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My trusty 42s has bit the dust and I need a replacement. Can anyone offer any insight into the differences between the 48g models (g, gplus, gx)? I checked it out on the HP site, but didn't find really good specs. Thanks for the help! Also - anyone have an idea where I could find a reputable seller that would have a 42s?


Base model; 48G 32k of RAM
48G+ Same as 48G but 128K of ram
48GX Same as 48G+ but with two expansion slots

They are all the same unit but with different memory and with the expansion ports added on the GX.


Yani correctly mentioned the major differences between models, but are you aware of the operating differences between the 48 and the 42? I mean:
multilevel stack X 4-level stack
RPL instead of RPN
structured programming
more than 30 object types

among others? If you are aware of these differences, fine. If not, let us know, so we can clear them up.


The 48G is no longer in production, so your choice is between the 48G+ and the GX. Their functionality is identical except the 48GX can accept expansion cards that give more memory or provide special applications. Buy the 48GX. Worth the small extra cost.
Regarding finding another 42S, well, good luck. The 42S went out of production in 1995, and its demise is much lamented in the HP community. It can no longer be purchased from any dealers, although you might luck out and find some old stock at a bookstore or office supply house. Basically, the only place to get a 42S these days is on eBay. Expect to pay $150 for used, decent condition, $200 and up for new or mint condition.
As an alternative to another 42S, there is a good HP-41 emulation program for the 48 series available at hpcalc.org. Programming for the 42S and 41 series is basically the same, and the 41 emulator acts like a good ol' 4-level RPN stack machine. The biggest thing missing from the 41 (and the 48 emulation) is the excellent complex number capabilities of the 42S. The 48 itself can handle complex numbers, but you can’t get that “i" in the display. I’m hopeful that someday, somebody will develop an HP42S emulator for the 48 series.

Consider the HP-32SII, while it's still available. It's got the four-level stack and the same dimensions as the -42S. It is a very useful device if extensive programming is not one of your requirements.

Also, your -42s just may be repairable, though not by HP.