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Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
04-09-2017, 08:21 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2017 08:24 PM by bhtooefr.)
Post: #21
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Here's the entire list of HP RPN scientific non-programmable calculators, as far as I'm aware, in chronological order:

HP-35 (1972)
HP-45 (1973)
HP-21 (1975)
HP-27 (1976, also had statistical and financial functions)
HP-31E (1978)
HP-32E (1978, also had statistical functions)

Everything else was programmable.

Do note that in some contexts, programmability - even if it's not used - is unacceptable. For instance, a friend of mine has a TI-36X Pro that she carries specifically for classes that forbid programmability on calculators used in tests.
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04-10-2017, 12:47 AM
Post: #22
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
If we're talking currently manufactured, non-programmable, non-graphing, scientific calculators, the TI-36X Pro would be an easy choice. It's a LOT more capable than the older 36X models.
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04-10-2017, 02:16 AM
Post: #23
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
I also find myself impressed with the pocketable hp 10bii+. If a solver, programmability, and numerical calculus functions are not needed, this calculator is a nice device.

Unlike the CASIO Classwiz and the TI 36X Pro, all calculations take place in the same environment. One doesn't have to go to a probability or statistics venue...all such input and calculations are made from the keyboard with no menus to bring up. Statistical results (sums, standard deviations, normal curve calculations and such are always directly available to be called up from the keyboard (no menus required) when desired to be used in additional work. It is very easy to clear all statistics registers. An input key is utilized for 2 argument functions.

Another thing that I like is that the intermediate results of an ongoing calculation are displayed as operations are done as opposed to a long line of inputs appearing in the command line.

The CASIO Classwiz (fx-991EX) is nicer than the TI 36X Pro in it's display and speed of calculation. A drawback compared to the TI is that the CASIO loses it's data when switching between modes such as table or from statistics to the main calculating area. It also loses history if turned off. If this is not a deal breaker, the CASIO can accept a much longer equation than the TI which accepts a ~40 character equation in pretty print and I believe ~80 characters in line algebraic entry.
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04-10-2017, 02:20 AM
Post: #24
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Additional Classwiz note...if one can tolerate losing all data when switching calculation modes, or after device is turned off, Classwiz offers poly solver up to 4th degree, and matrix up to 4X4. Spreadsheet is also offered, again all data is lost upon switching modes or when device is turned off.
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04-10-2017, 07:29 AM
Post: #25
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Morning all, thanks for all the info.

I'm looking for an HP-20S or 21S emulator. Is there anything out there?
I'm looking for algebraic emulators.

Many thanks,
Robin
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04-10-2017, 08:17 AM
Post: #26
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-10-2017 02:16 AM)lrdheat Wrote:  -
Interesting note about losing data while switching modes. When the thing is turned off it is not always a problem.

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04-10-2017, 09:37 AM
Post: #27
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-09-2017 08:21 PM)bhtooefr Wrote:  Do note that in some contexts, programmability - even if it's not used - is unacceptable. For instance, a friend of mine has a TI-36X Pro that she carries specifically for classes that forbid programmability on calculators used in tests.

That is exactly what my problem was in school. I had an HP32s and was very happy with it. For the exams we were not allowed to use programmable calculators. I didn't want to use an algebraic caluclator because a lot of my attention would have been diverted from the actual problem to operating the calculator. This was in the early 90s, we tried to hunt down an HP31E or 32E in the stores - but were unsuccesfull. Ebay was unheard of in those days, so I ended up using my dads old HP45.
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04-10-2017, 10:00 AM
Post: #28
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-08-2017 06:00 PM)pier4r Wrote:  
(04-08-2017 02:59 PM)grsbanks Wrote:  A DM-11 or DM-15 would be good depending on the feature set you want.

I'll check, thanks. I did not know about swissmicro.

Great machines. I'm building up a full house of the voyager-sized models (credit card size is a bit too small for my 50-year-old eyes). I already have a DM12L and DM16L, a DM41L is on its way and I'm getting the DM11L and DM15L later on. I'll also be getting the DM42 as soon as the beta units are available...
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04-10-2017, 02:10 PM
Post: #29
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-10-2017 02:16 AM)lrdheat Wrote:  I also find myself impressed with the pocketable hp 10bii+. If a solver, programmability, and numerical calculus functions are not needed, this calculator is a nice device.

Unlike the CASIO Classwiz and the TI 36X Pro, all calculations take place in the same environment. One doesn't have to go to a probability or statistics venue...all such input and calculations are made from the keyboard with no menus to bring up. Statistical results (sums, standard deviations, normal curve calculations and such are always directly available to be called up from the keyboard (no menus required) when desired to be used in additional work. It is very easy to clear all statistics registers. An input key is utilized for 2 argument functions.

