02 November 2018

Review: Aurora DC-10 - "The Duke"

The Calculator Review series began on Facebook, so there have been more reviews than just those posted here. Since the first few weren't particularly in-depth, I thought it'd be a good idea to rewrite them here. So, for the next several weeks, every Friday will be a Facebook review updated for the modern era.

The Aurora DC-10
The Aurora DC-10 was not only the first calculator I ever reviewed, but the first calculator I ever collected. Yes, I had devices before it, but I didn't think much of them. The DC-10 changed everything for me.

Even from a distance, the DC-10 is magnificent. Its bright brushed aluminum face place sits in stark contrast to the finished black plastic exterior. The 10 digit screen is wide and bold, and every button sticks out prominently. This is the kind of device that has no intention of being mistaken for anything else.

Picking it up, it's surprisingly heavy, even without the batteries. Oh yeah, this badass runs on two D batteries. It's absurd. There's a minor feeling of crunchiness every time you squeeze it, but that's only because this thing has so much room on the inside. Having taken it apart for a deep cleaning, this was very appreciated. The Duke is a device you can put on your desk without worrying about losing it under piles of paper.

All this praise, and we haven't even got to the functionality yet.

Switching it on, the fluorescent display is very bright and easy to see from a comfortable angle while sitting. Every button feels as good as it looks, and feedback on the screen is instantaneous. This is the closest a calculator of mine has felt to being a mechanical keyboard. It's glorious.

Basically the only place you can find any information about
this calculator
How the Aurora DC-10 didn't become the standard for desktop calculators, I will never understand. In fact, there's hardly any information about it available anywhere. The company's website doesn't even mention it, and other online calculator museums just have a few photos. You can find these on Ebay for around $20, so I know there are more out in the wild.

My best guess is it was released in the late 70s or early 80s. I base that only on the fact that it runs on D batteries, which isn't common at all. If you search online for Aurora DC-10, you're going to mostly find information about an airplane, and as far as I can tell, this calculator has absolutely nothing to do with that. What I do know is that it was made in Taiwan because that's what it says on the back label.

While it's not the most valuable calculator I own, it's the most precious to me. No other calculator in my collection fills me with as much pride and joy as the DC-10. I cannot recommend this calculator enough if you're looking for a solid desktop with basic algebraic functionality.

I found this beautiful representation of vintage electronics at Goodwill for $2.99, and my life hasn't been the same since.
An easily disassembled calculator is always appreciated.

Amazing that such a small board can handle so many calculations 
A fan has requested that I post the original Facebook review as well, so I will do this for each calculator:

1 comment:

  1. You really have no idea how much fun it is to read your reviews...keep up the good work!