Musings and comments about our common interest
Here are the first samples of the new HP300s+. Those that have ordered it will probably have received it by now, so you can comment on this review if you so want.
The first impression is that it shares with the HP10s+ the new "iPhone"-like body. Please take a look to both together.
It has a strong family feeling with the old SmartCalc 300s. You can see it in the pictures below. The basic keyboard design, the screen format (where the new model is slightly better in contrast and sharpness), even the format of many of the function lettering, implies that the designer is the same. As the hp300s+ was functionally equivalent to the Casio Fx-85, we wonder which is the equivalent of this one.
The former model had slanted keys, but they were not "click and rotate". Even though, the feeling was similar - but no yet the same thing.
The new calculator has as well the glossy black finish throughout, which attracts fingertips like honey attracts flies. I always makes me wonder how greasy my fingers are. apparently everybody else's are too.
The new model has flatter keys and bigger numbers (since there is a bigger "real estate" on each key. Compared with the previous model, only the 7 and = keys have not a shifted function.
New functions include Greatest Common Divisor, Lowest Common Multiple, a conversion menu with 40 different unit pairs, memories to add and subtract, and others.
The standard input and output format is MthIo. When you just press "=", you get an expression including the irrational numbers (if any) in the result. By this we mean, as an example, sin(45) gives SQR(2)/2, instead of 0,707. Same happens when it's Pi which appears.
The manual feels better than many current HP manuals, and it clearly has not been put together by the same people (which is neither good nor bad - it’s just a statement). It’s very small in size and can fit in many a student’s bag. It reminds me of the former hp12c manuals: very small, but with everything the user could want or need at hand.
The new scientific calculators from HP, part I: the HP-10s+
Please take a look to this picture comparison between both old and new calculators. The new model has a much nicer body - it doe not look cheap as the former model.
Can you draw any resemblance from the new calculator body? Can you see an iPhone shape in it?
The keyboard is not your typical HP one. It is not the click-and-rotate type. It has the same feel of the original HP-10s. However, the keys are bigger and easier to strike.
It looks as an student calculator. In that respect, it is a requirement that the screen and keyboard is protected by a cover. That cover slides well, much better than the previous one, and has a better feel even than the HP39GII's. It will resist the drops from your son or nephew nicely.
The keyboard mapping is exactly the same as the previous unit, so no comment here. And no, it is not RPN - not an option! We've been told that this is an specification for the lower end HP calculators: "thou shall not have RPN, even as an option."
I am not familiar with other brands' calculators, so I had to go to google to find something similar in the market…but I found it!
A game: find the similarities between these 2 pictures:
By the way, the HP300s+ has been shipped to the first customers already!