The Brother 202 is a handheld calculator from 1975 that demonstrates high build quality and thoughtful design. With dimensions of 88mm x 153mm x 33mm and a weight of 184g without batteries, it has a sturdy two-piece white plastic case with rounded edges. The neutral gray display filter provides good visibility of the bright blue vacuum fluorescent display, which shows 8 digits plus a 9th digit for signs.
Below the display, the 202 has an aluminum panel with brushed finish for a premium look. The keyboard uses soft-touch keys with short travel that provide a responsive feel during use. An extensive instruction guide printed on the back provides handy reference while operating the calculator.
Inside, the 202 uses a NEC uPD278C processor and a transformer marked as 30T 475 Sumioa. The simple design includes just 1 transistor, 8 diodes, 7 capacitors, 3 resistor arrays and 6 individual resistors. The keyboard connects using a ribbon cable, allowing easy disassembly.
For features, the 202 includes the four standard math functions, percentages, pi, square root and a 4-function memory. The memory usage is indicated by a decimal point in the 9th digit of the display. Additional convenience features include sign change, register exchange and a “C” button that can clear the last number entered or the entire calculator.
The 202 performs well for basic tasks but lacks more advanced functionality like scientific functions or programmability. Regardless, its high build quality and thoughtful design details make the 202 a pleasure to use even today. For a mid-1970s handheld calculator, Brother clearly put care into aspects like the case design, keyboard feel and durable construction.