Office Depot - HP30b & HP 12c



#20

Interesting that the Office Depot in Athens, Georgia has completely redone the calculator section. The HP 30b is there - has a spot. The HP 12c Platinum is there - has a spot. I saw no HP 12C or place for it. Surely they are not going to stop carrying it.

I must admit, now that I know how to program the HP 30b it is fast becoming my favorite. I did not think any calculator would measure up to the HP 12C.


#21

That's what I keep telling people: give the 30b a chance! It truly is an amazing calculator. Far underrated by many people here who give it only a passing glance and then write it off. It has a ton of features, it's blazing fast, and is a very capable programmable. It's just different in some ways. Still, a lovely calculator.

(Oh, and I too am keeping an eye on my local Office Depot, but no sign of a 30b yet).

Thanks,

Bruce


#22

I agree with Bruce.. Today I saw 2 "30bii" calculators in Office depot for $49.95 a piece, along with several SmartCalc 300, some 10s, and 10bii. I'm very proud to finally see HP calcs showing up again in mainstream B&M stores. Quality calculators like the 30b and retail store shelf space: that's a good way to open up name recognition and branding back to the younger generation. Not that I know anything about selling calculators.

#23

I wholeheartedly agree with Bruce's (and Don's and Martin's and Gene's) assessment of the HP 30b. I'm on my sixth day of ownership, and the last time I was this satisfied and happy with a new HP calculator was the HP 42S, 20 years ago. The mechanical qualities alone make this unit remarkable. It is the most comfortable *handheld* calculator that HP has made since the Woodstocks (IMO). This is a very sturdy and handy package, and the keyboard feel is excellent. The mechanical/industrial design is the best of any of the 30+ HPs that I've owned since 1976.

There is really very little to complain about, and a tremendous amount to praise. Right now, the most irksome characteristic to me is how easily the labels rub off of the programming overlay. I lost most of one line while trying to press the overlay on to the keyboard. I can safely predict that the rest of the labels won't last very long, and I doubt that overlay replacements are available. That's a shame, because the overlay information is very helpful. I wish its labels had been permanently marked on the keyboard.

Office Depot sells the HP 30b for $50, and the HP 12C+ Platinum for $90. There's no doubt in my mind of which is the better machine, regardless of price. Plus, the Voyager landscape configuration is very inconvenient for a handheld calculator that will actually be used hand held.

To return to the discussion thread, I'm surprised in the listings of former great HP calculators that there has been no mention of the machine that many consider the greatest RPN calculator of all time...the HP 42S. Right now, my dream machine would be an updated HP 42S (including IR printer output and tone functions) in the form of the HP 30b (and native-ARM firmware...no Saturn emulation!).

The HP 30b...it is one beautiful product! Thanks, HP.


Edited: 26 Aug 2010, 9:12 a.m.


#24

In Response to this statement:
“To return to the discussion thread, I'm surprised in the listings of former great HP calculators that there has been no mention of the machine that many consider the greatest RPN calculator of all time...the HP 42S.”

I feel the Hp 42s is overlooked because it did not sell well. People cannot comment on something they never had. And for that, Hp is really to blame. Hp priced the Hp42s at the same price as the Hp48G and no self respecting student would buy the Hp 42s when they could buy the Hp48G and have a machine that was the ugly twin of the better featured Hp48gx ( I am biased towards hand held calculators and graphing models barely qualify). If Hp had sold the Hp 42s for $20 less, I suspect the Hp 42s would have sold much better. If Hp had developed the serial port (yes, it was supposed to have one), it would have been the darling of Hp calculators, but Hp did NOT want to rob sales from the Hp 48g line.

I suspect (and am only speculating) that Hp felt students would buy the Hp48g, graduate and then buy the Hp 48gx. The advent of cheaper, portable computers and laptops negated this along with the superior long lasting quality of the Hp48g meant there was never a great demand for the Hp48gx outside of the surveying field.

So to beat a dead horse, the Hp 42s is often brought up in discussions about which calculator was Hp’s best ever. It usually loses to the Hp 32sii due to “Great LCD, perfect complexity or fractions capability of the Hp 32sii, etc”. Most often though most Hp 32sii users never used an Hp 42s or had a brief experience and note the poor readability of the Hp 42s (in comparison to an Hp 32s or LCD display of the earlier voyager lines).

However, in only one or two cases have I ever heard of an Hp42s user / owner prefer any other calculator.

I still love my Hp 42s the most, but use an Hp 48g+ due to the ability to reload programs into the calculator should I have a machine reset when I change batteries. Let that happen one or two times with a couple K of RAM lost and you will tend to become somewhat fickle with the Hp 42s. And an Hp 48G or G+ is 25-50% the cost of an Hp42s to replace.

