[HP Prime] My .02 take.


I just got my new Prime, and I have to say, it is great! I would like to offer my heartiest thanks for the creation of a new HP calculator product. It is a welcome change from the old "re-release of a classic", or the frustrating (to me) 35.

The good:
- great screen
- great key feedback
- good help system
- good applications
- what appears to be a very good build quality (we will see in another 20 years however)

I have heard that this unit is not really designed for the working engineer/scientist, and I don't really understand those comments. I can program and utilize a spreadsheet, so for me, this bridges the gap nicely between my laptop and my calculator, and is far more capable for use than my iphone.

The bad:

- No OSX support for connectivity? Please HP, address this ASAP as you are missing much of the educational market right there. I am profoundly unable to get Crossover Mac to work with the connectivity kit. If you have gotten it working on a Mac, I would greatly appreciate any information!
- I don't know who decided on the blaze orange on white/grey for the alpha keys, but they are brutal for old eyes to see. The grey keys are the worst. Wasn't there a very well reasoned posting a number of years ago about calculating contrasts?
- somewhat unfinished in terms of the OS, and I continue to struggle with aspects of the RPN implementation especially in the spreadsheet. I am certain that this is a learning issue for me however, I have also read that others have the same struggle.

This forum has had some members criticize HP for the release of a buggy product. (With the ability to update the ROM, I see this as less of an issue than most.) The challenge is that when a calculation goes awry, the user is uncertain as to whether it was the logic process, the OS or their own erroneous data entry. A potentially buggy implementation perhaps does warrant some criticisms out of frustration. I know I have encountered this.

Regardless, I want to say thanks to Tim and Cyrille and the very small team behind them for a wonderful product, and I am looking forward to playing (and working!) with it for a very long time!


Caveat: RPN and Spreadsheet don't go together well. Here are reports of a total data loss attributed to this combination!

The Connectivity Kit works fine on my Windows XP virtual machine in Parallels Desktop. Just connect the Prime USB port to the virtual machine and it just works.


+1 for the critic about the orange alpha keys. My eyes are only 27 years old and still, I can only guess some of the characters from 20cm viewing distance, even under best light conditions.

I think sooner or later I will take out my label printer and print alpha-key labels in a readable color combination.

But also +1 about that the product will be great as soon as the most annoying bugs are fixed.


absolutely agree about bugS and color (orange)

Edited: 5 Nov 2013, 11:56 a.m.


This forum has had some members criticize HP for the release of a buggy product.

Guy, it is a known fact that all actual software have bugs. See how many patches MS is releasing on a weekly basis. Even the NASA have probes slam on Mars (and God knows they don't want it to append).

Where you compare HPPrime with other systems, keep in mind that other systems are here since years and they had time to correct alot of things.

HP Prime software is all brand new. It is to be expected to see bugs here and there, the software is so huge, it can't be otherwise.

Just hope that HP release updates on a regular basis. As I have been told they plan to.


I think a re-read of my original post might be in order. I did not say I was critical of any bugs, simply that I could understand frustrations on the users part as they are learning a new OS. A forum of technical users tends to be a forum of critics, and at times I am sure that this gets tiring for anyone presenting new equipment like the 34s.

I am perfectly aware that all software comes with bugs, as I think most of this forums participants would be. And I am keenly aware of the weekly releases of bug fixes sent out by MS as well.

Thank you.


A forum of technical users tends to be a forum of critics, and at times I am sure that this gets tiring for anyone presenting new equipment like the 34s.

What do you want to tell us?



it's written that the HPprime software was not brand new, it comes from HP39GII

a bout the orange color, yes it's awfull and less visible.
it's an halloween release !!!!


PATRICE, it's written that the HPprime software was not brand new, it comes from HP39GII

Even if it find its roots on the 39GII, it is not a simple debug with a new case.

I call it new software because what is new or rewritten is huge.

a bout the orange color, yes it's awful and less visible. it's an Halloween release !!!!

I was among the first to complain about the blue and orange thing.

Hi Walter,

There is nothing I can add to a list of bugs. I do not use my calculator to the same levels that some of the people here do.

And that was my point; that for 99% of my calculations, I rarely encounter bugs that are show stoppers. Either because someone else has already found them, or their requirements are far greater than mine, or my inelegant and clumsy technique result in a mess of my own making.

I referenced the 34s because I saw how hard the you worked to get proper fixes out, and the same degree of effort I submit, will be necessary for HP. With you the interaction was almost immediate via this forum, and I do hope HP will be similarly responsive.

Thank you.


Well I made a mistake, the first word was intend to be "Guys". Oops a bug.

My post was not a criticism to yours in general, look at the sentence I picked.

It was more of a recall of reality and you put just the right sentence in your post.

I think I have seen too much post reporting a bug where that bug is like the end of the world for the author. :)


"orange on white/grey for the alpha keys"

I agree. It's obviously a very bad choice.


The color scheme might work better if the print were a bit finer. I guess that HP's original design was noticeably better then what came out of the factory in the production runs.


It's not just the fineness of the printing, but also the sheer tiny size. For example, can you tell what the (blue) <Shift> 9 characters are ? Until I operated that key, I didn't realize that they were !,oo,-> . Up until that time I was searching all over the keyboard for the factorial symbol "!". Also, I find it nearly impossible to differentiate between the {} on the <Shift> 8 key and the [] on the <Shift> 5 key.

On a separate note, I've found it necessary to set the display to Large Font in order to read it.


+1 +1 +1

Its near impossible (ok, it *is impossible*) to read the lettering. One has to use the calculator a lot be able to auto remember what each shifted key combination is. I really cant believe they let someone - presumably with 20:20 vision, in a bright office, choose that scheme.

The screen itself is 'not bad' but I find the battery indicator difficult to read because of the poor color scheme.

Overall - love the calc - so much to learn (not just the calc itself but the principals which can be extended to other software, e.g. its prompting me to do better in my own spreadsheet app). The original HP48 gave me so many ideas to extend my own software, and the Prime is doing the same.

I really wish the demo graphs were in any place that was memorable. Each time I pick up the calc I have to play "now .. where was it".

The Prime could do with something better than the apps screen - just a "Demo" app would be great.

Oh and Linux/Mac support please.

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