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Why is the HP 15C so expensive?

by hatelove
Tags: expensive
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Mar13-12, 10:38 PM
P: 297
Quote Quote by hatelove View Post
What if I want both?

I haven't seen any Android/iPhone calculator apps that can match the functionality of an advanced scientific calculator and are significantly cheaper than one. I've used some clones before, but they're incredibly buggy.

As far as functional density+longevity goes, I don't see anything better than the 15C (fits in your pocket, don't need to recharge every day (my iPhone4S doesn't even last 12 hours with my volume of usage).

If the 35s was about an inch smaller, it would be probably be the best, but it's still an inch too big for my tastes.
HP actually makes an 35s (their current top of the line scientific) and 15c (their classic favorite scientific) apps, although they are windows and iPhone only at the moment. I am not sure what the cost is.

Quote Quote by turbo View Post
If I could get a 15C for $100, I'd probably jump on it. Nice solid machine in a compact package.
HP is selling them for $129 right now from their website and this website is selling them for $100.
Apr13-12, 08:12 AM
P: 2
Quote Quote by vociferous View Post
HP is selling them for $129 right now from their website and this website is selling them for $100.
And they're now $100 and in stock on HP's Home and Home Office web site. Fantastic calculator for the price, IMO. This article might explain why it's been in held such high regard for so long. Original HP-15C calculators have been going for serious money so it's nice HP has re-issued it for a reasonable price.
Apr13-12, 08:33 AM
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I just ordered one from HP.

