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Handhelds Education HP Hardware

HP Launches New Calculators 384

lar1 writes "It looks like HP is back in the calculator buisness! In a press release dated 2003 October 20, HP states: 'Within the next several weeks, HP will be launching three additional new calculators: two graphing and one scientific. The two yet-to-be-launched graphing calculators, together with the hp 49g+ and the entry-level hp 9g, will provide a complete range of graphing calculators expected to fulfill the needs and budgets of a broad spectrum of calculator users.' The 49g+ boasts features such as: USB and IrDA connectivity, a 75MHz ARM CPU, 2MB of flash, and an SD card slot. That's a lot of calculator!" We mentioned this calculator-on-growth-hormones earlier.
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HP Launches New Calculators

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  • ...Polish Notation Reverse it is?
    • A different way of entering calculations. For example, to calculate 3+2, type:
      + (no equals sign)

      or for (9+7)*3, type:

      Takes a little getting use to, but after using it for a while, it becomes natural. I can barely figure out how to use a "regular" calculator now.
      BTW, I'm the proud owner of an HP 32SII that hasn't needed a new battery in about 15 years.
    • I'm probably going to get flamed for it, but...

      Considering the other features, I'd be interested in the thing... But RPN is out (for what I do, it's much less efficient, and no, I'm not going into it again). Algebraic mode is what would allow you to input things in about the same way as a TI-85, right? So you can shut off RPN mode?

      Has anyone used a TI Voyage 200? How's is it? Are the pixels square or rectangular? (that last one applies to both, I didn't see that noted one way or the other in the HP

      • I just bought a TI Voyage 200 (V200), and I love it for the most part. The screen is on the left and the buttons on the right, so it's not very left-hand-friendly, but other than that, very nice.

        The pixels look perfectly square to me, and there sure are a lot of them! over 30,000 to be exactly. Compare this to about 10,500 for the HP49G+...but that's not really fair because of the size difference. Compare it to the 16,000 pixels of the TI-89 and that's quite a difference (especially for the same size sc

    • In LISP you put your operators in front, then properly order your arguments. For example the quadratic formula becomes:

      (list (/ (+ (- b) (sqrt (- (* b b) (* 4 a c)))) (* 2 a))
      (/ (- (- b) (sqrt (- (* b b) (* 4 a c)))) (* 2 a)))

      You can start off with a half-dozen operators. Improper nesting or parentheses can kill you. This can be made shorter by binding intermediate variables.

      Now in RPN:

      b ~ b b * 4 a * c * - sqrt - 2 a * /
      b ~ b b * 4 a * c * - sqrt + 2 a * /

      This is terser than LISP. This
      • The difference is that you can't accommodate a variable number of arguments without some form of delimiter, and for a programming language like Lisp, it makes sense to allow this. I speak Lisp for programming and RPN for calculating, and they both make sense.
    • I am also waiting for a cheaper feature rich RPN calculator.

      Loves my HP11C, and thinks the HP48sx is great too. Need something good in HP11C / HP15C / HP16C quality and not too large. But RPN is necesary. Bought the very cheap HP-9S, and it is a big disappointment.
  • by soluzar22 ( 219097 ) *

    Calculators with way too much muscle are cool, and they do tap right into that geeky part of me that drools over lovely gadgets, but on the other hand, seriously, if it can do calculations in hex, that's all I need, and I'd be almost scared to use that one.

    I mean, if you break it, it's cost you how much? The last super-beefy calc I owned set me back about UKP 75 and that was a long time ago. Plus, that was a long way away from what we're seeing here. Who are they aiming this at? I personally could never ju

    • Math geeks (like me) will love this. I've been wanting a calculator for years (since the TI-92 came out) that would do RPN and Symbolic algebra. I doubt the average user will want a calcuator like this, but a whole lot of math/physics/engineering/Chem geeks will be saving their pennies.
    • Subject suitability

