The Museum of HP Calculators

Calculator Comparison

Features in optional ROMs are listed as Option.
Features in HP mag card or tape Application Pacs are listed as +.
Other software is not included.

Display and Keyboard HP-32S HP-42S
Display type LCD LCD
Display format 1 Line 2 Line
FIXed number format Yes Yes
SCIentific number format Yes Yes
ENGineering number format Yes Yes
STanDard / ALL number format Yes Yes
Alpha messages and prompts Yes Yes
Softkeys labeled by mag. card or overlay - -
Softkeys labeled by display menus Yes Yes
Softkeys with neither labeling system - -
Status annunciators Yes Yes
Redefinable keyboard - Yes
     
Logic HP-32S HP-42S
Logic system RPN RPN
Stack levels 4 4
Last x Yes Yes
Undo - -
Precedence - -
Parentheses - -
Storage Addition (STO +) Yes Yes
Storage Arithmetic (STO +, -, ×, ÷) Yes Yes
Storage Exponentiation (STO ^) - -
Recall Arithmetic Yes Yes
Named variables Yes Yes*
Multiple data types - Yes*
Directories - -
     
Math HP-32S HP-42S
+, -, ×, ÷ Yes  Yes 
1/x Yes Yes
sq. root Yes Yes
x2 Yes Yes
LOG x Yes Yes
10x Yes Yes
LN x Yes Yes
ex Yes Yes
yx Yes Yes
pi Yes Yes
% Yes Yes
% change Yes Yes
INTeger truncation and ABSolute value Yes Yes
Trigonometric functions (SIN, COS etc.) Yes Yes
Hyperbolic trig. (SINH, COSH etc.) Yes Yes
# of trig. modes (degrees, radians, grads) 3 3
     
Advanced Math HP-32S HP-42S
Solver / root finder Yes Yes
Numeric integration Yes Yes
Complex numbers Yes Yes
Matrix operations - Yes
Matrix writer - -
Equation writer - -
Symbolic operations - -
Fractions - -
Plotting and graphics (display) - Yes
Plotting and graphics (printer / plotter) - Option
     
Statistical HP-32S HP-42S
Mean, standard deviation (# of variables) 2 2
Summation of n, x, x2 Yes Yes
Summation of n, x, x2, y Yes Yes
Summation of n, x, x2, y, xy Yes Yes
Summation of n, x, x2, y, y2, xy Yes Yes*
Summation of lists - -
Random number generator Yes Yes
Linear regression, estimate  Yes Yes
Curve fitting - Yes
Correlation coefficient Yes Yes
Normal distribution - -
Factorial Yes Yes
Gamma Yes Yes
Combinations and permutations Yes Yes
     
Scientific and Time

HP-32S

HP-42S

Polar / rectangular conversions Yes Yes
Base conversions (2, 8, 10, 16) Yes Yes
Arithmetic in bases 2, 8 and 16 Yes Yes
Bit operations (AND, OR, XOR, ...) - Yes
Selectable word size (1-64 bits) - -
Selectable complement mode (1's, 2's, unsigned) - -
Decimal hrs / hrs.min.sec. conversions Yes Yes
Hrs.min.sec arithmetic - Yes
Time of day clock - -
Timer - -
Dynamic calculations (timer × rate) - -
Alarms - -
     
Unit Conversions

HP-32S

HP-42S

Centimeters / inches - -
Millimeters / inches - -
Meters / feet - -
Kilograms / pounds (mass) - -
Newtons / pounds (force) - -
British thermal units / joules - -
Liters / gallons - -
° Celsius / ° Fahrenheit - -
Other - -
User-defined units - -
     
Time Value of Money HP-32S HP-42S
Number of payments (n) - -
Interest rate (i) - -
Present Value (PV) - -
Payment (PMT) - -
Future Value (FV) - -
     
Cash Flow Analysis HP-32S HP-42S
Net present value (NPV) - -
Internal rate of return (IRR) - -
     
Amortization HP-32S HP-42S
Accumulated Interest (ACC INT) - -
Balance (BAL) - -
     
Depreciation HP-32S HP-42S
Straight line (SL) - -
Sum of the years digits (SOYD) - -
Declining balance (DB) - -
     