Another thing that I like is that the intermediate results of an ongoing calculation are displayed as operations are done as opposed to a long line of inputs appearing in the command line.

The CASIO Classwiz (fx-991EX) is nicer than the TI 36X Pro in it's display and speed of calculation. A drawback compared to the TI is that the CASIO loses it's data when switching between modes such as table or from statistics to the main calculating area. It also loses history if turned off. If this is not a deal breaker, the CASIO can accept a much longer equation than the TI which accepts a ~40 character equation in pretty print and I believe ~80 characters in line algebraic entry.

The 10bii+ is very nice, but I have a strong distaste for statistics with summation registers rather than lists. Any calculator that operates with lists will generally accept more elements than I would ever care to key into a calculator without them, and not have any visibility into the previous entries.

The Casios (and often Sharps) have the odd tendency to clear data when switching between modes or turning them off, which is usually a big turnoff for me. On the other hand, the Casio fx-9860g is really nice, though it's obviously a grapher/programmable.
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04-10-2017, 02:37 PM
Post: #30
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Hi Dave!

I understand about the summation registers vs. lists, but the 10bII+ does save up to 60 data points for statistics operations before it goes to simple summations in registers.

This data point memory is used jointly for cash flows or statistics data, as long as the total cash flow entries and statistical data points are not more than 60, you have access to the original data values. Over 60 and it reverts to sums.

It is discussed on page 114 of the 10bII+ manual here:

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c02989763.pdf
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04-10-2017, 05:56 PM
Post: #31
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-10-2017 02:37 PM)Gene Wrote:  Hi Dave!

I understand about the summation registers vs. lists, but the 10bII+ does save up to 60 data points for statistics operations before it goes to simple summations in registers.

This data point memory is used jointly for cash flows or statistics data, as long as the total cash flow entries and statistical data points are not more than 60, you have access to the original data values. Over 60 and it reverts to sums.

It is discussed on page 114 of the 10bII+ manual here:

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c02989763.pdf

That's right, I knew one of the recent financial models did that, but I kept thinking it was the 30b for some reason. In any case, the 10bii+ is a surprisingly good scientific calculator for being one that's designed for finance.
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04-10-2017, 06:14 PM
Post: #32
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
You guys start to confuse me.

I always thought that financial calculators had a bit more financial functions already built in (instead of letting the user remember or derive the formula) but those were nothing less than scientific calculator with a certain flavor. Was I mistaken?

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04-10-2017, 06:17 PM
Post: #33
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-10-2017 05:56 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  ...In any case, the 10bii+ is a surprisingly good scientific calculator for being one that's designed for finance.

Thank you Tim!

--Bob Prosperi
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04-10-2017, 06:55 PM
Post: #34
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-10-2017 06:14 PM)pier4r Wrote:  You guys start to confuse me.

I always thought that financial calculators had a bit more financial functions already built in (instead of letting the user remember or derive the formula) but those were nothing less than scientific calculator with a certain flavor. Was I mistaken?

Gene: Originally, most financial models had little to no scientific functions unless they had a direct connection to a financial need. "Scientific" functions available were usually limited to things such as:

y^x, 1/x, square root and x^2
LNx and e^x
MAYBE x!

But they were almost always missing the basic scientific functions such as trig, etc.

Texas Instruments incorporated scientific functions on its BAII calculators in 1991:

http://datamath.org/Sci/Modern/BA-II-PLUS_1.htm

This model had scientific functions for trigs and hyperbolics in addition to useful statistical functions such as permutations and combinations - all right on the keyboard. Yes, TI buried a lot of other functions deep in worksheets (boo hiss), but this model was kicking HP business calculators hard IMO for years because the HP business models didn't have these basic functions.

For example, I was a full time college professor in the college of business at a local university teaching Business Math (TVM), business statistics, management accounting, finance and quantitative methods. (Yes, the students really loved me - not!).

Students most often bought ONE calculator for college that they could use in their major AND in their required science and math classes (chemistry, biology or physics and several math classes).

If they bought the TI BAII Plus, they paid $30 and had a machine to use all through their college time. If they bought the HP 10B, 12c or 17B, they were stuck when it came time for physics. Ugh.

FINALLY, HP seemed to realize this hole in their line up and not only met the function specification of the TI BAII Plus with the release of the HP 10bII+, but they exceeded it by quite a bit.