      * Engineering
      * Surveying
      * Math
      * Science
      * Statistics
    • by daksis ( 163887 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:35AM (#7291029)
      I too have fond memories of being jealous over the guy who had every physics formula ever programmed into his TI or HP super computer. But I'm a little curious, with hand held computers with 400mhz processors becoming the norm, will we soon see the death of the "Super Calculator"?
      • by Joney ( 703717 )
        I think it will be up to the schools to decide. I remember in high school if you had a HP with the IR port, they made you put electrical tape over the front to keep you from 'cheating'
        but the designation calculator will allow these things to be used on tests where a 'pocket PC' or such will probably be prohibited, even if they do the exact same things, there is paranoia about that sort of thing.
        I also remember when the TI9something came out with the QWERTY keyboard on it, my school also prohibited it's
    • I understand that it probably has more features than anyone would ever need, but if you look at the website its selling for 87 to 105 UK Pounds. Thats not much above the figure of 75 that you quoted paying a long time ago.

      Now granted, the price should be way down on the old model thats was good enough for you, but far be it from me to begrudge an up and coming geek who wants to spend his own 80 pounds on a new calculator just like you did while coming up.
    • Who are they aiming this at?
      Engineering students, for one. Before I got my first graphic calculator (TI-83) I could have never imagined how much this would simplify problem solving. Looking forward to trying out the HP line.
      • Once you get used to Reverse Polish Notation, I guarantee that you will fall in love with the HPs. If, on the other hand, you decide you don't like you new HP-49G+, I would be more than willing to take it off your hands, for the cost of shipping. :)
    • I mean, if you break it, it's cost you how much?

      True, but in the past at least, HP calcs were incredibly tough. I used more than one, but only because I wanted to have one at home and one to carry around, and I once sold one to buy a fancier model. I dropped them, stepped on them, crushed them under piles of chemistry texts in a backpack - all this abuse for years, and I never had a problem with any of them.

      I also grew to love RPN so much I couldn't use a TI. I mean I could, but I didn't want to. The thi
  • Features (Score:4, Funny)

    by mopslik ( 688435 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:31AM (#7290974)

    The 49g+ boasts features such as: USB and IrDA connectivity, a 75MHz ARM CPU, 2MB of flash, and an SD card slot.

    And it adds too!

  • Broken. (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:32AM (#7290981) Homepage Journal

    Slashdot'd already. Here's the text:
    HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced the hp 49g+ abacus, the flagship of a
    new line of powerful abaci to be launched this fall.

    Built for scientists, engineers, mathematicians, surveyors and
    students who need portable calculating power, the HP 49g+ abacus
    performs all the basic math functions the user knows.
    Total workspace includes an unprecedented 80 rows of 10 beads per,
    broken into two 40 row columns side by side.

    Priced at suggested retail of $99.99, the
    abacus also allows for future upgrades via an included
    toolkit which allows the user to remove each side bar permitting
    access to the bead assembly for easy replacement of worn beads.

    "The hp 49g+ is a powerful tool for professional
    engineers or college students who prefer the SB (Sliding Bead) entry mode of
    calculating ," said Fred Valdez, general manager, abacuss, HP
    Personal Systems Group. "We've taken the original hp 49g and made it
    streamlined, faster and shellaced to prevent splinters."
    • Heh! The old 48GX has been selling for around $150 second hand!

      http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?query=4 8g x&ht=1&sosortproperty=1&from=R10&BasicSear ch=

      Watch out for some cancelled bids anytime now!

      Its a top calculator though, with emulators running on freely available ROM imagesfor some time now.

      I'm running a 48GX emulator on my SE P800 mobile phone.

  • my question (Score:5, Funny)

    by spammyy ( 303116 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:32AM (#7290982)
    who needs that much in a calculator? i mean sounds ok for an entry level pda, but do you need that much? maybe they're trying to capture the calculator gaming world (who's played hick quest on their Ti83)

    • Re:my question (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That's not true. The hp48g was one of the most popular engineering calculators ever to grace the face of this earth. The hp49g was nothing but a fancy memory upgrade and new symbolic features that allowed the calculator to be more student-friendly. This new one, the hp49g+ is an extension of that. This is a big deal because hp had announced that they were no longer in the calculator business. Now they're saying here's some new calcs for you that are running on an ARM processor AND have all the goodies you'r
    • Re:my question (Score:3, Informative)

      by mblase ( 200735 )
      who needs that much in a calculator?

