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Buyers remorse of HP 48
06-24-2020, 03:10 AM
Post: #1
Buyers remorse of HP 48
Hi,
I'm relatively new to HP calculators and had bought an HP 48S due to the appeal of having more than a 4 level stack (I'm probably not going to end up using the graphing features of it tbh), but when I received it today, it feels VERY sluggish compared to something like my father's HP 15C (bad comparison I know but that feels much better to use).

Should I sell it and buy an HP 35S instead?
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06-24-2020, 05:54 AM
Post: #2
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
Hello,

How about a 48GII+. Will work nearly identically, but be much much faster.

35S will be fast, but has nowhere near the capabilities of the 48 series..

Cyrille

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own. I do not speak for HP.
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06-24-2020, 06:17 AM
Post: #3
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
(06-24-2020 03:10 AM)Potato Wrote:  Hi,
I'm relatively new to HP calculators and had bought an HP 48S due to the appeal of having more than a 4 level stack (I'm probably not going to end up using the graphing features of it tbh), but when I received it today, it feels VERY sluggish compared to something like my father's HP 15C (bad comparison I know but that feels much better to use).

Should I sell it and buy an HP 35S instead?

I love my HP-48SX but it is somewhat sluggish for a calculator and its display has very low contrast. It does so much that it really pushes its 30 year old Saturn processor to its limits, especially when using the Equation Writer. You should see how you like using RPL with its unlimited stack and structured programming language compared to RPN used on traditional HP calculators. If you really like it you might consider getting a used HP 50G which is more recent, is much faster and has a much better display. There is also the HP Prime which has a color touch screen, has a powerful CAS, is super fast and has a form of RPN with an unlimited stack. It has its own programming language which is different than RPL.

The HP35S is a very different beast. It is an RPN model with an optional algebraic mode and a really nice numeric solver. All of these models (and more) are available in emulation so you can try them for free.
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06-24-2020, 07:10 AM
Post: #4
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
My 2 cents:

The 35S, like other RPN models, has a 4 level stack dedicated to calculations.
The RPL models (28, 48, 49, 50) have an unlimited stack dedicated to calculations but also temporary storage. You can let any object on the stack without time or stack limit, and use other objects for new calculations.
The 48S(X) is really slow, as Cyrille said the 48GII+ has a good reputation, and also the 50G of course.
HP Prime is another approach, that I really like because it is (very very) fast, thin, and still supported by HP (even G1 models, but you should consider a G2 if you buy one). But it is absolutely not a RPL calculator, even if its RPN option has unlimited stack. I was born in RPN/RPL but I don't often use the RPN entry mode of the Prime.
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06-24-2020, 12:33 PM
Post: #5
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
The 48S certainly won't FEEL fast, largely because there's a lot of code powering the sophisticated object system, and the more complicated stack display and user interface. But if you compare the n-queens benchmark:

https://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap...i?read=700

...you'll notice that the 48S runs a UserRPL n-queens in 00:01:19, whereas the 15C (one of the slowest programmable calculators HP ever made) takes 01:19:10, roughly 60 times as long. The 15C feels faster, largely because its input handling, stack handling, and data types (real numbers, matrix descriptors, optional complex stack) are all so much simpler.

So while the 48S won't feel as fast, largely because of longer pauses in responding to commands and updating the display, it's overall much faster under the hood. And the keyboard input is buffered, so you can happily type ahead of the calculator, and it will catch up just fine. Given the inconsistency of the typical user's typing speed, chances are it will keep pace with you. Where you'll feel it the worst are applications like the matrix writer or equation writer that are more dependent on seeing step-by-step visual feedback from the calculator with each keystroke.

Try it out for a bit, and if you're still having trouble warming up to it, consider getting a 48G instead. The CPU in those is twice as fast, and while this doesn't quite result in a 2x speed increase, the difference is still very significant. It also comes with a lot of other nice benefits, like a better equation writer, built in Solve/Equation Library, more powerful list processing, etc.
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06-24-2020, 03:27 PM
Post: #6
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
Something that I should’ve put in my original post that the only reason why I gravitated to the 48s was purely because I could see the stack and it was more than 4 level. I doubt I could see myself seeing the more advanced features of it. I really only need a scientific calculator with some base conversions as well as logical operations (comp sci student here Smile ) and needs to be RPN of course Smile . So something like a 35s doesn’t have the entire stack displayed and is only 4 level, I’d gladly take that over the 48s if it means gaining a much snappier interface.
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06-24-2020, 05:42 PM (This post was last modified: 06-24-2020 05:43 PM by SammysHP.)
Post: #7
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
Get a used 50g. Much better for daily use, faster, far better display, feels more sturdy, SD card, USB. Got mine for 60 € and worth every cent.
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06-24-2020, 06:03 PM
Post: #8
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
These questions can narrow down your choices & aid in your decision.
  • Do you like how base conversions work on you HP 48S?
  • Do you like how base conversions work on the HP 35s? Use the emulator & read the user's guide to figure this out

