Summary: I have been using an HP 12C since my grad school days in the mid-1980s. I still had the original from then until just a few years ago when it was lost (or stolen?). I am now on my second replacement. The quality of materials and workmanship is definitely lower now than it was in 1985. The first replacement worked fine for 1-2 years then started yielding inexplicable and inconsistent errors in calculations.
Summary: Since its introduction in about the 1075's I have bought at least 12 12Cs for myself, family, and friends. I now have one by my PC (HP of course) and my reading chair. They are an important part of my life.
Summary: The model being reviewed is the latest version (as of Sep. 2013). There have been, if I remember correctly, three versions of this calculator: 1. Original design, which utilizes three, small, button-size batteries. These were made in USA, Brazil, Singapore, etc. and have the quality which made HP legendary. 2. Second generation design, which uses a single CR2032 cell battery, made in China.
Summary: This is really a ZERO star review. I have used an old-style HP-12C for over twenty years and never had a problem. I used it through undergrad and two masters degrees, all in business, so my calculator got a workout. Despite looking a bit beat-up, my original HP-12C still works flawlessly. I was excited when the new 12C with ARM technology came-out (it is the one with two batteries). For the first year it was great and blazing fast but now it's not working well at all.
Summary: I use the HP12c almost every day for financial planning and have worn out four of them. Each time I buy a replacement, I am surprised by the reduced quality. The last one I purchased works, but its a bit of junk. Shame on you HP. For this price I don't need sticky keys, a degraded case, and a fragile cover. If you can find an old one, in good condition, buy that. At this price, HP should be building a quality product, but alas, they now build junk.
Summary: This calculator wouldn't still be around after 30 years, largely unchanged, if it wasn't a superior product. The platinum edition adds some features and enhancements that weren't available on the original gold 12-C, but the essence of an outstanding RPN calculator remain. All professional financial analysts and professionals should own one of these and learn how to use its powerful features.
Summary: Great calc. I wish they included the original case and not this cheap looking one that the calculator sticks in and can't get it out if left in there for over a day. Anyone know where to get the original case design? Some keys work intermittent at times like 7 and ON.