OT: Which non HP Scientific calculator?



#30

Hello All,

I know this is OT, but thought I would ask your thoughts anyway.

My 32sii has seen better days and the 35s seems not to be very highly regarded, so which calculator would you recommend if one didn't want to go to the second hand market.

I really only need the standard trig functions, logs and a basic solver.

It seems that HP feels it has covered the Scientific calc bases with the 50g and the 35s, but I though I read good things about the 50g, I don't about the 35s.

Thanks.


#31

Quote:
I really only need the standard trig functions, logs and a basic solver.

Why not go for the new 30b? It's cheap, has a good keyboard, RPN, standard scientific functions and HP Solve, it is even programmable, and looks stylish ...

#32

Firstly, I really need to have quick access to log10 and 10^ buttons and also as an engineer I'd hate to have so many primary buttons that I would never use.

thanks for the suggestion though.


#33

The 30b keyboard can be reassigned. You can make those keys be pretty much anything you want.

Just saying. Might still be better to buy a dedicated scientific, but ...

#34

I like this, but it you want an HP-style calculator it might not be to your liking. But it's got LOG, trig, and a basic solver.

#35

While it's more than a basic scientific calculator, I and many others here really like the Casio fx9860g series. It's graphic, algebraic and programmable with a solver and a lot more, but it also can be loaded with a completely customized application. Several users here have created some really nice RPN calculators for it, see this thread

The "II" version and the "slim" have a fantastic back light that helps makes this the easiest screen to read that I've ever seen on a calculator. Look around and you can sometimes find the "slim" for $50, even though it normally sells for about $100. Other models are normally less than $100.

Edited: 28 Aug 2010, 11:22 a.m.

#36

Agreed with several points above.

First, you should consider the 30b. You can make any of your "important" keys the main ones on the keyboard by simple reassignment. You can even put your version of the function on them.

Second, Katie (and I, both) love the Casio FX-9860G, especially the "Slim" version. You can get an RPN program for it that's easy to install and use. There are several new models (9860G-II's) that are also out.

From there, go to TI.

thanks,

bruce

#37

Quote:
It seems that HP feels it has covered the Scientific calc bases with the 50g and the 35s, but I though I read good things about the 50g, I don't about the 35s.

What about the HP SmartCalc 300s? Yes, I know, its' not a real HP, but all of them are outsourced now anyway.

#38

I don't have a SmartCalc 300s so I'm not sure, but I don't think that it has a solver which is one of ravwalia's requirements.


#39

Quote:
I don't think that it has a solver ...

You're right, Katie, it doesn't.
#40

Everything you ask for (as long as it isn't RPN and programmability) is provided in the amazing solar/battery-powered Casio fx-115ES, which is known in some places as the fx-991ES. A look at the User's Guide reveals a Newton's method solver and a Gauss-Kronrod numerical integrator, among many other features. It provides the most numerically accurate results of any calculator that I have ever owned. Best of all, it's dirt cheap. In the US, Wal-Mart has been selling it for $13, though $18 is typical in other places. It also packs 40 conversions and 40 constants. I carry this when I don't want to put my HP 42S in harm's way, and I don't feel ill-served.

Edited: 28 Aug 2010, 12:26 a.m.


#41

This Casio, however, has a very soft keyboard - key feedback is as on a 20b. On the 30b this is as you know it from your 32sii.

#42

I have that calculator, but I prefer the Sharp I mentioned above for a few reasons.

Superficially (sue me), I think black calculators usually look better than silver ones.

I also like that the Sharp has more functions directly accessible from the keyboard. For example, all the linear regression functions are there out in the open. For the Casio, you need to go into menus. This is also something the Sharp has over the HP35s (another is that the HP35s's base 2/16 stuff is really poor)

As I recall, both the Sharp and the Casio use a number code to select scientific constants (Eg., 01 gives the speed of light in m/s), which is not a very good way of doing things. The HP35s (or 50g...) has the advantage here.

On the plus side, the Casio has a pseudo-programming feature which isn't even documented. The manual mentions the multiple line replay feature, but it's not clear why you would ever want to use it. However, the lines can use the memory registers and can be used to assign values to them, so you use the feature to do things like calculate infinite series more easily. It's only "pseudo" programming because it doesn't run automatically, you need to press the equals button to step, and of course there's no branching.

Though if you'd want programmability, I guess you could ask why you wouldn't just get the HP35s (or, again, the 50g)

#43

Quote:
... the amazing solar/battery-powered Casio fx-115ES...


I always make a simple test when I grab a new calculator: (-) 2 x^2 If I get -4 the calculator goes in the bin. How about this Casio?
/Tommy
#44

I too vote for the Casio Slim. I've used most everything from the 11C (28 32 41 48 49 50 35) and recently the 30B along with the various TI's over the last 20 years. I've not yet found one that would make me sell everything else, but the slim seems to be able to do just about everything I need. In times it doesn't I'll use Mathematica which is always up and running.

I also agree that that the Casio fx115 powers a huge punch for $15, and Sharp also has an under $20 calc that knocks the sock off most TI calculators (I forget the exact model number as it's at work.)

There are several non-HP and non-TI calcs out there that our feature packed and easy to use. I tell all my students to purchase a solar powered two-variable stats calc under $20 for all my classes; far better to learn and do math with than any graphing calculator (in my opinion).

