HP 15C LE - a personal review



#4

I just want to share what my personal feelings and experiences are from one day of playing with the 15C LE. Others may see that differently, it's just my point of view.

+ The leather skin box is really looking and feeling great.

- The plastic bed in which the calculator sits is a pain. I needed three hands to get it out. Because I like the box I would like to place the calculator in it after every use, but that is near impossible without damaging the plastic inlay or the calc. So the way to go would be to get rid of the plastic thingy - which would render the window in the box useless, since you can't view the calculator through it anymore or only on the bottom of the box. Grrr!

+ The build quality of the calculator is superb. The keys feel absolutely great, way better than on my old original 15C. The f and g key are the exact same color as the original! One of the two machines I bought will therefor be my daily-used calculator. I love it!

- The protective sleeve is not what I want to put a "Limited Edition" in. I'm going to use a replacement. That could have been avoided by putting a real leather pouch in the package. And I would have gladly paid more for it.

+ The manual is nicely printed and although it has some flaws it is a nice companion to the 15C.

- Had the manual been spiral bound it would be 100% perfect. The original cover layout would have been nice, too.

- Had the Advanced Functions Handbook been included in a printed version I would have easily payed 20 bucks more. I find it to be a shame that it is not included. I remember reading from Tim that it was not up to some quality expectations and therefor not printed. That was a bad decision. A down-loadable flawless pdf copy does not make up for a printed manual even if it has some problems. Please, HP. make a printed version available!

- The PSE bug is bad. Imagining I were not a forum member sitting in front of my newly purchased 15C and couldn't get many of the manual's examples to work I would be deeply annoyed and thinking about returning the thing. This bug should be addressed as quick as possible. I'm sure HP will do that but in the meantime they should ask vendors to distribute an email to their customers explaining what the problem is and how HP aims to fix it. I assume most of 15C LE buyers up to now have bought their machine(s) via Internet and have left an email address. It should be easy to ask sellers for assistance.

- HP could use the same contact path to send a manual addendum out concerning the self test mess up.

- I don't fancy the silver plate on the back, I had liked it to be dark. But that's a minor point.


Overall I'm very happy with the 15C LE. But had it been announced only in 2012 but without any bugs and with both printed manuals and a leather pouch I would be even happier!


#5

Quote:
+ The leather skin box is really looking and feeling great.

I consider the elaborate packaging used for the HP 15C-LE to be a complete waste of material and money. One suspects that a significant portion of the production cost was squandered on what is of no value whatsoever. I'd have preferred a simple cheap package such as the Pioneer models used.

Quote:
+ The build quality of the calculator is superb. The keys feel absolutely great, way better than on my old original 15C.

I disagree. I have several old Voyagers, including a couple of HP-15C units. There are absolutely no positive attributes to 15C-LE construction, compared to the original 15C (especially the more robust single-PCB 15C version).

Having said that, I find the 15C-LE construction quality to be acceptable

Quote:
- The PSE bug is bad.

I think what is bad is that changes were made in the firmware six months ago that are alleged to have introduced the bug, yet there was no minimal testing protocol executed following a firmware change of any sort that would have detected this type of problem, nor was there effective beta testing to detect it before production. I found the bug within an hour's use of the 15C-LE because I wanted to see how anything that involved timing performed on the emulated 15C. That sort of test should have been part of any minimum post-revision firmware testing protocol.

Quote:
Overall I'm very happy with the 15C LE. But had it been announced only in 2012 but without any bugs and with both printed manuals and a leather pouch I would be even happier!

The original Voyagers didn't use leather covers, why should the less expensive, lower quality 15C-LE? The thin cover that is included is entirely appropriate.

I agree about the value of delay in introduction. It would have been far better to have a Limited Edition introduced with some further delay, if such delay would have allowed time to find and correct the several consequential problems that were easily identified within a couple of days after gamma testers first got their machines. Since these are Limited Edition machines, I fear that the temptation will be to let the whole LE batch go to market, then be done with any further development.

Edited: 29 Sept 2011, 2:18 p.m.


#6

While I can't comment on overall construction (I have never opened either the original or the new LE) I can say that I do agree with Alexander on the keyboard. I have felt this way for quite some time--that the keyboard response of the new calculators is very nice and actually an improvement on the old. This, of course, is just personal preference but I just like the feel of the keys. As to whether they will hold up over time like the old ones did I can't answer yet. I guess if I had not been so lucky with my 12C+'s, 12C Plat's, and 15C LE's in that I have had no keyboard problems whatsoever I probably would not feel the way I do.

Cheers,

-Marwan


#7

I too find the keyboard quite nice and all the keys respond to the same amount of pressure, and for the most part feel much the same as my early production 16C, except on the 16C the enter key takes considerably more force than the other keys, on the 15LE it is the same as all the others. When i got it I tried my best to make a key fail to register but I was unable to do that. The shift keys do move a little on it, but then they also move around a little on the 16C. The case it came with is almost identical in material and construction as the case that came with my 16C, I hope they used a better material to line it, one that does not disintegrate into black dust like the one that came with the 16C. I got a little surprise when I got the LE, coincidentally the LE number on it is the same as the year I was born.

#8

Quote:
I think what is bad is that changes were made in the firmware six months ago that are alleged to have introduced the bug, yet there was no minimal testing protocol executed following a firmware change of any sort that would have detected this type of problem, nor was there effective beta testing to detect it before production. I found the bug within an hour's use of the 15C-LE because I wanted to see how anything that involved timing performed on the emulated 15C. That sort of test should have been part of any minimum post-revision firmware testing protocol.


Tim did say that the people who were given 15C prototypes last year at HHC were allowed access to a special forum where they could talk about the calculator and report issues. There had been a new firmware, yes, and the people with the calculators were allowed to download and flash the firmware. Supposedly many did flash the new firmware but did not report any issues or problems for over 4 months so HP went ahead into production.

#9

Quote:
+ The manual is nicely printed and although it has some flaws it is a nice companion to the 15C.

I'm curious if you've found any flaws in the manual other than the self-test in the appendix.

#10

Quote:

I'm curious if you've found any flaws in the manual other than the self-test in the appendix.


- not being black and blue color printed

- not having the original cover picture

- not being spiral bound

- having programs in it that yield the PSE bug


#11

Quote:
- having programs in it that yield the PSE bug

What does this mean with respect to the Owner's Handbook? Nothing in the Handbook causes the PSE bug!

The programs in the Handbook should work. The existence of the PSE bug has no adverse reflection on the Handbook, unless one thinks that the Handbook should have been revised to work around a bug that was not known to exist when the Handbook was last edited. Personally, I'd prefer that the bug got fixed in the firmware. :-)

Edited: 29 Sept 2011, 4:54 p.m.

#12

Quote:
I'm curious if you've found any flaws in the manual other than the self-test in the appendix.

There are several. Read
this thread and this followup.


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