I don't need all the functionality, but it's a present to myself. I love RPN, BTW.
Apr13-12, 08:41 AM
P: 2
Also, a very inexpensive option right now, if you just need basic scientific functions (no complex numbers, matrices, and such) is the HP-30b. They can be had for about $20 on Amazon. They're financial calculators but also have trig and log functions. The inverse trig functions are hidden in a menu but can be programmed to be called from a keystroke. These guys have completely re-written the firmware to make a full-fledged scientific calculator out of it, too. I have one 30b "stock" and one re-purposed into a WP-34S.
May8-12, 10:37 AM
PhizKid's Avatar
P: 476
Also, you can use this coupon code: SVG6474
For $10 off your order if you order from HP
Jul1-12, 05:27 PM
P: 6
I would have to believe that there is a niche market for the shirt pocket calculator, that know one could copy 30 years later.Although for around $10 you can get an emulator that does 99% of what the original does. Yes I love the 15c, both original and limited edition, and the 12c as I use it daily in business. Why is it so expensive, because since it has been discontinued, no one has been able to replace it and engineers and scientists have been clamping for it ever since. Same thing with the 12c, nothing compares to it for day to day uses. Yes there are more powerful, but they donot fit in the shirt pocket...
Jul1-12, 05:40 PM
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I love my 15C. Don't need the advanced functions, but it is so so compact and handy...
Oct1-12, 06:46 PM
P: 3
Monday, October 1, 2012
A little over a month ago I discovered a site that has credit-card-sized clones of the HP-15C (plus the others in that 10-series). I ordered their clone of the 15C and it is very impressive. It's a little over 7mm thick, has a display that is actually a bit larger than the HP-15C. And I was surprised that it's very easy to press each key without pressing the keys next to the one you want. Their site is at . And, their price is cheaper than the HP. Even easier to carry in a shirt pocket than the HP.
Oct1-12, 07:27 PM
P: 206
Be careful. I bought the rerun of the 12C when they released it and it's not like the original. The keys are cheapened and they don't have that classic hp feel. You have to sometimes look to see if your keystroke registered. I hope the 15C is better because I was disappointed.
Oct1-12, 07:52 PM
P: 6
Walt, thanks for the reply, but we will see if they they last 30 years. I have a hp-11 and Hp-12 that have lasted 30 years and are still going strong. The 12c I use daily. I do think those clones are cute though!
Oct1-12, 08:09 PM
P: 3
Thanks for your caution note. I appreciate it. I'm a long-time HP calculator user and fan. My first was the HP-65, then, one step at a time, the others that followed (67, 41C, CV, CX, 42S, 35s, etc.) I know what you mean about the HP key feel. And I would agree with your evaluation. And it's interesting that you mentioned the 12C, because initially I was interested in buying one of those. However, when I asked the question as to whether it was a clone of the HP-12C or of the HP-12C Platinum, I learned that it was of the regular 12C, not the Platinum. Since the programming capacity of the regular 12C only allows a max. of 99 steps and I was more interested in the 399 steps of the Platinum, I took a look at their other models. I settled on trying their 15C clone because it does have the greater programming capacity, plus it has user labeling (A-E) like the HP-65, 67 and 41's, etc. that I had "been weaned on", so to speak. Anyway, while there is a different "feel" to the keyboard, it seems to be more of a function of the construction constraints, and, on balance, there is something very neat about being able to have such a small, yet full-powered, RPN calculator that is so easy to carry in your shirt pocket. And as I mentioned, I was really surprised that once you get the sense of it, you can easily only push the key you want without activating two or more keys simultaneously. One of my concerns before ordering it was that I might have to use some sort of stylus to press just the keys I wanted. I can see that someone with larger fingers might need to use a stylus, but even then, just being able to have a full powered, RPN, calculator in such a small size would be worth it, at least to me. I like the build quality of mine. If you go to their site, , and click on the "infos" button, you'll be taken to a page where they have links to videos on YouTube that show their initial prototypes & first version. Apparently they've evolved the design, because my 15C version has an excellent quality black anodized case instead of the "sandwich" construction shown in the videos. All in all, I'm very pleased with the 15C version, and feel that the trade-off between the HP keyboard "feel" that I got used to with the HP-65, HP-67, and HP-41C, CV, and CX and the convenience of having the HP RPN computing power in such a small package that is even easier to carry in my shirt pocket is well worth it. If I didn't need the extra programming capacity, based on the quality of my 15C version, I would have already ordered their 12C version as well. Another feature of their design that I like is that updates to the operating software are able to be loaded via a miniUSB port that is built in to the units. I don't yet have the personal experience of doing that, but it's a definite plus just knowing that I'll be able to do such upgrades in the future if needed.
Oct1-12, 08:40 PM
P: 3
Quote Quote by AB4O View Post
Walt, thanks for the reply, but we will see if they they last 30 years. I have a hp-11 and Hp-12 that have lasted 30 years and are still going strong. The 12c I use daily. I do think those clones are cute though!
Good point. We'll only know if their clones will last that long by living with them over the years. One thing in their favor to being able to "go the distance" is that, from what I understand, the keyboard membranes on the clones are rated at over 1 million actuations for each key. According to my calculations, if you pressed a key at a rate of 1 time per second, taking 1 million seconds, gives 16,667 minutes, or 277.78 hours . That's a lot ! What that would translate to in terms of actual practical usage in terms of years, I don't know. Do you have any idea of what might be a reasonable formula for converting the 1 million actuations into realistic years of usage?
Oct1-12, 09:19 PM
P: 697
I bought a HP-11C app for my iPhone, and I'm impressed with it. It seems a good alternative for anyone who carries a smart phone around anyway. There are good HP-12 and HP-15 apps as well. Also, the price is cheaper. For example, my HP-11C app was $9.99.
Oct1-12, 11:23 PM
P: 1,781
The i41CX app for the iPhone is as close to a perfect replica of the 41CV as you can get and it's far less than $100. I own a real 15C but I no longer use it- the iPhone 41CX is just too good and too convenient.
Oct4-12, 07:32 AM
P: 194
I eBayed an 11C recently (good but lacks a number of 15C features (eg, complex numbers)) - it now sits in my jacket pocket as its about a cm to tall for my shirt pocket. I haven't used RPN for decades but it was pretty quick to pick up again and get used to ... "normal" calculators now seem irritating.

There are a couple of HP 11/15 emulators out there for Android (and probably Windows & iOS) that will allow somebody to get a feel for the calculators and their capabilities. The big advantage of the actual calculator, IMO, is the dedicated hardware keyboard ... I can use touchscreens but I find them to be slower and more error prone than a proper keyboard, and the HP 11C/15C keyboards are gems.
Oct4-12, 08:54 PM
P: 6
On several of the apps they have useful features like memory views of the registers, programming lines, etc. But I agree with nemo, nothing like the feel of those hp keys. I feel one advantage of the little clones from the pictures anyway is those keys look sealed. That should really help the life of the keyboard. I am probably going to get one of the 15c units soon.

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