Pros: Vivid printing; works very well
Cons: The machine "clears" itself every time you switch modes
I bought the Casio HR-100TM to replace another Casio printing calculator, because I need a printing calculator for my personal finances. Why do I need a printing calculator when I have Quicken? I don't know, I just find myself using one all the time.
Since I'm not a professional accountant, I didn't need the biggest and fastest machine there is. I chose the Casio HR-100TM because it was inexpensive, but big enough to use on my desktop comfortably. Some of the smallest printing calculators are designed to be held in your palm, and those were too small for me.
Printing Calculator Basics
To let you know what's available, depending on the price you want to pay, these are the general categories of the available features:
- I've found that most every printing calculator you buy now will feature 2-color printing (red for negative numbers), unless they have thermal printing.
The least expensive types may print with a ink roller, while the more expensive types print with a ribbon. A few may also feature thermal printing, which only prints in one color but you'll never have to worry about ink or noise.
- The least expensive may have an LCD display, while the mid-range ones will have the florescent green numbers. Some of the new most expensive types may have a 2-color display.
The calculators with the LCD display are usually considered "portable" and will also work with batteries.
- Of course, there are going to be a difference in the various features offered, too. Some of these features are: tax rate (I think most of them have this), cost/sell/margin buttons, date/time, etc. Some of the least expensive calculators are also missing the GT (grand total) function.
The Casio HR-100TM has most of these functions, except the date/time function.
- The more you pay, they get bigger and heftier, and the biggest will have more digits on the display (14 rather than 12). They'll also print faster, too.
So that's about the gist of printing calculators. It's a pretty rudimentary machine, I guess, but something I still use all the time.
Printing Calculator: Brands
The brand you pick may largely have to do with which brand you were using before. I've noticed that each brand features their own key layout that doesn't vary much between the models. For example, most Casio calculators have the multiplication and division keys on the right, along with the addition and subtraction keys. However, other brands have moved them over to the left, separating them from the most oft-used addition and subtraction keys. This is a pretty significant difference, so depending on how much you use your calculator, you will have gotten used to the layout.
So that was how I ended up with another Casio.
The Casio HR-100TM is a low-end model. It can work with 4 AA batteries (not included), or an AC cable (included). It's got an LCD display, but it's large and very easy to read. It prints with a roller. It has the tax keys, and cost/sell/margin keys as well, which my old calculator didn't have.
What I don't like about the Casio HR-100TM:
There is one switch to turn the calculator on, and it has several positions, including "PRINT," "ITEM," and "CONVERSION." Each time I switch to a different position, the printer automatically prints "..0.." just as if I'd pushed the CA key. This can be annoying, because every time I switch back and forth between these functions, the calculator prints "..0.." - including when I'm turning off the machine. Annoying and not necessary.
That is really the only flaw of the Casio HR-100TM.
A couple of other things to point out:
- The Casio HR-100TM doesn't feature any options for rounding the numbers. It just rounds them "5/4" up to 3 decimal points.
- Most other printing calculators seem to have a simple metal bar on which to hang your paper roll. The Casio HR-100TM has this plastic thing-y. It's very sturdy and works well, but it's different.
Using the Casio HR-100TM has been a very satisfactory experience. I think it's a good choice for people who don't need some of the more advanced functions (e.g., rounding, more decimal points.) It has everything I need, and didn't cost very much. The paper is easy to load, which I really like. And the printing is nice and vivid. I would definitely buy this again.