Musings and comments about our common interest
Well, finally it has arrived!
It is expected to arrive to Europe by the second half of the year, but I have received a sample. I have been told that there are 250 samples in Europe. It came wrapped in plastic, not in the usual blister, and without manuals. I have been offered to sell it. As it does not come with the full package, I have some doubts. If you are interested, please drop me a line.
First of all, it has a cover, like some lower level HP calculators like the Smartcalc 300s. It does not come with a pouch - plastic or leather.
The calculator is pearl white, and it shines, although it can't be seen with the lighting I used to take the pictures. The screen is the same size as the 50g, or slightly smaller. We will see that in future pictures. The color is nice, but it looks student, not professional.
The key feel is much, much better than that of the 50g. I know that this may sond superficial, but I place a high importance in the keyboard feel. Is one of the things that makes you decide and grab one calculator or another.
The box has the same basic shape as the HP 17bII or the HP 35s. The keys are kind of protected by the sides, and the lower side has round corners so that it can be grabbed with one hand comfortably. There is an USB connection on the side, not on the top, of the kind found on the later Blackberries or the Amazon Kindle.
As I am writing, I have not downloaded the manual yet: just taken some pictures and done some fast calculations.
The keyboard is less cramped than that of the HP 50g. It does not have the irregular form found on the 50g: round below, square on the upper side. There are no writings on the calculator surface, only on the keys.
But the main attraction of the calculator is the screen. Let's see a couple of pictures and you will appreciate how sharp thenumbers are.
It is worth noting that the screen supports several grey levels - not just pure black and white.
Due to the poor lighting, the numbers look not as sharp as they really are. See them compared with the mighty HP 50g:
Side by side, both look the same dimension. The rounded upper and lower edges of the HP 50g make it look slightly smaller, and the screen just slightly bigger.
After this initial exploration, I am beginnign to play with it. I need to download the manual and start to play with it. As it is not RPN, I need to learn it from scratch. I have to confess that I have no previois experience with either the 39gs or the 40gs.
The price will be 79,9 €. It is available already, although in the conditions described above.
The HP39gII is coming our way now.
Many of our current customers have asked for it. while it is not RPN, it is really HP - much more that many of the external jobs contracted by HP in the last years.
The firmware has been designed from scratch by the HP team - unlike many other calculators from several years ago, like the HP 35s and the HP 17bII, which wre developed outside onder HP specification. This can be seen in features like the unsolved bugs of the hp35s, or the poor implementation of the HP 17bII+ solver, applying brute force techniques, compared with the original hp17bII "pseudo-symbolic" 2-pass solver). It is worth noting that the last generation of HP calculators is again "pure HP" in its conception and development: the 20b and 30b on one hand, the new voyagers (12c and 15c based on an ARN core as well) and the latest HP10bII+.
According to the development team, the HP38gII is the start of a platform-independent codebase for future HP graphical calculators. Having Cyrille and Tim in the team, we know that the HP heritage will at least be respected, even if marketing decisions do not allow them to include RPN in all products (apparently, there are products where marketing forbud to include RPN as an option, even a hidden undocumented feature !!)
Fortunately, RPN is still offered on most calculators, albeit as an option (with the exception of the true "oldies" of the line, the hp12c and the hp15c, where it is the _only_ option)
The work performed by HP with the voyagers helped them to create ARM-based products that do not swallow batteries. While it was close to impossible to achieve the original Voyagers' battery performance (some units have been known to hold their charge for over 15 years), they are by far much better than other current calculators like the hp50g in battery life. My HP15 is approaching 6 months of intense use without any hint of battery exhaustion, while batterioes never lasted more than two months of use for my 50g.
This good energy management is shown in the new calculator. According to Tim Wessman, the 4 AAA batteries are working in parallel, not in series, and the calculator can run with just one in an emergency. He claims to have tested units over 500 hours of continuous use with a single set of batteries.
As soon as I receive my sample, I will test it and you'll be the second to see the results - the first will be the subscribers to our newsletter (to receive it, you just need to register as user) And stay tuned: as soon as the financials are set, I will put the machine on sale!