable quality.

-- Karl


Last friday I had the opportunity to examine the china-made HP-12C and was really surprised. Not sure we can compare the china-made with the others, it's another class!
CHEAP made machine, that's what I'd call it. TI has better quality! If I had to buy another HP-12C I'd look for an older model, that's for sure.


At the local OfficeMax they have a 17BII as a display model that has been there for as long as I can remember (5+ years). I was thinking about buying one and asked to see one from stock. The new one (with the terrible blister wrap) looked like garbage compared to the floor model. The plastic colors were way off and the keys were labeled on an angle in some cases. Needless to say I didn't buy it.

I think I'm going to buy another 48. I would like to buy a 32SII, but every time one is up on eBay, everyone drive the price up past my reservation price. :-)


If you're looking for a new 32SII, there are (or were, as of a few weeks ago) plenty of them left in the retail channel -- that is, if you don't mind the new color scheme. Several sources have been mentioned here over the past week. I ordered a 32SII a few weeks ago from Wholesale Advantage/Wagon Photo. They're asking US$46.95 plus shipping ($6.95 in the continental US). I've ordered from them a couple of times without problems.



I certainly would purchase the HP 32SII through eBay with great care. I find so much offered up there overpriced, and it's a roll of the dice if you get what's been descibed. Shop the electronic outlets you'll find on the Internet. I've seen on eBay other goods that are readily available new, sell in used condition for a greater cost (than brand new).

Three weeks ago I purchased a new, factory sealed 32SII for $47.50 from an outfit in North Carolina. I may have lucked out because I received one of two remaining in stock. The person informed me that the day before a buyer purchased 500 HP32SIIs from them. I would not be surprised if this model is being hoarded for eBay bids. Ken


Don't replacement units come with a '+3 month' guarantee regardless of when you bought the original unit? Or do the keys take about 3 months to wear off?

Either way, I think HP know full well they have a paint quality problem with the HP49G and are not sorting it out. Someone posted here that it was because air gets mixed up in the paint used for the key tops and this crumbles and wears off when used. I have an HP49G made in Indonesia and this does not have a problem.

I think the same goes for HP not sorting the Made in China HP12C because of key bounce (or was this a single batch?).

PS I'm not knocking China because they can produce goods at the right quality level but with high tec goods HP are probably getting what they are paying for.


Not to mention the Calculator business itself, well OK I just did.


(:O (


More on the Vote now being Federally Probed and "extraordinaries" voicemail.


Actually, while perhaps not high Quality (certainly not in the traditions of HP), HP Printers seem to be of at least moderate to high value, if you don't consider the excessive price of supplies at least. That seems to be the One area Walter is concerned about getting diluted by a post merger scenerio, without looking at the financials, it would seem to be one of the stronger businesses for HP.

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