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WP31s: is the 20B keyboard really that bad?
02-02-2015, 06:03 PM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2015 06:05 PM by MarkHaysHarris777.)
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RE: WP31s: is the 20B keyboard really that bad?
(02-01-2015 02:52 PM)Dieter Wrote:  However, the 30B with its silver faceplate does not nearly look as nice as the all black 20B. Maybe that's why the emulator skin shows an all-black calculator as well. So I wonder if a 20B could be an option. The essential difference is the keyboard – the 30B keyboard is said to be much better. But how bad is the 20B in that regard? Would I sacrifice something substantial if I flashed the much nicer, all black 20B to become a 31s?

I have two comments, both of which are going to get me shot here:

1) The 20b keyboard uses silicone bubble dome technology (used on almost all modern computer keyboards today, and 99.9 % of all calculators on the market today) which is by far the superior technology for calculator keyboards, IMHO. The metal dome rock & click keyboards of the HP traditional line of calculators (loved by all true HP affectionados) are 'vastly' inferior key technology. They usually have a metallic dome (steel) and are nickel plated. They suffer from oxidation and contact bounce. The physical symptoms of which are missed keystrokes, multiple keystrokes/press, and dead keys before the life of the calculator/ they are difficult to clean, and once the metallic domes break, they cannot be repaired. Silicone bubble dome technology on the other hand is reliable, clean, and lasts virtually forever. They are easy to clean but rarely need to be (sometimes the copper unders need cleaning, but not usually because gold plating). So, no, the 20b keyboard is not all that bad... in fact, its pretty good actually.
1b) Having said that, I deliberately chose the 30b for its keyboard. I like the little clickers, the rocker action in the button is classic, and its just what I have come to expect from a true HP style calculator with class and pizzazz! ( I may repurpose a 20b just for fun, and for the collection... ) I am living with missed keystrokes and double keystrokes on my 34s. On my unit for instance, the 'h' green key will often not register. I noticed looking a little closer that it is actually registering 'twice'; going on, then off, very fast. Pressing the keys a little more firmly eliminates the problem mostly. But, silicone keys do not have this problem AT ALL.

2) The metallic face plate of the 30b is classy, and IMHO has the better curb appeal; just looks more professional to my eye, which has a clean fresh appeal and a sharper contrast / look. I agree with some other comments that photos do not do the 30b justice for looks/contrast. But hey, this is just personal preference. If you like the 20b, then go for it.

PS... if the metallic dome nickel plated keys could also be 'gold' plated over 'gold' contacts, and if the calculator implemented full contact debounce (more difficult and more expensive with single click keys) then ok... but think about it... the keyboard alone would cost $400.00 /


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RE: WP31s: is the 20B keyboard really that bad? - MarkHaysHarris777 - 02-02-2015 06:03 PM

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