Since I like RPN, and owned a HP 41 a long time ago, I decided to buy an HP 49G+ for my son. I was appalled by the low quality of the product. The case is ugly and looks cheap, since it is painted with a metallic yellowish color. The keys do not have good finishing, fail to register when pressed, which does not happen very often, but it is annoying when it happens, and are not consistent; for instance, in programming mode, the quote key may register one ", or two "", depending on the context. After reading in one of Amazon reviews that HP 48GII is slightly better, I bought also a HP 48GII shortly after buying the HP 49G+. I noticed the same problem with the keys: they look cheap, feel cheap, and work cheap; the metallic paiting also look cheap, although it is not yellowish. Then, somebody told me that I should look for a HP 48G+; he also said that I could still find a new one left over from old stocks. My friend told me that HP 48G+ is slow, but that does not seem to be a problem, because when I need speed, I write a program in Clean, using a PC computer. In fact, I found a new HP 48+ in Amazon; I ordered it. From the pictures, it seems to have a good keyboard, and a HP look, if you understand what I am telling. I did not received my calculator yet; thus, I have a few questions to the members of this forum:

1- How battery life of HP 48G+ compares with HP 49G+? In my HP48 G+, batteries last about 120 hours of continuous use.
2- How is the keyboard of HP 48G+? Is it as good as it looks in pictures?
3- How about keyboard consistency? Do HP 48G+ keys always register the same thing?
4- A good thing in HP 49G+ is an optional algebraic mode. Does HP 48G+ has an algebraic mode?

Thanx for the answears.


Hi Eduardo,

1)Under normal use (one hour a day, 5 to 6 days a week) a 3 AAA alkaline battery set should last about 8 to 9 months, as far as I can rememeber (Don't use my 48GX on a daily basis since long). Heavy PC-calculator file transfers causes battery life to decrease considerably.

2)The 48G series keyboard is very good. Its look and feel is comparable to those of HP calculators you were used to.

3)In my opinion there's nothing wrong with it. The 48 is much more powerful than the 41, uses RPL programming language, etc. It may take a little time to get used to it.

4)No, but there's a way to enter algebraic expressions. Just take a look at page 2-6 of the User's Guide when you receive the 48G+.

PS.: If you can, you shoud buy a spare 48G+ as they have been discontinued. Nowadays it appears that HP makes only disposable calculators. If every unpleased customer returned their calculators, things might change.



Edited: 2 Feb 2005, 8:02 p.m.


One small addition:

Try to get a new 48G+ unit,

because the latest production units

have the best display contrast.

Ok, the keyboard legends are painted on these units,

instead of molded like on the older units,

but they're still much better than the keyboards of the

'disposable successors' of the real HP-48 machines...

Check the link below and look at the pictures,

and you'll see what I mean with display contrast.





Hi, Raymond.
I hope to get the new one, with the better display. However, the vendor had only one piece mint in the box, and I did not want to buy an used one. Therefore, I did not have much of a choice. I suppose mine is the new one, because it is unlikely that the store would still have the old model in stock. Thanx for the answer.


Hi, Gerson.
Thanx for the answer. I really would like to buy a spare HP48+, but I could find only one piece new in the box. It seems that everybody and his brother wants a spare one (-:). In any case, I will follow your advice. If I find another one mint in the box, I certainly will buy it. As for the RPL, I think that I will get used to easily, since I am a Lisp/ML/Clean programmer.


Hi, Costa;

maybe this is a big coincidence, but ... why not?

I know a teacher named Eduardo Costa that is in USA and deals with LISP/ML/Clean; he also teaches, amongst others, AI at UFU, Brazil. Is that you?

Just curious.


Luiz (Brazil)


Dear Luiz.
Eduardo Costa is a very common name. Costa is abreviation of Constantinus, a popular Roman emperor. There is another Eduardo Costa who lives in the same building where I live, and I even received his heating bill, and paid it! I also suppose that every one who works with Mathematics knows Lisp, ML, Clean, and Haskell. Thanx once more for being so helpful with the HP. By the way, I have another question. If I erase the variables of CASDIR, is it possible to recover them? I am talking about the HP 49G+ and HP 48GII. Can I reset the calculator to factory Defaults, after messing up the CASDIR?


Hi, Costa;

thanks for your answer and for your comments; I appreciate. I agree with you that Eduardo Costa, as many others (in Brazil, Luiz Cláudio can be found every where...) is somehow a common name. I just suspected that I was reading my professor's posts... So, now I can tell: cheers! Nice having you here!

About CAS variables: everytime I reset my HP49G, all CAS variables are set to their default value:

MODULO     13
VX 'X'
EPS .00000001

You can also cause the same effect, meaning set all CAS variables to their default, with


and leave all remaining memory contents unchanged. In either case, any CAS variable that has ben purged is created (back?0. I did not reset my HP49G+ to 'Memory Lost' yet, but I guess their values default to the same set. I don't own an HP48GII, but I'd also suppose the same.

Hope this helps.

Best regards.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 5 Feb 2005, 3:15 a.m.


My recommondation :

As a HP 41C enthousiast, and advanced user of current 12C's a 48G+ in private and professional environment I also like the HP33S!

Of course it isn't a 41C or 42S or ... . But it does a a lot of things we daily use the equipment for.

A small program giving the R/S key the functionality of the enter key (but at the right place (left above the nummeric key pad) it does the job quite well.


I am happy to know that at least the HP 33S is a good calculator. I will buy one tomorrow. I thought of buying a 33S even before your message, because it really looks better than the HP 49G+. I only decided against it because it does not provide graphics, ane my son needs graphics; he is in junior high school. I also thought that he could use the experience with RPL when the need arises of migrating to PC with LISP of ML. I had the impression that RPL is quite close to LISP.



RPL is closer to FORTH, with some features from LISP.

I'd say RPL uses the advantages of LISP,

but not the awful order of arguments and operators,

with all those unnecessary brackets...


BTW: Comparing the keyboards of any HP-48 with that of a 33S,

is like comparing apples with oranges...

Edited: 3 Feb 2005, 11:01 p.m.

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