What's your favorite non-programmable HP calculator?


Mine is the HP 32E.

I recently came across an HP 42s and I contributed the story of how I got it in the Memories section. It is truly a superb machine but it got me to thinking about some of the older non-programmable models that were produced in the 1970's. I bought a couple of RPN non-programmable calculators earlier in the year for my PMP exam (why more than one you might ask - just don't OK?), only to learn that they changed the rules just before I wrote the exam disallowing any calculators not furnished by the examiners. Anyway, I really like the HP 32E, much more than the HP 21, not just because of it's many statistics and hyperbolic features but because of the layout and sheer useability. I even like it more than the 33E programmable that I quite frankly find a bit of a nuisance without continuous memory. I am curious as to the preference of folks on this forum.

Edited: 18 Dec 2008, 10:46 p.m.


Depends on your definition of "programmable". If a Solver only doesn't count as programmable, then my favorite is 27s. If a Solver counts as programmable, then I guess I don't own a non-programmable calculator.


You're right; I should have defined what 'programmable' means in this context. I accept the generalized algebraic solver included in the HP-18C and HP-27s, as it really falls into the same category as TVM Solvers or even the normal distribution function of the HP-32E. Thanks for responding. - Jeff


Jeff --

If "programability" extends to equation-based functionality (and not only keystroke-recording capability), then the HP-22S, HP-27S, HP-17B/BII and others are out.

That leaves only a few choices of scientific calculators, and of those, fewer still that have LCD displays.

I have an HP-35 and an HP-6s, but I'd probably prefer an HP-45 to either of them.

The HP-10C could have been the ideal entry-level nonprogrammable, if its HP-12C programmability had been replaced by the missing mathematical functions (not the advanced functions) that were included in the HP-11C and HP-15C.

Business model? The HP-14B.

-- KS


You are right. It is wrong to include calculators with a SOLVER feature in this category, as that does allow for programmability, albeit not of the traditional keystroke variety. The 10C would certainly have been a fine calculator if only it had hyperbolic trig functions, %CH, recall arithmetic and Combinations & Permutations. As a programmable, it is quite limited in what it can do anyway.



I've always had a soft spot for the original (Woodstock) HP-27. It's got all the functions I normally need for back-of-an-envelope work: scientific (exponential and trig), TVM, and statistics. Only ten memories, but that's fine for that kind of work. And an excellent manual, full of worked examples, including navigation, surveying, etc. etc. Who could forget the lovesick sailor Oscar Odysseus?


--- Les






HP-01. Closeley followed by the HP-21. I don't need business functions. The theory behind them is wrong anyway, as the current monetary situation worldwide clearly shows (as well as my vaporised pension money - TVM - hahaha). And I truly hate grey LCDs. I hate them a little more every day. Can't help it. Sooner or later all my LCD calculators will show up on eBay very cheap.

Greetings, Max


I first read "What's your favorite non-HP programmable calculator", and was immediately tempted to write about the merits of my FX-602, until I noticed that I had misread the topic. My fault!



Hi Andreas,

it seems you forget that CASIO fx-602P is programmable, as the letter "P" indicates.
10 programs, up to 602 steps...
Or did I miss something ?
Kind regards


You did indeed, Jean-Michel! As a closer inspection of my slightly modified topic reveals, I talk about non-HP programmables!



Until a couple of weeks ago all my HPs were programmable and they were the only ones I had had experience of.

However Christmas came early this year with a couple of 'auction' purchases, a 35 and a 21 and while I have had great fun using both (I have been switching between them at work) I find the 21 a lovely package - it has a size and feel that seems 'right' to me. However, I've been surprised how much I miss the 'Last x' function when it's not there although I never really thought I used it!



I own only one non-programmable HP, an HP-32E. That's the calculator that I use in my workshop for day-to-day calculations when working on my various hobbies (woodworking, electronics, model airplanes). So I guess that one would have to be my favourite. :-)



HP-27 (Woodstock)


My HP-67.

(Someday I should get 'round to finding a charger for it. ;-)

Edited: 19 Dec 2008, 11:53 a.m.


Paul, what did you do to it to make your HP-67 non-programmABLE? ;)


let the batteries to deplete...?



let the batteries to deplete...?

This leads to an interesting philosophical/logical/quantum-physical problem: Is a non-working programmable calculator still a programmable calculator or does it become a non-programmable calculator in the process?

Greetings, Max

BTW: The '67 is _my_ favourite HP programmable calculator :-)


Sein oder nicht sein. Das ist hier die Frage!


... or does it become a non-programmable calculator in the process?

Why would this thing be still a calculator? Shouldn't it be a non-programmable non-calculator?

My favorite non-programmable calculator? A sheet of paper and a pencil on weekdays and a metal slide rule on Sundays.

My favorite programmable non-calculator? Maybe a VCR ;-)

Edited: 19 Dec 2008, 2:34 p.m.


Is a non-working programmable calculator still a programmable calculator or does it become a non-programmable calculator in the process?

That's the spirit: take a wobbly attempt at humor and turn it into a philosophical conundrum. (This board is priceless!)

I suppose it's still "program-ABLE" in that, were I to install & charge a battery pack, it would be fully operational. But it's on display and unused, and without a battery, it's not only non-programmable, it's non-functional.

And it's my favorite just for the sheer audacity of its conception & realization. (Kind of like Tom Perkins' Maltese Falcon -- except I can't own one of those.)

Edited: 22 Dec 2008, 12:40 p.m.


But the HP-67 (from 1976) was the world's finest *programmable* calculator in its day. I wrote many programs for it related to submarine reactor operation and periscope watchkeeping.

My favorite non-programable ever is the HP-45 (from 1973).



After all the restrictions posed on the set of candidates, I'll choose my HP-45. It was for sure the calculator which impressed me most when it showed up in my area in the autumn of 1973. And it allows everything a scientific calc must allow, except linear regression and solving equations.


My HP-48G+
As I'm a RPN person who never adopted RPL, I consider it as "non-programmable" (by me at least).



The HP-21 is my favorite non-programmable calculator. It is very simple to use and has RPN.



Mine is the 48G

(Just because it has all those buttons, doesn't mean I know how to use them B^)


dona nobis pacem


10B.....no, it's not RPN, but it has a large single-line display that is perfect for my weak old eyes. I have at least half a dozen of these and have never had one fail. Put it in a Astech case and it's pretty hard to beat.


NON- PROGRAMMABLE (favourite first):

PROGRAMMABLE(favourite first):

The 42S on the right:

Edited: 21 Dec 2008, 7:42 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Geoff, please, you may still publish your excellent picture of your excellently restored HP-55, but put it in the programmable section -- see the key bottom right :-)


Merry Christmas all!


Oh boy Geoff! Love your pics.

My first and only exposure (and therefore my favorite by default) to an HP non-programmable scientific calculator was the HP-45.

Ever since then, it's been programmable HP calculators.

I have a special fondness for the HP-67, and I'm lucky to have one, which I restored the card reader for. I also have the HP-97, which was my main "home computer" for many years.


Edited: 22 Dec 2008, 7:07 p.m.


32E, it is just right for a non-programmable.


So there are at least two others out there who prefer (even if by default) the HP 32E. I have really gotten to like this calculator! It has so many well-designed and easy to use features; including extensive statistics functions and storage registers, factorial, delta%, Last'x', some useful conversions, vector arithmetic, and hyperbolic trig functions. What other non-programmable has a better overall set of features, and why?

Thanks for responding everyone, and thanks to Geoff for posting some of his great calculator photos!

Jeff K.


it has business routines

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