Thinking to buy HP50G


I am a long time user of HP calc (hp41cv,hp28c, hp15c, hp12c, hp16c, hp42,hp48sx, hp20s, hp10b, hp17bii, hp200lx, hp49g, HP33S, hp12P25ed). I just bought the HP35s (with some mixing feelings) It looks good (retro is Ok), but the overall feeling was that it looks like the traditional HP qualty is gone (today HP is not an option to me for PC neither, I prefer Apple). How is you impression about 50G comparing with the 48G series?

Thanks in advance


Edited: 13 Sept 2007, 1:46 p.m.


I swear, we need to make this topic a FAQ or something -- it comes up about every two weeks. ;-)

Personally, I think the 50g is superior to the 48 family. Yes, there are some valid reasons to use the 48s, but the 50g has all the power, all the compatibility, and it's newer. They made huge improvements over the 49 family too.

Go for it!



I have had a 48GX since 1993. My still mint 48GX was a gift and I did not want to lose it, so I retired it for a 50g about a year ago.


  1. Speed.
  2. Larger (more pixels) and more clear display.
  3. 4 I/O Options (USB, Serial, IR, SD).
  4. Replaceable.
  5. Flash upgradeable.
  6. UserRPL compatible with 48.
  7. No Alpha on positional keys.


  1. Keyboard layout. Missing large Enter, but you get used to it. I think positional keys are a waste of space (inverted T preferred).
  2. Menu/Software layout. Kinda of a hodgepodge, often I have to use CAT or spell out the command. I do not recall having this problem with my 48GX. It's only a minor nuisance. Could be fixed with flash.
  3. Some may find the keyboard a bit stiffer. I do not have an issue with it.

IMHO the build quality of the 50g is as good as my 48GX.

For RPN on my 50g I have been using:


If you want to do symbolic math (calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, etc), then get the 50G.

You can get much of the same CAS functionality on the 48GX, but you will need to buy 48GX memory expansion cards (which will probably cost as much as the calculator itself), plus a 48 serial cable, and install lots of third-party software. And even then, the CAS will not be as up-to-date or as well integrated as it is on the 50G; it will run much more slowly, and the display will be smaller and have less contrast.

I bought a 48GX in the late 1990s, which I upgraded with two expansion cards, ALG48, ERABLE, etc. It works, but it's slow and clumsy compared to the 50G. For number crunching, the 48GX is still great. But for symbolic math, the 48GX reminds me of Windows 3.1 on a 286, while the 50G is Windows XP on a Pentium 4.

The only things I really miss about the 48GX are the big central ENTER key and the quality of the documentation. The 50G doesn't feel quite as solid as the 48GX, but the quality is still more than adequate.

Edited: 13 Sept 2007, 3:11 p.m.


Thanks for the information. I had just placed my order,



I got one for about a month. It's no 48GX or 48SX but it's a user calculator. Now I don't have to worry about damaging it. It's faster so it's good to run program (I still have to find a good substitute for the PDL). It does symbolic better than the 48. Keyboard layout is something I have to get used to.


I bought a 50g to replace my 48G and really love every aspect of it except the keyboard feel. Even after 2 months, I was making multiples the mistakes that I usually make. The stiffness and/or travel to be really difficult compared to the 48G. I bought a 35s and am very happy with it. I have a benchmark equation that I used to judge my speed with all my calculators and I was slowest with my 50g. I was faster with my 35s the first try than I ever got to with my 50g. This is 99% of a calculator for me, so the 50g was borderline worthless for me.

Edited: 13 Sept 2007, 6:05 p.m.

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  HP-35 blind buy but buggy! Max Stone 7 2,244 11-11-2013, 05:56 PM
Last Post: Dieter
  Where to safely buy a PRIME John Stark 14 2,977 10-10-2013, 03:26 PM
Last Post: Terje Vallestad
  hp50g screen weird line Sok-khieng Chum Hun 2 1,112 09-10-2013, 08:11 AM
Last Post: Sok-khieng Chum Hun
  Documentation about Hp50g / 49g+ / 48gII and wikis Pier Aiello 9 2,160 09-10-2013, 04:22 AM
Last Post: Software49g
  HP's thinking behind the 20b/30b? John Ioannidis 3 1,223 09-07-2013, 10:21 AM
Last Post: Tim Wessman
  "A Penny for your thoughts" on the HP50g Tom Grydeland 3 1,243 08-01-2013, 03:57 AM
Last Post: Les Koller
  Is there a HP50g emulator for Linux? Matti Övermark 2 1,047 07-03-2013, 07:40 AM
Last Post: Matti Övermark
  HP50G advanced applications for mathematics CompSystems 0 795 06-17-2013, 08:38 AM
Last Post: CompSystems
  HP50g rebind stat key Chris Smith 1 841 05-26-2013, 06:21 PM
Last Post: Software49g
  How I use my HP50G at work. David Bengtson 7 1,757 05-06-2013, 02:57 PM
Last Post: Ingo

Forum Jump: