48G+ versus 32SII


I'm looking for some opinions on these calculators.

I was going to buy a new calculator primarily for engineering problems and to use during my PE license preparation and exam.

I don't think I need the graphing functions, but since HP does not make anymore RPN calculators I figured I would buy a 48G+

I think a 32SII would be more than adequate, but they are no longer in production and I can get a 48GX or 49G for less money.

Do the 48G+, 48GX, and 49G do essentially all the same things a 32SII can do?

I will be a user, and not a serious programmer. I just like the RPN entry better than algebraic and would prefer that. After I finish my PE, I will use the calculator sparingly as my computer does most of my work these days - unfortunately they won't let you bring a computer to the PE test.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.



I have both and I actually like the 48 a bit better, WHEN ITS ON MY DESK. However, that said, I prefer to use the 32 for normal use, especially away from my desk. It is a pocket calculator, well built and not bulky, like the 48. But the 48/49 has every concievable (damn close anyway) unit and conversion as well as sophiticated math capabilities that the 32 just doesn't have. Having a 48 is like having a small reference library at your finger tips.

And I like the 48 over the 49 for normal engineering use also (the enter key is where it is supposed to be and the keyboard is better). But the 49 has much more memory and faster graphics.

And you other point, a 48 is actually less than a 32 in todays market.


The best choice is to get both the calculators. ;-)
If you need to choose just one of them, go ahead
with the HP48G+ (or, better, HP48GX).



How about a TI-83 Plus?

When the stones stop falling ... let me say this:

My first calculator was an HP-25 back in the mid-1970's, and I have owned, used, and loved 21 HP models altogether, including the 48SX, 48GX, and 32SII. But that is because I am nutty, like perhaps a few others on this forum ...?

Don't just figure the dollars spent on a new calculator. Consider your time as well. If you get an HP-48, you may have to give up your engineering studies in order to understand your calculator. But if you like messing with calculators as entertainment, as some of us do, then the HP-48 is a great investment. It comes with a mediocre manual, so that you will have the fun of figuring things out for yourself.

HP used to write beautiful manuals. The one that came with my HP-25 was brilliant. But they gave up years ago trying to educate anyone in the use of their products.

TI, on the other hand, has grabbed the educational market by paying attention to educational needs and principles. They have found teachers to help write their manuals, and the results are as fine today as HP's used to be.

The manual that comes with the TI-83 is beautiful (but be careful to get the real manual and not a CD version -- TI also is trying to cut corners). With the manual as a tutor, one can master the TI-83 in a few hours, and probably learn/review some useful math along the way.

I had better stop writing and start running, and just shout over my shoulder that, yes, I still prefer RPN to Algebraic for simple things, but prefer to write science and math programs these days in BASIC (which the TI-83 has). And if I could keep only one of all my HP and now TI calculators, it would be the HP-71.

Remorsefully, and in penitence, Tom


>>I still prefer RPN to Algebraic for simple things

That’s funny, I can accept algebraic (or arithmetic) entry for really simple 4-banger stuff, but really prefer RPN if the equation starts to get even a little bit complicated.

Somebody on this forum said something to the effect that both methods of entry give correct results; but I thought that RPN was supposed to give more reliable results, or was this just against those old seven-segment inorganic LED (ILED :-) models?

I used to be a lab bench scientist and would truly depend on my 48SX (and then my 48GX), but more recently I’ve become a SAS programmer and have been using my 32Sii. Using the 32Sii’s register memories is much more straight forward that the 48’s, the numbers in the display are larger and it fits into my small briefcase better. But don’t expect to be playing chess or Tetris™ on a 32. Just kidding…



Now when the prices for the HP32SII (on Ebay etc.) have become outrageously high I cannot see any reason for not going the full way and get a HP42S instead of a HP32SII. This would give you a two line display and more memory while still retaining the down-to-earth usability of the RPN programming of the 32SII.

/Erik Ehrling


For an exam I'd go for the 32II over the 48 because everything is there in front of you on the keyboard, it does not pause or crash and if you are new to both calcs the 32II will be easier to get along with.

Are there any restrictions on what calc you can use in the exam? The HP48/9 could alow a user to 'cheat' by entering large ammounts of text. However some exams are 'open' and allow text books etc. so this may be OK.

Just my 2 cents worth.

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