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My two latest HP calculators
Message #1 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 4 Nov 2011, 8:53 p.m.

Today I purchased 2 new calculators from HP Home & Home Office, an HP 33s and an HP 10bII+. The HP 33s replaces one I bought 6 years ago and I couldn't stand the invisible decimal point that has been corrected in newer displays. Although I don't like it's keyboard, it's much more comfortable as a hand-held than the 35s, due to its rounded sides and soft grips. Also, it has separate STO and RCL keys.

I needed to add another calculator to the order so I could use a discount coupon and qualify for free shipping, so in the end the 10bII+ ended up costing only about $15. What is noteworthy here is that the 10bII+ is the first non-RPN HP calculator I've ever owned, other than a $4.99 HP Quick calc 4-banger that is stuck by its magnet to my refrigerator door. Although the 10bII+ is touted as an entry-level financial calculator, it is an amazingly capable scientific / statistical calculator as well. It also has nice data entry features such as a backspace key. Finally, it has chain data entry mode to eliminate the need for those pesky parentheses. Hopefully the keyboard won't be too mushy, given its low price. I've already downloaded the User's Guide from the HP website so I can read up and hit the ground running when it arrives.

Edited: 4 Nov 2011, 9:26 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

      
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #2 Posted by Tim Wessman on 4 Nov 2011, 9:51 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

It is a very good keyboard design. You don't need to worry about it. I personally feel the reliability is higher than the keyboard we've been using on the high end calculators for the past few years.

TW

Edited: 4 Nov 2011, 9:54 p.m.

            
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #3 Posted by Jim Yohe on 5 Nov 2011, 8:14 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Tim Wessman

I've been using the HP 10bII+ extensively for the past several months and can say that I've been happy with it, mostly. There have been several instances where it missed number entries and caused me to calculate erroneous results. That's forced me to have to watch the display, now, to verify that it caught/captured what I intended to enter. This is contrary to how my favorite calculator, the HP 32sii, reacts to number entries.

Edited: 5 Nov 2011, 8:15 p.m.

      
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #4 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 4 Nov 2011, 10:23 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
Finally, it has chain data entry mode to eliminate the need for those pesky parentheses.
?? And get wrong answers?
            
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #5 Posted by hpnut on 4 Nov 2011, 10:52 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Martin Pinckney

RPN gets rid of those pesky parentheses for good :-)

      
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #6 Posted by Marcus von Cube, Germany on 5 Nov 2011, 7:39 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
Finally, it has chain data entry mode to eliminate the need for those pesky parentheses.
This statement is beyond me. Chain entry mode will require more parentheses than algebraic entry with operator priority. It's mainly invented for those who don't have a clue about math rules, the 'typical' business people? For me it's as useless as it can be. If you want to forcibly end a calculation, use '=' when needed, not chain mode!
            
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #7 Posted by Lode on 5 Nov 2011, 9:09 a.m.,
in response to message #6 by Marcus von Cube, Germany

In chain mode, 5 + 3 * 2 gives 16 while 2 * 3 + 5 gives 11.

In algebraic mode, 5 + 3 * 2 and 2 * 3 + 5 both give 11. You need to use parentheses to get the "16" result.

More parentheses are needed, because you can't affect the result by changing the order in which you enter numbers.

So the statement makes sense to me.

                  
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #8 Posted by Marcus von Cube, Germany on 5 Nov 2011, 9:29 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Lode

No parentheses, just press '=' after you have done the addition. I wouldn't even think of rearranging the formula.

Most simple (household) calculations consist of additions, sometimes together with a multiplication (number of units x unit price). This is almost always better handled by not using chain mode. Chain mode would either require parentheses, or if they are lacking (4 banger) a memory.

      
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #9 Posted by Eddie W. Shore on 5 Nov 2011, 1:41 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

HP still sells the 33S? Maybe I will get a replacement. I just got a second 10bii that now lives at my office.

Another thing the 33S has over the 35S is the >P and >R functions are available.

The number of labels are similar to the HP 15C.

Edited: 5 Nov 2011, 1:50 p.m.

            
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #10 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 5 Nov 2011, 2:24 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by Eddie W. Shore

Quote:
Another thing the 33S has over the 35S is the >P and >R functions are available.

Yes ! I forgot to mention that as well. You have to go through all sorts of contortions with complex mode to do it on the 35s.

Also, the 33s sells for $20 less than the 35s, and is the cheapest RPN programmable calculator that HP sells.

                  
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #11 Posted by Eddie W. Shore on 5 Nov 2011, 2:28 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:

Yes ! I forgot to mention that as well. You have to go through all sorts of contortions with complex mode to do it on the 35s.

Also, the 33s sells for $20 less than the 35s, and is the cheapest RPN programmable calculator that HP sells.


I just ordered another 33S - thanks, Michael.

                        
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #12 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 8 Nov 2011, 9:53 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by Eddie W. Shore

Mine arrived today, and what a revelation.

