Re: Thoughts on HP 30b compared to the 12c... Message #29 Posted by Gene Wright on 22 Mar 2010, 12:52 p.m., in response to message #25 by bink
Hi bink. I am a longtime user of the 12c as well as a former university instructor who taught business math to freshmen and sophomores for nearly 20 years. Let me comment on some of your observations.
1) y^x and 1/x. The only real way these could have been better positioned for what you want is to have made them primary keys on the 20/30b. However, the primary keys are already used/taken for other functions / menus, such as the IRR / NPV menus and the cash flow environment, etc. Given that they were going to be shifted functions on account of this, the finger travel distance is essentially the same where they are located on the 20b/30b and where they would have been had they been located near the top of the calculator.
2) P/YR vs. periodic compounding. This is essentially a wash, as I have become convinced over a number of years. On the 20b/30b (and it must be said, the 10b2, TI BAII Plus, TI BAII Plus professional, the casio financials, the sharp financials and every other (?) financial calculator presently sold other than the 12c), you must type 12 shift P/YR or 1 shift P/YR or 4 shift P/YR when you want to change the payment frequency. This is **offset** by the requirement on the 12c to divide the nominal interest rate by the under of periods in order to enter a periodic interest rate. Having taught classrooms of students using BOTH types of machines for 20 years, there is no speed difference between the methods that I have ever been able to ascertain. It is a matter of taste and what you are accustomed to.
3) STO as a shifted function. While Tim and Cyrille are correct ... that you tend to store a number/value less often than you recall the value, I too would like to see a primary store key. In practicality, I don't see this as a make/break compromise.
4) Cash flow compounding periods. Given that the 20b/30b are MENU oriented calculators, this is affected by setting a #CF/yr value at the bottom of the cash flow environment. Set it once if you don't need to change it very often and you are good to go. If you need to change it all the time, this might be less convenient.
5) Speed. The new 12c+ is certainly about as fast as the 20b/30b at many financial calculations, certainly. The older 12c seems painfully slow now at some functions, however. Compared to the older 12c, the 30b can be 1020 times faster. Calculations are simply instantaneous in almost all circumstances.
6) Interest rate conversions. These seem to be the primary reasons the location of the 1/x and y^x key placement seems to be very important to you. However, once you have used the interest rate conversion environment found in IConv, you will be slower at converting interest rates using 1/x and y^x.
7) Professional user involvement. Suffice it to say that there were professional users involved and feedback was very positive.
Bottom line (ha).
For someone used to the 12c, great... buy a brand new 12c+ that runs much faster and continue to enjoy the HP way.
However, the 20b/30b offers much that the 12c does not. You may have no use for these, but they are certainly wonderful to have available if you ever find a need for them.
Advantages of the 20b/30b over the 12c...
1) Customizable keyboard. Bring ANY function out from a menu and assign it to a primary, shifted, or shifthold key position. Write a program to do any calculation you want, including 12 / and assign it to any key position...such as the shift I/YR position. Now you have the 12 / function from the 12c on the 30b. You can do this for 10 key positions if you wish.
2) Trigonometry, inverse trignometry, hyperbolic trigonometry and inverse hyperbolic trigonometry. Hey, not everyone needs these, but even a financial analyst might want to know how tall a telephone pole is given the length of its shadow and the angle to the sun.
3) Probability distributions. Normal distribution and inverse normal. Students t distribution and inverse. F Distribution and inverse. Chisquare distribution and inverse. And depending on the rom revision, the binomial distribution. No substitute for having these built in when you might need them.
4) Much more advanced statistics. Builtin population standard deviation of X and Y. No more computing the mean and doing Sigma+ to fake this. Covariance. Nice financial computation builtin. Standard error of the X and Y means. Very handy for hypothesis testing or confidence intervals. Builtin permutation and combination calculations. SEVEN regression models including Best fit. Just no comparison here. If you don't use statistics, these don't mean much to you. Sure.
5) Increased financial functionality. 30b has MIRR builtin. !2c requires a program or a move to Excel. 30b has FMRR (financial management rate of return) as an alternative to MIRR. For NPV calculations, there is also Net FV, Net Uniform Series, Payback, discounted payback, and a total cash flow summation. The 12c does not directly offer ANY of that.
6) Bond calculations. The 30b offers two bond duration calculations. 20b/30b directly compute yield to call as well as yield to maturity.
7) Breakeven. 20b/30b have this built in. 12c does not.
8) Black Scholes Option pricing. Built in. 12c requires a wonderful program written by Tony Hutchins.
9) Programmability. The 12c can be programmed. Sure. The 30b has more program space and is MUCH faster. It also allows for up to 10 separate programs. Has subroutine abilities, text messaging abilities, etc. 12c looks old by comparison.
So...
Don't get me wrong. I was raised on the 12c. I still THINK like the 12c works. But, the 30b is well worth a look by anyone who has used a 12c. The VERY few changes required to use the 30b (which works like all other financial calculators in existence today) are well rewarded by a host of improvements and things you just cannot do with a 12c. Part of me is pained to write that sentence, but I believe it to be true.
My 2 cents...and that's a distinct present value.
