The first microcalculators used a lot of power, meaning batteries rarely lasted for over two hours. Since 220V sockets were not always readily available, and batteries were only available in cities, engineers started working on power-efficient microcalculators and finally came up with the liquid crystal display.
The first model to make use of this innovation was the B3-04, followed in 1978 by the eight-digit B3-30, manufactured at Angstrem. With its 8 MW power intake, this calculator could run for up to 20 hours without a line adapter. For comparison, the Elektronika B3-26 consumed a whopping 600 MW. The B3-30 was powered by nickel-cadmium batteries (D = 0.06) or a 220V AC adapter.
Based on the Sharp EL-8020, the Elektronika B3-30’s display also includes a positive/negative sign, overflow sign and battery indicator.
The Elektronika B3-30 can perform the four arithmetic operations and has separate keys for calculations with percentages and square roots.
Portable and stylish, the calculator was sold with its own book-style cover (the 1980 version of which carried the Olympic logo). Although initially priced at 58 RUB, after a few years the calculator retailed at a very reasonable 40 RUB.
Sources: V.I. Grubov, V.S. Kirdan, S.F. Kozubovsky PC Guide, 1989, p. 282
Weight: 0.065 kg
Dimensions: 110×66.5×10.5 mm