The HP 33s is much improved over the early model that I used to own. The display has fixed the invisible decimal point problem and the keyboard button action is a lot smoother as well. My serial number of CNA 141000X suggests that it was manufactured a scant 2 months ago (41st week of 2011), so the batteries should be fresh. They are still supplying it with a full-sized printed User's Guide and a very nice slip case. It's a joy to hold in my hand with its rounded edges and soft gripper material. And then there's separate STO and RCL buttons, P<->R conversions direct from the keyboard and a big primary DISPLAY button. Only the weird ENTER key location spoils the fun. And it offers virtually all the functionality of the 35s for $20 less, without all the bugs and missed keystrokes. I'm glad HP continues to make it.

The HP 10bII+ was a very pleasant surprise with a very nice keyboard and display, and a solid quality feel. The keyboard layout is very logical and uncluttered with the down-shifted operations on the bottoms of the keys ala 12C, 15C and 35s. It's a stealth scientific calculator listed under financial calculators.

I'm very happy to have bought these two calculators, and for any of you who may be interested, HP Home & Home Office is currently offering both of them with free domestic shipping.

                              
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #13 Posted by bill platt on 8 Nov 2011, 10:29 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by Michael de Estrada

I like the algebraic mode on the 33s, too. It is pretty cool.

what makes the 10bii a scientific? It doesn't have trigs,--or does it?

                                    
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #14 Posted by Jim Yohe on 8 Nov 2011, 10:46 p.m.,
in response to message #13 by bill platt

Quote:
It doesn't have trigs,--or does it?

Why ... yes it does. Though not purely a scientific it definitely will let you do, "Trigonometric/inverses, Hyperbolics/inverses, Square root"

                                    
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #15 Posted by Mike Morrow on 9 Nov 2011, 12:13 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by bill platt

Quote:
what makes the 10bii a scientific? It doesn't have trigs,--or does it?

The 10bii+ is a rather different machine than the 10bii.

                                    
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #16 Posted by John B. Smitherman on 9 Nov 2011, 12:20 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by bill platt

Here's a link to the user manual...

10bii+ User Manual

John

                              
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #17 Posted by Derek Walker (UK) on 9 Nov 2011, 3:09 a.m.,
in response to message #12 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
I'm glad HP continues to make it.

I'm very happy to have bought these two calculators, and for any of you who may be interested, HP Home & Home Office is currently offering both of them with free domestic shipping.


I'm surprised the 33s still available, IIRC it was discontinued in UK when the 35s came out. Certainly it's not been listed on HP's UK website or any local reseller I know of for several years. I spent an afternoon trying to buy one (and a 30b) over the counter in New York last year, but without success. I found plenty of 12C's, a few 35s's and 50G's but that was all. At least the 30b has finally now appeared in the UK, long after the US launch.
                                    
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #18 Posted by Bart (UK) on 9 Nov 2011, 5:02 a.m.,
in response to message #17 by Derek Walker (UK)

Quote:
IIRC it was discontinued in UK when the 35s came out.
Yes, I have not seen any available at UK shops or websites. Fortunately I managed to get a NIBP (new in blister pack) on eBay for about 20 about 3 years ago.
I must say I think it looks better in real life than pictures. I find the keyboard a bit cramped and have to search for functions sometimes, but the enter key is at least in almost the same position as the 50G. I use it at work and leave it in my desk drawer without too much worry.
Quote:
At least the 30b has finally now appeared in the UK, long after the US launch.
I griped about the long delay between HP calculator launch and UK availability when the 300s was released.
                                          
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #19 Posted by Derek Walker (UK) on 9 Nov 2011, 7:17 a.m.,
in response to message #18 by Bart (UK)

I bought a 20b as a (relatively) cheap and pocketable RPN calculator, but its mushy keyboard was so bad for missed keystrokes I gave up using it.
As mentioned on here recently, it's a pity that RPN never appeared on the cheapie scientifics (10s, 300s) but presumably they are supplied as a package with non-HP firmware. The 10s still has a problem with memory recall not updating the ANS register that I remember fromn old Casio calc's around 10 years ago.

                              
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #20 Posted by Ed Look on 9 Nov 2011, 11:13 a.m.,
in response to message #12 by Michael de Estrada

Michael, I was one of the loudmouths that mocked the 33s when it debuted, and only because of its unusually arranged keyboard. However, I surprised myself by quickly getting used to looking at it, never mind using it, and also found it a joy to use, and in fact, it's still my main "go-to" calculator when I just want to do quick calculations or short, easy programs and don't need something with a Core-i7 chip, like the 50g (just kidding about the chip).

I truly enjoy using the 33S, now the original with the infinitesimal decimal point that was really hard on my eyes (missed it, actually, once or twice) was pretty good, too, except for that tiny LCD element. But the one with the larger dot, well, that one's great. In addition to the facility of use and familiarity of keys and functions due to similarity to older models (that I love), it's got a fair amount of power, for a physically lightweight and small footprint handheld device. And I agree that it feels good in my hand because of the rounded "soft-feel" polymeric stuff on the edges. Nice calculator... no, a good calculator!

