HP HP48GX RPN Expandable Graphic Calculator
Item Name: HP 48GX (128KB) graphing calculator – used. Cosmetic Condition: Good Perfect Working Condition HP 48GX Expandable RPN Graphing Calculator with two expansion card slots This item has been discontinued by the manufacturer. We have a limited number of used calculators available at the price listed on this page; once they are gone we'll likely stop carrying this model. These used units have been verified by us to be in good condition and in working order. Includes cable and batteries. Does not include: Manuals or manufacturer warranty. Returns will not be accepted for this item, but we will repair or replace defective units for an extended period of 60 days.
- Over 2,300 functions including over 300 for scientific and engineering applications
- Built-in equation library with over 300 formulas and constants
- 2-way infrared communication, RS-232C serial port; supports optional printer
- 128 KB memory; 2 card ports for expandable RAM and ROM
- 2-D and 3-D graphing capabilities
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 3.2 x 7.1 inches ; 1 pounds
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
- Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
- ASIN: B00004TFKZ
- Item model number: HP48GX
- Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
- Date first available at Amazon.com: May 9, 2000
PERFECT COMPANION FOR BOTH ENGINEERS AND SERIOUS STUDENTS
The Mercedes Benz of Calculators
One can enter a formula in algebraic notation and the calculator can solve for one of the variables in symbolic and/or numeric form (if all the other vales are specified). The keystroke error recovery facility is superb. A couple of days with this calculator and most people cannot go back to their old ‘Algebraic Operating System’ calculators, with its cumbersome parenthesis, without making a mistake.
There is not enough space here to praise this calculator to the extent that it deserves. Over the years with all the students and professionals I’ve had contact with, I know of no one who has ever regretted purchasing this calculator except for the fact that they realized that they waisted money on purchasing their AOS calculators.
The best calculator in the world
HP48GX – Highly capable, reliable, robust!
On the hardware side, the unit is very well made and robust; casual knocks and bumps won’t worry it. Keys have a positive feel, the display has good contrast and uses legible fonts. If you need things to work reliably under rather non-standard conditions (as I do), I’m happy to say that my HP has performed reliably in sub-zero temperatures and at altitudes of up to 14,000 feet for weeks on end, without a glitch.
A tip: if you are not upgrading from an earlier HP calculator, I would advise you to pick up ‘The HP48G/GX Pocket Guide’ by Chris Coffin and Thomas Dick (ISBN: 0-931011-45-0) as a companion to this machine. It fits in the calculator soft-case and has *a lot* of useful information on the plethora of functions available.
Highly recommended – especially at the discounted price.
Stack is different. This required learning
With RPN, there is very rarely any need for a named variable and it only took me about an hour to start using this calculator for fairly complex EE homework. One of the things I noticed about RPN fairly quickly is that if you’re doing complex calculations, you’ll often build up intermediate values and then bring the intermediate values together at the end. My study-buddies were always writing down their intermediate values, I just left them on the stack while I did the other calculations. More often than not, those previously calculated values were exactly where I needed them when I needed them later. Everyone else was punching back in the values that they had previously written down (with the possibility of error on each transcription) or trying to remember which variable they had stored them in.
I don’t mean to ding the TI approach, I used to work at TI and I think they make a great product. I simply think that the HP has a subtly better philosophy of calculation and a massively better keyboard in the 48s/sx/g/sx line of calculators.
I carry this thing almost everywhere
Top of the line (but an older, slower unit), fantastic HP calculator
1) The Hp48GX has all the standard regular features plus CAS (Computer Algebra System) features that we have come to expect on such a machine, plus many nice very detailed and topic as well as course specific APPS that are already preloaded or can be added in electronically and quite simply from the HP or HPcalc or other websites.
2) It even works quite naturally with complex number solutions of equations (it can be switched from a real to a complex operating mode and even back again as desired). This machine is so versatile however that it will even evaluate symbolic matrices and it even evaluate the physical units of extremely complex equations as well as its numerical answer(s) (see more discusssion on this topic below).
3) This machine itself is relatively slow compared to the HP50g for example, but still comes with a graphical interface and resultant plotting system. The resultant plots are high quality and are very intuitive for the learning process.
