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Hewlett-Packard HP-65

Hewlett-Packard HP-65

Hewlett-Packard HP-65

Distinctive features: The first hand-held, programmable calculator.

Technical details:
Display uses scientific notation, 10 digits mantissa, 2 digits exponent, red LED.

Scientific, programmable, with 100 program steps.

3.6v (3x AA rechargeable cells in a battery pack).

80 x 149 x 36 mm (3.2" x 5.9" x 1.4").

Launched in January 1974.

Made in USA.

Price US$795.

This was the first hand-held programmable calculator. Programs can be stored on magnetic cards, see photographs below, though these had been used previously with desktop programmable calculators. Program libraries for performing calculations for various disciplines could be purchased from HP.

With program card
With program card

Above, "Compound Interest" program about to be read from the magnetic card.  The card is driven through the calculator by a tiny motor inside, from right to left.


Left, after the program has been read in, the card is inserted in a slot below the display and there provides the legends for the keys A to E.

The HP-65 is described in considerable detail in the Hewlett-Packard Journal of May 1974.

There is an enormous amount of information about the HP-65 gathered by David Hicks at the Museum of HP Calculators at https://www.hpmuseum.org/hp65.htm.


See also the Hewlett Packard HP-35, the first hand-held scientific calculator, and the Hewlett Packard HP-80, the first hand-held business and financial calculator.

A Guide to HP Handheld Calculators and Computers

Revised Guide to HP Calculators Available

The fifth edition of Wlodek Mier-Jedrzejowicz's "A Guide to HP Handheld Calculators and Computers" has been published.

Hand-held Calculators

Vintage Calculators

© Text & photographs copyright Nigel Tout   2000-2023  except where noted otherwise.