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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steep learning curve but elegant power, unmatched
First of all: This calculator is truly worthy of the full 5 stars, if any is. Because it is the most capable, the most efficient, the most customizable and flexible, traditional calculator in existence, while also being a powerful math tool with its CAS-system. And I cannot imagine being without it.. In fact I have two. One at home, one at work. I also feel that this...
Published on 20 Jan 2012 by Still remembers Elite

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still not up to original HP standard
There is admittedly an effort since the terrible HP-48gII, HP-49 and similar low-quality calculators made by HP.

Despite the small Enter key, a cheap overall aspect with a pervasive synthetic smell, the HP-50g seems to be a good product: the keyboard is fine and looks reliable so far, it is quite bug-free and powerful, features an extensive library, and even...
Published on 9 Dec 2011 by Tom G.


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steep learning curve but elegant power, unmatched, 20 Jan 2012
This review is from: Hewlett Packard HP50G Graphing Calculator (Office Product)
First of all: This calculator is truly worthy of the full 5 stars, if any is. Because it is the most capable, the most efficient, the most customizable and flexible, traditional calculator in existence, while also being a powerful math tool with its CAS-system. And I cannot imagine being without it.. In fact I have two. One at home, one at work. I also feel that this calculator is remarkably cheap. For what you get. For that reason, too, it deserves 5 stars.
The criticism from some reviewers here is fully understandable though, given their viewpoint, and somewhat relevant. Still, the worlds best, and most elegantly powerful to use, simply just has to have 5 stars.

Secondly - though this calculator can be used in both algebraic- and RPN-mode, you should use it exclusively in RPN-mode. Now that doesn't mean that its algebraic mode is in any way inferior to any other algebraic calculator. It's just that algebraic/infix cannot in any way measure up to RPN. Quite frankly - you're a fool if you believe so. Just learn RPN. It's quite easy and you'll never regret it.

To my knowledge, there are today only two RPN-capable calculators in production. This HP 50G, and the new HP 35S. Surprisingly, these calculators are quite different, HP 50G is not a big brother to HP 35S. Though both are RPN calculators, their underlying systems are quite different. The 35S is in comparison primitive and resembles classic programmable HP calculators, like the HP 65, HP 55, HP 25, HP 29, HP 41. Memory is fixed registers, programs are in explicit lines corresponding to key-presses. Program control is branch to labels or line numbers. All this has it's advantages for some people, mainly - less is faster to learn. ...But:...

The 50G is a completely different beast. It belongs to HP's "RPL-system"-branch of calculators, which includes the HP 28-family, HP 48-family and HP 49/50-family. You will fall in love with RPL, when you learn and realize the wonderful things you can do. Memory management is more like in a computer, with folders and free variable names. Everything is handled as objects, in the same way, both on the stack and in storage. A simple number, a vector, a matrix, a text, algebraic expressions, entire systems of equations, an arbitrarily complex object contained in a list, a program, a path,.. - everything is handled in the same way. And can be operated upon with an arbitrarily complex custom function, with a single press of a menu key.

The con is of course the steep learning curve. Right out of the box, most people will probably feel lost, and if they try to use it directly, they will quickly become frustrated. There is good help for that though. The first thing a new HP 50G user should do, is to work through the new companion HP 50G quick-start guide, in one single sitting. That will take a couple of hours, but after that you will be able to use the calculator. If you don't get the printed quick-start guide with the calculator, it's downloadable from the net as a .pdf file. The second thing you should do, is to check out a YouTube user by the name of rolinychupetin. (no, it's not me) He has done a number of HP 50G tutorials, available for viewing on YouTube. They're named HP01, HP02, HP03 etc. You should view them in order. Just search on YouTube with "rolinychupetin HP01:" etc.
The advanced user will also need the +800 pages 'HP 50G user's guide' that comes in .pdf on a CD with the calculator. Those wanting to customize their HP 50G with programming will need a somewhat obscure but vital document called: HP 50g/49g+/48gII graphing calculator advanced user's reference manual. Look for the "c02836298.pdf" file on HP's calculator web site. This lists and explains all functions in detail, in alphabetic order.

The HP 28, HP 48 and HP 49/50 families have a very similar ground. Everything you could do on the earlier families, you can also do on the HP 50g, in mostly the exact same way. I could easily port all my old UsrRPL-programs from my HP28s to my HP48G+, and then again to my HP50g. This also means that any old material on programming and computing things, you find for the earlier calculators, is viable for the HP50g, but the functions and buttons won't be in the same places. Also there is sometimes a better way available on the newer calculators.