I recommend the HP-42S. Although expensive, it has a 2-level display when it is not displaying a menu & it does base conversions (in my opinion) better than the 35s & 48 series.
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06-24-2020, 06:41 PM (This post was last modified: 06-24-2020 06:43 PM by Massimo Gnerucci.)
Post: #9
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
(06-24-2020 06:03 PM)Carsen Wrote:  These questions can narrow down your choices & aid in your decision.
  • Do you like how base conversions work on you HP 48S?
  • Do you like how base conversions work on the HP 35s? Use the emulator & read the user's guide to figure this out

I recommend the HP-42S. Although expensive, it has a 2-level display when it is not displaying a menu & it does base conversions (in my opinion) better than the 35s & 48 series.

Better a DM42 then: 4+ stack levels visible on (gorgeous) screen, many times faster, available for sale, USB, onboard memory...

Greetings,
    Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
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06-25-2020, 02:48 AM
Post: #10
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
(06-24-2020 03:10 AM)Potato Wrote:  Hi,
I'm relatively new to HP calculators and had bought an HP 48S due to the appeal of having more than a 4 level stack (I'm probably not going to end up using the graphing features of it tbh), but when I received it today, it feels VERY sluggish compared to something like my father's HP 15C (bad comparison I know but that feels much better to use).

Should I sell it and buy an HP 35S instead?

Pick up a 48G/GX/G+. I have a 48SX and i feel like my hands are tied behind my back compared to my 48G series calcs.

HP48GX user learning the HP42s and DM42.
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06-25-2020, 03:33 AM
Post: #11
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
(06-24-2020 06:17 AM)Steve Simpkin Wrote:  ... There is also the HP Prime which has ... a form of RPN with an unlimited stack.

(06-24-2020 07:10 AM)pinkman Wrote:  ... HP Prime is another approach ... its RPN option has unlimited stack.

Just to prevent a possible disappointment, please note that Prime's RPN stack is not "unlimited", but has a hard-coded maximum DEPTH of 128 objects, regardless of available memory. When DEPTH is 128 and a new object is pushed into level 1 of the stack, level 128 gets pushed off the top and is lost. This is very different from stack behavior in the RPL models.

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06-25-2020, 06:56 AM
Post: #12
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
(06-25-2020 03:33 AM)Joe Horn Wrote:  
(06-24-2020 06:17 AM)Steve Simpkin Wrote:  ... There is also the HP Prime which has ... a form of RPN with an unlimited stack.

(06-24-2020 07:10 AM)pinkman Wrote:  ... HP Prime is another approach ... its RPN option has unlimited stack.

Just to prevent a possible disappointment, please note that Prime's RPN stack is not "unlimited", but has a hard-coded maximum DEPTH of 128 objects, regardless of available memory. When DEPTH is 128 and a new object is pushed into level 1 of the stack, level 128 gets pushed off the top and is lost. This is very different from stack behavior in the RPL models.

I did not know that. Good to know. That should be plenty. After all, "640K ought to be enough for anybody."
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06-25-2020, 10:19 AM
Post: #13
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
Did not know either, and did not find any info in the documentation.
Thanks!

- - -
Thibault - not collector but in love with the few HP models I own
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06-27-2020, 12:11 AM
Post: #14
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
For some reason, I have always avoided graphing calcs. Not sure why. Perhaps I just like sketching things on paper next to my calculator. Maybe if I get a 50g I'll finally get converted?
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06-27-2020, 01:35 AM
Post: #15
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
(06-27-2020 12:11 AM)Trond Wrote:  For some reason, I have always avoided graphing calcs. Not sure why. Perhaps I just like sketching things on paper next to my calculator. Maybe if I get a 50g I'll finally get converted?

I prefer the 48G/50G for the stack operation (RPL), conversions, libraries, etc. I never used mine to graph.

HP48GX user learning the HP42s and DM42.
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06-27-2020, 02:13 PM
Post: #16
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
The 49, 50, and Prime have CAS, large integers limited only by memory*, and advanced operations for linear algebra and number theory. I never use them for graphing either.

* Arbitrarily limited to 10000 digits on the Prime.
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06-27-2020, 02:33 PM
Post: #17
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
(06-24-2020 03:27 PM)Potato Wrote:  Something that I should’ve put in my original post that the only reason why I gravitated to the 48s was purely because I could see the stack and it was more than 4 level. I doubt I could see myself seeing the more advanced features of it. I really only need a scientific calculator with some base conversions as well as logical operations (comp sci student here Smile ) and needs to be RPN of course Smile . So something like a 35s doesn’t have the entire stack displayed and is only 4 level, I’d gladly take that over the 48s if it means gaining a much snappier interface.

Hi Patato,

I think so if you have some programs from your daddy's HP15C, you'll be happy with a HP35s.
It was my case and it's quite easy to adapt programs from the 15C to the 35s (it lacks some functions like "f FIX I" on the 35s, but it's not really important).

