Which calcs have click-and-rotate keys?



#16

Which models of calculators have click-and-rotate keys? I can't seem to find that even on the HP website but I could be using the wrong search term "click-and-rotate".


#17

Everything except the cheapest products. Anything ~30$ or higher (with the exception of the 20b) has hinged keys.

TW


#18

I wonder why I've seen customer comments regarding the 17BII+ having bad keys if it too has the click-and-rotate style keys.


#19

Because ya'll are super picky. ;-)

The real issue boils down to this - a keyboard produced now for a fraction of the cost of one from many years ago won't be as good as an original that cost 3-4 times the price. (this is ignoring potential software problems which are a whole different game)

We try to make them good and it drives *us* (the R&D people) nuts when there are keyboard problems, but unfortunately I am not king of the world. If 99.9% of the customers are happy, marketing and business people are as well.

That .01% is the most vocal though. . .

The fact that the definition of a good keyboard is a subjective thing doesn't help either. I've heard people who think the 48g had a great keyboard, and others who think it is crap. Throw in incositent manufacturing due to everyone trying to save cost, and there is plenty of potential for some units to be perfect, while others aren't.

TW

Edited: 2 Dec 2010, 1:38 a.m.


#20

IMHO keys were - and to some extent still are - one of the "key" features putting HP ahead of the crowd since 1972. The opposite is true as well: if HP would become unable to deliver "good keys" then all calculator manufacturers are equal in this feature, and other points will determine the buyer's choice.

So, again IMHO, a "good key" basicly is one giving you an unambiguous tactile feedback when that key is pressed and registered. Nothing more.

Consequence: If you get this tactile feedback, you can rely on the keystroke being registered. BTW, this works fine with all the vintage HP pocket calcs I've experienced so far. Additionally, most of their keyboards were also designed well in respect of function grouping and key locations, but that's another topic and is changed easily - after all, it's only a match table connecting keys and functions. The basic key hardware and registering firmware has to work reliably in any case. After all, a calculator shall be a professional tool.

Corrolary: If you happen to observe a single keystroke being not registered though the tactile feedback was given, you're extremely alarmed since this shakes the basis of your trust in your calculator! So if people would observe this on a true HP calc and talk about it, I won't call them picky but concerned.

As mentioned above, this topic was discussed earlier in this forum already several times, but that's what it all boils down to IMHO.

Ceterum censeo: HP, launch a 43S (with a good keyboard, of course :)

Walter


Edited: 2 Dec 2010, 5:48 a.m.


#21

Quote:
So, again IMHO, a "good key" basicly is one giving you an unambiguous tactile feedback when that key is pressed and registered. Nothing more.

Walter, I would respectively add one thing more. The keyboard should last! That's what brought me to HP to begin with - I had two too many TI keyboards fail.

#22

Martin, you're right of course. OTOH my posting stated exactly this already, since a key will end being a good one as soon as said condition is true no more d;-)

If, however, you were talking about double-shot keys then you're right again: that's another important feature, though I'd rate that slightly lower than the one I stated.

#23

Quote:
So, again IMHO, a "good key" basicly is one giving you an unambiguous tactile feedback when that key is pressed and registered. Nothing more.

I don't think it's a requirement that you get tactile feedback. I get no such feedback from my computer keyboard but it doesn't bother me because the key always registers.

I would add a couple of other requirements:

  • the key registers once when pressed once (i.e., de-bounce).
  • the key registers twice when pressed twice (i.e., good de-bounce :) )
  • pressing a second key registers, even if the first one hasn't yet been released.
  • The legend on the keys remains visible after heavy use

#24

Quote:

I don't think it's a requirement that you get tactile feedback. I get no such feedback from my computer keyboard but it doesn't bother me because the key always registers.


They are different use cases. The very limited travel of a
calc keyboard switch benefits from sharp tactile feedback where
a computer keyboard comparatively does not. IIRC the latter
experiment with pronounced tactile feedback seemed to die off
with the original XT keyboard.

Although strictly speaking the molded silicone domes in the
garden variety PC keyboards do exhibit some tactile feedback
when inverted. But it is nowhere as distinct as a metal dome.

Quote:
I would add a couple of other requirements:
[ul]
  • the key registers once when pressed once (i.e., de-bounce).
  • the key registers twice when pressed twice (i.e., good de-bounce :) )
  • TI seems (seemed?) to have an awful time figuring this out.
    Unsure if the debounce was attempted in HW or SW but the
    horrid result (at least for models I've owned) rendered the
    calc effectively useless.

    #25

    Quote:
    Because ya'll are super picky. ;-)

    Well, count me as picky, too -- because I believe that the hinged design that allows the key to move only like a mechanical rocker, regardless of where it is pressed, is far superior to a design that allows the key to wobble as though it is connected to a ball-and-socket joint.

    The "vintage" HP-49G's keys have acceptable tactile feedback and reliability, but slow the user down because they wobble when pressed off-center -- and not because they are made of rubber. I use several remote controls that cause me similar exasperation by failing to register key presses.

    A mid-1980's TV remote I use, however, has plunger-style buttons that move only up and down -- and always work properly.

    I also agree that the reliability and durability of the keyboard will determine the success and acceptance of the calculator.

    -- Karl


    #26

    The ultimate Tactile Feedback keys came with my original black and White Zenith television remote control, the "space command"


    #27

    Quote:
    The ultimate Tactile Feedback keys came with my original black and white Zenith television remote control, the "space command"

    A better photo and some history here:
    (Caution: Ad-laden page that is slow to download)

    Ours was the four-button later model from the 1960's for black-and-white sets, similar to this one for color TV's. In function at least, these didn't change much into the 1970's, until infrared remotes arrived later.

    -- Karl

    Edited: 4 Dec 2010, 1:00 a.m.


    #28

    What great memories this brings back....

    We had a few devices that used these ultrasonic remote back in the day: 2 tv's and a slide projector. They generally worked well but were subject to false trigger from other sounds like jingling keys and especially window shades being rolled up/down. Being pretty young at the time, this was actually more fun than annoyance.

    #29

    Quote:
    I wonder why I've seen customer comments regarding the 17BII+ having bad keys if it too has the click-and-rotate style keys.

    AFAIK most of those complaints were about the first 17BII+ (non-silver) (see Kieth Midson's post on "Evolution of the HP17B - prototype to current in pictures", the second last one was apparently the "bad" model), the latest one appears to be better. I believe it was similar with the 10BII (I have the latest model and so far it is OK).

    #30

    All vintage HP pocket calcs launched before 2000 had hinged keys. I'm not so sure after that date, since I don't know when the first undercover-Casios appeared in HP's portfolio.


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