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hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
05-24-2018, 09:12 AM
Post: #1
hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
When I searched the HP museum forums I found that the "best buy" suggestions for these calculators referred to the 2 battery (built in china) models which were current in 2015. The most recent versions of both seem to be one battery models. Further, when I looked at the Amazon user reviews the hp12c gets bad reviews, particularly for the keyboard.

The 2 battery versions (2015) were praised for their speed.

What should I buy? Either the current hp12c or plat version? or an older 2 battery model?....
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05-24-2018, 01:04 PM
Post: #2
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
(05-24-2018 09:12 AM)pattox Wrote:  When I searched the HP museum forums I found that the "best buy" suggestions for these calculators referred to the 2 battery (built in china) models which were current in 2015. The most recent versions of both seem to be one battery models. Further, when I looked at the Amazon user reviews the hp12c gets bad reviews, particularly for the keyboard.

The 2 battery versions (2015) were praised for their speed.

What should I buy? Either the current hp12c or plat version? or an older 2 battery model?....

The current versions of both 12C and 12CP both use 2 x CR2032 batteries, with the double-wide large door. This new 12C is literally thousands of times faster than the original.

The keyboards on current machines are not as good as classic machines (81 to 2000-ish) but generally still much better than any machine from another manufacturer, so it depends on what you're comparing to.

If speed is important, the latest 12C is the fastest option; if pure HP key feel is most important, buy a used 12C (with the small battery door, using 3 small batteries). Used 12Cs can be found (e.g. eBay) for as little as $20-25 if you're patient, even in excellent condition.

The 12CP flavors offer a few different improvements, like Algebraic mode, undo and more program steps, so if this is 'better' depends on what you want to do.

--Bob Prosperi
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05-24-2018, 01:21 PM
Post: #3
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
If you want something that has both a very good keyboard and modern speed, then you should consider a SwissMicros DM12L. That said, nothing made today can rival the keyboards of the original Voyager HP calculators.
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05-24-2018, 02:34 PM (This post was last modified: 05-24-2018 02:36 PM by cortopar.)
Post: #4
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
If you don’t need the speed, a vintage US or Singapore made 12C is definitely the way to go. The best keyboard, more reliable LCD, etc.

If you need the speed, get the CR2032 12C and hope that your LCD segments don’t start to die too soon.

The platinum is never the right choice (IMO) unless you’re an algebraic user, in which case there are better financial calculators for you anyway.

Don’t neglect to look at older 17bIIs as well. Faster than 12C, solver, great Pioneer keyboard, and portrait layout. The drawback on the 17bII is the LCD with a limited range of view from different angles.
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05-24-2018, 03:16 PM (This post was last modified: 05-25-2018 01:37 AM by Gamo.)
Post: #5
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
I'm using the 2 x CR2032 battery version and very happy with it so far.
There are two different production factory with 2 x CR2032 battery both make in China. One is Kimpo and the other I don't remember the name.
The one I have is make from Kimpo factory and you can tell the different by looking at the Rv (roll down)
key from Kimpo the arrow down tail is shorter the other arrow down tail is longer.

Hope this help......

Gamo


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05-24-2018, 05:08 PM (This post was last modified: 05-24-2018 05:11 PM by kkapkin.)
Post: #6
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
Personally I recommend 12c platinum.
I purchased several 12c's for office use and returned them back to the stores every single time for an exchange until stores (Fry's, Stables, Office Depot) literally ran out of units. Problems have always been the keys, several keys did not registered consistently when pushed. Very bad keyboard. Therefore I don't recommend the 12c. However I never had any keyboard issues with multiple 12C platinum units I purchased, works consistent and every time. For clarification 12c Planium is an RPN calculator, also you have the option to use is in Algebraic mode which I never use.
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05-24-2018, 11:41 PM
Post: #7
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
Either the 12c of 12c platinum would be fine for the sorts of calculations I would want to do. The impression I get is the platinum keyboard is much better ? than the standard 12c.

