HP-15C LE - Two bad keys


I received my HP-15C LE from buy.com today ($89.99 + free shipping), Limited Edition Number 02368, and low and behold it has two bad keys. The SST key requires much more effort than a normal keypress to register, and the '6' key will go down and click with a light touch and not register the press. Is this common? Since buy.com seems to be out, I guess I will have to go the route of warranty service through HP.


It's not the case with my unit, and I haven't heard anyone else complain of keys registering poorly like that. That's definitely grounds for returning it. Why not ask buy.com id they can exchange it? If not, then HP would be the right way to go.


Mine also was from buy.com #00549 and the square root key will click without registering unless pressed with additional force.


Wow. That's two reports now. :(


And that's not an acceptable problem :-(. At least I wouldn't want to live with that.


Yes, this condition is unacceptable. I normally press keys consistently with just the force necessary to depress them, and the '6' key is a pretty important key. To use the calculator in this state, one must watch the display carefully to ensure that each keypress of the affected keys has registered. Very inconvenient, and unacceptable. I bought a used HP-41C advertised as 'works perfectly' a few years ago on TAS with this same problem (most likely developed over time with much use) and returned it for a refund.

I called buy.com this morning and found that they are completely sold out of HP-15C LEs, and will not be getting anymore. They informed me that they would be happy to take the return and refund my purchase. But I will not accept that offer as I want to end up with a unit, and it appears likely these are close to selling out. I wonder if HP will have any for sale on their own web site. I certainly hope that they have enough replacements for defective units that they must warranty.


[...] and it appears likely these are close to selling out.
It's probably of not much help, but there's still a batch of european calculators to be sold.

I wonder if the problem is dirt from the production process or a problem with the contact itself. The former might by resolved by just cleaning using Randys procedure. I very much hope for it.

Edited: 16 Sept 2011, 12:13 p.m.


I received by unit from buy.com with a LE #00506.

The "g" function button must be pressed with much more force than any other key in order to register. If I slide the key a bit toward the screen (upward) and press down, it is much more likely to register. If I slide it the opposite direction (downward) and press, it rarely ever registers.

This makes things difficult, since the "g" key is used very often... When I am calculating quickly, I find I forget to press the key with greater force than the rest. The result is incorrect calculations.


My HP-15C LE serial # 02364 has an identical problem with the '6' key. The '6' key takes about twice as much force to produce a result. I havn't noticed any other key problems. Since the serial numbers are only four apart this might be a manufacturing defect that affects many calculators.


Very strange indeed.

Mine is #02391 (CNA1310K9L), and I have encountered no keyboard problems at all. I wonder if I should feel lucky?

I intend to post a full review of my unit some time over the weekend.


I got 2 with perfectly good keyboards. You're pretty much only going to see the complaints on the internet. It is inevitable that you get a few defective units when doing volume manufacturing, and it simply isn't possible to catch all of them. I would imagine the manufacturing tests are largely automated, and would be very surprised if I discovered that somebody at the factory had to run the keyboard test on every single calculator. It is far more likely that some get randomly spot-checked.


Even in the "good old days" when HPs were made in the USA and cost many times more than they do today, defective units found their way into the hands of consumers. I have a totally mint HP-80 with a faulty LED array in a digit, that undoubtedly left the factory that way. It looks like it is unused, so perhaps that is why it was never returned to the factory for warranty repair / replacement.

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