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HP 48G+ over 50G?
12-15-2013, 07:26 AM
Post: #1
HP 48G+ over 50G?
Hello there guys,

I'm a civil engineering student and new to this whole hp forum. I've been using an hp 35s for the 3 years and I wanna move up a little with a graphing calculator. This summer I interned for an engineering firm. The engineer in charge of me used an HP 48gx and well I got use it whenever I had to go the field. I was amazed by the things it could do and I really liked the civil and surveying programs it had. Anyways, now that Christmas is getting closer I've decided to get myself a little present. I saved up to buy an HP 50g. I was really going for it until I saw an auction for the 48G+ for the same price of new 50G and it comes with user manual quick start guide and case. I read through some of the forums and some people go for the 48gx and others the 50g, there's really not much info/input on the G+, so I really can't tell which one will benefit me more. I know the differences between the gx and g+ in terms of technical specifications etc (one expandable the other not) and the 50g. I just wanna to know from your personal experience which one will you pick. I would definitely go for the gx but since this is the G+ I'm talking about what do you guys think? I really need some advice because I don't want to regret getting a 48G+.

Thanks!
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12-15-2013, 11:14 AM (This post was last modified: 12-15-2013 11:44 AM by bhtooefr.)
Post: #2
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
The problem with the 48-series platform, in 2013, is that it's so limited for what you pay for.

Drawbacks to the 50g:
  • Build quality isn't what it used to be (it's still better than TI)
  • IIRC battery life can be a bit mediocre under heavy use
  • If you want to get really nitpicky, the keyboard isn't quite as responsive as it could be (although KEYTIME tuning is always an option)
  • If you want to get really REALLY nitpicky, the way the real time clock is handled allows some inaccuracies to slip in

Drawbacks to the 48GX:
  • The display isn't anywhere near as good except for the later revisions (and even then, it's still 131x64 instead of 131x80)
  • Can't update the OS, so if you get an old one, you're stuck with what's on there
  • MetaKernel not in ROM, so you HAVE to use an expansion card
  • Price - I think they're overpriced right now, really
  • Expense of expansion - the 50g can be expanded with a $2 SD card, the 48GX costs an arm and a leg to expand and then you're still capacity-constrained
  • Connectivity - the 48GX is serial-only, which in 2013 is a pain to deal with, and you have to use Kermit (or in later ROMs, Xmodem) linking, you can't bypass it all by just sticking files on a card like you can on the 50g

The 48G+ is like a 48GX that you can't expand. So, you have even less options available to you. You can't even run MetaKernel if you wanted, for instance.

Honestly, if I were getting a calculator to use primarily, I'd go 50g, every time. If I were collecting primarily, then I'd go 48GX over the 48G+.
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12-15-2013, 10:49 PM
Post: #3
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
(12-15-2013 11:14 AM)bhtooefr Wrote:  The problem with the 48-series platform, in 2013, is that it's so limited for what you pay for.

In addition to what you list,
(1) The HP 50G can be powered from a USB port.
(2) Its USER RPL is more than twice as fast as that of the HP 48G series.
(3) It can be incredibly faster for code written for its ARM9 processor.
(4) It comes with an amazing development library in firmware for both Saturn and ARM9 coding. This requires setting system flag 86 and warm booting to enable the first time.

The capabilities of the HP 50G dwarf anything possible on the 48-series...the only advantage to the 48-series is a more conventional, although actually more poorly chosen, location of the ENTER key. I have two 48GX units that now get no usage, one 50G that I've used for seven years, and one unopened 50G purchased recently at the current give-away prices, as a spare.

Oh...there is a benefit to the 48G-series that I forgot...the rubber feet stay on longer than those on the 50G. :-)
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12-16-2013, 05:44 AM
Post: #4
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
Hi,

I'm a land surveyor and I like the hp50. I also have a 48GX with a SMI (survey) card in it. It is really hard to beat SMI, though I've heard people say the same about TDS cards. I wish SMI would run on my hp50. I do have custom keyboard assignments set up on my HP50 so that I can add and subtract regular numbers pushing the "+" and "-" keys normally but if I long hold the keys it will add and subtract hour minute seconds. I too like the fact that when I'm in the office I can power the calculator off the usb port. I have never used a 48g+ but I'm sure if you buy a hp50 you won't regret it. I like the 48GX but the programming power of the hp50 is amazing. I hope this helps.

