Bright Light From The Dark Side


Surprise - they still do great scientific calculators!

The best thing since the legendary TI-68, just look at this keyboard. Tons of useful functions:



Hmmm, there's a prime factor finder hiding behind the MATH key. I wonder how fast it is. I've never seen such a thing outside of a much more expensive CAS calculator.


It's sitting here on my desk - what operation should I perform on it?



See how long it takes it to find that 1,239,877 is prime.


1239877 >Pfactor throws a "domain error" ... :)


Based on an HP48G/GX article in Issue 21 of HP Solve soon to be released the old and slow 48 says it is prime in 7.5 seconds.

X < > Y,


That's pretty respectable. It makes you wonder what the "domain" is for this TI calc for finding prime factors.


There seems to be no reliable domain information for >Pfactor in the manual I've downloaded.


And my 48SX does it almost instantly!
It also factors non-prime 7 digit in about the same time.


FWIW, it takes less than 5 seconds using PRIME? on the SandMath module...


I love how Pi, i, and e share the same key. Euler would be proud. :-). It'd be especially neat if holding the key without modifiers gave you -1.


I like the ~ key above enter. Does this mean it allows 2 + 2 ~ 5 ?



Those offset operator keys (+-X/) would drive me crazy for sure for a while.


It is just slightly worse than the hp49 serie.


Hmmh, how do you call e.g. sin or sin^-1 sitting on the same face of the same key, while 2nd is obviously needed for num-solv? Or !, nCr or nPr ? Do little menues pop up always? That would slow down operation quite a bit ...

Edited: 20 Oct 2010, 1:57 a.m.


I think you click the key multiple times. . .

Sure is ugly though. About the most cosmetically unbalanced product I've ever seen.


Edited: 20 Oct 2010, 1:59 a.m.


Thanks - I found it with the emulator in parallel. Nice feature with bouncing keys d;-)

Though it's not my kind of calculator OS, it sports some nice ideas. Still exploring ...

Edit: Some comments in random order:

  1. I can't set the radix mark to the regular comma. What to do?
  2. The result of 2^3^2 and the like depends on the display mode set :(( What did they think there?! IMHO, the "Math Print" mode is damn wrong in its result :((
  3. They allow implicit multiplication like 4(2+3)3=60 :) But who told them it's smart to key in 4(5)(6) for 4*5*6 ? Seven keystrokes instead of five! You find many examples of this kind in the manual :( Is this the latest result of math education in the USA?
  4. It sports two nice math functions sum( and prod( .
  5. One submenu of math is called math again :-/
  6. Angles given in radians are tagged by an "r" in the exponent. I'd have liked a less ambiguous tag.
  7. Input of DMS data is tedious. And P<>R is real fun for RPN people ;)
  8. The so called "Coulomb constant" equals 1/(4*pi*eps0) . FWIW

Edited: 20 Oct 2010, 5:13 a.m.


Sure is ugly though. About the most cosmetically unbalanced product I've ever seen.

Yes, and it highlights the nice design of the latest HP calculators (35s, 20b, 30b). Design matters and HP is doing a good job of it again.



Sure is ugly though. About the most cosmetically unbalanced product I've ever seen.

That's exactly my feeling about it, probably due to its strongly asymmetric shape. Definitely "quit" should be a primary function :-)


Edited: 20 Oct 2010, 9:32 a.m.


Well, HP-33S (regretably) is not far from the ugliness record, and its display is poorer than this TI product. Even HP-35S display is rather difficult to read...

Best regards from an HP (and RPN) fan who uses a 42S emulator running on an iPod as the best "21 century" calc yet. Oh, also waiting for HP-30b repurposing advances!


Oh, also waiting for HP-30b repurposing advances!

If no one takes care of the compiling then you may have to wait pretty long, I'm afraid. I definitivly hope being proven wrong, but up to now it seems to be far easier to vote for supporting than really giving some support. We are still seeking ...

Sure is ugly though.

Well, I don't understand the current fascination with curves. (OK, just to preempt the wisecracks, you know what kind of curves I mean).

The modern TI's are all curved on the sides & bottom. HP copied the look on the 48gii, 49, 39 series, etc.

But you know the old saw about beauty in the eye...

To my eye, beautiful is a Pioneer or 48sx. I'm a square guy.

At least it doesn't have lavender keys like the 39gs I saw in the store yesterday.



Well, I don't understand the current fascination with curves...

To my eye, beautiful is a Pioneer or 48sx. I'm a square guy...

If this is a beauty contest, then I vote for my HP-41 "Twiggy" (no curves at all). BTW, does that make me a "Nut" then?

Edited: 22 Oct 2010, 10:27 a.m.


Well, the 41 is slightly curved. Not so the Pioneers. Unless you count the radiused corners...


Well, the 41 is slightly curved. Not so the Pioneers. Unless you count the radiused corners...

As we discussed earlier, these are after all, "personal opinions" :-)

I must admit that I did wonder if you were going mention the lower rounded corners of the Pioneers when I posted, so thank you for coming through with flying colors! Indeed, the radii on those corners must be tighter (rounder) than the radius of the slightly curved arc of the 41's bowed sides.

Now, as I lovingly view my beautiful, 100% square (in every dimension save for the LCD bezel's corners) HP-12C...



What a disappointment: I read "bright light" and instantly thought of a luminous display ;-)

But still a nice calculator.



It looks like TI has turned over their product development to China. :-(



Hi Joerg,

Do you know if this model is only available in Germany, Switzerland and Austria?



It was available in some European countries and announced for most European countries.



Nice looking calculator, but it can use a few more keys.

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