HP-32S vs HP-32Sii


Except for the obvious extra shift key on the 32sii, is there any real difference between the 32s and the 32sii? Is there any difference in the amount of programming space? Do they both have the same alpha capabilities? If the answers are yes, then why the big price difference that I have noticed on Ebay?


The 32Sii adds an algebraic equation solver and the ability to work in fractions. A complete list of the 32Sii functions can be found here:




if you're trying to choose between 32S and 32Sii,
they aren't that much different, although
the 32S ought to be a little cheaper, generally.

I'd consider the 'everyday driveability' of the 32S to be
better for everyday calculations, due to it having
a simpler appearance with only one shift key. You might make a good decision to decide that "32S is enough".

If you like lots of tack-on-tinsel and complexity,
the 32Sii has a more complicated appearance additional features, at the higher pricetag on the used market.


The 32sII has slightly larger digits/characters in its display than those of the 32s (which themselves are already quite large, clear and easily read) .

All examples of the 32s, I believe, were made with double-shot keys, with large, clear, slightly off-white keytop legends (characters) that look absolutely beatiful (at least to some of us sensitive to such things). The 32sII started out with double-shot keys, but with white, generally smaller keytop legends. Later 32sII's have printed keytops that are markedly inferior, with off-center legends and even smaller characters represented.

Internally, the 32s has the older, double-sided gold-plated printed circuit board -- the 32sII has a newer, copper, single-sided circuit board. I believe the newer design is more susceptible to corrosion. One of my two 32sII units is dead (with evidence of moisture damage or battery leakage), while my 32s (which receives vastly greater use) is soldiering on just fine.

I think the above statements of fact are, indeed, accurate -- if not, someone will certainly correct me! Don't get me wrong -- I wish the 32sII were still readily available -- I'd make a point of buying a couple more. But I've long preferred the 32s over the sII.


(t was said: "All examples of the 32s were made with double-shot keys, with large, clear, slightly off-white keytop legends (characters) that look
absolutely beatiful (at least to some of us sensitive to such things).

Counterpoint: If you want a calculator design that is absolutely beautiful, with absolutely beautiful keys, better get an HP-34C !

Yes I am suspicious of the recent-production 32Sii keys, they appear to be painted. I asked on this forum if the 32Sii keys rub off, everybody was adament that they will not, but they sure look like they will.


I've read (on this site, I think) that the 32S has a single shift key at the expense of more menus to wade through. If you use the more souped-up functions, the 32SII might be quicker, because you won't need to go into menus as often to get what you're looking for. The rest of the time, it will look more cluttered.

I bid on a 32S on eBay for about $105 and lost. I couldn't decide if it was worth that much dough. Then, I noticed the 32SIIs are going for double that price. Luckily, I found one (a 32SII) for $125. You guys who say you prefer the 32S are breaking my heart. I haven't even picked up the SII from the Post Office yet and I'm having second thoughts. Hehehe

My daily users are a 48G and a 45. I like the 48G, and I'm just starting to get used to the fact that you can't really learn it all unless you devote a LOT of time to it. So I will just learn what I need and try not to let it bug me that the other stuff is a mystery. If you don't have one yet, you might think about picking one of those up on eBay as they're going for pretty cheap now...



Thanks for all the input. Due to the price difference,I think I'll go with the 32S. I like the looks of the less cluttered keyboard and the functions that I'll use the most (HMS conversion and POL->RECT) are easily accessible on the keyboard.


Not to throw a monkey wrench into things, but the H<->HMS and POL<->RECT function menus are accessible on the 32s keyboard. Each of those keypresses (shift-8 and shift-7, respectively) brings up an on-screen menu, from which the final function is chosen by pushing a corresponding top-row key.

I don't have my 32sII with me, but I'll bet the individual functions are directly accessible from its keyboard.

But while we're on the subject, if you're going to do any programming, the Single Step (down-arrow) is an unshifted function on the 32s, while it's a shifted function on the 32sII. In my opinion, that is the single biggest functional drawback of the sII -- you have to do two keystrokes for every step down while reviewing program text. (And that usually involves looking from the display to the keyboard and back.) On the 32s, you put the ol' index finger on the down arrow, and start walkin'. (This also brings up one of the great advantages of the 42s over either 32s model: it has separate, unshifted SST keys for down and up.)

On a related note, and also tying in with another recent post about benchmarks, it just occurred to me that the 32sII is probably faster, but I don't remember seeing a head-to-head comparison. I'm going to run a few benchmarks of my own this weekend. (Not that it will matter -- just take a look at 'em side by side: for me, the 32s wins in the overall beauty department, hands down!)


Personally, I think the guy made the right choice (choosing 32S) and suggest not pushing him towards 32Sii.

Since we are dealing with a limited pool of discontinued calculators (and the factory is not making what we want) then one must COMPROMISE.

I too am watching closely what makes the progressively newer calculators so UNSPECIAL and the older classics so SPECIAL.

It is true that at the moment he wants to convert Rectangular to Polar (or vice versa) that he has got an extra keystroke on 32S. WORSE, you lose sight of the operand at the moment that the menu pops up. Its asking you R or P (rectangular or polar) but the stinkin' operand is gone (i.e. 65 degrees) and you forget what you were even dealing with. Its a real loose rail for the train of thought.

NEVERTHELESS, in making a compromise, I'd put up with the add'l keystrokes and the soft-menu baloney.

The less cluttered keyboard of 32S is nice, the pricing is better on 32S, and none of these calculator designs is perfect (except HP-34C)




I wasn't pushing George to the 32sII -- I agree the 32s is far preferable. But if the conversions he cited are indeed what he's most likely to use, I thought it best that he understood they're available on the 32s via menus, not directly from the keyboard. (And, indeed, they are directly available on the 32sII.)

And further good-ish news: I cleared my two examples (one each, 32s and 32sII) and entered the same program into each -- a simple count-to-10,000 and stop. The 32s version took 6 fewer bytes (??) and ran almost twice as fast(!!??) over the 32sII. I've only run that one simple benchmark so far, but it certainly ran counter to what I would have expected (and better than I might have hoped).

So, don't get me wrong -- I prefer the 32s.


Paul Brogger wrote:

"The 32s version took 6 fewer bytes (??) and
ran almost twice as fast(!!??) over the 32sII. "

WOW! Guess that is in keeping with the rule of thumb: with each successive release of the "next generation" the product gets another notch worse.


I ran some simple loops with various types of operations repeated. For logarithms, factorials, and simple addition, the 32sII seems to run at about 75% of the 32s' speed. For trig functions, its performance increases to about 85% of the 32s. (I forgot to check on the relative storage efficiencies for the other programs . . . )

I will grant that, for example, having the LBL function directly accessible from the 32sII keyboard is a real convenience, but I don't think that offsets its shifted SST.

The two models are more the same than they are different, and yet there seems to be no end to the differences one can find if one looks closely enough.

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