The Roll Up Calculator - not something that I would ever buy myself, but not bad as a free gift. Yes, I obtained mine several months ago when www.gadgetshop.com were giving them away. All you had to do was create a 'special occasion' reminder book, with 5 entries, thereby permitting them to email you a couple of weeks before the event with gift ideas. Anyway, I always saw this as a bit of a gimmicky object and never even used it. After all, I was still using my Casio Scientific calculator from my A-Level maths days! But then, the other day, to my horror, the batteries ran out (after more than 5 years) and I was forced to turn my free gadget to do some sums (rather than put a strain on my brain with mental arithmetic!). The Roll Up Calculator is available in different colours; red as seen in the picture, and I have a blue one. Its dimensions when fully rolled out are: 13.3cm L x 10.0cm W. The depth of the main body is 0.4cm, with the head being 1.7cm. When rolled up, the approximately cylindrical shape measures: 3.3cm diameter x 10.0cm length. There is a double thickness loop carrying cord attached which measures approximately 12cm. This is made from a synthetic nylon-type material. Once rolled up, it is fastened and unfastened in place with a simple push/pull clip mechanism. It is made from plastic, being ribbed on the outside to allow it to roll up. The calculator is solar powered only. The keypad is transparent and you can see through to the metal pads that you are actually pressing. I find this calculator extremely frustrating to use. You have to constantly look at the screen to make sure the button that you pressed has registered, because it doesn't always do so. Also, after being rolled up, the calculator retains a curved shape when unrolled. This means that you have to hold it flat with your other hand. You may think that this can be solved by simply rolling the calculator back the other
way to straighten out the curve. I did this and the plastic sheeting covering the metal press pad buttons shot out from behind its clips. It then took me 10 minutes to fix the blessed thing again! Like a standard calculator, the screen display has enough room for 8 digits. The buttons present are all the numbers from 0-9, + - / x, on/c, CE, %, sq root, +/-, MC, MR, M-, M+, = and . -totalling 25 buttons, arranged in a 5 x 5 layout. I took a quick look at the gadgetshop website now, and it doesn't appear to be available from them anymore. But, not to fear, if you desperately want one, a google search reveals UK based retailers still selling them, for example pinstripestuff.co.uk - you can find the calculator on this page : http://www.pinstripestuff.co.uk/Pages/CoolGifts%20Pages/Office%20Summary/OfficeSum mary.htm - the price being £7.50 I can't really see any advantages to this calculator. Okay, so it may fit in student's pencil cases better, but it is not practical to use, and can produce errors in calculations unless you are meticulously checking that every digit you press is registered. It may make a half decent present for someone, but this gadget is certainly a gimmick and will only retain a place in my home for those moments once every 5 years when my batteries run out in my real calculator!
Ok, Ok, if you read my last opinion and thought that it was a little harsh then yep I will have to agree with you, I was a bit too harsh on "the roll up calculator", but now I am looking back and am ready to undo my mistakes. The roll up calculator, (shown in the picture), is not as bad as I made it out to be. The people who will really recognise the calculators potential are those of us with the smaller pencil cases, (usually those cylinder pencil cases in the shape of a pepsi can), because of the calculator's ability to roll up (hence the name) it wont have to be stuffed into your pencil case, giving it a rectangular shape that other calculators do. The calculator does feel a little bit weird if you are used to the old standard calculator as the buttons don't give you a satisfying click that re-assures you that you have press it hard enough, another minor problem is that the screen is a little bit on the small side which isn't useful for the shortsighted but the buttons are pretty big so its useful for the big fingered. The material that the calculator itself is made from is like the plastic that can be stretched with a bit of effort and leaves those white stretch marks. The plastic cable that sticks from the body off the calculator is use ful when you have a deep pencil case. You can just pull the calculator from the case with the string with out having to tip everything out onto the desk, then put it all back in. Overall I am pretty stuck as to what to rate the roll up calculator as I probably could find better things to spend my money on, but as far as calculators go i would, at a push, buy this one.