HP goes back to its roots: the calculator

Sure, few if anyone needs one, but it's a symbol of the company's roots.


In the year 2008, when every computer and most other gadgets have their own calculators, one might wonder why anyone other than the most severe technophobe would want one of these anachronistic devices--much less create one. But if any company is allowed that indulgence it would have to be Hewlett-Packard.

As one of the companies that brought handheld calculators to the masses nearly 40 years ago, the computing pioneer is reaching back into its past once again with the "HP Quick Calc." There's still no urgent reason to get one, other than to make a statement in some retro-fashion type of way: The Quick Calc definitely looks nothing like the old versions we used to carry around in high school, coming in various metallic colors and petite enough to hang on a keychain (PDF).

Perhaps the most useful feature is its magnetic back, which makes it easy to affix to the refrigerator door. That way you can count calories and shame yourself before grabbing the last piece of birthday cake.

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