      Anybody who's gone beyond trigonometry in school into pre-calc and calculus. Anybody who uses calculus in the college classes on a regular basis.

      You may not personally have any use for a handheld device that can integrate and differentiate symbolically, but those who do find these things indispensable.
      • If you need a calculator to do your calculus for you at college level then what you need even more is to learn some maths so you can do it yourself. At degree level, my calculator rarely gets touched, except when I reach the final stage of a calculation and want nto stick a couple of numbers in.

        Learn how to do the maths, be able to do it in your head, then hve the calculator for a luxury. Until you graduate you're not going to run into anything that needs a calculator to do it for you.
    • I remember buying a TI83 ages ago for the same thing it costs today. The thing has a processor that's probably weaker then the first gameboy that came out two decades or so ago.

      Graphing anything less then a super simple equation still takes too damn freaking long.
      • I agree. I can't even get Pong to run well on my Casio CFX-80GB+. :-( It's got frickin' 32 kB of RAM! I bought it two months ago for 850 NOK, about $120, and that was on-sale price. And it's sloooooooow to graph. Takes 3 seconds to draw a straight line.
  • 75MHz ARM CPU (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sir Haxalot ( 693401 )
    WOW! That's faster than my first 486 computer, impressive!
  • by bplipschitz ( 265300 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:33AM (#7290991)
    but I won't be replacing my RPN HP-15C any time soon. I've had it since 1984, and it's still going strong.

    Then again, I won't be replacing my slide rules, either. . .

    • I've had it since 1984, and it's still going strong.

      Mine doesn't work anymore.

      I miss it, but get by with my wife's HP-12C.

      Some years ago, HP distributed xhpcalc [], an X windows clients that provided a good facsimile of their programmer/scientific/financial calculator lines with nice buttons, RPN, LCD looking display, etc. [I wish I had a screen dump of it so you could see what it looked like.] This was on HP-UX for PA-RISC machines, like the 700 series. Looks as if it got phased out [slashdot.org] in favor of dtcalc (w

    • I will never replace my HP-11C. Great calculator, though I finally had to replace the batteries this summer. I got that calculator from my father, and I know for a fact that the calculator is a few months older than I am (my father bought it in '81, when it came out). The 11C is a great field calculator. It doesn't seem to mind the heat, dust, cold, &c. as much as my 48GX does (even with the case). Also, it is much easier to carry around, and has all the functionality I need.

      That being said, it
    • Been using my HP-16C for twenty years now. Good as the day it was made.
  • What they don't say (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JamesP ( 688957 )
    Is that 49g+ will be running a Saturn Emulator (not Sega Saturn, but the old 4 bit processor form the old ones)

    HP your calculators were great, but stop crippling your products... Write another system. Yes, it's expensive, but TI does it right...

    • by Detritus ( 11846 )
      My guess is that it was cheaper to write a Saturn emulator for a modern commodity processor than it would have been to design a modern version of the Saturn, which is an ancient design on an ancient process. If you look at the spec sheet [samsung.com] for the ARM variant (S3C2410X01 RISC Microprocessor) that HP is using, you will see that it has a ton of integrated goodies in addition to the ARM core. That's a lot of logic that HP doesn't have to design and test.
  • Ugh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:35AM (#7291031) Journal
    I refuse to use a device that is physically smaller than its getting started manual.
    • Re:Ugh. (Score:5, Funny)

      by default luser ( 529332 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:27PM (#7292392) Journal
      Then you'll want to avoid both HP and TI.

      The instruction book that came with my TI-82 was as thick as the calculator.

      The instruction book that came with my TI-89 was twice as thick as the calculator.

