Updated date:

HP 12c Platinum vs. HP 12c


Why upgrade to an HP 12c Platinum?

The HP 12c has been the industry-leading financial calculator for over 30 years and has sold over 15 million units globally but since the launch of the HP 12c Platinum in 2003, people have been upgrading to the new version - why? What are the benefits of the Platinum version?

Faster, more powerful and more memory

  • According to HP, the HP 12c Platinum edition is able to process up to 6 times faster than its predecessor.
  • The HP 12c Platinum's far superior processing power means it can handle 400 steps in keystroke programming whereas the HP 12c only up to 99.
  • There is a considerable difference in memory storage - this affects the number of cash flows that can be stored: the HP 12c can store up to 20 cash flows while the HP 12c Platinum can store 80.

More in-built functions

  • The HP 12c Platinum has 10 more built-in functions than the HP 12c, with a total of 130 functions compared to 120 on the HP 12c calculator.
  • However, both offer the same financial functions, such as TVM, NPV, IRR, cash flows, amortization, depreciation and those relating to bonds such as bond price and yield to maturity.
  • Both also include the most important statistical functions such as figure cumulative statistical analysis, linear regression and standard deviation.
Find out more about the RPN mode.

Find out more about the RPN mode.

Easier to use

Additional, simpler entry mode

The HP 12c only has one entry mode, which is the RPN, or "Reverse Polish Notation".

However, the HP 12c Platinum has two entry modes - RPN and the easier to use, Algebraic mode.

RPN is an extremely powerful system and when mastered can save you keystrokes and thus save you time. This means that you would not need to use parenthesis in your calculations.

The RPN mode also shows you the intermediary results in your calculations, which makes complex calculations easier to keep track of.

However, while RPN can be more efficient, it's not for everyone and the average user may find it a lot easier to use the simpler Algebraic mode, which is only available on the HP 12c Platinum.

Either way, Platinum users can enjoy having the flexibility of both entry modes being available to them.

Backspace and Undo functions

The HP 12c Platinum has "Backspace" and "Undo" functions whereas the HP 12c doesn't.

If you make a mistake while using the HP 12c, there isn't a way to delete individual characters - you have to delete the whole item and enter it again.

For example, if you entered 1234 but really wanted to enter 1235, then you would be forced to re-enter all four numbers. On the HP 12c Platinum, you could just delete the unwanted character and enter the correct one.

The new "Undo" function on the Platinum model allows you to recover any data that you have just cleared - any time you clear data, an undo status indicator appears on the screen giving you this option.

Other improvements

  • Both calculators have one-line 10 digit LCD displays but the newer model comes with adjustable contrast whereas the HP 12c's display is non-adjustable.
  • The HP 12c Platinum weighs very slightly less than the HP 12c, at approximately 3.7 ounces (104g) compared to 4.09 oz (116 g) including batteries.

Buy the HP 12C Platinum