Comparison between the new 12c and the old 12c


Dear friends...i´d try to make the question in other way:

is the quality of the "new" manufactured 12c as good as the traditional 12c use to be????´s because i´d want to get a new one but JUST and ONLY if this new one has the same quality of at least good enough compared to the older made ones...i already know that the 12c platinum is a piece of sh....but i would like to know if the 12c (the gold one) has the same depressing quality...

thanks for yours inputs i´m quite interested to know the TRUTH...




From the units I have held in my hand, there is no comparison--the older units are far better. And this goes for USA, Brazil, and Singapore units. Not sure about Indonesia--never seen one of those.

I have a USA and a Brazil, and I find both of them really solid. By comparison, a brand-new Chinese one that my brother bought, had very shaky loose keys, right out of the box. (All voyagers have this to some extent---but the degree of rattling in this CN 12c was unbelieveable--he was afraid it would break if he shook too hard!).

The other differences are electronic--there was a significant change in the physical electronic architecure some years ago. Luiz Vieira knows the detail--if you searh 2 or three archives back in the forum under Luiz, or 12c, you might find it.

I do not remember whether the electronic architecture changes were before the China production.

Also, older units had nice spiral bound manuals, whereas the newer ones are paperback.

And, my Brazil and USA manuals (both spiral) have examples with high interest rates (it was the 80's after all!). I think the 12cp has the rates lowered in the examples--not sure about the 12c manual.

One of my projects is to compile a revision history of the 12c manual--a dauntintg task! For instance, my Brazil and USA manuals have different edition numbers, but I have not found a difference---but it must be there somewhere!

In other voyagers---my 11c for instance--there were errors in the first manual I recieved--and I received corrigenda cards in the mail (yes, I had registered my machine). I still have those--even though I lost the original maunal and bought a new one some years later......

This is the long of the short answer.

BTW are you looking for a used 12c :-)

Best regards,



The units made in Malaysia are also outstanding, and they might be the best out of all the Asian production. They are solid, compact, and practically flawless!


I own a number of HP 12c calculators, ie. USA, Singapore and Chinese made ones. Basically the Chinese ones function OK but are made very poorly ie. poor moulded slip case instead of stitched, painted on keys not moulded through ones, rattling keys, poor quality made user manual, I even noticed the HP 12c badge isn't even glued on properly with the Chinese ones.

Basically you would do better buying an as new USA made or Singapore HP 12c on Ebay. Can't comment on the Malaysian or Brazilian made ones but I'm sure they are of similar standard.

If you do buy a USA made HP 12c you would be best to avoid ones made in the first half of 1988 as I have found that they all have HP 11C/15C keys which have been painted over to make them Hp 12C keys (I don't know why HP did this, maybe a supply shortage of HP 12C keys?). The 1989 USA model and Singapore model have the original molded keys.


thanks for your feedbacks...i´m agree with them...



All of the voyagers I presently own have some keys apparently "overpainted". (Although I have to dbl check my 15c).

I have nevere noticed any "wearing off" of the "paint" and I'm not sure that they areally are overpainted anyway--it may be "ghosts" in the mold, from spashing a new mold off an old key-----





somewhere here in the hpmuseum are explanations for the 'ghost letters'.

Obviously HP reused keyboards from specific voyager calcs for other calcs

of the same series, e.g. 12C kbds for replacement 16C's.

For this, some of the keys had to be reassigned by putting

a different symbol on it.

So far the only keyboards on HP calcs with wearing out legends

I know of are those with the rubber keys.




I noticed that a USA made 12C had the artwork on the keyboard painted white, as opposed to a Malaysian unit which is painted in an off-white, kind of light sky blue color. Yet, the fonts on the keyboard and the artwork in general of the Asian unit seem to be prettier. Anybody has noticed this?


I have a 12C made in Malaysia which I have won at and I am very satisfied with it; apart from the printed keys instead of the molded keys of my 11C, bought back in the early eightees, I feel no difference.
The 11C has been used and abused and still works like the first day I bought it (second set of batteries).
I have a 41CX as well which I use because of its extended programming capabilities and ease of use and of course because it's the all time classic.
In terms of built construction I think no calculator surpasses the 10-11-12-15-16 C series.

Kind regards!

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