      In three years, TI will release a calculator with a manual the size of a phone book :)
  • Clac vs PDA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by magarity ( 164372 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:37AM (#7291068)
    Just to play devil's advocate: Since PDAs can be had with 75Mhz ARM CPUs and much more memory, what makes this dedicated device better? Given the magins in hardware manufacturing, wouldn't HP be better off writing PDA software to do all of these functions?
    • Re:Clac vs PDA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jonniesmokes ( 323978 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:45AM (#7291168)
      You're right that the processor muscle is better on a PDA - but what a good calculator does is provide you with a great interface to do math. Having all the buttons right in front of you really does matter. Once you learn where the buttons are you can fly through calculations. Hunting through menus on a PDA or pecking a fake keyboard with a mouse on a screen isn't nearly as nice.

      HP's 15C, 42S, and 48G are great. The neat thing about this new one is that you could probably power a sophisticated robot. You could even do the inverse kinematics on the fly.

    • Re:Clac vs PDA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Foochar ( 129133 ) * <foochar@g m a i l .com> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:47AM (#7291201) Journal
      The interface is what makes the difference. I have an HP48GX as well as a Palm Tungsten E. Someone has written a 48SX/48GX/49G emulator that will on the palm. I have it, and it works great. There's nothing like being able to carry the functionality of my calculator with me wherever I go.

      That being said, it is not a part and parcel replacement for my calculator. For intense operations the keypad on the real calculator is worlds better than clicking on the screen. The other thing is that the screen size of my calculator is just a little bit smaller than the screen of my palm, and on the palm screen you have to fit both the keypad and the calculator display.
      • So what you're saying is that HP's calculator business would go under in about a week if TI were to sell a calculator keypad for $20 that clips onto the bottom of a palm pilot and interfaces to HP's free (what were they thinking?) emulator.
    • Re:Clac vs PDA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FrankDrebin ( 238464 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:53AM (#7291265) Homepage

      wouldn't HP be better off writing PDA software to do all of these functions?

      One problem with convergence of the general-purpose PDA and the calculator is that colleges ban the former from final exams because they can be used to store volumes of notes, even entire textbooks. There really is a market for college students, especially in engineering and sciences, for a good calculator without too much memory and fancy graphics, simply to help perform accurate calculations and nothing more.

      • The many buttons are also superior to a PDA with nothing but a touch-screen. Keys are easier to find and easier to use. I don't see too many people with a touch-screen and no keyboard on their desktop PC...

        By the way, what stops someone from storing volumes of notes on their calculator? 800KB of available flash it said? That's a lot of text.
        • I don't see too many people with a touch-screen and no keyboard on their desktop PC...

          Give it time. Some folks are down to one mouse button already. Can touchscreen-only PCs be far off?

    • I suppose the battery life. My HP28S hasn't needed a battery in over 3 years. And I use it a lot. The keys have a reliable click for feedback when typing equations in fast when errors are not an option. Memory does not fail. The calculator does not crash. Programs are simple and to the point. Don't have to worry about viruses or trojans. PDA's are my worst dream in every regard when I need something that absolutely must work without fail.
    • Re:Clac vs PDA (Score:2, Insightful)

      #1 reason: because the instructor or proctor won't let you in to the test with a PDA, but will with a really smart calculator.

  • As the proud owner of an HP28S from my undergrad days, I have to say that if I were going into school now, I'd just get a basic Palm for $80 and be done with it. Not only is it a standard platform with many games, utilites and useful apps, but several nifty programmable RPN graphing and solving calculator programs are available for free. You can probably even get an HP28 or HP15 emulator for it.

    About the only advantage I still see with the HP Calc is the keyboard. That, and I'm certain the palm would b
  • I saw a $ 99 Pda at Compusa last week. By viewsonice
    with rebates.

    Now, I know they can't handle all the functions of the top of the line graphing calculator but they might if you have an emulator or other software.

    The graphing calculator is dying out and being replaced by SUPERIOR technology. HP is not embracing the future by not coming out with a hybrid
    pda/graphing calculator.
    • by Slack3r78 ( 596506 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @12:27PM (#7291606) Homepage
      My computer has this nice little calculator program on it. Ocassionly, I'll run into something while I'm working on the computer that requires me to do some quick math. What do I do? Pick up my TI calculator that I leave sitting by it and punch it in.

