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HP35s Appreciation

You know my fondness of the HP17bII in all its different models. The last one, while not purely an HP, has the best HP keyboard around, a much better screen than the original HP17BII and a nice aspect that can be presented in any business meeting.


With the same body, and nice, professional colour scheme, you can find as well the HP35s, a successor of the ugly HP33s, that sports the same very nice keyboard and a 2-line alphanumeric screen. Here you have a picture of it:

The HP35s shows the first wide ENTER key in several years, and we can only hope it returns back to the graphical calculators again.

I entered the HP35 with some aprehension, after reading some negative reviews. I have to say that it appears to be an excellent calculator. Despite my limited time with it, it is clearly better than the 33s (not too difficult), and much better than the lower current offerings. Still, it does not hold a candle to the HP42s in sheer power, or to the 15c (my current favourite in its latest LE version) in ease of use and elegance of design.

Let's focus instead in what it does have that the 42s hasn't:

  • constant library - useful in physics
  • Algebraic mode: cleverly designed, a truly "equation operating system", as Gene Wright named it.
  • Three modes of complex number notation
  • fraction mode(s)
  • unit conversions on keyboard (not submenus)
  • the ENG-> and <-ENG keys, useful when choosing electronic components like capacitors and resistors (it's oh soo easy to drop a zero when specifying a capacitor...), but is really just a convenience, not something you need if you really put attention to what the result should be.

I need to delve deeper in this calculator: the programming paradigm, the use of variables and memory, the huge number of possible registers, etc. At first sight, it seems intenresting for a student, but does not have the same professional appeal of an HP42s or the newer HP15c LE. As it is now 1h22 i9n the morning, let's leave this for another day.

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Más sobre: HP scientific, HP-35s, hp 35s, hp35s

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