CD Dodds
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12-16-2013, 12:30 PM
Post: #5
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
I'm one of those who would opt for the 48 every time. The keyboard on the 50 just isn't anywhere close to the 48, and the layout is a step back as well. Also, the menus have been rearranged/duplicated/hidden in ways that are very unintuitive. All the extra speed, memory, and functionality don't mean much to me when basic interaction with the device is more cumbersome.
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12-17-2013, 04:12 AM
Post: #6
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
Dave, when you say 48 do you mean the 48G+ or the older 48gx. The 48gx and the 32SII are two of my favorites but sadly are no longer in production. I loved the keyboards on them and wonder why it's is so hard to produce a good keyboard. I had a 49g+ and it was replaced once under warranty the keys broke on the second one after it was out of warranty, The 50 has a better keyboard than the 49g+ but I occasionally get a double entry. I have no experience with the 48g+. For my daily work horse I prefer something that can be replaced easily if something happens to it. The 50 was a bit of a learning curve for me because that is when I started programming System RPL. Once I began to understand how to use System RPL to write and compile my own libraries right on the 50, I could make it do what I want, how I want.

CD Dodds
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12-17-2013, 05:34 AM
Post: #7
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
The 48GX and the 48G+ are essentially based on (nearly) the same hardware, except the lacking expansion port of the 48G+ .
Don't mix them with the 49g- (aka "48gII") , which is a stripped-down 49g+ in the case of a 39g+/40g+ ;-)

There's one visible thing the latest production years of the real 48GX/48G+ inherited from their successors: The high contrast LCD:-)
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12-17-2013, 06:07 AM
Post: #8
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
Sorry, I was confusing 48gII with 48g+.

CD Dodds
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12-17-2013, 01:55 PM
Post: #9
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
(12-17-2013 04:12 AM)cdodds Wrote:  Dave, when you say 48 do you mean the 48G+ or the older 48gx. The 48gx and the 32SII are two of my favorites but sadly are no longer in production. I loved the keyboards on them and wonder why it's is so hard to produce a good keyboard. I had a 49g+ and it was replaced once under warranty the keys broke on the second one after it was out of warranty, The 50 has a better keyboard than the 49g+ but I occasionally get a double entry. I have no experience with the 48g+. For my daily work horse I prefer something that can be replaced easily if something happens to it. The 50 was a bit of a learning curve for me because that is when I started programming System RPL. Once I began to understand how to use System RPL to write and compile my own libraries right on the 50, I could make it do what I want, how I want.

I keep a 48SX with a 32KB RAM card on my desk. I also have a 48GX, but the SX feels a bit sturdier, and would also be much less expensive to replace should anything happen to it (in fact I already have a spare that I got in a bundle with some software cards). I installed a small library that implements some of the new G/GX list manipulation features, and I plug in the Equation Library card when I need to do a TVM or MSOLVE. The 200LX comes out when I need to do an amort or something financial.
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12-17-2013, 02:02 PM
Post: #10
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
If you go for the 48G series and want additional storage, consider the 48GX. However, the ROM cards can be super-expensive.

Although the organization of the keyboard of the 48GX is better, the 50G IMO has two big advantages over the 48GX: it is faster and data can be stored on a SD card.

Probably the 50G would be the better bet overall.
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12-18-2013, 09:35 AM
Post: #11
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
Hi,

A have a number of HP48SX & HP48GX calculators & whilst I love their built quality, my daily calculator is a HP50G. As indicated already by others, the speed & convenience through connectivity etc of the HP50G overwhelms the earlier HP48 series. Also, the HP50G is a relative bargain by comparison.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Michael
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12-19-2013, 06:07 PM
Post: #12
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
Perhaps it's because my first HP calculator was an HP48 that leads me to think this particular model had the best case/keyboard design. If only the HP48 had the HP50G's internals (and larger screen).

That said, it's hard to top being able to quickly load a program or backup off a 2GB SD Card.

