The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 05

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HP 27S : the new 42S ?
Message #1 Posted by on 28 Mar 2001, 4:42 a.m.

I've allways thought that the ultimate HP calculator was the 42S. Thta's why, even if very expensive, I could understand that some people (including me) would pay $200+ for this calc.

Lately on ebay, the 27S, which is not even a RPN calc, competes with the 42S in prizing !

Isn't that strange ?

Re: HP 27S : the new 42S ?
Message #2 Posted by Ron Ross on 28 Mar 2001, 8:26 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by

Not at all. I feel these two calculators were the best that Hp ever sold. I like the power and capabilities of the 42 more than the 27. But I would probably take the 27 over anything else even if I had to switch to algebraic. Reasons: Has all the scientific functions a scientific should have. Has almost 7 K RAM that you can just type in equations as you see in a book and use solve. It also has a clock and date arithmetic (something I wish the 42 had).

The Hp solve is the easiest to use. Most people can just pick this calc up and make use of 80% of its capabilities. No other Hp is as easy to learn and use.

The downside of course is that Hp did not make this calc RPN/algebraic selectable. It doesn't have any matrix capabilities(great for linear eq.), but then again this calculator was aimed at the managerial level and not targeted to the technical engineer.

I was hopeful that it would not become such an item. My wife use's this calc & I bought her 1 spare. She has used a few others but has always returned to the 27.

Me?, I use a 48g, but only because they are almost the cheapest calc available in RPN. Also the multitudes of features and conversions is almost like a desk reference. My 42 stays home and safe. If I lost the 48, I would bring in another.

Re: HP 27S : the new 42S ?
Message #3 Posted by D. Banks on 28 Mar 2001, 9:30 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Ron Ross

I think the 27S is just a bang-up calculator with two basic flaws. Still, I remember the heady days of buying one new (brought home from the Harvard Coop in a bag with 3 other new HPs including the pre-RPN HP-17B).

Two flaws?

1) Not RPN 2) Algebraic, but with the same old postfix functions, which is what always ruined algebraic input as far as I was concerned.

Otherwise, a very nice "do all" calculator that was very comfortable to use. I agree with others: if it weren't for the 42S, this would have probably become my primary calc.

It really bugs me that HP killed off all its scientific models with the 2-line LCD. That alone is what prevents me from warming up to the 32S or 32Sii.

Re: HP 27S : the new 42S ?
Message #4 Posted by Tom (UK) on 29 Mar 2001, 12:30 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by D. Banks

It supprises me that companies (including HP) forget that users want products with the _right_ level of features. The HP41/42/27/12 probably hit the spot for their targetted markets.

Now HP seem to be pushing engineers onto the HP48/49 instead of offering a model between the HP32 and 48 (EG the HP42). (The HP38/39/40 seem to be for the educational market)

Although the HP48 is a fine machine, I find it far too intimidating and over complex for simple tasks. The HP32Sii is also good (very similar to the HP67 and HP11/15) but is a bit under powered for day to day use.

Perhaps HP or someone more expert than me could write some code to make the HP48 or HP49 act like an HP42S. Including key stroke programming. (The HP48 would be slightly better as it can take keyboard overlays). I would be happy to pay for such a program.

Unfortunatly I came to the HP fold late - after the HP42 was withdrawn :-( before this I was a casio kid.

Re: HP 27S : the new 42S ?
Message #5 Posted by D. Banks on 29 Mar 2001, 2:17 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Tom (UK)

The thing that would make a 42S emulator for a 48 sort of moot for me is form factor. One of the biggest wins of the 42S is that they manage to fit so much in such a comfortably compact package.

Yeah, I can do more of everything on the 48, but it's like carrying around a canoe oar. The 42S is just so much more practical.

Re: HP 27S : the new 42S ?
Message #6 Posted by Dan M on 29 Mar 2001, 7:40 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by D. Banks

Yeah, and if "they" could figure out a way to make a Palm Pilot program out of it, then I could carry around one less electronic gadget, comfortably compact or not!

Canoe oar, indeed! That's a great mental image, because it's true!


Re: HP 27S : the new 42S ?
Message #7 Posted by Tom (UK) on 30 Mar 2001, 2:41 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by D. Banks

Yes I agree - it's big, heavy and the battery consumption is high compared to the older stuff (several sets of batterys a year rather than several years per battery set) _but_ an HP42S emulator would give those wanting an engineer's calculator (rather than a programmer's calculator) something to use.

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