So I put away my beloved HP-28S in favor of two HP-33S calculators that I'd use for prep for the PE exam.

I passed the exam! Yay!

Now, however, I've been so conditioned to using the HP-33S, even with its limited programming capabilities (I like RPL, unlimited labelling, enter key in the "right" place) that it's bittersweet going back to the 28S.

I've looked at the 48SX and I like the form factor. ...and the costs on eBay are pretty good.



The versaltility of the SX is nice for the cost, but you might be happier with a lower end 48G (plain). It will be slightly faster and has the built in equation library that was available as a card for the SX. Of course, if the price is right, just buy it. I like the 48 series better than the 28 series myself.

The SX allows you to expand your RAM to 288K, but you sound like you were happy with the meager 32K available on your 28s. However with PC I/O you might find 32k way to little.

You should also look at Hp's new 48Gii and 49G+. They are not that bad and are really fast. You could buy the 48Gii for less than a $100.

If $ aren't an issue, I would choose between the 48GX or a new 49G+. I like the feel and quality of the older 48GX, but I also love the speed of the newer Hp49G+ (and memory cards are a LOT LESS). But memory really isn't needed either for a general calc user.

The 49G+ is an easy choice as it really isn't that much more than the less capable 48Gii, and a LOT LESS than a 48GX. Why the GX is so expensive is probably its reputation as a quality calculator and the amount of hardware that is GX specific in the Survey field. And field serveyors tend to abuse their equipment and therefore use up their stocks of Hp48GX's and are now looking to purchase ones where ever they can get them.


First, congratulations on passing the PE test. In society's eyes, you are now safe to practice your craft. Do you feel any different?

Regarding 28S vs. 48SX vs. etc., based on your "enter key in the "right" place" comment, my guess is you won't like Ron's 48gii or 49g+ suggestions. I personally never cared for the 28C or 28S. Maybe the form factor, maybe the RPL (with which I have never really become comfortable). While you might get a 48S or 48SX for a reasonable price, I think you would do better with a 48G, G+ or GX. They are newer, and are more widely used. The only advantage that the GX has over the G+ is the ability to install memory and application cards. Since either easily connects to a PC for mass storage, you don't really need memory cards for that purpose, and no one is producing new application cards anymore. For running and storing programs, you would probably do fine with a G+. I haven't been following auction prices for either model lately. I know that GX prices really jumped after it was discontinued, but don't know if the G+ prices are still reasonable.


I think you need the 48GX for dumping the ROM of 28S and 42S for the rmulators. The 49g+ is very fast and can be easily overclocked for lengthy calculations using only software



"In society's eyes, you are now safe to practice your craft. Do you feel any different?"

1. It is not possible to describe the relief, though I have been told by every PE I know that they felt the same way.

2. I feel very, very dangerous. I feel sue-able.

3. I am cautious, cautious, cautious.

I like to write little programs on-the-fly; but I also want to be able to save these little programs, organize them, and have them at the ready even if I haven't used one in a while. For example, I have a whole bunch of ASCE 7 wind load (I'm a civil/structural engineer) programs that I want to have at my fingertips all the time. My 28S allows me this luxury... I honestly do not anticipate a need for the application cards, but who knows? At any rate, the prices on eBay for the 48S, 48G and others are pretty non-threatening (i.e., under $100), we'll see how well I do.

Thanks, everyone for the input!


The 48SX would make a great collectable item and probably will serve almost any purpose. However, the 48G series is faster. If you plan on buying RAM cards for either, be ready to spend a lot of money.

You may want to consider the 49g+, costing about $130-140, with expendability capabilities via SD (security digital) cards. The cards cost anywhere from $19.99 to $59.99 depending on how much memory you desire. The potential downside is that the ENTER key is one "key" long and at the bottom right.


While I like the SX in many ways. I like its color scheme better than the GX. It has sufficient functionality for me. I don't need the GX function nor its higher speed. But, the display on the SX is very difficult to read.



check the link below and look at the pictures,

then you'll never want an SX display again.

Maybe you'll even don't want a 'normal' GX display,

because the G models with the 49g display are

*much* better to read (IMHO;-)

From today's view, the SX display is nearly the worst,

after the one of the OmniGo 100, OmniGo 120,

and then, after a while, the 42S.




As far as hard to read is concerned, the 33S display was really hard to read, though strangely I've gotten used to it. I really, really like the 28S' display, though.

From what I've seen on eBay, the 48 series (S, G, whatever) look pretty good.


Heh. I did say that that 33S will grow on people. It did on me. After seeing its keyboard kosmetix and reading all the naysayer posts about it, I feared getting one. I did anyway (partly because it was HP and partly because it was RPN) and initially, it was strange, but being RPN, it quickly grew on me and I actually enjoy using it.

Mr. Messed Up Nordic Headgear, you might consider doing what I do: at work, it's a tag team of 33S and 48G(+ or X for you, I guess; I am afraid to bring my G+ in) because I love the facile RPN and decent programmability of the 33S for less demanding stuff and if I need some of my little specialty progs or the database capability of the 48G, I then switch off to it. There are times I have both out and on and running.

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