We received the first samples on Friday afternoon, just before leaving for the mountain cabin. I opened it and played with it, but took it with the box and my trusty HP15c from Oct. 1985, made in USA, for meaningful comparisons.
So fast I was that I took the camera but not a proper flash. Hence I took pictures leaving the cameras on the balcony floor. The strong sun washes out the colours in most pictures, so all differences get exacerbated.
First of all, let's see the box. It is substantially bigger than the HP12c anniversary. Let's see both:
And the anniversary one:
The reason being the inclusion of a "real" manual instead of a starting guide as in the rest of calculators.
The manual is equivalent to the original manual, set with modern letter types and current HP design, but for the rest is equivalent to the old one - errors included! It is as well bigger than the original.
Here it is without the protective plastic:
Please note that the strong sun makes the little dust specs appear more clear. I had already opened the box and played with it - hence the dust.
And now for a comparison between the new and the old. Be aware that my old one is nearly pristine, and I separately bought a true leather cover in dark brown colour:
While both calculators are black, the newer is blacker than the original, but the strong sun enhances the differences.
The pouch is slightly thinner than the original, but clearly thicker than current HP12c versions - included the Anniversary. Look for a comparison (the one in front is the HP15c's):
Now, a look at the back. The new calculator needs more room for the batteries and therefore less is left for the "instructions" in the back. Let's see how it was in the original:
...and the new one, in plain metal. I have removed the battery cover so that you can see the nice Lemo connector that will allow us to update the firmware and eventually change it for a new one. (can perfection be improved upon?) Let's see how it ages!
By the way, do I feel proud of the low serial number!
And now the naked frontal view:
Sorry for the dust! It was not that much in reality.
Now, for a comparison, the old one:
As it is too late in Europe, I will continue tomorrow with a proper review on other aspects. Before entering in detail, let me say that I am very happy with it, and that it surpasses the original on several counts - including key feel.