30 October 2018

Review: Casio HL-802

Casio HL-802 front view
Sometimes all you want from a calculator is the most basic of functionality. Maybe you just need to add up your expenses for the month and multiply the total by twelve to see if you can survive a year. Or maybe someone mentioned the number 38,703 and later that day you thought of the number 19.3 and wondered what 38,703 divided by 19.3 is. Sure, you could do all of this in your head, but can you really depend on your brain to handle these sorts of operations?

The Casio HL-802 can do the aforementioned things, and a few other things. It has no special features, but it handles what it can do extremely well. Each button is clicky and responsive, with zero delay between press and appearance on the LCD screen.

What's remarkable about the device is how solid it feels. Even though it's nearing forty years old, the plastic has retained its strength and the calculator feels very durable. Gripping the top and bottom and attempting to bend the device gives hardly any yield. The screen is protected by a scratch-resistant plastic or glass that can withstand a reasonable amount of pressure. In addition (haha), the design of the buttons helps prevent dust or debris from getting between them and the brushed aluminum face plate.

The HL-802 exudes it 1980s aesthetic in just about every aspect of its design. This was a bit before solar powered devices really caught on, so it runs on two AA batteries. Few calculators these days dare to be anything other than black or grey, so the dark brown really caught my eye, especially due to its contrast with the face plate. The only thing that ruins the appearance is the crummy looking label on the top right. It looks like a sticker and uses all the wrong colors, but it is in fact embedded into the device and won't come out easily. Everything below that looks great though.

I have no recollection of where I got this calculator or how much I paid for it. It doesn't appear in any pictures of my collection, and it's not in any of my Ebay purchases.

Back view - battery cover removed
Back view - fully intact


  1. I prefer a basic calculator with basic math functions over all the bells and whistles of more complex devices. I believe I've owned one of these in my past.

  2. I have one too, great calculator even in 2020.