4) It has a nice old style rectangular body design (similar to the Casio FX-2.0 or FX-2.0Plus) that sits very nicely both on a desk or a table as well as in your hand.
5) It has a large on-board main memory (by 1992 standards) that can be readily expanded and that is enough for tackling some memory intensive problems.
6) Although it is called a calculator, it is really a small, handheld computer system which can tackle problems from the most simple to ones with quite complex features.
7) The famous RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) operating system is available to the user.
8) The complete set of the predicted units of the solution of a complicated equation (or set of equations) can be determined independently of and simultaneously with its numerical answer(s). This is a feature that I do not know of on any other calculator system (except the later HP49 and HP50 series).
9) As on all such HP RPN models, a very fine self-test system is available to make sure your machine is fully functional all the time and a reliable clock (with seconds) is also continuously available.
1) Some functions that you would readily expect to be available with a single key press require instead at least two key presses, but usually with only a single shift key press first.
2) The learning curve is quite steep, although very well worth the considerable effort, but this will heavily deter some good students from learning the RPN skills that can be effectively used for your entire lifetime once they are successfully mastered.
A great tool for engineers! (Too bad for the lousy manual)
The only flaw that I noticed: The user’s guide is quite poor regarding the programming capabilities of this excellent calculator…. I have to program and solve the formulas one by one and then relate the results that I get to other formulas, instead of performing a single program that will take to the answer that I’m looking for… Don’t get me wrong on this: The HP48GX can perform programs, what I mean is that, based on the user’s guide, I have no idea on how to do this…..
If the guys at HP deliver the HP48GX with an user’s guide that includes advanced programming, we have a 6-star device, way ahead of other calculators.
HP48 Review – For Electrical/electronic engineering
Although expensive, value for money is very good given the quality, performance and longevity on offer.
Plus points – RPN logic; wonderful tactile keys; display – especially display of the ‘stack’ which holds intermediate results when evaluating a long formula; equation solver and associated graphing; ease of ‘everyday’ programming; matrix entry tool; complex number, vector and matrix math are as easy as real number math with no special ‘modes’ to set; numerical integration of functions; analytic solution of integrals and differentials; directory structured memory for user programs, functions and data; user definable ‘soft keys'; PC connection for backup & programming. The solid construction – mine works very hard and is still as good as new.
Negative points. Graphic functions and especially the graphical equation editor can be slow. More complex programming needs study of the programming language and the manual open beside you – but is very powerful. Bit bulky for field trips (I have a shirt pocket HP-11 for that – discontinued now I think). My version of PC software is a bit clunky, but current offering might have a much newer version
It uses RPN, which I prefer, as it is logical and efficient – but it does take a little learning and some people just don’t like it. I believe it is worth the effort, especially at the start of a career. My calculator is used to make real engineering decisions – so I don’t trust many ‘algebraic entry’ calculators where sometimes it is not clear how complex formulae will be interpreted. This is particularly true of the newer generation of algebraic calculators that advertise ‘formulas entered as you would on paper’ (i.e “Sin X” instead of “X Sin”) I find they often have inconsistencies (e.g square root operates on the subsequent input, but 1/x operates immediately on the number in the display, as does x! [factorial x]) These inconsistencies have to be remembered to avoid possibly serious and unnoticed errors. RPN has only one rule – a function executes as soon as its button is pressed (or it is reached in a program). The famous HP stack which stores – and displays – arguments and intermediate results replaces the use of brackets and is far more flexible. Together these features, and others – like the ease of recovering from your errors – put you firmly in control all for the cost of an hour or two of learning. But, as I say, some people don’t like it so newcomers would be wise to find someone to demonstrate RPN before buying.
In summary this is the best calculator I have owned, and probably ever will as some reviewers say the newer HP products appear to have moved down market in terms of construction and ergonomics – but I have no experience of this.
PS I have no connection with HP, other than 25 years of good
service from HP calculator products.
Oh, yes. Some reviewers say the beep can’t be turned off, keying MODES -> BEEP works on mine!!