Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Braun ET-66 Calculator

I've been busy lately so I haven't been posting much. My interests lately have been non-gadget, tech related. Today, I'm going to break that silence and write about a simple calculator.

The Braun ET-66 calculator designed by the famous Dieter Rams. This is a remake, re-issue from Braun. I hate to use the word replica as Braun is the original manufacturer and they have the right to re-issue a product from their past catalogue.

The calculator cost $50.

Yep, you read that right. $50. Sure, you can get any calculator from the drug store for $3. Heck, your smartphone probably has a calculator in it. In fact, if you have an older iPhone, the Apple's calculator.app is basically a rip-off of this iconic ET-66 design. Steve Jobs was enamored with Ram's work that they made their calc app a digital copy.

Does this calculator do anything fancy? Nope! So what is the big deal.

Here is a quote from an amazon customer review that sums it up:

This calculator is considered a design classic, by one of the most famous industrial designers of the 20th century. The people who will buy this are interested in the aesthetics and maybe the status of showing off their design acumen. It has nothing to do with the function of the calculator. 

You either get it, or you don't. I'm not going to convince you otherwise. It is a good looking piece of tech. Rams has been quoted many times as saying "Design little as possible. Less is more." The last quote originally came from Mies van der Rohe.

The nice thing about the calculator is the round keys. It is so damn simple and round. Why is this a big deal? Back when I was a kid, most calculators had square or rectangular keys and when you pressed on them, they would get stuck in the cut-out. That is why this design is so genius, Simple explanation for a simple problem. That is Dieter Ram's legacy.

So why did I get it? I got me a new expensive desk ($2400) so I needed some desk accessories. This would look good on it.