The Museum of HP Calculators

HP-12C Features

Features in optional ROMs are listed as Option.
Features in HP mag card or tape Application Pacs are listed as +.
Other software is not included.
Display and Keyboard HP-12C
Display type LCD
Display format 1 Line
FIXed number format Yes
SCIentific number format Yes*
ENGineering number format -
STanDard / ALL number format -
Alpha messages and prompts -
Softkeys labeled by mag. card or overlay -
Softkeys labeled by display menus -
Softkeys with neither labeling system -
Status annunciators Yes
Redefinable keyboard -
Logic HP-12C
Logic system RPN
Stack levels 4
Last x Yes
Undo -
Precedence -
Parentheses -
Storage Addition (STO +) Yes
Storage Arithmetic (STO +, −, ×, ÷) Yes
Storage Exponentiation (STO ^) -
Recall Arithmetic -
Named variables -
Multiple data types -
Directories -
Math HP-12C
+, −, ×, ÷ Yes 
1/x Yes
x2 -
LOG x -
10x -
LN x Yes
ex Yes
yx Yes
π -
% Yes
% change Yes
INTeger truncation and ABSolute value INT only
Trigonometric functions (SIN, COS etc.) -
Hyperbolic trig. (SINH, COSH etc.) -
# of trig. modes (degrees, radians, grads) -
Advanced Math HP-12C
Solver / root finder -
Numeric integration -
Complex numbers -
Matrix operations -
Matrix writer -
Equation writer -
Symbolic operations -
Fractions -
Plotting and graphics (display) -
Plotting and graphics (printer / plotter) -
Statistical HP-12C
Mean, standard deviation (# of variables) 2
Σ of n, x, x2 Yes
Σ of n, x, x2, y Yes
Σ of n, x, x2, y, xy Yes
Σ of n, x, x2, y, y2, xy Yes
Σ of lists -
Random number generator -
Linear regression, estimate  Yes
Curve fitting -
Correlation coefficient Yes
Normal distribution -
Factorial Yes
Gamma -
Combinations and permutations -
Scientific and Time HP-12C
Polar / rectangular conversions -
Base conversions (2, 8, 10, 16) -
Arithmetic in bases 2, 8 and 16 -
Bit operations (AND, OR, XOR, ...) -
Selectable word size (1-64 bits) -
Selectable complement mode (1's, 2's, unsigned) -
Decimal hrs / hrs.min.sec. conversions -
Hrs.min.sec arithmetic -
Time of day clock -
Timer -
Dynamic calculations (timer × rate) -
Alarms -
Unit Conversions HP-12C
Centimeters / inches -
Millimeters / inches -
Meters / feet -
Kilograms / pounds (mass) -
Newtons / pounds (force) -
British thermal units / joules -
Liters / gallons -
° Celsius / ° Fahrenheit -
Other -
User-defined units -
Time Value of Money HP-12C
Number of payments (n) Yes
Interest rate (i) Yes
Present Value (PV) Yes
Payment (PMT) Yes
Future Value (FV) Yes
Cash Flow Analysis HP-12C
Net present value (NPV) Yes
Internal rate of return (IRR) Yes
Amortization HP-12C
Accumulated Interest (ACC INT) Yes
Balance (BAL) Yes
Depreciation HP-12C
Straight line (SL) Yes
Sum of the years digits (SOYD) Yes
Declining balance (DB) Yes
Bonds and calendar functions HP-12C
Bond price Yes
Bond yield Yes
Date arithmetic / calendar functions Yes
Memory and Programming HP-12C
Programming language(s) RPN
RAM / Max # of variables or addressable registers 20
Max # of program steps 99
RAM / Max vars or regs with full optional RAM -
Max # of prog steps with full optional RAM -
Merged program steps  Yes
Manual register / program memory allocation  -
Automatic register / program memory allocation Yes
Overlapped register and program memory -
Continuous memory Yes
Flags -
Conditional tests 2
Subroutine levels -
Indexed looping (increment by +/- 1, end at 0) -
Indexed looping (choice of increment and end) -
Multiple index / loop registers -
Line number addressing Yes
Branching by relative line number -
Global program label addressing -
Local program label addressing -
Indirect / computed addressing and control -
Multiple indirection registers -
Pause Yes
Alpha messages and prompts in programs -
Alpha program listings -
Alpha string manipulation -
Program step insert / delete -
I/O and Expansion Features HP-12C
ROM modules -
RAM modules or expansion option -
General expansion slots / connector -
Magnetic card reader/writer -
Tape drive -
Disk drive -
Upgradeable firmware -
Optical wand -
Serial port -
Infrared input -
Infrared output -
Printer -
Networking -
Other -
General HP-12C
Sounds -
Self test Yes
Hard case (in addition to soft case) -
Additional Features -
Batteries 3 SR44
Length (inches) 5.1"
Width 3.1"
Height 0.6"
Weight (oz or lbs) 4 oz
Year of introduction 1981
Features in optional ROMs are listed as Option.
Features in HP mag card or tape Application Pacs are listed as +.
Other software is not included.

Unlim means limited only by available memory.
HP-12C notes:
  • FIXed mode set by "f #". SCIentific mode set by "f ." with no choice of the number of digits.
  • Self test: with the calculator off, hold the × key down and press and release ON, then release ×. The calculator will display running for around half a minute and then activate the entire display to indicate success. The test may be done continuously by (with the calculator off) holding + down while pressing the ON key. To stop the continuous test at the end of the current iteration, press and hold − and then press ON.
  • There is also a keyboard test. With the calculator off, press and hold ÷ and press ON. Now press each key from the top left moving left to right and then down (the enter key gets pressed in both the third and fourth rows.) If all keys are pressed in the correct order and are working, the model number (without the C) is displayed. Otherwise, Error 9 is displayed. (The display will show a changing pattern of segments as keys are pressed.)

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