      I'm sorry, PDA's are a nice technology, but they in no way are superior to a good calculator. With my calculator, everything I need is either right there, or at most 2-3 menu levels down. Whereas with a PDA, I'd be lucky if I could do anything much more complex than basic math without wasting time digging through menus, no matter how well organized.

      That said, HP DOES have a hybrid - the iPaq line. But they're also smart enough to realize that those who need to solve problems that are of more than marginal complexity will appreciate a tool made to do just that in the most efficient manner possible.
  • From the previous articles about the 49G+, it looks like the calculator is to run an updated 49G ROM (with the ARM9 will emulating the Saturn CPU from the 49G).

    Now, I wonder if HP is going to make the updated ROM and its subsequent revisions available for 49G owners... that would indeed be very kind of them, but they might also want to increase their sales figures by making 49G zealots switch to the 49G+.
  • by Zergwyn ( 514693 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:40AM (#7291112)
    I am very excited by this news. I swear by my 48gx, which has the most useful calculatlor I have ever used. RPN input is very fast, the stack is very useful, and it was really ahead of its time with features. However, it can be a bit pokey at times, making certain features less useful. However, it is also very good on the computer. In mid-2000, HP actually made the laudable move of releasing the HP48 ROM images to the public, so various emulators that work exactly like the real thing can be found for various platforms. For OS X, I would suggest using x48, which is even featured [apple.com] on Apple's website! You can find the original page here [archive.org]. Worth checking out. Also, HP48gx enthusiasts should check out metakernal, which, while it requires you to have an add-on memory card, can make the 48gx a lot more usable. It rewrites a lot of the core functions in assembly, making them far faster, as well as adding new features. It is also free now (minus the cost of the required card, obviously).
  • by DeepDarkSky ( 111382 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:42AM (#7291133)
    Pretty soon, a little handheld gadget will be all of these:
    - PDA
    - Cell Phone
    - Digital Camera
    - Video player
    - portable mass storage
    - MP3 Player
    - advanced graphing calculator ...there're so many, what have I missed?

    You can bet something like this will not be allowed during test taking, that's for sure.
    • by Milo77 ( 534025 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @03:53PM (#7294175)
      Of course some of these have conflicting goals. For example, i want my phone small so i can take it with me anywhere. For my calculator, i want a good sized keyboard (required for really high-speed input) and if it's graphing i want a big screen also. The size of my calculator matters less to me because i don't need to take it everywhere i go, and when i do take it somethere i usually have a backpack or briefcase or whatever. The input piece is important and i don't think it can be replaced by voice (imagine a test enviroment or a floor of actuaries) or stylus (drawing a "2" takes longer than just pushing the "2" button). On screen keyboards just don't provide the necessary tactile feedback and if your goal is to make them as small as possible then it becomes difficult to use both hands (when doing high-speed calculations with an hp32s2 you most certainly use both hands) and you increase the likelyhood that you'll either miss the key you were trying for or unintentionally hit others. This is what HP has always done right: their push buttons are the best. Convergence is neat, but it shouldn't sacrifice usability.
  • by Anonym1ty ( 534715 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:43AM (#7291155) Homepage Journal
    • Do the new calculators also take pictures?
    • Do the also make phone calls?
    • Can I use it as a rolledex?
    • Can I send e-mail from it?
    • Can I IM people on it?
    • Can I stream live video from it?
    • Can I fax graphs from it?
    • Can I look up a webpage on it?
    • Can I listen to MP3's On it?
    • Can I watch Videos on it?
    • TV?

    If it doesn't do ALL of this I am not impressed ---But that's just me

    • I went to the hardware store the other day and saw this great new device which I'm sure you'll be interested in. It's a combination saw, laser level, hammer, screwdriver, drill, and has built-in GPS. Now you don't need separate, specialized tools to do all of these things -- one simple device does it all (though not as well).

