|First Impression of HP 35s|
Message #1 Posted by DavidB on 7 Oct 2007, 1:37 a.m.
I've been visiting HP Museum for about a year now. I enjoy this site because I have been using HP calculators for about 22 years. For the past week, I have been thinking a lot about HP calculators - mainly because of the 35s. Here is my 1st impression of the new calculator from HP.
When I found out about the new HP 35s, I knew I had to get one, even though my HP 32sII works just fine. My first HP calculator was the HP 15C, built like a tank and very practical in use. It was the best engineering calculator in the 80's. However, I lost that calculator many years ago.
Although I missed the HP party in San Diego, CA, I purchased the 35s as a sort of "thank you HP" for several reliable, high quality precision tools that they had created through the years. I just received the 35s this week. The key layout reminds me of the older C series calculators and is a positive improvement over the cluttered 32sII key layout. If there is one change I could make on the keyboard layout, it would be to have a separate STO key. To my eyes, the annunciators seem a bit too small on the display. Also, the 35s LCD screen has more reflections than the screen on my 32sII; with indoor lighting, it is more difficult to see the numbers on the 35s.
I'm not sure how to benchmark calculators; however, during some calculations, such as nCr (n=800, r=400), my 32sII found the result faster than the 35s. Other times, such as integration of the bessel function with x=2, the 35s was slightly faster. Again, these were subjective tests, nothing scientific about them.
I doubt I will use the 35s to its full capability (i.e. programmable features), unless I catch the RPN programming bug. Despite my display preferences, I hope the 35s sells well and will encourage HP to design future calculators with the same user-centered design approach and reliability that they have been famous for.
The 35s is a well thought out machine. I like the case that is supplied with it. The manual appears thorough (similar to the 32sII manual) and contains some errors in grammar and details. I wished HP had provided an electronic copy of the manual on the "bonus" CD video. Perhaps it will be available on the HP website.
The last time I was excited about a calculator was when I purchased a 15C in 1985. I'm glad I purchased this new 35s and am looking forward to future scientific/engineering RPN calculators from HP.
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
Edited: 7 Oct 2007, 1:56 p.m. after one or more responses were posted