There are calculators with fancier displays, more RAM and fancier input thingys. But make no mistake: There is no more powerful, efficient or more elegant to use calculator. This is the only RPN&RPL calculator available (of recent manufacture). For me, this means there exists no alternative.

As for the quality, I find it pretty good. It's at least as good as the competition I've seen. Likely, it won't last as long as the old classic HP calculators, built like tanks. But only time will tell and cost is just a small fraction of what you had to pay for the old, back in the days.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 22 May 2008
By 
A. Graves (London, UK United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am an engineer for 15 years, and decided to upgrade my old HP48G that I have since my BSc. This calculator is the exact replica, but with updated connectivity (USB connection) instead of 9 pin cable.
HP could not have improved the calculator functionality as it was perfect already, so they gave it more RAM and memory.
Perfect!
What can I say, I paid 100 dollars for my HP48 in 1993 (for a calculator that still works as quick and precise as when I bought it)!
The only reason to buy the latest model is to have USB and more memory, well done HP!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love handheld calculators, this is the thing to have, 6 Nov 2009
By 
Roland Suttels (Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hewlett Packard HP50G Graphing Calculator (Office Product)
This calculator is the perfect companion for those with a scientific mind.
You can calculate or evaluate a function for whatever comes to your mind.
However, you need to embrace this calculator, i.e. use it every day. If you don't you will definetely need the users guide, even for simple calculations, and if not handy, you will just stare helpless at the keyboard.
So it is complex machine, but as a scientist you are of course prepared to give it all the loving care and attention it requires.
The only negative point for me is the display: the resolution is rather poor and you have to look perpendicular to the display, which is difficult when the calculator is on your desk.
You have also to know that with a memory card inserted, when switched-on, the display remains blank for 3 sec.
But even with these 2 annoyances, I give the machine 5 stars.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hp 50g VS TI89T, 28 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hewlett Packard HP50G Graphing Calculator (Office Product)
Hi All,

I have owned a TI89T for a couple of years now and I have found it to be very good, generally it's easy to use and has a very good build quality. Recently though, I was surfing Amazon and I noticed the TI89T competitor, the hp50g going for half price so I bought one, I found it be the most complicated graphing calculator that I have ever used. Just to learn to navigate around takes in access of two weeks solid study, and if you leave it for any length of time and decide to come back to it again you will find you have forgotten how to use it.However, I have persavered with it on many occasions and all you've got as reference are 3 hp manuals to work through, there are no 3rd party guide books, in English, available to buy which might have helped.
hp boast that their calculator can work in algerbriac mode or RPN mode, however all the examples in the guide manuals are in RPN mode with very little in algerbriac mode, having two modes just serves to confuse you further. On the programming side the hp50g uses RPL programming language(note, this isn't simplistic basic language), I spent 4 days solid just to learn how to do very basic programs, lots of fustration.

The build quality isn't as high standard as the TI89T but it is adiquate for the job, one nice feature (and there are many) the hp50g has, it allows you to write rpl programs on your pc, using Windows notepad, and then download the finished program to your hp50g using hp connect software via the calculators usb.

Assuming you know your way around the hp50g it's actually got more to offer than the TI89T particularly with a price tag of around £75.00 all in but be for warned you need to spend at least 2 weeks solid on it before it starts to bear fruit.I've just found out today that the hp50g can convert between Laplace transform and inverse Laplace transform, its one heck of powerful graphing calculator and is noticably faster than the T89T.

T89T currently sells at around £150, whilst the greater function support hp50g=£75.00
If you do decide on a hp50g be prepared for a very high steep learning curve and some dedication.

As of 8/3/13, I've just completed a RPL program which converts Butterworth filter polynomial coefficients into resistor/capacitor values for active bandpass filter design, where, using a scientific calculator would take about 15 minutes to compute and alot of faffing, with my 50g, it takes less than 1 second to compute. The hp50g calculator is now my calculator of choice.

Cheers
Commie
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome machine, 23 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hewlett Packard HP50G Graphing Calculator (Office Product)
I use my HP50G daily for various calculations and computations in both financial and computer science arenas.

