Problem with too-pristine calcs...


I just realised a few days ago that, though I love most HP calcs, and though in my small bag I always carry a wp34s... the calculator I still love most is the 48G/GX. And I have several, of many variants - G, GX, G expanded, and so on. But the problem is they're all in pristine, near-mint conditions... and I don't really want to take them with me at work every day. And most 48's you find on TAS these days, are all near-mint and quite expensive.
So my question is: where do you think I could source a perfectly working but "well-used" 48 in Europe - something I wouldn't feel bad "banging around" - and how much could it be worth?



I think you are confused. Calculators were meant to be used. They were all pristine when they started life, right? If it bothers you, keep using them and sooner or later they won't be pristine anymore.


I relate to both sides of this fence: yes, calculators are tools, and tools are meant to be used. But now these vintage critters have become collectors' items, so when you have one in lovely cosmetic condition, that introduces the fear that by worsening its cosmetic condition, you somehow make it "less useful".

I had a beautiful, cherry, absolutely fresh-out-of-the-box 16c that I wanted to use regularly, but because it was so pristine I couldn't build up the nerve. I figured that a collector would value its pristineness more than I, so I found a buyer via TAS, then picked up a visibly used 16c via TAS for half the price. Win win!

My advice, w/r/t the 48 series ... heaps of engineering undergrads bought these calculators for a handful of classes and never used them again. Which is why the used market sees such a large number of these units in good condition. Since it sounds like you have multiple pristine units, designate the one in the least-best condition to be used as your daily carry, and keep the others pampered. If it gets any blemishes, you'll get over it soon enough.

Edited: 29 Sept 2011, 2:21 p.m.


Do not worry, use them, that is what they are for.

My HP48GX is not perfect, I even ran it over with my scooter (130kg in total), it was an accident. It took sort of care of that problem, it squeaks a bit more when I push on it and it looks slightly more used, otherwise it is fine and that was >10 years ago..

I have an unused spare since I feared there would be no more decent calculator with proper ENTER key from HP. With that and a couple of HP-41s and Voyagers I think I will do fine for the rest of my life.


I know they're meant to be used. I used my original 48GX very much, and it showed, and I was OK with that - then it was stolen. Now I've bought several more, and they're all so beautiful and new that I feel bad scratching and banging them... after all, there will be always less and less of them... you know, it would feel like scratching and denting a vintage-but-mint car... :D



But what about your children and grandchildren? Won't you think of them? What are they to do in 20 years when RPN calculators are hard to come by and demand is high?


So my question is: where do you think I could source a perfectly working but "well-used" 48 in Europe - something I wouldn't feel bad "banging around" - and how much could it be worth?

I'd suggest using a currently-made machine that is less expensive, far far more capable, has an easy firmware upgrade process, and has a display that is greatly superior. Of course, that can only be the HP 50G.

I was very happy to relegate my two NOS HP 48GX units with their nasty oddball battery-backed limited-capacity memory expansion cards to basement storage after obtaining the HP 50G five years ago. It's not perfect, but it's the best that's available right now. And rather inexpensive.


I know, the 50g is what's in my work bag now. And I use it a lot, and I like it. But there's something with the 48's keyboard and its sturdy feel and beautiful looks, that the 50g just doesn't have... :)
I wouldn't choose anything but the 50g for programming, but for simple tasks, I like the 48...



Hello Cristian

There are quite often nice 48 G/GX for about 15 to 20€ on
Give it a try. Shipping to Italy may not be that expensive.

Kind regards.



I keep a 48SX (with 32kb RAM card) on my desk precisely for the reason that the keyboard layout and build quality are so much better than the 50g. I even put up with the much slower program editing because of this. If I need a bit more speed for something large, I pull out the 48GX.

And the 15c LE is qute the speed demon, with a nice keyboard too. :)


I am an impatient bidder at TAS (or at least I used to be) and ended up with a too expensive but near mint 15C a few years back. Indeed, the only blemish is that the protective coating over the LCD plastic seems to be thinning just a touch. I have been afraid to worsen it by usage, and as such this grand-daddy of HPs has seen little use.

I got my 15C LE at a fraction of the cost of that original, and even though I am a little dainty with it I am actually using the machine and chagrined that I let the original sit on my shelf for such a long time without getting played with.

So now I am on the "calculators should be used" team. I don't collect as much any more, but I went through an acquisitive phase a few years back and I don't use most of the pieces now.

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