[ Retro Scan of the Week ] HP’s First Handheld Computer

January 19th, 2015 by Benj Edwards

Hewlett-Packard HP-75C calculator pocket computer handheld computer advertisement - Interface Age May 1983It’s a lot like an HP-11C, but freakin’ huge

Plenty of companies experimented with pocket and handheld computers in the early 1980s. Among them we must count HP, which introduced its HP-75C in 1982.

I peronally own an HP-75D (the successor model of this machine) that allows use of a bar code wand. I bought it on eBay around 2000, messed around with it a few times, and I think it’s been sitting in a box or a closet since. I couldn’t get into it, for some reason, like I could my TRS-80 Pocket Computer. Perhaps it’s time to revisit the 75D and try again — if it still works.

Still, I have a soft spot for the HP-75 series because it features similar industrial design as my beloved HP-11C calculator, which I’ve been using since middle school. RPN for the win!

[ From Interface Age – May 1983, p.143]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Are you a fan of HP calculators? Which model is your favorite?

See Also: BASIC in your Pocket (RSOTW, 2009)
See Also: Asimov’s Pocket Computer (RSOTW, 2011)
See Also: Sharp Pocket Computer (RSOTW, 2013)
See Also: Quasar Pocket Computer RSOTW, 2014)

4 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] HP’s First Handheld Computer”

  1. Ed Says:

    I have a new-model 15C, which I think has to be my favourite, even though the 16C is something special. I also have one of Chris Chung’s NP-25, which is a three-in-one, very impressive.

  2. Moondog Says:

    When I think of HP handheld pc’s, the Jornada series comes to mind.

  3. Stan Says:

    RPN (and RPL) Forever!

    I bought an HP-48G for college in 1993. It’s been through hell, including being stolen from my car and spending one winter outside in the rain, but it still has a place on desk today. In terms of hardware and software quality, it’s one of the finest mobile devices ever made.

  4. Galactus Says:

    I bought an HP12c in the early 90s and an HP19b in the mid 90s.

    To be honest I didn’t like them that much because it was kinda complicated to input data in a certain order and if you made a small mistake you had to input data all over again. Also the keys felt somewhat hard to press and uncomfortable to my fingers, I remember ending with sore fingers after long sessions.

    I went back to use my trusty Casio Calculator, nothing fancy just a basic model combined with Lotus 123 and Excel and never looked back. So that was my experience with the Hp calcs, I have to give them credit that they looked nice and well built.

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