Message #3 Posted by Paul Brogger on 9 Sept 2003, 10:17 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Joe Edwards
Toward the end of the 32s' availability, production was shifted (I think to China), and a switch was made from double-shot molded keys to painted keytops. I have examples of both versions, and I can attest that the look and feel of the later 32s example is noticeably inferior to those of the earlier unit. (Of course, the very last examples of the 32s sported a notoriously bad color scheme -- and, I suspect, painted keytops.)
I will say, however, that operationally, any difference is much less noticeable -- maybe a slightly less definitive keypress in the newer unit, but still much better than that of ANY contemporary competitor.
I have in hand an early HP-20s, and it too has double-shot keys, bright, beautiful, lasting legends, and both solid feel & operation. I don't know if later production of the 20s was changed to painted keytops or not, but I suspect it was. Regardless, you'll either be buying truly wonderful, absolutely rock-solid algebraic (sigh!) calculators, or dependable units that are "merely" superior to anything else you're likely to find.
At 15 bucks each, I'd buy all three. (I'll buy one of them from you for $20 + postage . . .) I don't know what they're going for on eBay, but I suspect you could recoup the entire investment by selling one MIB.