HP 10B Business Calculator


Tried and true number cruncher

HP’s mid-range business calculator has been around for more than 25 years, and it is still the best choice for all but the hardest-core finance, statistical and actuarial uses. For everyday use by business managers doing profit margin, sell/cost, IRR, percentage, mortgage, cash-flow, discount, net present value and so many other common business computations, it offers incredible ease without requiring the user to learn the RPN notation of HP’s higher-end financial calculators.

Everything about the 10B shows an incredible level of attention to design, from the solid rubber feet, perfect tactile keypress response, and easy-to-read, molded-in key labels. And amazingly, my 10B, purchased in 1989, is still going strong on its factory-supplied button batteries, after some 20 years of dependable and regular use.

Loan amortization calculations, even with a computer, can be tedious, but the 10B’s dedicated functions, for all the usual as well as the out-of-the-ordinary loan computations, make such work quick and reliable. As with all functions on the 10B, I simply input the known values using their dedicated keys (for example, number of months, interest rate per year, and loan amount), and then press the key for the unknown value (monthly payment). Change any of the values, and the 10B can re-compute all the remaining figures just as easily.

HP has updated the 10B now to the 10BII, though user reviews on Amazon are not very positive. If you can find a used model on Amazon or eBay, it’s probably the last calculator any businessperson will ever need to buy.

-- Mike Sullivan 04/1/10