      Aren't you impressed?
    • Do the also make phone calls?
      Can I use it as a rolledex?

      Does it have a Spelling and Grammar checker?

  • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:46AM (#7291199) Journal
    It's way past the stage that these pocket calculators are calculators in the classical sense - these beasts are practically PCs.

    When I sat my first recognised exams in mathematics (way back in the late 80s), the HP calculator I had then was programmable, and it was child's play to write programmes that solved quadratic equations, etc. Other kids in my class had models that had graphical displays that would give visual representations of equations, calculate integrals, etc.

    And while most of us then where honest, because we knew our subject material, the potential for cheating (using a calculator to come up with an answer instead of working it out with your brain) was enormous.

    Fast forward to today. I bet a fair few of these calculators-on-steroids will get bought by students that have no idea how to solve the problems set for them but are quite happy to just plug in a few numbers and have the calculator pop out the answers for them.

    That's great if you want generations of kids who can use a programme someone else has written for them, not so great if you hope to teach those kids more complex maths, physics, engineering, etc later on.

    My nephew is about to start the same exams I took 15+ years ago. There are no restrictions or checks on what calculators can be taken into any exam. How ridiculous is that?
    • by Cochonou ( 576531 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @12:15PM (#7291486) Homepage
      I'd tend to disagree with you, even in the field of complex math teaching.

      There is no denying that the CAS of these calculators is very powerful, and often can't be challenged for solving equations or calculating triple integrals. But at best, these kinds of tools can help you working faster and more efficiently, but not do the work for you.
      In physics, the calculator (or Maple, Mathematica, Matlab..) can solve your equations saving your time - and some of your nights - but cannot put into equations your problem which is the real deal.
      In mathematics, the calculator might be capable of determining the kernels and images of linear applications as an example, but comes short for solving anything that requires to find a proper demonstration. So it won't get you very far.

      At last, it could be argued that because of the huge amount of memory modern calculators feature, student are becoming lazy and shove all the formulas into their calcs instead of learning them. Yes, it might be a shame. However, it is sometimes said that the important is not to know all the information by heart, but to know where you will be able to find it.
  • by billnapier ( 33763 ) <napier@pobox. c o m> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @11:47AM (#7291209) Homepage
    Screw all those nice graphics and algebraic equation solvers, what I want is an HP 16c" [hpmuseum.org]. They're on e-bay for $140 or so, which is a little expenseive for a at least 14 year old calculator. HP, bring back an improved 16c!
    • I still have two HP 15C's (basically the math versions), and I fear the day they break (so far, they've proven to be pretty much indestructible, after having been through such tortures as been repeatedly dropped from desks, sat on, stood on, being left lying in the sun, subjected to water, tea & cola spilling etc.).

      If I need to do more advanced stuff, I use Cinderella, Octave/GNUplot or (when available) Mathematica.

      - Andreas

    • Hell yeah. I've got a 32s, but I surely miss my old 16c, stolen by a amoral but discerning thief when I got to college, lo those many years ago.

  • Does anyone know how these compare to the standard TI calculators? i.e. which is the most similar to the TI82, 83, 86, 89? Us math majors need to know!
  • HP-11C 4EVA! ;)

    Seriously, I'd never heard of the 16c until now - sounds interesting. Time to eBay! My 11c is still working _fine_, though.
  • Hm....2MB flash, SD card slot, ARM CPU...looks like a Linux port is a no-brainer.

    Any bets on how long till Linux's first boot on an HP49g+?

  • If I remember correctly, the ARM processors don't have a floating point unit on them, so is it really going to be any faster than my old 48gx?
  • "Complex number of functions".

    After this one, I believe that all our calculus are belong to them.

    (from the HP49+ link provided in the article: http://www.hp.com/calculators/graphing/49gplus/
    i n the Math Features)
  • by wsloand ( 176072 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @12:38PM (#7291748)
    For the interested, the site that I've always found the best info on HP calculators and software for them is http://www.hpcalc.org/ [hpcalc.org].
  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @12:44PM (#7291815) Homepage
    I have two (2, 0b010) HP-16C calculators that are both going on 20 years old and they are one of the best investments I've ever made. Along with them, I've had a variety of gonculators over the years, but these are the only ones I regularly lock up.

