The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 05

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Is the 48GX worth +$40 over the 48G+
Message #1 Posted by Dan on 18 Jan 2001, 4:43 p.m.

How many people actually use the expansion slots? I'm a structural engineer and don't think I'd ever pay $300+ for a card with engineering formulas programmed into it. What do you guys think?


Re: Is the 48GX worth +$40 over the 48G+
Message #2 Posted by Mike on 18 Jan 2001, 6:28 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Dan

Yes it's worth the money. It's quite difficult to upgrade the memory without the slot. Look on there are numerous free programs which you might want that will quickly absorb 128k

Re: Is the 48GX worth +$40 over the 48G+
Message #3 Posted by Marx Pio(Brasil) on 18 Jan 2001, 7:57 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Dan

I think the prices are high because they know the final price of a structural design. Imagine that a HP41CV costs 130,00 US Dollars (auction) and it has just a bit of the power of a 48GX. There's something like the NASDAQ market. It's a total insanity.

Re: Is the 48GX worth +$40 over the 48G+
Message #4 Posted by Chan Tran (USA) on 20 Jan 2001, 11:52 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Marx Pio(Brasil)

Certainly, I always opted for the X version. I have both the HP48SX and HP48GX

Re: Is the 48GX worth +$40 over the 48G+
Message #5 Posted by David Fenyes on 5 Feb 2001, 12:49 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Dan

Not in the year 2001, and if you're not in high school. For that matter, (unless you are really picky about the display contrast) the HP 48G/49G are not worth the premium over the HP48S, which you can get on Ebay for $30.

If you need to, you can upgrade is yourself to 288K (Which I have done for both of mine). More likely, after the initial phase of loading every existing program into it, you'll settle into using it straight, maybe with Java loaded (the stack replacement, not the platform).

While you're inside there, I recommend you clip off the serial connector, and solder (+epoxy) in a 0.100"-center Molex connector, so you can easily build your own serial cable.



Re: Is the 48GX worth +$40 over the 48G+
Message #6 Posted by Frank Knight on 5 Feb 2001, 5:51 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by David Fenyes

Well, I figured students would go for at least the inexpensive 48G on ebay to get the equation library, I could have used it when I was in, I used to keystep program during an exam or hw for repetitive calculations after I could afford a simple(non mag card)programmable like the SR56/HP25 but before C models ! Besides, in one respect they all are cheap now compared to the 70's! We used to compare them with the kind of car we could get for the same money. Remember the saying "for that much, you should be able to drive it" ;+}

Re: Is the 48GX worth +$40 over the 48G+
Message #7 Posted by Tom (UK) on 6 Feb 2001, 8:17 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Dan

When the HP48G+ model was introduced I think the G+ and GX calculators then used the same circuit board but with slightly different ROMs to cope with the expansion slots. If this is true the only *production* cost difference between the 2 models is the connector for the cards. The connector is likely to cost around 1 to 2 dollars so a $40 premium is a bit steep. However HP would be fools to sell the calc at anything less than they could get away with.

If HP dropped the G+ model then overall production costs would probably be lower as they would only have to deal with one model and save some money on not making, stocking and selling 2 models.

A product *range* (e.g. HP10/11/12/15/16) is liked by customers and manufacturers as although they may cost almost the same to make (nearly the same case, display, keys etc.), gives the purchaser some choice, and the producer some profit from the more expensive models. The price ramp from cheapest to most expensive is a balance between how much the manufacturer wants to recoup the developement costs for making the fuller featured products and the lower number of sales due to the higher cost.

There were a couple of Casio calculators on sale in the mid 80's. Both had exactly the same features. On the cheaper model the statistic features were not advertised and when the customer pressed the key for stats the display lit up 'err'. On the more expensive model the same key stroke displayed 'SD'. The smart buyer bought the cheaper model and labled some of the keys with the stat functions that worked perfectly on the cheaper model. But how many users knew that, and how many extra dollars did Casio get?

There are many other factors in setting the price (e.g. competition, support, manuals etc.) and price setting is between a science and an art.

Re: Is the 48GX worth +$40 over the 48G+
Message #8 Posted by db on 6 Feb 2001, 9:52 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Tom (UK)

tom; that was an interesting story about the casio but i didn't get the part about the error message. could you expand on it please? it sounds a bit like the story i heard that intel sold chips with and without math coprocessors, the w/o model being $80 cheaper. the sick thing was that it was the same chip but before they sold the cheaper one they had to physically distroy the math co. circuitry that was already printed on it. - d

Re: Is the 48GX worth +$40 over the 48G+
Message #9 Posted by Tom (UK) on 7 Feb 2001, 1:36 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by db

This is something I saw about 15 years ago. The 2 calculators were in the same series as the fx100 but simpler if my memory serves me correctly. One of them might have been the fx82? Could someone give me a link to a casio collectors page so I can check the model numbers?

The 2 calcs looked exactly the same with the same number of keys etc. The only 3 differences between the 2 calcs were:

1) The price (about 20% I think)

2) The display (the LCD element on the more expensive one had 'SD' and the cheaper one 'ERR' or perhaps 'ERROR' in exactly the same place)

3) The key legend on the face plate (the more expensive one had SUM(x) SUM(x^2), Sigma(n), Sigma(n-1) etc. printed on the metal, the cheaper one was blank in these places.

The operation went something like: Key sequence to enable stats mode (on the cheaper one it displayed 'ERR', the user then probably pressed AC and the 'ERR' anunciator went away). On the more expensive one 'SD' lit up and the user could then enter data and calculate AVG(x) etc.

HOWEVER if data was entered on the cheaper model when it displayed 'ERR' all the stat functions worked by using the same keys as the more expensive one.

The guy who showed me this had scratched into the metal face plate the key symbols printed on the more expensive model so he could use stats on his cheaper calc.

Re: Is the 48GX worth +$40 over the 48G+
Message #10 Posted by db on 8 Feb 2001, 1:06 a.m.,
in response to message #9 by Tom (UK)

that was a very interesting story. if i see a cheap used fx82 sometime i'll pick it up and try this. so, when the bean counter that made the business decision to downgrade one of his products (and limit his customers) to make a couple of extra bucks got home and his kid asked what did you do today daddy?... i guess we could add to this list the rumor that hp managmant left off a real interface from the 42 so it didn't compete against the 48. does anyone have a new story of messrs hewlett and packard challenging thier engineers to build a calculator that does MORE?

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