I'm daily using the HP35s and I'm happy with its wide memory space and the equation mode (please note: only a letter for variable names A ... Z). And it manages 2 index registers I and J for indirect operations by (I) and (J). But, there is no built-in matrix functions !

The 2 lines display are very practical and are sufficient for my current use.
The usual RPN stack (4 + 1 LST X) is also quite effective for me.

Then (it is important to say it with the new HP generations of calculators) the keyboard of this HP35s is not unpleasant and allows all the same a rather fast typing.

Finally, the other advantage that I see at the HP35s is that it is still on sale from HP or its resellers at a fair price.
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06-27-2020, 02:53 PM
Post: #18
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
Keep in mind that the 35S is not an especially great choice for computer science. When entering numbers in bases other than decimal, you always have to add a base suffix (b, h, o), even if the calculator is set to a non-decimal base. That makes it worse than the 48S/G in my opinion, where at least it's a consistent # prefix for integers in any base.

If you're willing to sacrifice RPN (and that's a very big 'if', I realize), then the Casio fx-5800P is worth looking at. The Base-n mode handles 32-bit integers in either signed (2's complement) or unsigned modes, with binary numbers displayed as two lines of 16 characters for easy reading with no scrolling. You have unshifted access to the four bases, and it has all the usual logical operators. It does not have shift/rotate/mask operations, but these could be programmed. Plus it does all the other things you'd expect of a good scientific calculator: matrices, complex numbers, 2-variable stats and regressions, and so on.

I find it very nice for programming scientific calculations, as it has a special variation of the input command ('?' on a Casio) which prompts you with the existing value of the variable, and you can simply hit EXE to reuse the current value. It's kind of like the INPUT command on a 32S or 42S. Very handy when you have a program that requires several inputs, and you want to run it a few times with slightly different values.
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06-27-2020, 09:58 PM (This post was last modified: 06-27-2020 10:13 PM by edryer.)
Post: #19
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
Disclaimer: I am currently attempting a Maths degree in my forties, I know I shouldn't be using a calculator....

I do a lot of Linear Algebra and Multivariate calculus (symbolically) - for that the 35 is useless (and the 15C excellent apart from obviously the symbolic aspect), the 48 S/SX are slow, but worse still is the display contrast (although you'd never believe that viewing the promo material around at the time!). It is however a West Coast color style beauty ))) Best looking HP there is!

If you are doing College level Math best bet in my opinion is a 50G, or a TI-89 Titanium if algebraic entry inclined (a fine calculator as well), both have extensive functionality, I own both and they are pretty well equal Math/Stats functions wise, possibly the 50G has a slight edge but very difficult really to say. Actually the 50G has so many ways to skin a cat it is unbelievably flexible.

Forget about dismissing graphing as an option- having that real estate on the screen when using the stack is pretty sweet, and a great benefit, also to view equations... I never use graphing but use the 50G/TI-89 to view symbolic results and Matrices as well as tables (stats)... also of course you can't get a small LCD graphing calculator (unless you think back to pre-48s devices the 28C/28S).

Also one-liners usually don't have advanced functionality (Eigen functions for example) that you see with very few calculators (think 50G/TI-89/possibly Prime) nor Symbolic manipulation.

My advice:
Core Math - 35S
Symbolic Math/Vector/Matrix/Stats Work - 50G (or TI-89 Titanium but font size is fixed and tiny) <-- the two best Maths oriented Calculators on the planet )))

Others to consider: 48G/48GX (esp. Black Display) or even the Prime (ughhh).

HP-28S (1988 US model), Sharp EL 9900 (2000), Casio FX-992S (1995)
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Yesterday, 09:17 PM
Post: #20
RE: Buyers remorse of HP 48
(06-27-2020 02:53 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I find it very nice for programming scientific calculations, as it has a special variation of the input command ('?' on a Casio) which prompts you with the existing value of the variable, and you can simply hit EXE to reuse the current value. It's kind of like the INPUT command on a 32S or 42S. Very handy when you have a program that requires several inputs, and you want to run it a few times with slightly different values.

The 35s does this with its INPUT command. It displays the existing value of the variable and you can either change it or leave it alone before pressing R/S to continue.

If your program is just solving for a single variable in an equation, there's a way to make that more convenient to use. Here's an example program using the TVM equation:
Code:
LBL T
SF 11
0+P-F*((1+I)^(-N))-A*((((1+I)^N)-1)/(((1+I)^N)*I))=0
RTN

From the main screen, press FN= followed by T.

To use the program, on the main screen just press SOLVE followed by the variable you want to solve for. Similar to using the solver from the equation list, the solver will prompt for values for all the other variables and with each you can either enter in a new value followed by R/S or just press R/S to accept the existing value.

This was really helpful during my engineering economics course where the same few equations were used repeatedly.
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