HP Keyboards


Although it is hard believe that there could be a keyboard on an HP calculator that is more unreadable than HP 12CP, I nominate the HP-6S. This is the one with the Blue Case, not the HP-6S Solar which has a Silver Case. The key top is perfectly legible, but anything above the keys is almost completely unreadable in any light. I can see why the 6S is now discontinued. The main thing 6S Solar has going for it is the small size. Fits very nicely in a shirt pocket.

One other comment comparing the 6S and 6S Solar is that I would have thought they would use the same display -- but they don't, the display on 6S solar is bolder and more legible and the width of the zero character is significantly wider on 6S solar.

I know that these are the lowest of the low-end for HP, but I fear their construction gives me some idea of what to expect from the new and improved calculator line to be introduced this fall. I am hoping that the 33S will be a worthy successor to the 32Sii -- but I expect to be disappointed.


You forgot to nominate the 'high-end' 49G and its sisters.
The 49G has a metallic-blue case with blue (!) and red (!) key legends, best viewed with light shining onto the case from one side:-)))



The 49G has a metallic-blue case with blue (!) and red (!) key legends, best viewed with light shining onto the case from one side

...provided you're wearing polarized sunglasses.



Amazing! The one thing that the high end and low end HP calculators have in common is their unreadable keyboards. Sometimes "bright and flashy" turns out to be "dumb and trashy." Although the individual colors are bright enough, the chosen combinations cancel. Perhaps the Marketing Department needs to take some courses in basic "Color Science."

For most people the color schemes used on such calculators as the HP-41 and HP-48SX are very legible. For some color-blind persons, the colors used on 48G are supposed to be more distinguishable. For normal color vision, white against a dark background is quite legible.

If HP had used the keyboard colors of the HP-6S solar on the HP-49 I think it would have been more successful.

Does HP listen to users about such seemingly mundane matters? If so, how do we get their attention -- other than not buying calculators which are so user unfriendly?



I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out that high contrast is better than low contrast. And the designers (people who ought to know these things), should also know that the most common form of color blindness (about 10% of males) is that which prevents the sufferer from distinguishing red and green. I suspect this is the reason the early calculators used gold and blue for the shift keys. Too bad the new crop of designers missed the class in which they explained this item.



I think Ernie has it right. I have or have had four Voyagers, a 1981 11C; a 1982 15C; a 1988 16C; and a 1997 12C. On the 12C (made in MY) it takes a flashlight to see the blue notations on the lower side of the keys.


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