33s - Second Impressions?


Wondering if anyone who was able to purchase a 33s can provide updates to your initial first impressions.

Do you recommend as is, not recommend or recommend with some changes?

Edited: 15 Mar 2004, 7:49 a.m.



I feel the 33S is a nice well designed calculator.

1) It is positioned as a 32S replacement and serves this role well. Removed the main objection to the 32S series (not enough memory to do anything...) Keeps RPN (YEAH!)

2) The key action is as good (arguably better) than previous HP calculators which is a great sign that HP has set itself to distinguish its calcs from other manufacturers in an area that matters!

3) The algebraic implementation is the Prefix / postfix mix characteristic of low end TI calculators (not the HP 30S implementation of algebraic)

4) The display is good and readable, only issue is the size of the decimal point.

I have no issues highly recommending this calculator!

Of course I hope there will be a calculator positioned between the 33S and 49G+.

1) Double the height of the display (Dot matrix)
2) Input and Output for program storage
3) HP-30S algebraic mode (RPN only would be fine,but...)
4) Keystroke prgramming (41/42S style)- not key codes but readable labels
5) Unit conversion capability from 48/49 series
6) Plotting / Solve routines.
7) Menus / small joystick (copy cellphones) below display.
8) Size of calc same as 33S or 42S.



I think the calculator is pretty good.
Things that I wish it had:
1. A longer stack
2. A more visible and easily distinguishable decimal point
3. A stack that operated more like the hp48
4. Menu Label Keys that function like the hp48
5. Ability to have program names of at least two characters
6. Running a solve routine inside programs often fails to find a solution.
7. A method of downloading programs from the computer as a one way only transfer.

Overall I would recommend it above all of the other NCEES approved calculators, but I hope that HP will improve some of its short falls in the near future.



Are you giving the machine initial estimates (hi-low range) when solving? This can have a huge impact on whether or not hte machine can converge on an answer (depending on the function of course).




The stack contains numbers larger than the answer, on one equation and the other equation the ansewer is between the numbers on the stack. The program is designed to test for two variables to be greater than 0 and then runs the solve command to find a third variable for an equation that is not possible to issolate the needed variable. If the solve routine is done under a sub routine by using the FN _ command then it always works fine it is when I try using the solve routine in the main function that it encounters the error (usually "divide by zero"). I need the extra program slots since there are so few allowed.


It isn't a 15-C, but it's fine for what it is. Obviously some changes would be nice. It's too large, and the keyboard is WAY too busy, the equation entry is clunky, etc. However, I'm glad to have it, considering the lack of alternatives out there. The price seems about right, since it's relatively unique on the market. I'll probably buy a second one if I don't find any fatal flaws by the end of the year.



It's a good calculator, and I have no real issues with it. The change in keyboard layout is minimal. The only reason I am not using it all the time now is that I am getting too used to the keyboard, and cannot use my 32sii's keybaord anymore (I need to use the 32sii for UIL competitions in a few weeks... Nex year I will probably use the 33s, but right now I need to keep using what I know how to use quickly: the 32sii)

I love the speed on it also.

A great calculator especially when compared to those comercially available today

-Ben Salinas


I remember some months ago before the introduction, i read coments here and the great majority of comments were negative and even "agressive" against the HP-33S. I was too negative about it with pictures i saw. I bought one and was REALLY charmed about it. It's one of the greatest HP since a long time. I even prefer it over the 32, even physically!

I don't think it's too big; it fits great in my hand, more thatn my 32S. The keyboard is not too full; i was use to my HP-67 one years ago... The V shape is not a so bad idea after all, but the small enter key is not what i prefer.

But there is something i'm sure, even if the calculator is VERY GOOD, to date, i'm not completely "reverse" as i was when a new HP calculator is market (remember when the HP-67, 25, 41 were announced, it was a "shock" to see all what they can do as improvment. Perhaps it is not possible today to "invent" (...) something new that blast up all of us... all has been done?!?)


Perhaps it is not possible today to "invent" (...) something new that blast up all of us... all has been done?!?)

Of course it is - but HP/Kinpo engineers need to realise that it's not as simple as "more" (more memory, more keys, more functions, more pixels on the screen). What's needed is design for fitness of purpose - i.e. quality of keys (if keys weren't important, the calculator market would have been killed by PDA's by now), a balance between simplicity and power - best expressed as "elegance".

The 33S seems to have fit this bill better than expected and has elicited more positive comments than all its high-end precursors - 49G, 49G+, etc. It's still not quite right - the keyboard is all fashion and no style, and the memory capacity is out of balance with availability of labels and variables - but it's a good step in the right direction.

Now, if HP can just improve on it. . .


--- Les [http://www.lesbell.com.au]


My "second impression" is even more positive than my first was! While I can't say I'm totally enthralled by the machine, it is fun and exciting to use and program. The extra memory is useful for prompting multiple inputs and labeling multiple outputs for a given program. I'm currently writing a comet ephemeris program and am attempting to incorporate various features such as programmed solve, prompting and labeling. I am not finished yet but will be happy to share my first cut soon if anyone is interested.

Like the others who have commented, it is no 42S but it is an overall improvement from the 32SII. Programming it requires some inefficient "work arounds" but it does seem flexible enough for most of my purposes. The keyboard has a solid tactile response and the cluttered appearance does become familiar with use. Also, except for the tiny decimal point, the display is very readable. I plan to buy one or two more when they are available again. I applaud HP on this one!


We bought 3 for our engineering/drafting department, I had been using a 48GX (my first) when one of the 32's went out. (I was the only one who could figure out how to program RPL instead of RPN to get our programs in.) We are all very pleased with the machine, I like it better than the RPL for my function here.

Biggest complaints are the display- decimal too small, shadowing too much. We greatly prefer the display on the 32sII, but would really like to keep the two line display. Especially if HP would allow the Y=?????.?? on one line and X=???.?? on the other, oh well.

We have had them for about a month and still wish the Enter & R/S keys were put back where they were before, again oh well. Very pleased with the memory, we had 2 small programs we wanted on the old ones that now fit, yea.

Our only other complaint is the standard of only 27 labels, we don't use them all, but would really like the labels to be more like the 42s, allowing at least two letters &/or letter number combinations.

We are very happy that we were able to get ahold of the ones we did. If I had known they would be non available as now, I would have purchased another 3-10 to have. Hopefully the gentleman in a previous thread was right, in that we are the developers/bug catchers and they or a similar improved product will be very soon available. Even hopefully the 33s and then soon a 42sII or even a 15s. Here's hoping, in the meantime, thank you very much HP for coming through with this one.

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