on January 30, 2012
I have used my old HP 12C for about 29 years. It still worked pretty well, but some of the trim was scratched, the rubber feet were long gone, and the batteries had to be removed and realigned every so often to keep it running.
The new one looks just like the old one used to. The keys are nice and springy and very responsive. It uses 2 quarter-size batteries now, and I don't think they will slip around as much. It comes with a nice slip case and a very complete Users Guide on CD.
on March 12, 2012
I have the 25th Anniversary Platinum edition along as well as the 30th Anniversary edition.
I know a lot of people have had problems with keyboards with newer HP12c calculators, with the calculator not responding well to a pushed button. My 25th Anniversary edition required me to press hard for some keys to register, especially the on/off button. For those of you taking important financial tests, this might cause you to miss some answers.
The 30th Anniversary edition I received has no problems with the keyboard at all. Keys are springy, and most importantly of all they register with very light pressure.
on June 23, 2015
This is a review of the HP12C 30th Anniversary, Limited Edition. This Unit is very, very (crazy) fast computations, even on the traditionally (yes, I am a longtime 12C user and fan) iterative, time consuming TMV, NPV and IRR calculations. Good quality feel and key responses. I deducted a Star because mine arrived in an unstable, unusable state, and even when that was resolved, I discovered mine has the "buggy" firmware without an easy path to resolution. When it arrived, although it would power on and perform routine, simple (+-/*) algebraic calculations, when I entered any number into the Financial Registers (whether n, i, pv, pmt, or fv), the display went blank and the unit became non-responsive. When I turned on again, the dreaded "pr error" appeared, with all registers cleared and preferences reset to default (such as decimal display returning to 2 decimal places only). Before reporting the unit as defective, I tried the reset inside the battery compartment, which you can press and hold for a few seconds with a paper clip tip. Once back on, I ran the Self Tests (see http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c01788371). Then when I ran several TMV, PV, NPV, and IRR solutions as shown in the HP12C Solutions Handbook (http://www.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c00367122.pdf), and all worked well and CRAZY fast. WARNING--When I ran the self tests, mine bought from Seller AGiftForMe through Amazon Prime delivered through Amazon showed that it arrived with Firmware from 2009-07-02, which is documented as buggy but later firmware resolved the bugs but apparently without an HP recall. The most obvious reported FW bug is that SST won't show you the instruction when it's held down in run mode. Also, SST and BST won't auto repeat in program mode, which makes it very very very time consuming and, therefore, difficult to debug a program on the 12C, and the HP12C programming capabilities are an example of the valuable capabilities that justify the HP12C's longtime worthy reputation and also price. Unfortunately, because HP did not issue a recall and the cables, firmware and instructions on how to re-flash do not appear readily available, I am not sure how those of us who are unlucky enough to receive units with the buggy Firmware on board can correct the issue, exchange the unit or update the Firmware. Supposedly, it is updatable with purchase of a special cable and getting the updated firmware from Atmel Corp to flash the AMR core processor. But I have not found how to do so easily or affordably since HP has elected NOT to recall the buggy unit or supply the needed software or hardware and instructions to re-flash the FW to fix it. So, be aware. I do not think the firmware on board can be determined definitively without opening the box and running the self-tests (see the above link) that will reveal the Firmware date. As I understand it, FW after 2009-07-02 are ok. More info is available at http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/archv020.cgi?read=195441. Even pending the bug resolution, the usual TMV calcs are scary fast, which is good. But for the price paid, I still believe the units delivered should be without bugs or easily updated to resolve bugs, and this 30th Anniversary Edition does not appear (to me) to be either completely Bug-Free or with an easy path to being Bug Free.
on February 28, 2012
I'm a finance/accounting student who received this for a gift during my first year of studies. Even though there are really advanced and specialized functions here I found efficient ways to do Economics and Statistics work almost immediately. Normally bothersome, multi-step functions are easily handled by a few quick inputs.
Love the look and feel of this calculator, it is built solid and feels somehow "authentic". Treated well I doubt I'll ever have to replace it.