What I am still confused about is the whether the latest models are one or 2 battery ones.

rprosperi wrote
"The current versions of both 12C and 12CP both use 2 x CR2032 batteries, with the double-wide large door. This new 12C is literally thousands of times faster than the original."

The hpstore site "https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-12c-platinum-financial-calculator-p-f2231aa-aba--1" in the specs for the 12c platinum
says "Power 1 CR2032 battery; Battery life: 2 years (when used 1 hr/day)"

Other sites: https://www.compsource.com/pn/F2231AAABA...2231aaaba/

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/...No=3157009

The compsource site also refers to it having a 6502 cpu

So, if the latest version is indeed a one battery 6502 cpu version how does this compare with the (older?) 2 battery version?

Also I have found on ebay that not everyone shows pictures of the back of the calculator, making it impossible to know exactly what is being offered. Same problem with unopened shrink packaging.

Thank you for all your comments so far-most helpful.
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05-25-2018, 04:35 PM
Post: #8
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
(05-24-2018 11:41 PM)pattox Wrote:  Also I have found on ebay that not everyone shows pictures of the back of the calculator, making it impossible to know exactly what is being offered. Same problem with unopened shrink packaging.

Here is a link to one that is available for $19.99 plus shipping. Old style with the three batteries. Personally, this is what I would get as this is what HP made when they still produced high quality calculators. I bought one of these back in 1987 and I have used it almost every single day since. Still works great.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hewlett-Packard...SwqYZbB1t0
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05-25-2018, 05:46 PM
Post: #9
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
(05-24-2018 11:41 PM)pattox Wrote:  What I am still confused about is the whether the latest models are one or 2 battery ones.

rprosperi wrote
"The current versions of both 12C and 12CP both use 2 x CR2032 batteries, with the double-wide large door. This new 12C is literally thousands of times faster than the original."

The hpstore site "https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-12c-platinum-financial-calculator-p-f2231aa-aba--1" in the specs for the 12c platinum
says "Power 1 CR2032 battery; Battery life: 2 years (when used 1 hr/day)"

Other sites: https://www.compsource.com/pn/F2231AAABA...2231aaaba/

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/...No=3157009

Yeah, it's well-known HP, and therefore channel partners, don't update their websites, collateral material, etc. HP wants the world to think the HP-12C has not ever changed. It's the gold standard in many industries (banking, real estate, etc.) so this makes good sense, in general.

As for why they don't bother to update the specs on the webpage, the HP guys here have been ignored for years when requesting such updates. Some mid-level manager (probably correctly) no doubt reasoned that less the 0.01 % of the buying public cares about such details.

But it's a fact that both current models (12C & 12CP) use 2 x CR-2032 batteries, which means longer battery life, if traditional key-feel is not an important factor.

But, as I and others have recommended, just get a vintage 12C on eBay, I saw one yesterday that was less than $20. Can't go wrong at that price, but look closely at the pics and read the notes. Pristine units of course cost more, but if you're patient and look closely, you can snag one of these cheaply too. A nice side-benefit of HP having sold millions of these over the years.

--Bob Prosperi
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05-25-2018, 08:25 PM
Post: #10
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
(05-24-2018 05:08 PM)kkapkin Wrote:  Personally I recommend 12c platinum.
I purchased several 12c's for office use and returned them back to the stores every single time for an exchange until stores (Fry's, Stables, Office Depot) literally ran out of units. Problems have always been the keys, several keys did not registered consistently when pushed.

I'd be curious if you were buying the 1-cell Chinese model? I have not liked the quality of this build, but echoing the other respondents, I recommend either a 12c+ (2 cell) or the older 3-battery model. I've had 0 keyboard issues on either of the latter.

(I own 8 12c* alculators, and the only Chinese-made one is a 2-Cell 12C+. The others:

3 from USA (1987-1989)
2 from Brazil (1992-1993)
1 From Singapore (1994)
1 from Malaysia (1999-2001?)

I sold all my 12c platinum calculators in favor of the classic design- but that is a preference, not a problem with the keyboard.