#45

Quote:
the 35s seems not to be very highly regarded

Quote:
I really only need the standard trig functions, logs and a basic solver.

If you really want just these functions and a very good looking RPN calculator with the right feel to it: the 35s is the one you should get. All the flaws for which it "seems not to be very highly regarded" will never bother you!


#46

Quote:
...the 35s is the one you should get. All the flaws for which it "seems not to be very highly regarded" will never bother you!

Except perhaps the unread keypresses ...

Hi, George! Long time no see!

#47

It seems to me that the HP-35s is the best choice for your needs. The layout of the key legends is very good and easy to read with only one shifted legend above the key and the other on the bottom of the sloping key. For me it's much easier to use than my HP-32SII, with both the shifted legends cramped together above the key. Key action is good and the display is clear. All your basic trig and log functions are either on the keys or one shift key away. The equation and root solver is easy to use. The basic quality of the calculator is just as good or better than the non-HP competition.

#48

Thanks for the responses guys.

I suppose it's been said a lot on the forums here and on the web, but I wish that HP would give us some more options regarding scientific calculators.

I can understand why they might think that the business decisions don't justify more scientific calculators. However, I do hope that they'll bring some more out, especially when I see so many financial calculators from them.

Doesn't seem much point for new calculator users to learn rpn unless they're going down the finance route.

With that said, it may be time that I start to look at some other brands and try and get used to non rpn calculators.

The 35s does look like a good machine, but the reports of the keyboard problems are too numerous to ignore.

So it seems that I'm going to be looking at the Casio and Sharp calculators mentioned above.

Thoughts?


#49

Quote:
Doesn't seem much point for new calculator users to learn rpn unless they're going down the finance route.

With that said, it may be time that I start to look at some other brands and try and get used to non rpn calculators.


The HP-35s gives you the choice of RPN mode (default) and algebraic. Again, you seem to be trying very hard not to want it, when in fact it offers everything you need.


Edited: 29 Aug 2010, 5:40 p.m.


#50

Quote:
The HP-35s gives you the choice of RPN mode (default) and algebraic. Again, you seem to be trying very hard not to want it, when in fact it offers everything you need.

But ravwalia just said
Quote:
The 35s does look like a good machine, but the reports of the keyboard problems are too numerous to ignore.

What I get out of the many posts about the 35s, is that there is one group that knocks it about the bugs, another group that doesn't like the keyboard layout, another that doesn't like the implementation of the feature set, and finally a group that says in spite of all the above, it is a good calculator, a welcome new effort by HP, but if one cannot rely on keypress registers, then all else is moot.

Perhaps ravwalia belongs to the latter.


#51

I haven't had any problems with the keyboard. Does the fact that a few people have complained mean that this is a widespread problem?


#52

Good question. Don't know the answer. I wonder if anyone at HP even knows?

#53

Quote:
The HP-35s gives you the choice of RPN mode (default) and algebraic.

But anyone who is used to working with the classical algebraic mechanizations won't like the HP-35s very much. The problem is the parentheses key which enters both an opening and a closing parentheses at the same time. The user then has to use the right arrow key to navigate across a closed parenthesis when he wants to close it.

RPNers who don't understand what the fuss is about over a change in accepted keyboard practices with algebraic need only consider the amount of fussing directed at HP when the HP-33s came out with a single width ENTER key.

Palmer


#54

Palmer, I agree the single parenthesis key is foreign to users of dedicated ALG calculators, which always separated the opening and closing parentheses on different keys, whether or not both or either parenthesis were visible on the display.

But there is an HP precedent in the 48 series.

But anyway, the OP wanted RPN, not ALG.

#55

OK, fair enough. I've never bothered to use algebraic mode with my HP-35s or even my HP-50g for that matter, so I wasn't aware of any idiosyncrasies. It's just that I find it irritating when people complain about every miniscule detail of what is basically a very good and easy to use basic scientific calculator. If you want sophisticated programming and built-in everything, buy a HP-50g.


#56

Quote:
It's just that I find it irritating when people complain about every miniscule detail of what is basically a very good and easy to use basic scientific calculator.

Point well taken. But the members of this forum are holding the 35s up to the higher quality standard of the HP of yore, so to speak.

#57

Quote:
Point well taken. But the members of this forum are holding the 35s up to the higher quality standard of the HP of yore, so to speak.

Before I obtained some of the older HP machines I believed the story of "higher quality standards of the HP of yore". Then I discovered battery contact problems that could yield a burnup of internal circuitry and machines that needed to be twisted to make the displays and keyboards work. Sometimes I think that the newer machines aren't being held to actual higher standards of yore but rather to mythical higher standards of yore.

Edited: 31 Aug 2010, 10:02 p.m.


#58

Palmer, you are right about design faults with certain of the older HP's. Someone once remarked that the power circuitry design on the Woodstocks was "criminal".

However, I think most comments about HP quality are referring to the excellent keyboards, molded key legends, general quality of manufacture that gives these machines their look and feel. These are not mythical.

I started with TI's, and only moved to HP when 1) Two TI's keyboards failed; 2) I learned that HP made algebraic models; 3) The cost of HP's came down. The first HP I purchased (1993) still looks and works fine.


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