Good points:

It is incredibly conveniently designed and is designed more for people who use a calculator practically than educationally. If you are a student or inexperienced, it might scare you a bit. The built in stack based RPL programming language is awesomely powerful and is reminiscent of a hybrid of LISP and FORTH. The data types it supports are excellent. It has built in time and date manipulation and alarms. Units are seamlessly integrated. The CAS is accurate and powerful - I have had no problems with it. Comes with a good case. RPN is awesome (I am a convert) - it has drastically reduced effort for me and naturally fits in with how my brain works. The buttons feel positive - no uncertainty or errors introduced. There is a beeper which beeps when you do something wrong which is a good audible cue. Has two result modes: accurate and approximate. With an SD card, it now has a gigabyte of variable storage and backup space for programs etc (!).

Bad points:

Eats batteries faster than a cheap children's toy (resolved by purchasing two sets of Sanyo Eneloops and a charger), the battery cover was a little loose (resolved with some foam tape inside), documentation sucks (TBH you don't need it most of the time), can be a little slow at times doing complicated CAS manipulations (particularly integration/differentiation).

The bad points are so trivial though, I will not take any stars away.

My previous machine (a TI NSpire CAS - clickpad model) was a piece of junk compared to the HP50G. It was obtuse, impractical and overcomplicated.

I would not however recommend this for a student - go for a TI83 (or preferably a TI85 if you can get one from somewhere). Buy an HP50G if you are at university, are an engineering, science or financial professional or do a lot of laborious math entry (RPN will save your soul).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent if you spend time learning to use it effectively, 21 Nov 2011
By 
Ian Townsend (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hewlett Packard HP50G Graphing Calculator (Office Product)
Update September 2013
My use of the HP50g increases the longer I own it. It is just so easy to switch on and perform complex calculations immediately. I have also added HP50g emulators to my iMac, iPad and iPhone (published by "The Winter Storm").
I believe most people buy HP calculators because they want to use RPN. Whilst comprehensive, the HP50g manuals are confusing because they cover Algebraic and RPN calculations simultaneously. The syntax is difficult enough without the added complexity of switching between coverage of the two systems in the manual.
The solution can be found on YouTube. There are several very good videos covering basic set-up up to relatively simple programming. There is also an excellent video tutorial for iPad (Science and Math.com) that demystifies the HP50g for new users, and really makes it easy to unlock its power in the shortest possible time. As I said in my initial review, it is a great calculator but you need to invest time learning the syntax.
I should also add that although I have never managed to link my HP50g to my Windows laptop through the supplied software, I have found Mac OSX software that works perfectly. This means I can copy programs between the emulator on my Mac and my physical HP50g.
My HP50g has been one of my most productive purchases.

Original Review
I bought my HP50g to perform engineering calculations quickly where carrying and booting up a computer is impractical, and also so that I could rely on AAA batteries where mains power is unreliable.
The HP50g has met all my needs. Initially it appears overly complex and the documentation has errors. One needs to invest a lot of time to start making full use of its power, and I have only scratched the surface during the month I have owned it. Nevertheless, I can already make complex calculations on the HP that would be more difficult or impossible using a spreadsheet, and it is a much cheaper option than MathCad.
The built-in equations library, calculus, matrix algebra, constants library, unit conversion and periodic table are all really helpful and I can create my own reference tables in matrices. I have enjoyed relearning some of my maths and engineering theory to be able to program the HP50g.
It is simple to save equations and data to SD card and then back-up to computer or "the cloud". I have not yet been able to communicate between HP50g and laptop using the supplied cable and software, but that is probably just another Windows 7 incompatibility.
Negatives that prevent a 5 star rating are the documentation and the "feel" of the HP50g. Although it seems robust and has been completely reliable so far, it simply does not have the reassuring solidity of older HP calculators such as the legendary 41C. There is an excellent 41CX emulator app available for the iPhone at a fraction of the price for those who may not want all the features of the HP50g.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still not up to original HP standard, 9 Dec 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hewlett Packard HP50G Graphing Calculator (Office Product)
There is admittedly an effort since the terrible HP-48gII, HP-49 and similar low-quality calculators made by HP.

Despite the small Enter key, a cheap overall aspect with a pervasive synthetic smell, the HP-50g seems to be a good product: the keyboard is fine and looks reliable so far, it is quite bug-free and powerful, features an extensive library, and even offers an algebraic alternative to people who are afraid of the RPN mode.

It is possible to search the Internet to configure the calculator so it behaves more like the HP-48S/G series, however you will find inconsistencies with some menus that persist to show as a pop-up instead of a soft menu. Also, help exists for a subset of the functions, but not all of them which is strange.

