33s and 32sii keyboard issues


Has anyone had the keys come loose within the housing of their 33s or 32sii??? I had TWO 32sii's that became unusable because of this. Now, I'm on my second 33s in less than two years and the number "1" key just broke loose. The first one I had replaced under waranty, but this second one is not covered. I LOVE the 32sii and 33s models, but at this point will not buy another one. What about the 48gII and the 49g+? Do these models have similar key construction? I'd hate to abandon HP and go TI...


Are you a pusher, or a poker? :-)


If you had two 32sii's fail, you will certainly have no better luck with the newer Hp's. Yes, I believe the Hp48Gii and Hp49G+ have a similar construction to the newer Hp33s (perhaps even less durable).

You will certainly save money by switching over to Ti, but you will also give up features as Ti no longer makes a programmable pocket calculator either.

I suspect (and actually recommend) you will buy a Ti. And their new calculator keyboards are fairly rugged and will probably hold up longer than an Hp for your use.

I also suspect that you will buy another Hp33s in 3-6 months after using the Ti (unless you buy a good graphics), as their pocket calculators are very basic models compared to the features offered on the Hp33s. And the new Hp33s has improved the decimal point in the display.

If you had not mentioned two dead Hp32s's I would blame the new Hp keyboards, but I suspect you punch your keys and cause failures on the Hp style type keyboard. A Ti probably won't fail under the same use, as they use a different construction (no tactile feed back, but no failure either).


Hi Ron,

When did / how did Ti eliminate teh "Ti-itis" problem that was so endemic on their LED models? I seem to remember some early LCD models having the same problem. How are they made in such a way that there is no failure from hard keypresses?

Note: I have never taken a Ti apart.




It took Ti nearly a decade to eliminate their lousy keyboards (and they didn't start out lousy, the SR-50 series was good). Ti's first LCD models had the same crappy keyboards of their earlier Ti-50 line.

Probably Ti wised up after buying and relableing a Toshiba calculator (Ti-66). But I had already switched over to an Hp15c and a friend of mine had purchased the Ti-66. That was in 85 or 86, and I had just abandoned a new Ti-55ii.

In one of my former jobs in R&D in the mid nineties the lab was swamped with Ti-30x's. They held up to all sorts of abuse and yes, we all considered them disposable. But their keyboards never failed due to use (chemical abuse was another problem, some of the chemicals were extremely volatile).

So I would have to say the corrected their problems of poor keyboards in the late 80's or early 90's.

I have never bothered to repair or even disassemble a newer Ti as stated earlier, they are disposable at $10-15. I can understand the original posters dismay, because at $50, you do expect a longer life. I also suspect he does bang hard on the keypad as it is a near statistical impossiblility that he got two BAD Hp32sii's and then a poor Hp33s (that's not quite so hard to imagine).

I did dissemble a Business model due to a bad LCD. It was as stated earlier, a poor connection between the LCD and the zebra strip. And the case was flimsy. Since I had taken it apart to see construction, and it was a business model, I never bothered to reassemble.


I suspect (and actually recommend) you will buy a Ti. And their new calculator keyboards are fairly rugged and will probably hold up longer than an Hp for your use.

I can't agree that TI scientific calculators are rugged, and wouldn't second a recommendation.

I have had two different model TI scientifics die on me, in only about a year of use each. The keyboard died on one. For the other, either the CPU, display, or solar cell got loose. (The calculator would intermittently work if I squeezed the back) I opened it up and was surprised to see that neither the LCD nor the solar cell were physically connected to anything; only the pressure of the back plate kept them in place.

I've used (but don't own) the latest 30IIX model, and wasn't impressed at all. It seems like sometimes keypresses don't register (and I've used an older 49G+, and the problem with the TI is MUCH worse in my opinion and experience). It's dual battery/solar powered, but if you want to change the battery, unscrewing the calculator isn't enough. It seems like the front and back halves are sealed together, and you'll have to snap them apart. Maybe the calculator was designed to be disposable.

I heard from someone today that his Ti 30IIX stopped working, so I doubt they're any more durable than the TIs I had that died.

Also, it's rather feature poor compared to, say, the Sharp 506w.

The TI36x might seem slightly more solid (but I haven't given it much "rough love"), but it has had some known bugs for quite a while.

As far as I'm concerned, the only TI I think is worth owning is the TI89, but if you just want pure number crunching it might be overkill. I don't know how much I can vouch for the ruggedness of it, but I have dropped one at least a couple of times (when the case was on it, protecting the front), and the battery back came off and the batteries flew everywhere, but it was otherwise unaffected.


I'll agree that these TIs are not as robust as some say they are. College students destroy them all the time. I suppose that might be one reason as to why there is such a wide market for them...


I have both the 32SII and 33S and they work great for me. I consider myself more of a poker. I hit the keys very fast with just one finger and it's more of a fast poke. Maybe you're using a little more force than some folk. Give the new 17BII+ a try. If you don't like it you can always take it back. You'll love the high-quality case it comes in, too. I found the keys on the 17BII+ just a little too hard to push for me and harder than the 33S, but with your style it may be the perfect match. It's is $90-100 at Office Depot, etc. Give it a try and report back. If it doesn't work, take it back. Oh yeah, it's a "business" calc, but it has most of the functions you'll need in a typical scientific.


Hi Stan

It really seems you bang the keys very hard. I have several old Pioneers. I suppose they have the same mechanic regarding the key pad. I never had any keyboard problems.

Same for the Voyagers and 48 series. But my favorite in key response ergonomics remains the 41 series!

Maybe the new 17BII+ (like other posters already noticed here) is the solution for your problem: you can configure it to RPN. I own also a 17BII (intermediate series) and used it daily for many years until I found a 32SII.

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