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NumWorks open source calculator
07-10-2018, 05:30 PM
Post: #68
RE: NumWorks open source calculator
(07-10-2018 12:59 PM)Eddie W. Shore Wrote:  For those of you that have a NumWorks calculator, is it worth the price?

I'm not really the right person to answer this question since I bought the NumWorks on a whim when it was released just to tinker with it and I've had way too much fun doing it, but I'll try. I also happen to have a HP Prime to compare to.

Hardware-wise from a consumer's perspective, it's one of the fastest graphing calculator out there (I ran some benchmarks with my NumWorks port on the HP Prime and they're basically the same*). The case is sturdy, the screen is bright but colors are a bit washed off. The keyboard is... usable, but it's certainly no HP (I think it's not as good as my old TI-82 either).

Software-wise from a consumer's perspective, it has come a LONG way since last year (natural writing, equation solver, Python scripts transfer, exact math engine and too many other things to list) with regular official updates at most two months apart. Feature-wise it's perfect for high-school but it is lacking for engineering/programming/financial/university workloads. Lack of integration between applications is a real bummer, you can only transfer Python programs and their size are limited at 4 KiB total.

From a technical perspective, the only real sore points are the RAM (256 KiB) and Flash (1 MiB) capacity. It's certainly enough for high-school, but adding Giac (which people did manage to do) requires soldering a SPI Flash chip. Increasing the RAM means changing the SoC, which is doable but not for the faint of the heart. Otherwise it's fairly boring hardware, which is a very good thing. The pricing war in France makes the Casio 90+E technically a better deal for the price hardware-wise but only because NumWorks made them drop their price in the first place. The source code is nice, stable and modern but it's still a very young firmware when compared to the competition.

From a tinkerer's perspective, it's THE dream calculator. It is thoroughly documented, hardware mods are a breeze, debugging is as easy as on a PC with a STlink, the source code for the entire firmware is available and you can customize/add features to your heart's content.

In short... for it's intended target (high-school) it's pretty much spot-on as with tinkerers. Professionals and HP hardcore fans like my father will still cling to their beloved HP-42S or the HP-35s until their death, but you can turn it into the calculator of your dreams if you truly want to. The NumWorks team has so far an update schedule, improvement speed and reactivity that would make any HP Prime user drool. It is still very young, but has lots of potential and room to grow, especially if a more powerful model targeted at university comes out in a couple of years.

I'll gladly answer if you have more specific questions (I'm one of the most hardcore NumWorks tinkerers out there) and you can also ask the NumWorks team or community directly on the Reddit forum ( Also check out the online simulator ( to get a feel of the firmware.

* Well, technically my HP Prime port uses software floating point and does not take advantage of the FPU in the S3C2416, but raw integer performance is mostly tied.
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Messages In This Thread
NumWorks open source calculator - BobVA - 08-28-2017, 10:33 PM
RE: NumWorks open source calculator - Dan - 08-29-2017, 02:37 AM
NumWorks User manual!!!!!!!!!! - Namir - 09-06-2017, 08:10 PM
RE: NumWorks open source calculator - JDW - 07-07-2018, 10:30 PM
RE: NumWorks open source calculator - JDW - 07-08-2018, 12:55 PM
RE: NumWorks open source calculator - JDW - 07-09-2018, 12:03 AM
RE: NumWorks open source calculator - JDW - 07-10-2018, 12:04 AM
RE: NumWorks open source calculator - Jean-Baptiste Boric - 07-10-2018 05:30 PM
RE: NumWorks open source calculator - JDW - 07-15-2018, 01:11 PM
RE: NumWorks open source calculator - JDW - 07-12-2018, 12:03 AM
RE: NumWorks open source calculator - JDW - 07-14-2018, 01:41 PM

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