Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
04-08-2017, 10:23 AM (This post was last modified: 04-08-2017 10:29 AM by pier4r.)
Post: #1
 pier4r Senior Member Posts: 991 Joined: Nov 2014
Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
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.

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
04-08-2017, 11:57 AM
Post: #2
 Thomas Radtke Senior Member Posts: 689 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Maybe the Commodore SR9190R. My favourite non-programmable is the HP-45, however.

Formula evaluation qualifies as programmability imo.
04-08-2017, 12:07 PM
Post: #3
 SlideRule Senior Member Posts: 309 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
I defer to my Casio fx-115ES PLUS as either my alternate or my travel calculator. It has a 'replay' feature that is a suitable substitute for numerous programming approaches on my HP's. This model is available for under $15.00. BEST! SlideRule 04-08-2017, 02:28 PM Post: #4  rprosperi Senior Member Posts: 2,246 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator.... If you are limiting this to new models (i.e. still in production) you should look at the HP-35S. It is programmable, but of course there is no need to use the program features. While there is a lot of info on posts here (and many other places) about all the bugs this machine has, I believe they are mostly (all?) related to programming, so would not affect you. The 35S is RPN (or Algebraic if you prefer) and is loaded with built-in functions including integration and a solver (related to, but can also be used independent of normal keystroke-programming). If not limited to new machines, you can pick up a used HP-32S (similar to above, has programming, but no need to use it) for a reasonable price via auction sites, etc. The later 32SII does more (e.g. fractions) but typically will cost more as well. --Bob Prosperi 04-08-2017, 02:59 PM Post: #5  grsbanks Member Posts: 172 Joined: Jan 2017 RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion. If you want something that's also built like a tank you could go for a SwissMicros machine. They're programmable too but as others have said, you don't have to use that feature. A DM-11 or DM-15 would be good depending on the feature set you want. 04-08-2017, 06:00 PM (This post was last modified: 04-08-2017 06:17 PM by pier4r.) Post: #6  pier4r Senior Member Posts: 991 Joined: Nov 2014 RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion. (04-08-2017 11:57 AM)Thomas Radtke Wrote: Maybe the Commodore SR9190R. My favourite non-programmable is the HP-45, however. Formula evaluation qualifies as programmability imo. I thought you were joking with the Commodore, instead it is a pretty nice calculator. Why is formula evaluation (do you mean the Solver?) equal to programmability? The hp 45 is a bit less advanced than the el506w, a lot of functions are missing, but it looks good for its age I guess. (04-08-2017 02:28 PM)rprosperi Wrote: If you are limiting this to new models (i.e. still in production) you should look at the HP-35S. If not limited to new machines, you can pick up a used HP-32S (similar to above, has programming, but no need to use it) for a reasonable price via auction sites, etc. The later 32SII does more (e.g. fractions) but typically will cost more as well. No, no limit for new models but thanks for the tips I will compare the functions. The hp 35s looks pretty appealing, it has a programmability like the free 42 (or hp 42s), but not so many built in functions as the 506w. Although there is solver and numerical integration. The 32S looks similar. The 32sII is a bit better but almost there. Of course with programs one can fill the gaps of missing built in functions. (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. On a side note I just discovered the free 42 (that fits nicely in a 5.5 smartphone) and I wanted to see what are its possibilities compared to relatively cheap scientific calculators. To think that the android hp prime costs like one scientific calculator, woah. (sure, the real calculator has a better interface to input numbers and functions) Wikis are great, Contribute :) 04-09-2017, 03:06 AM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2017 03:08 AM by BobVA.) Post: #7  BobVA Member Posts: 181 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion. - The WP-31 firmware project for the HP-30 (and the smartphone app version) is an excellent, straight-forward scientific calculator. - +1 for the HP-11 or 15 if you can find one (or Swiss Micro versions). 