32Sii BROWN vs. 32Sii BLACK



Anybody got an opinion of which is better........
32Sii BROWN vs 32Sii BLACK ????

Did they make mostly the brown or mostly the black ??

Is the brown version perhaps more cosmetically pleasant,
more viewable, etc etc?

I was thinking of swapping my 32Sii from black to brown, based on a hunch that brown is the earlier version and might be better overall. I am also suspicious that the white ink on the keys of the black version is more likely to come off ?


In the room, in the neon-light, my 32 is black. Outside in the sunshine the color of it is brown. And the soft case is too.



Why should the old version be the better one? If you're unlucky you might get a buggy one. If this is what you want we could probably swap our calcs since I'm not a collector and would be pleased to get a full working device (In case you don't know what I'm talking about--some brown bezel devices have the fraction calculations messed up:).


I've one of each, and can attest that the older keyboard puts the newer one to shame.

The older has double-shot keys (indelible legends molded in two colors of plastic) with big, elegant, readable characters and great contrast. The newer has painted-on keytops, with noticeably smaller, dimmer, less-well-positioned characters and a distinctly cheaper look & feel.

If one of yours has painted keytops, take special care of the other one!


Hi Paul and Norm,

I have one of each, too, and even my brown one has painted keys, just as my black and green one has. I wonder if there is any coincidence between resolution of the fraction bug, and phase out of the double shot keys? BTW, my painted keys show no signs of failure--and I have a 48GX with painted keys, and it is fine, too.




A couple of points about 32Sii's.

The 32Sii started life with units made in the USA. These were the only ones with the fraction bug and HP was swapping them out FOC. I doubt there are many buggy ones still out there.

If I had to guess, I would bet there are at least 10 times more brown units out there than black, so there is no way the browns are "rare" as so many eBay sellers like to point out.

Production shifted to Singapore, a very brief period when they where made in Malaysia and then finally to Indonesia.

The black units represent the end of production units made in the last two years of their life as a product. The keyboards tend to have some keys that click louder than others, primarily on release. Some find it to be very annoying, especially those of us who know that not all units do this. This is a trait of all later Indonesian Pioneers, not just 32Sii's. It is my personal belief that the specification for the bi-axially oriented mylar sheet used for the key dome material was relaxed, creating the problem. Never have I seen a Singapore or USA unit with this very annoying habit.

Malaysian and Indonesian 32Sii units, both brown and black, ALL have printed keys and yes, they do wear off. More correctly, they chip off. Only the USA and Singapore models have the better double molded key legends. As Paul so correctly states, the legends are smaller and of a lower contrast. The painted keys do have a clear coating over them to prevent wear-off, which helps but does not prevent a loss of the key lengend.

I personally find the brown scheme to be much easier to see. The teal and purple against a black background is pretty tough for me. The 48 series was better with the blueish-gray background.

IMO, if you're in the market for a brown unit, I would look for one made in Singapore.

Edited: 8 Oct 2003, 11:12 a.m.


Hi Randy,

my 32SII is a Singapore model and I can confirm all the bugs with the fraction mode on this particular calc. I was not able to swap it since I wasn't aware of the exchange program by HP. About the keys, yes, the symbols are 'molded' into the plastic and the feeling is much softer and more silent than on my '98 48g or even my '90 20S. But again, thats just a detail for collectors and does not affect the usability. At least I-being just a user-don't mind the difference.



I have both a black and a brown 32SII and I prefer the brown version. The black 32SII suffers from sticky sounding keys, the brown one does not. The brown one has a better color scheme IMO. Both are Indonesian made and do not suffer from the fixed denominator bug.


Wow !
That was some heavy duty information.
Randy especially did quite the meticulous summary
of HP-32Sii history.

I too perceived that the last part of the production run had cheap keys....... and I haven't even pulled it out of the plastic. I like the way that was stated by you guys.... the legends are thinner and fainter and harder to see.

As I try to be a connosseur, I would tend to try for earlier in the production run. Of course, I maintain a bias towards 32S as preferrable to 32Sii ....... and 34C best of all :o)

BTW, how do you prove whether or not 32Sii has the bug in the fractions ?? And even if it does, is it enough of a problem to likely interfere with everyday calculations ?

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