09 January 2019

Review: Unknown Curved Calculator

Hi fans of calculator reviews! It's been a while, I know. This has been an eventful past few weeks, but now I'm back to my boring life so the most interesting thing going on for me will be taking apart and reviewing calculators. Thanks for being patient with this free content.
Unknown Curved Calculator.
For the first time in my calculator collecting and research, I am unable to find the origins of a particular device. I don't know who made this calculator, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to figure it out. What I can do is hope that someone comes across this blog who might have some information. Until then, this device will be referred to as the Unknown Curved Calculator, or UCC.

I found the first UCC at Goodwill a while ago with some company's label on it. It looked like a decent enough calculator with its silver face plate, nicely contrasted black keys, and a relatively large, tilting LCD display. That tilting display is vital because if you intend to use this as a desk calculator, the curved design would otherwise prevent easy viewing. It is kind of strange that the designer created their own problem to solve, but the curve is quite nice.

The tilted screen solves the problem it creates.
While the buttons look great, they're quite unsatisfying to press. They work consistently, but there is practically zero tactile feedback. It's hard to explain, so if you happen to be in the area, we can meet up and I'll let you feel them. Just don't make it weird.

I did find and purchase two of these devices, and the first one was destroyed during the disassembly phase of this review. It's all well-documented in the provided video, but to summarize, the internal components are actually very nice, with the exception of the ribbon connecting the main board to the display. It's incredibly fragile, so it broke and I killed the calculator.
The first device had a battery access panel, but the second did not.
This creates a predicament for me as a reviewer. Yes, it is my fault that the calculator no longer functions. The device has an access panel for the battery, so most people wouldn't bother taking it completely apart. However, the second calculator I purchased, while nearly identical, has no such access panel. To change the battery, I would have to disassemble it in the same way I took apart the previous calculator. I have not taken this one apart because I'm worried I'll destroy it, so when the battery dies, I'm not sure how I will handle that.

These are promotional calculators, as indicated by the irrelevant labels on them. Most promotional calculators are designed with less consideration for the end user, and this device is no exception. It looks great, but you're way better off getting something more reliable. It's a shame because I don't typically see curved calculators. This device stands out aesthetically so I'd love to find a more quality device going for the same look.

I found both of these at Goodwill for about $2 each.

Internal components, front.

Internal components, back.

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