HP-15C survey


How many of you have a working HP-15C and consider it as the best calculator ever?

Me, for starting.

-- Antonio


I had a working HP-15C and sold it 2 months ago. I do NOT regard the HP-15C the best calculator.



OK, I have one, nevertheless I rate my 42S slightly higher.

PRO 15C:
+ brilliant LCD
+ nice keys (HP should never have dropped them)
+ compact design
+ functions are accessed without menus

PRO 42S:
+ far better programming due to better readability
+ far more memory
+ more advanced features (variables, alpha capabilities, flexibility, complex numbers - no wonder since it came after the 15C)

There may be more differences. These are just the ones I rate important.

Edited: 30 Apr 2006, 3:23 p.m.


I have 3 working 15C calculators and find them to be the best compromise of portability and functionality in this age, when any serious calculating that is beyond the capability of the 15C can be much more easily accomplished on a computer than one of the more powerful calculators currently available. The only thing I find lacking in the 15C for my daily use is comprehensive unit conversions. Even that isn't that big a deal as I already know the conversion factors for units I normally deal with. I also have a list of 4411 people that agree with me, and that number has been steadily growing at a rate of about 120 per month for a long time now.

Chris W


I have a 15C, which I never use. Most of my calculator time (all of it recreational, by the way,) is spent on the 41CX, 71B, 42S, 48GX and 49G. The 41CX is my favorite, for sentimental reasons, and because it is a complete computer system. I like the 71B because of its system-like qualities. I like the 42S for its ease of use and sophisticated, but not overly complex programming capabilities. (I downgrade it from "favorite" status due to lack of I/O) I like the 48GX and 49G for their highly sophisticated and extremely complex programming models. 8)

The Voyager form factor strikes me as nearly ideal. However I can't seem to get too excited over a machine that will only deal with numbers, can't print and can't store or retrieve programs. It's just not system-like enough for my taste. Among the other machines I own, I make an exception of the 97. It too will only deal with numbers, and its hardware and programming model are certainly less powerful that the 15C's. But it has mass storage and hardcopy, making it more computer system-like.

Did I say I prefer computer system-like calculators? 8)




I also have three working HP15C, one of them bought as new (I'm the first and 'last' owner, hope so), the other one bought one year ago from the first buyer, too (at least it came with the orignal box!), and a genuine 'frankencalc', an HP15C built with an orignal HP11C box, main(key)board and nut processor, while the extra RAM/ROM chip and the R2D2 (RAM/ROM Display Driver) came from an HP15C. I carefully removed the HP15C's keyboard faceplate and placed it in the HP11C box. The reason was that the HP11C box was a newer, one-piece main/keyboard model with a deffective LCD while the donator HP15C was not working because the flex circuit assembly had so too many broken copper trails. Well, I ennded up having a genuine, fully working frankencalc.

About the usage: the HP15C had all I could ask for in a single calculator when I was at the University. As an Electrical Engineer, dealing with complex arithmetic and matrices was a must, numerical solve and inetgration being also too handy when sudying functions. I keep one of them as 'cold stand by' (stored with no bateries inside; I just 'flash it in' from time to time to see if all is fine), the frankencalc as the 'daily use' and the third one to test some specific procedures so I do not need to erase its memory or to start it all over later if I need something else.

In this sort of survey, I'm always between the HP42S and the HP15C, but I'd certainly consider what was achieved at the time the HP15C was introduced as being more significant than the same achievements with the HP42S. The HP42S is, indeed, a lot more powerfull calculator, but the HP15C is fancier... And I am not sure if there was any other calculator in the market at that time that was able of dealing with complex numbers and matrices with its own integrated features. That was something new.


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 1 May 2006, 2:58 a.m. after one or more responses were posted


I do not have any second-hand calucators. Of the nine HPs I own I have a 15C and a 42S. I agree with Walter B's assessment.



How many of you have a working HP-15C and consider it as the best calculator ever?

Me for another.

One of the key factors that lead me to this conclusion is the small form factor - the power to weight ratio if you will. The battery life is a major plus as is the clear display. The only other HP I keep with me is the 42S for the base conversions and the solver capability. For me the 42S is the most complete calculator, combining power with ease of use but at a price (size and display quality).

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