My Hp33s impressions


I just got my first new Hp33s and want to input my thoughts to the Hp community.

First I bought from Eric at and am always pleased with dealing with him.

The calculator is in a blister pack and always dangerous to open, but that is actually a side note.

It is an okay, above average calculator with the Hp tactile keyclick. I suspect (and expect) it will last 3-5 years with fairly heavy use (I don't expect it will last 10-20 years like the 41, Pioneer, or Voyager series). But I also suspect it is every bit as tough or rugged for field work ie dropping and beating up in a travel bag.

It really isn't as good as an Hp20s or Hp32s for overall quality, but manufacturing costs probably prohibit a return to those types of calculators for price and sale. I feel the upper selection modes keys at the top are going to be the high failure areas of this model (hence the 3-5 year lifetime).

However, I don't disdain it as I imagined I would. I would have liked better and the comments about the decimal point are valid. If you have weak eyes, you won't see it.

It is available and the only RPN calculator now allowed for the EIT or PE exams here in the USA.

Putting things in perspective, I would say it is an okay working RPN calculator. Also note, it is an AOS/RPN selectable (not EOS like everyone else) calculator. I like AOS better, but I suspect most new users won't if they choose algebraic.

If you are really selective in your calculator use, not worried about theft or loss, you can buy an Hp classic at twice or thrice the cost. However, if you use your calculator at work and/or in a high risk environment, the Hp33s will certainly give you a decent RPN calculator to expose to the real world.


1) Be sure to take a look at the learning modules on HP's site for the 33S. Be curious what you think about them. :-)

2) AOS mode actually has some advantages IMO (heresy?) when dealing with complex numbers. Came to that conclusion writing the Complex number module.

I do think the 33S is a demonstration that HP has not given up on RPN. They could have made the model without it.


>>It is available and the only RPN calculator now allowed for the EIT or PE exams here in the USA.<<

The 33S is also the only *programmable* calculator now allowed for the EIT, PE, LSIT, or PLS exams.

>>Putting things in perspective, I would say it is an okay working RPN calculator.<<

Agreed. However, I would also advise all 33S users to be aware of the bugs that affect several 33S functions (HMS conversion, polar conversion, and combinations).

Does your 33S still have these bugs? If so, does HP now include a copy of their "User's Manual Update" in the blister pack?


My most recent 33s purchase (BTW: ~$40.00, from an Amazon partner) came with the "User's Manual Update" sheet included.

In case you've not tried it, using the comma for the fraction mark can make the decimal location marginally more legible -- two "pixels" rather than one -- but at the expense of the thousands separators' legibility, however.

Adjusting the contrast on the display can reduce the shadowing somewhat. (Lower contrast allows more light to pass through and softens the shadows.)

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