The calculator is accompanied with an USB cable, which is nice when you remember the HP-48 wasn't provided with an RS-232 cable and you had to buy it at an expensive price back then (or build it yourself). But on the other hand, this is not quite USB but a hack to pass RS-232 signals over USB that needs a specific software from HP on the PC side (and the appropriate settings on the HP-50g otherwise the communication will fail). There is also an SD card reader, I couldn't really test it yet since it doesn't like my 8 GB card and I haven't bought a smaller one for the occasion (note that the HP-50g will only use up to 1 GB even if your card is larger). So little improvements on that side, but not quite there yet.

The biggest complain I have with this product is the absolute lack of documentation. This high-end calculator is sold in a cheap plastic packaging (careful not to hurt yourself trying to remove it from its package!), and no documentation save a ridiculous quick start guide. The documentation is partly on the CD-ROM, though if you want the User Manual you will have to look for it on HP's website. So if you don't happen to have a computer with you, you can't access the documentation. And if you do happen to have a computer, well, you have to read it on a screen - not the most comfortable situation.

I am a long-time user of HP calculators: HP-41CX, HP-11C, HP-15C, HP-48SX... and they all were wonderful products, provided with extensive manuals and a quick reference, plus a nice case or pouch to protect the device. All that packaged in a box, in which you could store everything safely. All this quality experience is now gone and you have the overall impression of buying a low-cost product, that smells of low-quality plastic (literally!).

Come on, HP, everybody is telling you the same, don't you listen? Do you really want to climb down into the same low-end park as other TI, Sharp, ... compagnies?

That being said, this is still a very powerful tool, and I'm sure it will fulfill any student's or professional's requirements in that regard.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars only problem is documentation, 22 July 2007
By 
G. Gromble "grim" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The HP 50g is very well made, and more calculator than most people will ever need. Anyone who is acquainted with Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) will appreciate the benefits to be had from using this mode on the calculator (why it hasn't become universal beggars belief). If you don't know RPN, this calculator will talk the more usual lingo.

With the earlier HP 49g+, HP supplied a User's Guide, an Advanced Reference Manual, plus a Pocket Guide - all printed and all very useful. With this calculator, they provide a printed User Guide and a more complete guide on CDROM in PDF format. Neither document is as good as the previous versions, and some instructions are confusing (with plenty of typos in the printed manual). I found the communications software on the CDROM would not work at all and had to download the latest version from the internet.

Fear not. I'd still thoroughly recommend this product but would advise downloading the HP 49g+ manual from HP's web site to fill in the gaps (there are several extremely useful keyboard shortcuts listed in that manual that go completely unmentioned in any of the HP 50g documentation). I'd also advise checking out the HP forum for this calculator as there are some very knowledgeable users out there with answers to just about all your questions, if they haven't been covered already by previous answers.

Get it. Love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 11 Feb 2010
This review is from: Hewlett Packard HP50G Graphing Calculator (Office Product)
i wish i had this during my Beng degree.solving a multiple integral,for example, is a simple operation in this calculator.it has so many functions!
the manual that came with the calculator will show only the basics(150-160 pages).its not as bad as others say.a cd was provided with a detailed manual.
now,this calculator has so many functions and so many apps you can download,its more than a calculator.the truth is you wont be able to remember how to use many of its functions.but for example,me as a civil engineer ,i can calculate intergals,differential equations,matrices,polynomials etc very fast,because im not interested in other types of maths.
i think its a great calculator
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HP50g or TI89, 24 Nov 2010
This review is from: Hewlett Packard HP50G Graphing Calculator (Office Product)
I use a calculator almost everyday in the office. For years I stuck to my faithful Sharp programmable that had taken me through college. Then I saw an advertisement for the TI89; its engineering focus brought functionality that I thought would be of benefit. Although very powerful I found the process a little unwieldy. I decided I would take a chance and try the HP equivalent and it really paid off. Although more conventional in approach, it is so much more intuitive to use. I have found that RPN suits me and works well for stepping through equations. The functionality is easier to access when you understand the approach; it becomes very rapid to use. The calculator is also far more customizable. The other significant difference is the display; I found the TI89 display small and limited in viewing angle. The HP has a far better display that is much more forgiving in terms of size and clarity. I liked the TI but it never felt comfortable; in contrast the HP immediately hit the spot, after an hour of familiarization I felt completely at home.
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