HP17bii+ v HP12CP



#2

I have an excellent HP17bii+ (silver) where even the keyboard works. However, I do like the look of the HP12CP - does it provide any additional functionality over teh HP17Bii+ to justify buying, or would it just be one to add to a collection?


#3

I find that the 17b series improves on the 12c in nearly every area. The one advantage the 12c has is programmability vs. the 17b's (extremely versatile) HP Solve, though the 12c's programming capabilities are quite limited. You don't get any flow control besides GTO and R/S - there's no LBL or GSB/XEQ, and the only conditionals are x=0? and x<=y?. Plus, the 17b is just loads faster than the 12c (though the new ARM-based 12c may have changed that).

That being said, I've got a 12c (original, not Platinum), and it's a nice little machine to have around for doing household finances, though I regard my 17bii as being the much more capable machine. The ability to store multiple stat or cash flow lists, and a bunch of formulas/programs in the solver is enough to sway me. And the alarm functionality is nice too. :)


#4

The 12c Platinum doesn't use the ARM, so the current-model 12c should be *much* faster than either the Platinum, 17B, or 17BII.


#5

In tests I have run, the 12cp (25th anniversary edition) is about 2.4 times the speed of the original 12c. The new ARM-based 12c is exactly 60 times the speed of the original 12c. So if speed is important, you want the ARM-based unit, if you can find one.

I haven't compared the speeds of the solver-based 17b to the RPN-based 12c, but my experience is that the 17b (and 17bii) are significantly faster than the 17bii+ (both gold and silver models) in executing solver equations. And all 17b machines (17b, 17bii, 17bii+) are faster than the original 12c and much slower than the ARM-based 12c.

#6

I have the original 17b (two of them). I find it a joy to use (except for the stupid chain logic). But I find the alpha prompts, operator display, and menu style easier to use. You might say the 17b series is a display-oriented device. The 12c series, on the other hand, is a keyboard-oriented device. Really a personal preference. I bought a 12cp 25th myself, then got rid of it.

Same difference between, say, the 27s and 20s (I am speaking of the type of interface). 20s was my first HP, but after discovering the joys of the 27s, it has been relegated to "keep in the truck for emergency" status.


#7

Quote:
I have the original 17b (two of them). I find it a joy to use (except for the stupid chain logic).

Sounds like you'd be the perfect candidate for a 17bii, which added RPN back in. They can be found surprisingly cheap, too.

#8

Martin is correct about the basic human interface for the 12c and 17b. The 17b uses alpha menus to prompt you for values for variables in solver equations, while the 12c is just a plain old-fashioned pure RPN machine. So the 17b is more "human-friendly," while the 12c's RPN provides a more powerful programming environment (with limitations, of course) than the 17b's solver.

My principal problem with the original 12c was its speed, but that has been fixed with the ARM-based version, again, if you can find it.

The 12c does have this advantage over the 17b: it fits in your pocket!


#9

And if you don't mind the clamshell, the 19B is even better than the 17B by a long way - 19BII even better still. I really don't understand why this machine doesn't have a wide fan-base. HP could have easily made the perfect non-programmable Pioneer by putting the 19BII functionality into a Pioneer "19S". The 19BII is under-rated for reasons I just don't understand.

Mark


#10

I think because the 19B/BII and 28C/28S suffer the poorly designed battery door. The problem wasn't correct until much later when HP decided to move the battery door to the back on the latest 19BII.

Functionally, I agree it is a much better financial calculator than the 12C and 17B series. It also includes the not-often-use trig functions. And 4-line display. Etc.

Also, maybe it was quite expensive at the time. The 12c and the 17bii probably got what most people need for much less cost.

#11

Quote:
HP could have easily made the perfect non-programmable Pioneer by putting the 19BII functionality into a Pioneer "19S".

Isn't that pretty much a 27s? :)

I think the reason the clamshell models didn't really catch on is that they're not very handheld-friendly. They work great on a desk surface, though.


#12

Quote:


Isn't that pretty much a 27s? :)

I think the reason the clamshell models didn't really catch on is that they're not very handheld-friendly. They work great on a desk surface, though.


Well, I don't want to be too pedantic about it but there are quite a few big differences between the 19B and the 27S. Overall in functional terms, the 19B wins but ergonomically, the 27S is far better which is why I keep one handy, mainly for the Solver and Base conversion.

Mark


#13

Thanks for all your responses - most helpfull. I do find the menu attributes of the 17Bii+ helpful and the solver is easy albeit scrolling through a long list of conversions can become tedious - pitty there isn't a way to group equations into a hierarchy.


#14

Quote:
scrolling through a long list ... can become tedious - pity there isn't a way to group equations into a hierarchy.

Agreed, however, there is a way to make the list a little more user-friendly, using the solver's equation-naming ability. You can name the first equation that you want grouped together with a suitable group name separated from the first equation by a colon. Follow with other equations in that group w/o the group name. In fact, if you want the list to LOOK hierarchical, you can actually "name" the following equations with a bunch of spaces, the colon, then the equation.

Then name the first equation in the next group, and so on.

Clear as mud?


#15

Excellent idea, very neat, thank you

#16

I am likely to get the new 12C, but that will really be just for my collection. I am a software developer by trade (and a geek by nature). But when it comes down to practical application, I strongly suggest sticking with the 17BII over the 12C. I have not used the 17BII+, but the 17BII was a very strong performer during my studies over the past two years. The ability to enter formulas with the solver is brilliant. Yes, you could achieve the same with keystroke programming. But for all but the most dedicated, entering a formula is going to prove a lot more useful then keying in an RPN program.

For what it is worth, my 50G is my day-to-day workhorse; I only use the 17BII when I am strictly in the financial world.

just my two cents...

--Tod


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