Quote:
Mine arrived today, and what a revelation.

The HP 33s is much improved over the early model that I used to own. The display has fixed the invisible decimal point problem and the keyboard button action is a lot smoother as well. My serial number of CNA 141000X suggests that it was manufactured a scant 2 months ago (41st week of 2011), so the batteries should be fresh. They are still supplying it with a full-sized printed User's Guide and a very nice slip case. It's a joy to hold in my hand with its rounded edges and soft gripper material. And then there's separate STO and RCL buttons, P<->R conversions direct from the keyboard and a big primary DISPLAY button. Only the weird ENTER key location spoils the fun. And it offers virtually all the functionality of the 35s for $20 less, without all the bugs and missed keystrokes. I'm glad HP continues to make it.

The HP 10bII+ was a very pleasant surprise with a very nice keyboard and display, and a solid quality feel. The keyboard layout is very logical and uncluttered with the down-shifted operations on the bottoms of the keys ala 12C, 15C and 35s. It's a stealth scientific calculator listed under financial calculators.

I'm very happy to have bought these two calculators, and for any of you who may be interested, HP Home & Home Office is currently offering both of them with free domestic shipping.


                              
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #21 Posted by Dominic Richens on 9 Nov 2011, 11:28 a.m.,
in response to message #12 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
The HP 33s is much improved over the early model that I used to own.

What is the keyboard like? Are they keys Can you compare it to the HP-15c, HP-48SX or HP-20b - the only HP calculators I've owned. I'm guessing they don't "click", but is there any kind of physical feedback?

                                    
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #22 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 9 Nov 2011, 12:43 p.m.,
in response to message #21 by Dominic Richens

The keys definitely do click and have a similar feel to those on the 35s. The feel is not quite as smooth and sophisticated as a 15c or 48SX, but it definitely offers good tactile and audible feedback, and the effort to depress a key is just about perfect. It is certainly on a par with the new 15c LE. No complaints.

                                    
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #23 Posted by M. Joury on 9 Nov 2011, 1:14 p.m.,
in response to message #21 by Dominic Richens

The 33S keyboard is quite nice in terms of feel. I don't particularly like the chevron shape or the size and position of the enter key but other than that I don't have any real complaints. It has the same trig bugs that the 35 has but it has primary placement for both the STO and RCL keys which is a big deal for me.

Other drawbacks include the limited number of labels without a workaround similar to that offered by the 35S which can make do with a single label per program since you can jump to line numbers, a more limited set of storage registers, a single looping / indirect register whereas the 35S has 2, and not quite as good complex number support. Among the advantages are the ones mentioned in earlier posts: R-P and P-R functions, much better base arithmetic handling, the primary placement of STO as mentioned above, faster speed, and (not really a big deal) single key cube and cube root functions.

Well, there you have my 10 second tour <g>.

Cheers,

-Marwan

                                          
Re: My two latest HP calculators
Message #24 Posted by Dominic Richens on 9 Nov 2011, 3:42 p.m.,
in response to message #23 by M. Joury

thanks Marwan, Michael!

Looks like I should pick one up next time I see one for the "calculator" drawer. I'm hoping that if I overwhelm the cheap infix calculators with RPN calculators so my kids will get hooked on RPN.

                              
Well, maybe not
Message #25 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 10 Nov 2011, 11:15 a.m.,
in response to message #12 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
My serial number of CNA 141000X suggests that it was manufactured a scant 2 months ago (41st week of 2011), so the batteries should be fresh.

Today I was running a program on my new 33s that pauses for two seconds, and noticed that the low battery power icon was turning on. So then I ran a benchmark program that lasts about 11 seconds on this machine, and about halfway through the display went blank and did not return. So I removed the batteries and they showed only 2.57 vdc and 2.50 vdc on my voltmeter. I replaced the batteries with fresh new ones and ran the benchmark w/o the low battery icon appearing or the display blanking out. Hopefully, the original batteries were simply old and weak, and that this is not an indication of some power drain problem with this unit. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

FWIW, the 33s appears to run a bit faster than the 35s.

                                    
Re: Well, maybe not
Message #26 Posted by Ed Look on 10 Nov 2011, 11:40 a.m.,
in response to message #25 by Michael de Estrada

Oh yeah... ... I forgot that once a few years back I had a surprising loss of battery power after testing a longish program that ran for a while. I suspect that if a long or long-executing program is run, that'll tax the batteries more than just making calculations by using the keys.

                                    
Re: Well, maybe not
Message #27 Posted by M. Joury on 10 Nov 2011, 1:57 p.m.,
in response to message #25 by Michael de Estrada

Hi Michael,

Quote:
FWIW, the 33s appears to run a bit faster than the 35s.

Yup, that is one of the advantages. In some calculations it is quite a bit faster. I have a program that calculates sunrise / sunset times and it is over twice as fast on the 33S as compared to the 35S. 35S: ~8.5 seconds. 33S 3.1 seconds. As an additional reference point the same program on the 42S takes 6.7 seconds.

Cheers,

-Marwan


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