#25

Got my 30b two days after ordering from HP. It is going to stay on my desk, rather than going into a drawer like the 20b did. The keypad is outstanding. They really got this one right. The one change I would make would be to have a dedicated "store" key in place of the "%" key......do many people actually use the "%" key (programming maybe?)?

Well done HP.


#26

As Gene and Bruce have said many times, you can reassign the % key (or any key) to the STO function. Then it's a one-keypress to STO.


#27

I've always liked the requirement to use a shift function to access STO. That way, it takes two active errors to wipe out the memory's contents with something that I did not intend to store there.

#28

Don,

I don't think you can assign STO to another key. STO requires at least a register number in order to enter it into a program. You could assign 'STO 0', for example, to a key but not just 'STO'.

This isn't really a macro recording calculator, although it acts like it in some circumstances.

-Katie


#29

Yeah, that's right.

#30

You can, however, use the TVM keys as single key STOs. You don't actually have to key 'SHIFT STO N'. Simply keying 'N' will store the value in the 'N' register. Of course you now really don't have any protection from a finger fumble.

At least I have yet to find any situation where this does not work. Of course you can't store 0 in 'N' but you can in the other TVM registers.

#31

Quote:
...I must admit, now that I know how to program the HP 30b it is fast becoming my favorite. I did not think any calculator would measure up to the HP 12C.

Great, now that I've read this, I feel a bit like a calculator snob. After my incredible find of an HP-12C for $5 at a garage sale a few years ago, I thought it was the perfect calculator--functions, form factor, quality, etc. So much so that I recently scored a great deal (about 1/2 of new in box) on eBay for a pristine one just to ensure that I have another ready to go just in case.

But in spite of the fact that this 30b may be more functional, it just doesn't seem to have the panache of the 12c--it's svelte good looks, heft, and provenance. Please don't kill me by saying that something else has replaced my HP-41CX that I just got...


#32

Jim, not sure how familiar you are with the whole HP calculator landscape, but here goes. The 41c series was top-of-the-line in it's day. This status was replaced by the evolving 48/49/50g series, which are quite different animals.

But if you like the build quality, look and feel, and capabilities of the 41cx (and 12c, for that matter), why worry about any superseding models?


#33

Quote:
Jim, not sure how familiar you are with the whole HP calculator landscape, but here goes. The 41c series was top-of-the-line in it's day. This status was replaced by the evolving 48/49/50g series, which are quite different animals.

But if you like the build quality, look and feel, and capabilities of the 41cx (and 12c, for that matter), why worry about any superseding models?


Thanks for weighing in on my dilemma. It's not really a problem though, as I was just pontificating on how I am apparently not opened minded enough to see the advances in calc design since I last had a big interest in them (all HP of course).

As for my awareness, I started in 1974 with a used HP-45 (which still works on AC!), an HP-34C, then moved to an HP-32SII, an HP-41C (with memory, Math, Stats, Machine Design, Structural, and Advantage pacs and the Wickes Synthetic Programming book), an HP-48S, and now the HP-12C. Strangely, along the way I also tried a Novus and Sinclair (I think those were their names), since they were also RPN. My brother went the route of HP-19C, HP-29, and then HP-15C which he still has.

So basically, I'm just stuck in the past...


#34

Quote:
So basically, I'm just stuck in the past...

Me, too. I use several Pioneers and a couple 48sx's.

This illustrates my point: The calculators I use have all the features I need, and the look and feel, build quality, are superior to anything new available today. So I'm not really "stuck", but use these HP's by choice. Some use the argument that the older models are not easily replaceable. This may have been true years ago, but not since the advent of eB**.

Martin

P.S. I also use Nikon film cameras from the 1970's.


#35

Quote:
P.S. I also use Nikon film cameras from the 1970's.

I still use table top vacuum-tube (er...valve) radios like my two Philcos from 1937 and 1940, a Crosley from 1934, and a RCA from 1939. (No old Volksempfänger sets, though. I bought one once, but the only thing it would pick up was "Deutschland Über Alles".)


#36

Mike,

Quote:
No old Volksempfänger sets, though. I bought one once, but the only thing it would pick up was "Deutschland über alles".

Judging from that you must be a collector for a verrry long time ;) This verse is out of use for over 65 years now.

#37

Ah yes, but it was part of a pretty good vintage joke.

And...those who recognize it must be pretty vintage themselves (though obviously, not necessarily as old as the joke itself)!


#38

I was going to buy a 12C at Office Depot here in Denver, Colorado. They wanted $90. I found it on Amazon for $20 less.

Office Depot isn't even close to being competitive.


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