04-09-2017, 07:22 AM Post: #8  Thomas Radtke Senior Member Posts: 689 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion. (04-08-2017 06:00 PM)pier4r Wrote: Why is formula evaluation (do you mean the Solver?) equal to programmability? Just my opinion really. You enter a sequence of operations which will automatically be executed. It is like programming a simple SPC. 04-09-2017, 07:33 AM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2017 07:57 AM by Paul Dale.) Post: #9  Paul Dale Senior Member Posts: 1,236 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion. (04-08-2017 06:00 PM)pier4r Wrote: Why is formula evaluation (do you mean the Solver?) equal to programmability? Search the archives to see the amazing things people have done with the 17b's solver. Or start with this article. I'll second the WP 31S suggestion. Pauli 04-09-2017, 07:35 AM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2017 07:35 AM by pier4r.) Post: #10  pier4r Senior Member Posts: 991 Joined: Nov 2014 RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion. (04-09-2017 07:22 AM)Thomas Radtke Wrote: Just my opinion really. You enter a sequence of operations which will automatically be executed. It is like programming a simple SPC. Yes but it is not that it is "turning complete". To me anything short than being turing complete it is not really "programmable", of course there are exceptions like SQL, some visual programming languages (that are somewhat limited) and so on. Moreover, as far as I know, the solver uses the root seeking algorithms that Namir is investigating in the "General Forum" section. So optimized for a mathematical formulae, one cannot abuse them to do something else so easily. Wikis are great, Contribute :) 04-09-2017, 07:55 AM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2017 08:00 AM by Paul Dale.) Post: #11  Paul Dale Senior Member Posts: 1,236 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion. I would be extremely surprised if the 17b solver were not Turing complete. This is a fairly low bar. The solver would seem to be strictly more powerful than the Z3 and that's been proven to be Turing complete. This machine had no indirect addressing, no conditional execution and the only loop it is capable of was to rerun the entire program. Pauli 04-09-2017, 02:28 PM Post: #12  SlideRule Senior Member Posts: 309 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Best scientific (not programmable) ... calculator (04-08-2017 12:07 PM)SlideRule Wrote: ...I defer to my Casiofx-115ES PLUS...SlideRule My second choice is my HP17BII - if I don't need trigonometric functions - as my standby / travel calculator: good choice. BEST! SlideRule 04-09-2017, 02:47 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2017 03:10 PM by pier4r.) Post: #13  pier4r Senior Member Posts: 991 Joined: Nov 2014 RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion. (04-09-2017 07:55 AM)Paul Dale Wrote: I would be extremely surprised if the 17b solver were not Turing complete. This is a fairly low bar. Pauli I did not see your previous post. I am going to read that, would be pretty awesome to find out that people can "program" with a solver. Ok read the article. I do see that the hp 17 bII solver allows a certain syntax (especially for conditionals), while solver like the one on the sharp el506w would unlikely be suitable to fit there programs. So I had the solver of the el506w in mind, not a solver that can parse quite a complex syntax. There is no "if" and there is no loop (sigma). The idea of computing something and multiply it by zero is neat. But again, one needs to have assignments operations then. Another symbol that does not exist in the solvers that I know in sharp and casio calculators (I don't believe the TI has those either). Other messages on the same track: - http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...ead=108493 - http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/...ead=141540 Wikis are great, Contribute :) 04-09-2017, 04:05 PM Post: #14  rprosperi Senior Member Posts: 2,246 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion. (04-09-2017 02:28 PM)SlideRule Wrote: My second choice is my HP17BII - if I don't need trigonometric functions - as my standby / travel calculator: good choice. I agree w/SlideRule, if you don't need Trig and other tech stuff, this is the best value machine you can buy, they are often available for$25. Note, don't get the 17BII+ (either version) as the solver has bugs. The 17BII also includes a clock w/appointments and alarms, which can be handy during the day when mobile, though these days most folks have phones with full multimedia alarm clocks and other essential business functions.

--Bob Prosperi
04-09-2017, 05:45 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2017 05:48 PM by Gene.)
Post: #15
 Gene Moderator Posts: 666 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Wow, can't believe I am about to type this...

