HP 33s "best seller scientific programmable calculator"


...According to the NPD Group. Is this the reason why this new attention from HP to the calculator market? I think the 35s will be the new best seller. At least, I will buy three, one for me and the others for my daughters ;-)



The HP 33s Scientific Calculator is rated the “Best Seller” in the Scientific Programmable Calculator category in both units and dollar share
This is probably true, but only because there is no competition. Companies like TI, Casio, and Sharp don't bother to sell "scientific programmable calculators" anymore, at least in the US. The market for "graphing calculators" is far larger and more lucrative.

In the US, the primary market for the 33S is probably among engineers and surveyors taking professional licensing exams. People favor the 33S in this situation, but only because "graphing calculators" are explicitly banned.

This leads to the question of whether NCEES will approve the 35S for use on FE/PE and FS/PS exams. They are scheduled to announce a new list of "approved" calculators for 2008 in November.

Edited: 29 May 2007, 9:27 p.m.


This leads to the question of whether NCEES will approve the 35S for use on FE/PE and FS/PS exams.

One hopes that HP have been working with the NCEES to make sure the 35s will be approved. The machine sure looks like it could replace the 33s in terms of functionality, but if it can't be used on licensing exams, it's hard to see who would buy one, apart from us HP Forum nerds.

(I'm really curious about what kind of support it has for named variables and named labels!)

- Thomas


In theory, the 35S should be acceptable to NCEES. The 33S is OK because it lacks I/O and significant alphanumberic capabilities. I don't see any reason to suppose that the 35S would be any different.

In practice, though, I could see a couple of potential issues.

First, NCEES wants to keep their list of approved models to a minimum, to simplify enforcement. So they might be reluctant to add the 35S to the "approved" list, as long as the 33S is still available.

Second, NCEES is seriously considering a plan to standardize on a single calculator model, and to issue the selected calculator in the exam room. If this occurs, it seems possible that they might prefer to standardize on an "approved" Casio or TI model, given their low cost ($10 - $20) relative to HPs (~ $50 for the 33S, ? for the 35S).

Edited: 30 May 2007, 5:05 p.m.

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