Hewlett Packard HP-12C, 12C Platinum

Serial Number CN12803187: Canada, 1991 (2001?), 28th week
Accessories Pouch

Manual: HP-12C Owner's Handbook And Problem-Solving Guide, Nov 1994: Touched once to learn about the HP-12C.

Original plastic box
Condition Mint out of the box!
Comments This unit uses a single large button-sized battery.
Acquired 16.7.2002
Serial Number MY83104834, Malaysia, 1998, 31st week 
Presumably, this is an older model because of the three button-sized bateries.
Accessories Manual: HP-12C Bedienungshandbuch und Leitfaden für Problemlösungen, März 1986: "SB" name mark on the front cover, otherwise very good condition.
Condition Scratches on the metal plate.
Comments This unit uses three small button-sized batteries.
Acquired 23.8.2002

Serial Number MY73807449: Malaysia, 1997, 38th week
Accessories Pouch
Condition Absolutely excellent!
Comments "Made in Malaysia" label on the back painted over.
This unit uses three small button-sized batteries.
Acquired 24.12.2004, courtesy of Marlene Thimet

Serial Number CN32100817: China, 2003, 21st week
Accessories Pouch

Manual: HP-12C platinum financial calculator owner's handbook and problem-solving guide (English, still sealed)

Original plastic box including spec sheet
Condition Bought new, mint out of the box!
Acquired 16.1.2004
HP codename, series Unknown, Voyager
Type, Precision, Input Mode Financial, 10 BCD digits exponent ±99, Reverse Polish Notation
Programmable Yes, merged keystrokes. No editing, no subroutines, no symbolic labels.
HP-12C: 99 program steps maximum, at most 12 data registers are converted into 7 program steps each as necessary, leaving as a minimum storage registers 0 - 7.
HP-12C Platinum: 400 program steps maximum, at most 12 data registers are converted. Note that the ALG/RPN setting applies to programs as well. In other words: Programs written in algebraic mode won't work in RPN setting and vice versa.
The RPN and ALG commands are programmable, though. But since switching between RPN and ALG mode clears the stack the program must first store a possible argument in a register.
Performance Index
HP-12C: 1.8
HP-12C Platinum: 6.4
Memory 20 storage registers (0 - 9, .0 - .9), financial registers, permanent memory
HP-12C: 8 program steps initially
HP-12C Platinum: 310 program steps initially. Confusingly, the MEM command shows a default of "P-008 r-20" although no data registers are converted to program step unless more than 310 program lines have been entered. On the other hand, single-stepping thru program space after a program clear wraps around to 000 after address 8. So it appears that additional program space is converted out of "thin air".
Display 10 digit 7 segment LCD display plus sign
Special features Compound interest, cash flow analysis, amortization, depriciation, calendar functions.
The Platinum version supports RPN as well as algebraic entry mode.
Original Pricing, Production
HP-12C: 1.9.1981 ($150) - 11/2003 (around $83)
HP-12C Platinum: 11/2003 (approx. $80) - now  (2004)
Batteries 3x small button sized. Later models use one large button sized cell.
Dimensions Length 7.9cm, Width 12.9cm, Height 1.5cm
Links Quick Reference (PDF)
Using Financial And Business Calculators (PDF)
HP-12C Platinum Owner's handbook and Problem Solving Guide (PDF, English, 218 pages, 2003)
HP-12C Solutions Handbook (PDF, English, 163 pages)
Available Accessories
Comment HP's first Voyager model. Comes with advanced financial functions. However, the programming model is extremely limited. Maybe "real programming" was deemed to be too complicated for business people.
This by far the most longlived unit that HP made. In 2003 - 22 years after introcuction - it was still in production!
And in 2003 a combined algebraic/RPN model was introduced!
About the HP-12C Platinum
The housing of the new HP-12C Platinum makes a solid impression. The keys look slightly more "plastic" than in older models and the key clicks feel not quite as good but still much better than in other new models like the HP-49G+.

Keyboard differences:
  • LSTx moved from the ENTER to the + key to make room for the new = symbol which is needed in algebraic mode.
  • Added RPN & ALG keys.
  • Added x² key

Added features:
  • Algebraic mode.
  • A maximum of 400 program steps (max. 99 steps in the HP-12C).
  • About 3.5 times faster than the HP-12C in terms of program execution.
  • Calculating differences between dates has been sped up considerably: It is an instant process on the Platinum (say, 200msec) whereas it takes about 3.3 sec on the old HP-12C. Other operations didn't gain so much execution speed, though.
  • Different LCD display with taller digits.
  • Up to 30 cash flows (20 in the HP-12C)
The  display format can be changed per "f <n>" to n fixed-point digits or per "f . <n>" to n digits in exponential format.
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