Hewlett Packard - HP 49G

Description

Brand: Hewlett Packard
Model: HP 49G
Type: Programmable scientific algebraic calculator
Batteries: AAA x 3
Lifetime: Introduced: 1999
Terminated: unknown
Notes: The HP 49G is a very powerful successor to the HP 48 series with all the functions anyone could wish for. It combines and extends all HP calculators that came before it.

This calculator directly competes with its TI contemporaries, the TI-89 and TI-92 families. For a nice comparison see http://www.area48.com/49/49vs89.html (link valid 2006-10-29).

If you, like me, have ever used overkill tools like muMath (link valid 2004-07-11) or Mathematica (link valid 2006-10-29) you'll appreciate the simplicity and ease of use of the symbolic math functions of this calculator. With "simplicity" I don't mean that it is not powerful, on the contrary, it is versatile and configurable and performs dynamic derivation, integration and linear algebra with ease.

And that's not all. The screen is big and configurable. It has a very powerful editor for formulae entry, but diehards can of course use RPN for everything, including formulae entry. I prefer the RPN method myself but catch myself accidentally using the editor how and then. :-)

Also nice is the option to switch the calculator to "exact" mode. In this mode the calculator will only produce exact answers. This can result in very long answers when using the "x!" function. It also produces exact answers to some trigonometric formulae, like sin(π/4) = √2/2.

This calculator is machine-code programmable and various utilities and games can be downloaded on the Internet.

Not to forget, the many so called "Easter Eggs" in this machine. Follow http://www.eeggs.com/items/14321.html (link valid 2006-10-29) for some examples.

Some drawbacks. Everything has drawbacks. In my opinion its power consumption is quite high. Fortunately they're plain and cheap AAA batteries. And I don't like the huge amount of pressure needed on its keyboard. After using this calculator for a while my fingers start hurting.

There's also some information on the HP 49G on HP's official website: http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/abouthp/histnfacts/museum/personalsystems/0046/index.html (link valid 2006-10-29).

For more information on this beauty please refer to the better sources, like The Museum of HP Calculators (link valid 2006-10-29).

Picture: HP 49G picture

©2009 Ernst Mulder