Honestly, I like my 17bii units (1992-1996) better than all the 12C designs- It's faster, easier to use, and it can PRINT!

17bii | 32s | 32sii | 41c | 41cv | 41cx | 42s | 48g | 48g+ | 48gx | 50g | 30b

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05-25-2018, 09:55 PM
Post: #11
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
(05-25-2018 08:25 PM)Allen Wrote:  I recommend either a 12c+ (2 cell) or the older 3-battery model. I've had 0 keyboard issues on either of the latter.

I can't say I have ever seen the 12C+. What is the difference and what does it look like? I'm assuming a standard 12C but with a 12C+ badge?
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05-25-2018, 10:44 PM
Post: #12
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
(05-25-2018 09:55 PM)KD8TZC Wrote:  
(05-25-2018 08:25 PM)Allen Wrote:  I recommend either a 12c+ (2 cell) or the older 3-battery model. I've had 0 keyboard issues on either of the latter.

I can't say I have ever seen the 12C+. What is the difference and what does it look like? I'm assuming a standard 12C but with a 12C+ badge?

12C+ is a nickname for the newer 12C machines running on newer CPUs, emulating the old CPU. There is no product named this, it's only used as this was an internal name used before release.

Also, here's a (ugly, but seller says fully functional) classic HP-12C for $10.45 incl shipping:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-HP-HEWL...3237093992

--Bob Prosperi
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05-26-2018, 07:05 AM (This post was last modified: 05-26-2018 11:11 AM by pattox.)
Post: #13
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
Unfortunately, because I live in Australia, the $20 purchase of a used hp12c on the USA ebay site escalates to around $50 to $60 after including shippings costs. That tends to take the gloss of that option, especially when I can buy a new one with shipping included on amazon for about the same price.

What causes me to hesitate about buying new are some of the terrible user reviews on amazon re keypad, display and short product lifetime.

Also, as Bob Prosperi mentioned, often supporting details can’t be relied upon so its not clear what one is actually getting. For instance, on amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/HP-HP12C-12C-Fina...B00000JBLH

the product details refer to “1 CR123A batteries required. (included)”. From what I understand the CR123A is a relatively large cylinder which would dwarf the calculator.

It’s a real shame hp’s towering early reputation for quality has eroded so badly, otherwise it would be an easy decision to buy new.

Anyway, thank you all again. I think I will just watch my local ebay for earlier pre owned models in good condition at a reasonable price.

I need to add that I already have 2 hp older financial calculators. I just want an hp12c as a "nostalgia purchase".
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05-26-2018, 08:46 PM
Post: #14
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
FWIW, here's my experience. I'm not a long time HP calc user - got my first one about 2 years ago.

I had a hard time cutting through all the HP 12C/12CP stuff as well, particularly on Amazon. I ended up getting a 12CP from JDE Distributors. I use it in RPN mode. It seems fine to me. As I understand, the new 12C is faster, but at this point in time, I'm not going to buy one for $50 just because. The 12CP has been fine, keys are good, etc. I probably would have gotten the regular 12C if I could do it over.

I also have a 35S (nice keyboard), a 30B (don't like at all), and a Swiss Micros DM42. I like the DM42 a lot but do not like the keyboard really at all. I wish it had the 12CP keys. Don't know if the DM12 keys are like the DM42, but the likelihood of that is high enough that it has prevented me from purchasing a DM15...
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05-28-2018, 12:58 PM
Post: #15
RE: hp12c / hp12c platinum; which to buy
(05-26-2018 08:46 PM)tgray Wrote:  Don't know if the DM12 keys are like the DM42, but the likelihood of that is high enough that it has prevented me from purchasing a DM15...

I have both the DM42 and DM15L, and the keyboards are quite different. The DM1nL keyboards have less travel, require less effort and make a very loud clicking sound when depressed. I have, however, experienced some keys requiring excess force to register. In any case, the SwissMicros keyboards are generally quite good, but not in the same league as the original HP Voyager keyboards.
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