HP 10bII+ vs. 10bII first impressions



#2

My new HP 10bII+ arrived yesterday and, of course, I had to pull out my three year old 10bII for comparison.

The 10bII+ keyboard: not as good as the 10bII. The new machine has noisier keys with a more hollow click sound. This suggests the keys are sitting loosely in the case and, sure enough, shaking the 10bII+ produces a definite rattle. In contrast the 10bII has a solid firm click and no rattle. Just made a short video to demonstrate the differences: video clip.

There is also noticeable bending of the 10bII+ top case when pressing down on the top three rows of keys.

Display is clear with a greenish tint, but I prefer the yellowish 10bII with its better contrast.

Speed: the 10bII+ is much faster. Tried the usual 253! factorial calculation which responded instantaneously. No "running" message for the 10bII+!

Current state is now fully preserved at power off: even in the midst of entering a number.

The new colours of the key legends are a mixed bag: the orange is slightly darker and slightly reddish while the blue (more cyan) is easier to read than the dark blue of the 10bII, but I prefer the orange of the older model.

Lots of new functions! I am really happy to see trigs and hyperbolics and especially the normal and t distributions. A real pity HP couldn't include F and chi-squared then I would have a replacement in case my 21s dies.

Overall, the keyboard of the older model is much superior (in fact it's the best keyboard HP have made in the last decade) but the 10bII+ gives us faster electronics and more functions. Sigh, HP: always two steps forward, one step back...

Kevin

PS. Long time lurker on these forums and mild HP collector (er, fanatic?). Thought it was about time I contributed something ;)


#3

Kevin,

Welcome! Thanks for the video.

My 10bii and 10bii+ feel and sound exactly the same as far as the key clicks go but only when hand held. On a smooth, hard surface desk I hear (but don't feel) the difference. I believe that this is caused by: (1) the 10bii is heavier than the 10bii+, (2) the battery door doens't fit as well on the 10bii+ and rattles a little when the keys are pressed. Both of these could be fixed with a little creative user engineering, I think. Perhaps HP could tweak the production line on these aspects.

I do like the speed and potential to repurpose the 10bii+. It also has a nice bunch of functions including the Gamma function -- try 253.119!

-Katie


#4

Yeah, same here. No keyboard issues at all, so I'm kind of puzzled by that comment...

#5

Katie,

You are right: testing on the flat hard surface of my desk is probably worst case scenario for keyboard noise. When held the two models are quieter. The 10bii+ is still noticeably louder though: I think the extra noise and the keyboard flex is because the upper case is thinner than on the 10bII. Perhaps that is one tweak HP could look into...

Now that I've played around with the 10bII+ more I must say the feel of the keyboard is quite good. Perhaps better than the 10bII: the 10bII+ needs less force to press each key and I can type faster on the new model. I think I was too distracted by the noise to notice at first ;)

Kevin

#6

The keyboard is identical between models, except for very very early 10bII units, so that is kind of surprising to me.

Glad you like it! I'm the one the wrote most of the software. :-)

TW


#7

Yes! And by the way, one of the nicest collection of statistical functions around in such a calculator -- great job Tim!

Thanks,
bruce

#8

Tim,

After experimenting further with the 10bII+ I think my initial impressions were misleading: it's probably not the keyboard but the case that has changed. The extra noise and flex are more likely because the upper case is thinner, the keys are now held less tightly (hence the rattle) and the click echoes.

I am in awe at the work done on the software. I worked through some of the manual this weekend and especially love the new stats editor. It's very impressive how easy it is to use and how the 7-segment display is not limiting at all! Thank you.

Kevin.


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