Bonds and calendar functions HP-32S HP-42S
Bond price - -
Bond yield - -
Date arithmetic / calendar functions - -
     
Memory and Programming HP-32S HP-42S
Programming language(s) RPN RPN
RAM / Max # of variables or addressable registers 26 7200 bytes /
895 registers
Max # of program steps 260 7200*
RAM / Max vars or regs with full optional RAM - -
Max # of prog steps with full optional RAM - -
Merged program steps 

Yes

Yes

Manual register / program memory allocation  - Yes
Automatic register / program memory allocation

Yes

-

Overlapped register and program memory - -
Continuous memory

Yes

Yes

Flags 7 100
Conditional tests 8 12
Subroutine levels 7 8
Indexed looping (increment by +/- 1, end at 0) Yes Yes
Indexed looping (choice of increment and end) Yes Yes
Multiple index / loop registers Yes Yes
Line number addressing - -
Branching by relative line number - -
Global program label addressing Yes Yes
Local program label addressing - Yes
Indirect / computed addressing and control Yes Yes
Multiple indirection registers - Yes
Pause Yes Yes
Alpha messages and prompts in programs Limited* Yes
Alpha program listings - Yes
Alpha string manipulation - Yes
Program step insert / delete Yes Yes
     
I/O and Expansion Features HP-32S HP-42S
ROM modules - -
RAM modules or expansion option - -
General expansion slots / connector - -
Magnetic card reader/writer - -
Tape drive - -
Disk drive - -
Upgradeable firmware - -
Optical wand - -
Serial port - -
Infrared input - -
Infrared output - Yes
Printer - Option
Networking - -
Other - -
     
General HP-32S HP-42S
Sounds - Yes
Self test Yes Yes
Hard case (in addition to soft case) - -
Additional Features - -
Batteries 3 SR 44 3 SR 44
Length (inches) 5.85" 5.85"
Width 3.15" 3.15"
Height 0.6" 0.6"
Weight (oz or lbs) 5 oz 5 oz
Year of introduction 1988 1988

Features in optional ROMs are listed as Option.
Features in HP mag card or tape Application Pacs are listed as +.
Other software is not included.

Unlim means limited only by available memory.

HP-32S notes:
  • The Input statement could be used to stop the program and indicate which variable was to be entered. For example INPUT X would display X? followed by the current value of X. A new value could then be entered.
  • To start the self test, with the calculator on, press and hold the yx key and press the ON/C key. Pressing any key will step through a series of tests (including printing a copyright) until you see KBD 01. Then you must press each key from the upper left from left to right and then down until you see 32S OK If there is a problem, you will see a FAIL message. To exit the test, at any point, press and hold the LN key and then press the ON/C key. A continuous test (minus the keyboard test) can be started by holding 1/x and pressing ON/C. Exit this test in the same way as the individual test.
HP-42S notes:
  • Named variables AND numbered registers.
  • Manual presented basic Time Value of Money formula as an example of using the Solver.
  • Besides n, x, x2, y, y2, xy, the calculator also summed: ln x, (ln x)^2, ln y, (ln y)^2, ln x × ln y, x ln y, and y ln x
  • Data types were real, complex, string and alpha. Any type could be stored in the stack or in a variable, but only single numbers could be stored in numeric registers and you had to convert all registers to complex to store a complex number in any register.
  • Maximum number of program lines assumes no registers and only single byte instructions.
  • To start the self test, with the calculator on, press and hold the LOG key and press the ON/EXIT key. Pressing the + key will step through a series of tests (including printing a copyright) until you see KBD. Then you must press each key from the upper left from left to right and then down until you see KBD OK. Pressing + will show OK-42S-E. If there is a problem, you will see a FAIL message. To exit the test, at any point, press and hold the square root key and then press the ON/EXIT key. Instead of stepping through the general tests, you can start some specific self tests after pressing LOG+ON/EXIT by pressing
    • SUM+: Speed
    • 1/x: Beep
    • square root: DISP
    • LOG :ROM
    • LN: DRAM
    • XEQ: URAM
    • RCL: ESD (electro-static discharge test?)
    • STO: KBD
    • Roll down: Displays the OK message
  • A continuous test (minus the keyboard test) can be started by holding 1/x and pressing ON/EXIT. Exit this test in the same way as the individual test.

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