What are some of your fondest memories? Perhaps it was when you finished college? Or when you got your first accounting job? For many of the staff here at Monroe Systems for Business, it was when our product specialists introduced the Ultimate (today known as the UltimateX), our top-of-the line heavy-duty printing calculator that combines the best features of the Monroe Classic and Pro printing calculators.
Introduced in 2010, the Monroe Ultimate was not only well received by our staff — who have the opportunity to try new products before they go to market — but they were extremely well received by our customers. Since the launch of the Ultimate in 2010, there have been more than 40,000 units sold. And to this day, the UltimateX remains our most popular printing calculator.
As 2019 marks the ninth year of the Ultimate, we thought it only fitting — and fair — to give the Monroe Classic and Pro their dues. After all, these early generation models paved the way for the best calculator on the market today, the UltimateX.
A Look at the Monroe Classic
In 2003, Monroe introduced the Monroe Classic. The Classic was designed with the most popular keyboard (marketed as the Velvet Touch keyboard) that Monroe had employed dating back to the late 1980s. This was just one of the features that makes Monroe calculators different from any printing calculator manufactured today.
The Classic was Monroe’s first four-function calculator that enabled the user to process amortizing of bank loans in a simple operation. The classic needed a battery that was installed in the calculator to maintain special submerged functions, when the calculator was powered down.
The Classic model had crossfooting, spreadsheets, time-card functionality and independent memory (two). CPA's especially liked the soft key touch and the two independent memories that the Classicprovided.
Many of those calculators are still in use today. In fact, it is not uncommon to receive a call from customers who have a Classic and are looking for supplies, have a question about functionality or are simply looking to upgrade.
Adding the Monroe Pro into the Mix
In 2005, Monroe introduced the Monroe Pro. Aside from the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and divide functions, this model had the ability to solve for interest on a loan, future value and amortize. Pro users were typically in the financial industries or industries that handled loans.
The Pro utilized the same keyboard as the Classic, but the keyboard on the left-hand side was dedicated to financial operations, such as amortization, and was always available for that purpose. The Classic, however, needed to be accessed through the special submerged functions. The Pro did not require a battery to maintain any special features.
In addition, the Monroe Pro was designed with a special CPU assembly that maintained any special functions entered or the dedicated financial keys on the keyboard. That feature was not affected by powering down the calculator.
Monroe Classic and Pro Become the Ultimate
Since the demand for the Pro was not as high as the Classic, the company decided to incorporate both models into one. In 2010, Monroe introduced the Ultimate heavy-duty calculator. This model was the update of the Classic and the Pro combined and featured an enlarged display along with an editing feature.
The UltimateX was introduced in 2016. This X model and the launch of the X series of medium- and heavy-duty calculators, was brought about by the termination of the printer, by the manufacturer Epson. This resulted in the redesign of all of Monroe’s calculator platforms.
Rather than see this as a setback, Monroe saw this as an opportunity to update features that were troublesome to the original Classic and Ultimate models — returning some features that were moved from the original Classic and Ultimate and adding features that would prevent operating mistakes by end users.
An updated printer made it easier for customers to order their supplies. For example, the Monroe UltimateX, along with other X series models, were for the first in Monroe’s history, compatible with universal supplies like the Monroe P65M ribbon spools, Monroe M33X ribbon cartridges and Monroe’s signature 20 lb. paper tape rolls.
The only software change that was made to the UltimateX was the modification to hit the define key twice to enter into functions to prevent customer error during use. The Velvet Touch keyboard was maintained through all Monroe models.
The UltimateX also combined the time card, spreadsheet and limited financial programs on the Classic with the full financial programs on the Pro.
Since it was introduced in 2016, the UltimateX has been well received by top accounting and finance executives across the country. Hearing our customers’ positive feedback about the UltimateX prompted us to create the phrase "Those who know choose Monroe."
Customers like the continuation of the soft key touch, and the larger display, adds Mike Prasch, business development executive at Monroe. “They also like having the ability to use the extra functions, as long as they don't erroneously interfere with their normal work (which they don't)”
Thank you to Bill Hines, Factory Service Manager; and Mike Prasch, Business Development Executive, who contributed their expertise to this blog.
Stay tuned for our next blog, where we’ll cover the top 4 functions of the Monroe UltimateX!
Can't get enough enough of the UltimateX? Check out some of these other blogs:
- An Unexpected Career Move Inspires Printing Calculator Innovation
- To the Attention of Mr. Warren Buffett
- The Monroe Bro: By Interns, for YouTube