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Just received my first 30b - first impressions

Today I opened the box of the 30b and had my first stint with it. I will do a formal review in some time from now, but cannot avoid making some comments on the fly.


To give a reference, I think that the best financial calculator is the HP17bII - from the viewpoint of having all of them. I think also that the latest HP17bII+ is the best of all, followed by the first HP 17bII.

I have been surprised by the 30b. It has an amazing number of functions, including hyperbolics and inverse trigonometrics. SIN, COS and TAN are not even hidden in menus. It has menus for a number of items that we had to program in the past. The menus, although not as efficient as the screen keys of the HP17bII, are surprisingly logic. It took me all of 2 minutes -without looking at the manuals- to figure out how they work. (I have the break even formula programmed in a way or another in all of the calcs I have - now I have a specific menu for it). Date menus are very intuitive and contain DATE+ and DDAYS within the same menu (just like the calendar functions of the 17bII) Overflow is at E499, instead of E99. Factorial is applicable to real numbers (really a gamma function then). I see 12 significant digits. A curious feature is that you can edit the number in the screen anytime - even when it is a result!

I see it as a very all-weather, all-terrain calculator: so far I have not seen anythin I do on a daily basis that I cannot with the HP 30b.

Keys are clearly better than the competition, but still not at the same level of 12c or 17bII. Still, a very clear feedback and had no missed or duplicated keystrokes. Screen is well protected by the bevel at the border, and it has a good contrast. A small criticism: the black shiny back keeps all the fingerprints until cleaned. It is a very light machine as well, not as classy as the 12c or the 17bII but much better than the 20b.

There are many areas that I have not explored yet - like programming, decimal logs, Black and Scholes, etc.

Stay tuned for the full review!

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