Can't recommend this item highly enough.
on March 31, 2012
My first HP 12c was purchased almost 30 years ago and is still operational as of today. Impressed with the financial and statistical functions. Most impressive is the RPN. The advantage of adding a full balance sheet without the need to write down or store sub-totals. Savings in key strokes. Addicted to it now. Use it almost everyday since. Also purchased other more advanced versions of business calculators from HP, viz., "HP 19B - Business Consultant" (no longer available now), "HP 19B - Financial calculator" (still available). But, still prefer HP 12c with larger on screen figures displayed. Overall, preferred the 25th anniversary platinum editon with leather case and faster speed.
Purchased my second HP 12c in 1997 in worry of no longer available in the market. Impressed that it survived Y2K and still available as of today.
Purchased the 25th anniversary platinum edition from Amazon a few years ago with leather case. I have been using this newer version everyday since.
Purchased this 30th anniversary edition from Amazon recently which looks exactly the same as the first two but with faster speed. Even the PVC pouch is the same. The first two HP 12c had now been stored for their retirement with the batteries taken off.
on January 13, 2012
I bought this 30th Anniversary Edition hoping that it would be manufactured with a good keyboard unlike the Platinum version. Unfortunately, mine came with the keys 7 and CHS registering only one time out of 10.
EDIT Feb 2012: I returned the calculator to Amazon and received full refund to then purchase a 20 years old HP12C. The build quality back in those days was fantastic. The keyboard is firm and responds perfectly. The calculator is obviously slower especially for computing IRR and YTM.
on August 16, 2012
It is an oxymoron in today's word where electronics are replaced so quickly by newer models that most people never manage to extract from their purchases what should have been their useful life. But the stamp in the top right corner of this HP 12c is there to prove it: this calculator is celebrating its 30th anniversary!
This is a copy of the original HP 12c, the one with the fancy-looking gold accents, but also without the additional functions later added to be paired to the "./.", "X", "-" and "+" keys. I use a HP 12c Platinum daily, and actually got used to the new functions (especially the backspace), but I wanted a copy of this model as a backup for home (the other one is always my briefcase).
Like another reviewer, I had to send it back when first received because the "6" key didn't work under normal pressure. I really wanted the calculator, so I opted for a new one instead of a refund, and I don't regret it. It works perfectly, and most likely will continue to do so for many years.
Batteries nowadays are CR2032, which are as cheap as they are easy to find. Congratulations to HP for keeping improving a device that has pretty much reached perfection.
I took out one star because of the key issue, since it is also reported by others this is obviously a quality control issue for HP. But the calculator when working as designed is obviously 5 stars.
on May 26, 2013
i just bought an HP 12 c 30 anniversary edition calculator as a back up for next saturday's CFA exam. It arrived yesterday. At least 3 of the number keys stick, and i am scared to trust the functions. It feels lighter than the 25th anniversary edition, and i just wonder if i have the genuine article here. any advise?
on September 7, 2015
There is no acceptable substitute for this calculator! It's the perfect tool for rapid number-crunching. The 30th Anniversary Edition with model # HSTNJ-KN05 is the best one to get, because it was only made at the Kinpo factory--which is the "KN" in the model number. Last year I bought a regular HP-12C model # HSTNJ-IN04 that failed after less than one year--which is unusual, because these things are famous for lasting decades. And that's when I learned about the different factories that HP uses. If you buy a regular "non-anniversary" HP-12C, it might be made at the Invertec factory, the "IN" in the model number, which means it will have a slightly different font on the keys (look at the % key), slightly duller and less-legible shades of orange and blue paint for the f and g functions, and a slightly mushier key feel with less snappy (but silky!) feedback pop--which is too bad, because this keyfeel is really one of the best things about the HP-12C. The haptics on these keys are a model for all electronic devices and really contribute to rapid, accurate, touch-typing. Maybe these Invertec-made HP-12C's are the ones that people complain about as being not as good as the "old ones"? You might want to google that, there's info out there which supports this conjecture.
Anyway, if these 30th anniversary edition ones made in 2011 have become scarce and cost too much (I just bought one on Amazon, August 2015, brand-new in box for $99) and you just want a "regular" HP-12C, but you cannot somehow determine whether the very actual calculator that you will receive has model code (on the back) KN or IN, or whether the % key has round o's or vertically-stretched o's, I wouldn't buy it.