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Calculators HP 50 versus TI-89 Titanium *PLEASE READ*

  1. Mar 5, 2007 #1
    Hello I am new here, so please don't kill me for not searching around before posting this. I am a bit stressed out and short on time.


    After receiving an email from HP saying my warranty has expired, and seeing that none of their trouble shooting techniques could save my HP 49g+ I am left in making one decision. It is time for a new calculator. I have had my HP 49g+ for about 4 years now. I got it when I was in 7th grade for a geometry course, and was told I would not need another calculator as long as I took math. I guess they were wrong.

    Anyway, throughout that time, I have continuously used TI calculators as well, mostly TI-84s and TI-89s. I find they are much easier to use. It has always been difficult being the black sheep in my math class, the guy with the HP calculator that no one knows how to work. Even my Calculus teacher looks at the HPs as if they were foreign objects. So, I am now faced with the decision with choosing between a TI-89 and a HP-50. Due to recent problems with my HP-49g+ I am a bit hesitant to stay with HP. I have had my calculator all this time, and have still yet to become comfortable with using RPN mode. This is something that HP is known for in their calculators which I can not use to this day.

    I am sure many of you are familiar with both TIs and HPs. I am a sophomore now, in a college-level Calculus course. I will need a calculator that should last me through the rest of high school (Calculus BC and Multi-Variable Calculus) and possibly college. Are the HP 50s good calculators? Do they have as many problems as the HP 49+g? What are the main upgrades/differences between the HP 49g+ and the new HP 50, besides colour. I am willing to learn, as long as I get the best calculator with my money.

    Lots of question, and little time.

    I appreciate your responses.

    P.S. Many of my friends who own TI-89s say there are a ton of programs that are beneficial for classes such as Chem AP, Physics, AP, and other college-level science courses. Would a TI-89 be superior to the HP 50 when taking this into consideration?
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2007 #2


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    If you have not learned to use RPN, there is no point in having a HP.
  4. Mar 6, 2007 #3


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    I cant speak for the HP 50, but TI calculators do have a reputation for having lots of supplement and third party programs that will help your courses. ticalc.org is one such site where you can find these packages.
    The only reason I would ever switch to an HP calc is if I wanted to use RPN mode, other than that, I'm happy with my TI 89.
  5. Mar 6, 2007 #4
    anyone use casios? i just got a cfx-9850gc plus today.
  6. Mar 6, 2007 #5
    So besides having the RPN function (which I am not completely amazed by) is there anything else HP 50s have which ousts the TI-89.

    Since my Calculus class will not wait for me (poor sarcasm) I will need to make my decision by tomorrow most likely. If the only thing people can say the HP 50 wins is the RPN, then I will probably go with the TI-89. Since I am going to be taking classes such as Chem AP, I guess the TI-89 would benefit me more?
  7. Mar 6, 2007 #6


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    RPN alone makes the HP a superior calculator, other features are equal.
  8. Mar 6, 2007 #7
    Well, I need to make my decision tonight, so I can get the bloody calculator shipped in time for an important Calc exam.

    At this point, I am leaning towards the HP.

    Can I get some definite opinions/stances from people.

  9. Mar 6, 2007 #8
    Don't get a TI-89, these calculators are too powerful and are outlawed on many tests which allows TI-x | x < 89.

    Do switch to TI, they have better resale value and are recognized by more people. Having an HP is like having a Mac, people do it for various peculiar reasons but what you really lose is community support.
  10. Mar 6, 2007 #9
    Tests are not the problem.

    The TI-89 is allowed on the SAT, SAT II, Calc AP, and my Calc teacher's tests. Anyway, I think I am going to go with the HP. Any objections?
  11. Mar 6, 2007 #10


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    The 89 is allowed on most national tests, as GreekXboxMaster has just pointed out.

    I have no objections with your choice of an HP. You may find RPN to be a big plus if you ever plan on using RPN mode. However, I'll also add this - the TI calcs have way more community support and tons of third party apps.
  12. Mar 12, 2007 #11


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    So if you have a HP you cannot rely on the canned solutions provided by the teacher.....

    Guess that means you have learn the material and understand the operation of your calculator. I would say that if you have to rely on "community support" you are not learning what you need to know.
  13. Mar 20, 2007 #12
    You can download multiple apps for the TI-89's that will allow you to use RPN mode on them. Consider yourself lucky, we are not even allowed calculators on our calculus class. Sounds harder, but I find it better because you are forced to learn the concepts rather than to rely on a crutch.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
  14. Mar 20, 2007 #13
    I used an HP48 with expansion slots in college.. still have it.. best calculator I ever had. And once you learn RPL you'll never go back.
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