Graph 3D | QPI | SolveSys
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12-20-2013, 12:20 AM
Post: #13
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
(12-15-2013 11:14 AM)bhtooefr Wrote:  The 48G+ is like a 48GX that you can't expand. So, you have even less options available to you. You can't even run MetaKernel if you wanted, for instance.
But even an 48G+ will be able to run the base components of SpeedUI. And a G/G+/GX with more than 128K total RAM can easily run the full SpeedUI package, or any component combination.

(12-15-2013 11:14 AM)bhtooefr Wrote:  Honestly, if I were getting a calculator to use primarily, I'd go 50g, every time. If I were collecting primarily, then I'd go 48GX over the 48G+.
For me, it's just the opposite: I had a 50g in my collection, but I much prefer the 48GX for actual use for various reasons.
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12-20-2013, 04:45 AM
Post: #14
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
I don't own a 48GX or 48G+, but I do own an early 48SX that I bought new in 1990, that is very similar in terms of display, features, speed and quality and all I can say is that when I bought my 50g 5 years ago I transferred all my RPL programs to it and never looked back. The 50g is truly superior in every imaginable way and the quality is very good. Having an SD card slot makes backup of programs and data very simple as well as firmware updating. In fact, that is one thing I really don't like about the new Prime is its lack of SD card support. The display is much better than the 48 and the processor is much faster. It also has many advanced functions such as matrix eigenvalues and fourier transforms. The lack of USB support in the 48 makes it obsolete, since many modern pc's don't offer direct RS232 port support. About the only thing I don't like about the 50g is it's lack of a good printed manual, and I find myself using the beautifully written spiral bound manuals for my 48SX, since most of the operations are the same.
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12-20-2013, 05:25 AM
Post: #15
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
(12-20-2013 04:45 AM)Michael de Estrada Wrote:  ... About the only thing I don't like about the 50g is it's lack of a good printed manual, and I find myself using the beautifully written spiral bound manuals for my 48SX, since most of the operations are the same.

Have you seen the "Advanced User's Reference Manual" for the 50g? It's excellent, contains tons of useful info not in the 48 manuals, and is available in printed form, although Eric says at the top of this page that "due to the Christmas holiday, no orders will ship until after December 29":

http://commerce.hpcalc.org/50gaur.php

(Moderators: If the above counts as advertising, please delete it. Thanx.)

X<> c
-Joe-
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12-20-2013, 05:44 AM
Post: #16
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
I said "printed" manual. Sure I've scrolled and searched through to AURM pdf, but it's a pain and its index is very incomplete. It's hard to find something if you don't even know what you're looking for in the first place.
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12-20-2013, 10:48 AM
Post: #17
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
IMHO:
HP 48 are real working horses.
HP 50 and its siblings are jokes.
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12-20-2013, 04:06 PM
Post: #18
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
(12-20-2013 10:48 AM)RMollov Wrote:  IMHO:
HP 48 are real working horses.
HP 50 and its siblings are jokes.

So, do you actually own a 50g or one of its siblings, or is this just another case of Sinophobia ?
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12-20-2013, 05:39 PM
Post: #19
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
(12-20-2013 04:45 AM)Michael de Estrada Wrote:  The lack of USB support in the 48 makes it obsolete, since many modern pc's don't offer direct RS232 port support.

You're just supposed to dump your backups over infrared to your 200LX with a CF card! Doesn't everybody do that? Wink
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12-20-2013, 05:55 PM
Post: #20
RE: HP 48G+ over 50G?
(12-20-2013 05:39 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  
(12-20-2013 04:45 AM)Michael de Estrada Wrote:  The lack of USB support in the 48 makes it obsolete, since many modern pc's don't offer direct RS232 port support.

You're just supposed to dump your backups over infrared to your 200LX with a CF card! Doesn't everybody do that? Wink

Haha. Actually, I have several ancient DOS pc's that I connect via RS232 to my HP-48SX to backup/edit/develop programs. The only thing I've ever used the IR for is printing. Since the IR on the 50g is incompatible with the 48, I bought a serial port cable for my 50g to connect to the 48 cable, so I could transfer my 48 programs to my 50g.
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