IF you can live WITHOUT RPN, ugh, then IMO the HP 10BII+ is a fabulous calculator.

All the business functions you could want:
TVM,
Cash flow analysis,
Breakeven,
Depreciation,
Bonds,
Date calculations,
more of course.

A very good set of statistical functions:
Normal and inverse normal distribution,
Students t and inverse distribution,
Regression models including best fit,
Permutations, combinations, factorial and gamma,
basic statistics including sample and population measures

Good set of scientific functions:
Trig and inverse,
Hyperbolic trig and inverse,
natural log and e^x,

and

Chain (boo) logic as well as real algebraic with precedence.

For under \$20. It was also designed by Tim !
04-09-2017, 06:12 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2017 06:14 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #16
 Maximilian Hohmann Member Posts: 227 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Hello!

(04-09-2017 05:45 PM)Gene Wrote:  Wow, can't believe I am about to type this...

To put an end to that ;-) let me remind you that the word "scientific" is contained in the thread title. There is no science in financial functions as it is all based on wishful thinking... at least I never got the payouts that my bank manager showed me on his HP12C or whatever he was using.

One of my favorite non programmable scientific calculators is this Aristo M85 (also the M75). It is very pretty, glows in the dark, has a halfway decent keyboard and you can be sure that no one else around you will have one. And it is almost indestructible. I have quite a few Aristos in my collection and the all work. Something I can not say about many other brands. A bit hard to find these days though.

Regards
Max
04-09-2017, 06:44 PM
Post: #17
 Gene Moderator Posts: 666 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-09-2017 06:12 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  To put an end to that ;-) let me remind you that the word "scientific" is contained in the thread title. There is no science in financial functions as it is all based on wishful thinking... at least I never got the payouts that my bank manager showed me on his HP12C or whatever he was using.

Regards
Max

Gene: Well, the science is there, as compound interest applies to compound growth rates in any medium, bacteria or otherwise, and certainly works well enough to determine my house payment! Sorry the estimations of the FUTURE that were used did not come to pass.

However, ignoring the **business** functions in the 10BII+, the scientific and statistical functions are good too.

THAT said, the ARISTO is an awesome machine.
04-09-2017, 07:35 PM
Post: #18
 Maximilian Hohmann Member Posts: 227 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Hello!

(04-09-2017 06:44 PM)Gene Wrote:  ... and certainly works well enough to determine my house payment!

Yes, I forgot about that. Whenever the bank gets something from me, those financial calculations are suddenly correct to the second decimal place...

But otherwise I second you regarding that 10BII+ - few contemporary calculators offer more value for money.

(04-09-2017 06:44 PM)Gene Wrote:  THAT said, the ARISTO is an awesome machine.

They all are. Right now there is one of the very few remaining (my guess) M27s on eBay Germany. That's only a four banger but an absolute must-have for every collector. From 1972, exactly the size of the 5 AA batteries required to power it. Next to the HP 25 among my 3 favorite calculators. But not scientific.

Regards
Max
04-09-2017, 07:35 PM
Post: #19
 pier4r Senior Member Posts: 991 Joined: Nov 2014
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
(04-09-2017 07:55 AM)Paul Dale Wrote:  I would be extremely surprised if the 17b solver were not Turing complete. This is a fairly low bar.

The solver would seem to be strictly more powerful than the Z3 and that's been proven to be Turing complete. This machine had no indirect addressing, no conditional execution and the only loop it is capable of was to rerun the entire program.

Pauli

I knew the Zuse systems, and I did not know that they were so limited. Interesting solution in the papee

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
04-09-2017, 08:12 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2017 08:17 PM by Harald.)
Post: #20
 Harald Senior Member Posts: 410 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Best scientific (not programmable, not producing plots) calculator in your opinion.
Non programmable and scientific doesn't leave many options if you want RPN as well.
For me it would be either the HP45 or HP32E.

Edit:
Oh, and the WP31S of course. How could I forget that!
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