Compare 48G/GX and 48S/SX


Please compare the 48G/GX line and the 48S/SX line. Are they both Saturns? RPL calculators? Does the 48S provide graphing?

I have a 48G and would like a second calculator which isn't too different from it. I don't want to learn how to use another entirely different calculator. The 48S/SXs seem to have a lower price.




The 48S and SX are identical to each other aside from an expansion card bay. Both have only 32K RAM and doe have a Saturn processor (at 2 MHz vs 4 MHz on the G series)and program in RPL. The S series also lacks the Equation Library that is included on the G series and have a somewhat different menu system and keyboard.

I suggest another 48G (only $10-20 more than an S ie about $40-50 on ebay) or step up to an Hp48G+ which are about $100 but have 128K ram and equal to a 48GX except for expansion ports.

You may even consider the new HP48 ($90) or Hp49 ($140) calculators. While they are not of the same quality as the older 48G series, they have improved greatly in the last 6 months and have lots of speed and math features not available to the older 48Gx series unless you buy expansion cards ($$$$ option).


Thanks for your response, Ron.

Yes, money is a consideration. My research on eBay completed auctions has the 48GX going for about $200. This is based on 5 recently completed auctions.

Back to the drawing board...


Hi Dan,

please take a look into this thread:

I'd strongly suggest a newer G+ or GX,

as long as they're available...

The 'successors' of the real HP-48 (like hp49g/g+/g-)

still have quality problems after all these years,

see all the related keyboard problem and bug threads.



BTW: Note that the so-called hp48gII actually is a reduced hp49g, better called hp49g- ,

and therefore doesn't count as an HP-48 series machine.


If you can find a 48S or 48SX at a good price, go for it. I've seen some excellent bargains on these calculators. For many uses, a 48S is just as good as a 48GX.


Because you are already working with 48G I would suggest that you're looking for a 2nd one in the 48G Series (G/G+/GX).

The 48S/SX has the same layout and most of base build in functions are equal. Of course there must be a difference because the 48S series has 256KB ROM where the G series has 512KB. There's also a speed difference the G series is ~ 50% faster than the S series.

One of the most important reasons IMHO is the place of the functions in the soft menus. Most of the functions are equal but reside on a different place in the menue structure. Especially when you use the "Pop-Menus" you will have problems, because the S series haven't them. I'm telling this because I'm a user of a 48SX and here I have problems using one of my 48GX.

When you're are using programs from various authors written in SysRPL or assembler you will have compatibility problems. I recognized that in the last 6-8 years more and more programs are only for the G series and the developers don't care about the S series any more. But this is a result that the HP48G is newer, sold for ~10 years (aka ~4 years SX) and in general much cheaper (I payed 1995 for a new HP48GX half of the price as for my 48SX in 1991). SysRPL and assembly program must specially designed to run on all HP48.

Finally some words to eBay (Germany) prices. 48S and 48SX have nearly the same prices, maybe that the S is about $ 5-10 cheaper. A G series costs about 60% more where especially the 48G are overpriced. For a little more bucks you can get a 48GX with 128KB RAM instead of 32KB. 48G+ are quite rare and have nearly the same price than a 48GX. Because of this I have ~ 5 GX but no G or G+. Like on many other products there are seasons with high prices (especially before X-mas) and times with lower ones. I just bought a 32S (after looking for one over two years) in used and quite good condition at eBay for 45 EUR (~ $60). Two weeks ago a saw a HP48GX with manual sold for 65 EUR (~ $85), that definitely much below the $100 border.




I just picked up a 48G on eBay (Germany) for EUR 75,97 + shipping. (Auction #3877881704). Did I pay too much?

(The unit hasn't arrived at the time of this writing, so I don't have further info.)


It depends.

The unit seems to be complete, and comes with ConnKit & Box,

so if it's in good condition then the price is ok.



That depends on what you want to have. On some calculators the package costs as much as the calculator itself. So when you bought this item for collecting and the calcultor itself is is very good condition than the price maybe ok. The price of a new 48G with the original HP connectivity kit was ~220 DM (today 113 EUR, $ 150) in 1995 (Stuttgart, university store).

If you bought it for using only, you don't need the original package for which you have payed extra. But we are not discussing about retailed prices, when I try to get something over eBay the first question is: "What is the product _worth_ for me?"

This question must everbody ask for his own and depends on many factors. I assume, because you made the bid, that the calculator has this worth for you.




Thanks for your answers. I'll tell you more after I've had a chance to open the box and play with the unit.

I'm a collector of working calcs and old computers (some of which I bought new when I was a student in the early 80ies; I could never afford HP calcs then.) Im not interested in boxes but in the way those machines work. So conditions like NIB or MINT aren't too important; good working condition is the key.

I had no idea of the original price for the 48 series when I started bidding. For *me* the price was reasonable (totalling about 80 EUR including shipping.)

Still waiting for the box to arrive...




And it is in perfect shape! Worth every cent I spent on it :-)

I'm now playing around with my new toy and I'm facing the first "problem":

Is there an easy way to solve the following equation:

(r < phi) = (r1 < phi1) + (r2 < phi2)

The summands are vectors (or complex numbers which is the same in that respect) in polar coordinates. The "<"-sign denotes the angle symbol.

It's easy to do the addition if the right hand side of the equation is known: Enter the two vectors in the stack and apply [+].

But what, if one of the values r1, r2, phi1 or phi2 is missing but one value on the left hand side, r or phi, is known instead. The solver refuses to accept the above as an equation. I know I can do all the math myself and write a program but I was hoping that the solver would do the trick for me.

Any ideas?


Hi, Marcus;

try using the constant 'i', defined as sqrt(-1) in the HP48G, and re-enter the equation. Anyway, if I am not wrong, the built-in solver has no way to find the answer, but if you write the complex numbers as '2 + i×A', being A an unknown, you can try to isolate A by using symbolic rules.

Luiz (Brazil)


Hi Luiz!

I tried with the exponential equivalence:

(r < phi) = r*exp(i*phi)

The solver accepts the original equition if rewritten in exponential form and presents all the variables (r, phi, r1, phi1, r2, phi2) but it can only solve for one of them not a pair of r/phi values :-(.

To tackle this type of problem, a triangle solver is needed.


Marcus --

RPN-keystroke Triangle Solutions programs were written for the 41C in its Math Pac, and in the User's Manual for the 11C. These could be adapted for RPL-based calc's (and probably have already been, by someone).

These programs provide five "entry points" for entering adjacent known values:

ASA  (Angle-Side-Angle)

AAA cannot be included because it would not define the size of the triangle. AAS and ASS are omitted, not only because they sound naughty, but are respectively equivalent to SAA and SSA if the triangle is circumnavigated in the opposite direction.

The 11C program is nifty in that the five entry points match the five single-letter labels it provides, and that the 11C has *just* enough memory for the program.

-- KS

Edited: 14 Mar 2005, 4:01 a.m.


I have the 48G version, if anyone interested, drop me an email

Raul L



Try to solve (you must to write your own solver routine!) this non-linear equation system:

r * COS(phi) = r1 * COS(phi1) + r2 * COS(phi2)
r * SIN(phi) = r1 * SIN(phi1) + r2 * SIN(phi2)


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