Along with every other gadget it has killed off (cameras, radios, GPS units, etc.), the smartphone hasn’t been very friendly to our good friend, the calculator. But Casio’s hoping that design will make you want to buy a calculator again: their new S100 flagship calculator puts a premium on materials and craftsmanship to try to get you to forget that your iPhone comes with a calculator app for free.
Calling it an artisanal calculator, Casio says the S100 is being released to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Casio’s first calculator with built-in memory, the ‘001’, first released this month in 1965. And, from a pure functionality perspective, the S100 isn’t going to be all that much more powerful than the 001: you’ll find no graphing functions, apps, Wi-Fi, or built-in games here.
So what does it have going for it? Craftsmanship. Crafted from high-quality aluminum alloy, the S100 features V-shaped isolation keys that prevent the unit from shaking when you’re hammering out a calculation, as well as a high-quality, non-reflective display for reading numbers. It can also fit more numbers on the display than most calculators: up to 12 at once. Which I guess isn’t that impressive, but seems like a lot more than I could fit on a calculator screen when I was a kid. It also has a solar-powered battery that will last seven years on a single charge, perfect for calculating tips when the sun dies out.
In short, Casio’s new S100 calculator is probably the best looking calculator since Dieter Rams designed the Braun ET-66. A calculator, by the way, which only costs $49 to buy brand new today. The Casio S100, on the other hand, will cost $220, slightly more than the on-contract iPhone that made it obsolete. That ET-66 is looking pretty tempting right now, don’t you think?
[via the Wall Street Journal]