    Along with the Hex and Binary functions, the cases of the calculators are rock solid (they've been dropped probably a total of 100 times) and the buttons have a nice solid "click" to them to give you feedback saying that the button was pressed. The button legends are molded into the plastic, so you will never wear them off.

    The ARM processor, flash memory are nice, but the only thing that would make me consider giving up my everyday TI-83 (and the '16Cs) would be if the case was as rugged as the original HPs, and the buttons where of the same high quality.

  • by nedron ( 5294 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:08PM (#7292138) Homepage
    To my knowledge, there ahas been no change to HPs decision to drop their line of calculators. These models were already in the pipeline and were mentioned in HPs "we're out of here" announcement.

    So, while it's good news, for these three models, I'm still pretty sure it's the end of the line for HP.

  • by Nonillion ( 266505 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:10PM (#7292169)
    I have used HP calculators for years. I have a 42S and a 48GX, both are still giving me years of faithful and trouble free service. What impressed me was the ability to use complex numbers, like negative sqroots and to calculate !n 256 (can't remember if it was 253 or 256). And lets not forget RPN, the oly way to do math :)

    I have even surfed the net with my 48GX via a telnet connection to my linux box. Anything else is just ordinary...

    Keep thoes calculators comming HP.
  • What I want... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Experiment 626 ( 698257 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:46PM (#7292596)

    I first got a HP48SX in 1989 (or maybe 90) and it was very amazing technology. Since then they've done the GX and the 49, which are nice improvements but basically just small incremental upgrades, which is disappointing considering all the new technology that has come out during that time period. Calculators basically hit their peak and then stagnated for over a dozen years and couting.

    Here's what I think the ubercalculator of 2003 should be. The technology exists to make it, sure it wouldn't be cheap, but what nerd wouldn't want one...

    I'd design such a beast as basically a PDA, but specialized in serious math rather than tracking appointments. Give it a fold-open design with a scientific calculator keypad on one part and a full-color TFT QVGA screen. A nice 400-mhz or so processor to manipulate even symbolic equations quickly. An operating environment that resembles neither a daytimer or a more primitive calculator, but best described as Pocket Mathematica. USB, IRDA, and Bluetooth connectivity, a nice recharging cradle, and have it come preloaded with a a vast collection of equations, reference charts, and such from a variety of disciplines... mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, statistics, etc.

    No, no professor in their right mind would let you use such a monstrosity on a test, but I imagine there are other geeks out there who would want it. Or maybe I've just dreamed up a calculator so excessive you'd be better off using a small laptop. /shrug

    • "You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it
      doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on."
      -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

      from the fortune file
  • I love the retro design. Makes me think of the old HP business calculators from years past.
  • I would much prefer a jacket with an HP keyboard into which a Palm will plug to be the processor and the display. Then I've got Bluetooth, SD card and the rest, good color display and the excellent user interface. Why does no-one make a calculator keyboard for Palms?

    And if someone with a plastics factory is reading this, why not build space into it for an auxiliary battery thus avoiding the need for frequent shutoff?

  • The high end TI calculators use REDUCE (I think) as their algebra package and it's pretty awesome. I can throw some pretty nasty integrals at it and it gets them. My HP48G is crap by comparison as it had only the most rudimentary algebra (even though the blurb about it originally suggested it was sophisticated). Does anyone know if the HP49G+ does real algebra comparable to REDUCE?

    For example if I throw deSolve(y'+y''=sqrt(1+x),x,y) at my TI89 I get a sensible answer back (including a subexpression for an

  • by JeffTL ( 667728 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:57PM (#7293498)
    Polish notation reverse very efficient is. Like Latin it feels. Hewlett Packards very good are, but I my TI-83 prefer. When RPN I need GNU dc I use then.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson