17 October 2019

Calculatober Day 17: Staples FaceTime Keychain Calculator

I'm starting to notice a trend in keychain calculators. They aren't good. Pocket calculators have practically been perfected over the years, but their smaller cousin type just never quite reach a level above crummy.
Staples FaceTime Keychain Calculator. Released ca. 2006.
The Staples FaceTime Keychain Calculator set out to be different from the rest by being customizable. It sports four different designs to "express your style" as the packaging puts it. I was intrigued by this because customization has never really been a factor in any other calculator I've reviewed.
Sadly, there's not much to choose from, but I guess you could print out additional faceplate designs if you really felt the need to express yourself via a 99 cent keychain calculator. But even if there were an infinite amount of designs readily available, it wouldn't change the fact that this calculator sucks.
Sticking with the aesthetic for a moment, I want to point out that roughly half of the front of the calculator is not customizable. The protective cover for the designs doesn't include a thick white border around the LCD display or the buttons. Whatever design you choose, it's going to be that plus a lot of boring white.

None of the buttons are in an intuitive position. The on button is mixed in with the ring of numbers, the equals sign is in the center, and the function buttons are at the top. They work just fine, but their awkward positioning completely negates that.
And my god, the entire thing just feels so cheap. The cardboard and plastic packaging feel more substantial than the calculator. The plastic is brittle, the designs are printed on ultra-thin paper, and it doesn't take much effort to disassemble the whole thing by accident. I have seen far better calculators for only a dollar. Staples barely tried with this thing.

I don't recommend the Staples FaceTime Keychain Calculator.

1 comment:

  1. Note to self...avoid this one...as soon as I stop laughing....