In a review at the time, I suggested TI change the name of their model to the TI BAII Minus.
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04-10-2017, 08:19 PM
Post: #35
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Thanks for the explanation!

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04-12-2017, 06:00 PM (This post was last modified: 04-12-2017 06:05 PM by toml_12953.)
Post: #36
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-08-2017 10:23 AM)pier4r Wrote:  I do feel that the topic may be recurring, but I did not find it with a quick look at the previous pages in this section.

So there are plenty of discussions about this or that HP calculator (or Ti, Casio, sharp, otherbrandsthatIdontknow) that is also programmable and/or is able to produce plots.

But what about simpler, but still useful, calculator that provides a set of functions but it is not programmable nor usable for plots?

For example I bought in high school (so, 15+ years ago) a sharp el520w (1) , it was just amazing, I could do a lot with it (given that I developed properly the formulas to solve the problem). Then it got stolen, because I assumed that leaving it on the desk at school would have been fine, since few cared about Math in school.

Then I found, by chance, a Ti (don't remember the version) from my father. Unused for tens of years. It was very similar to the sharp el520w in terms of functions. Unfortunately once fell from the desk and trying to repairing it I broke everything, the keys completely fell down and I could not put it back. I was quite sad (my father was not with the family anymore).

Then I bought the sharp el506w that is with me since at least 10 years. It is amazing as the el520w, although I discovered it has some functions less (for example less variables). Then, aside from programmable calculators, I did look in shops about scientific calculators but without taking care of the differences of various models.

Anyway, since the el 506 w is suitable for a lot of needs where the 50g may be an overkill, I was wondering if here there is someone with more experience about scientific calculators that can tell which one is the finest model. (Well "best or finest" should be well defined, but let's say: calculators that helps you in a not cumbersome way in a lot of situations for math related problems)

If I have to look with my limited knowledge I would look at calculators similar to the el506w (strong points: formula memory, solver, matrix and vector calculations, although limited in size, numeric integrals), so:
- sharp 506 family, then the 531 family. (actually they miss the ability to store formulas, both families. Mine, from 3 generations back, has that ability).
- casio, the 991 or 570 families seems the most complete.
- Ti, the 36 family should be the best one.
- HP, no idea. Is there a non programmable calculator?

Looking at the specifications the models from casio/sharp/ti looks pretty much the same. Aside from HP I do not know any other worldwide manufacturer .

(1) Note that sharp models keep the same number but get updated from time to time.

MITS (the Altair 8800 people) made some desktop RPN calculators. One had a seven level stack! An option was an external hex programming unit that had memory to store the program and a hexadecimal keyboard for input of the program code. This could've taken off if it hadn't come out only few months before the Altair was introduced. The Altair was such a hit that MITS abandoned all other projects.

Tom L
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04-13-2017, 05:06 AM (This post was last modified: 04-13-2017 05:10 AM by Thomas Radtke.)
Post: #37
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-10-2017 06:55 PM)Gene Wrote:  Texas Instruments incorporated scientific functions on its BAII calculators in 1991:
HP was first with the 19B and trigs :^).

Edit: Just remembered the 27 was first in 1976.
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04-28-2017, 07:01 PM (This post was last modified: 04-30-2017 07:30 AM by ArneStolti.)
Post: #38
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Before I switched over to HP I get myself (after some lengthly considerations) a Sharp EL-W506. This calculator has 4x4 vector calculations (including scalar and vector product), (Casio 991 at this time had only 3x3) and a nice big display with WriteView - whitch means nice formular display - if you want to. It offers simply all functionality one (I at that time) needs for a reasonable price. (During my studies I would have been glad for that.) In the meantime Casio has the 991de-x type, that has improved features but also some graphic gimmick display that is useless... I think it breaks down to the fact if you like the simple functionality or the hype that comes with HP (that I'm running now with). I think the Sharp calculators were and are underestimated in most websites and tests. For me it was the start of a new hobby/interest.
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04-28-2017, 09:18 PM
Post: #39
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-28-2017 07:01 PM)ArneStolti Wrote:  Before I switched over to HP I get myself (after some lengthly considerations) a Sharp EL-W506.

I do have it, it is great!

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04-28-2017, 10:14 PM (This post was last modified: 04-28-2017 10:18 PM by Den Belillo (Martinez Ca.).)
Post: #40
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not plotting) calculator in your opinion
My vote: Corvus 500 / Emerson E12
RPN, 12 digit accuracy, nice enough keys, nice battery/charging system
100 times better trig repeatability than the hp32e that it competed against at half the price

my page Thanks again to Gilles Collas of Metz France

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