Are you a student that is looking for a calculator that you can rely on during your Calculus adventure? Today, I will be reviewing The HP 50g graphing calculator. An easy to use, affordable and dependable graphing calculator for Calculus and other math subjects as well.
Why The HP 50g is the best graphing calculator for calculus?
- 2000+ built-in functions
- CAS (computer algebra system) included
- for nearly 50 dollars less than the next best competitor (the TI nSpire CX CAS)
- 3-way connectivity through various ports (including infrared for wireless communication)
- SD Card functionality for increased memory
- Function editor
Ease of Use
The HP 50g graphing calculator contains an easily accessible keyboard with color-coded buttons for both functions and numbers. The keypad layout is similar to that of both Texas Instruments and Casio calculators; however, one of the major differences is that lack of a SHIFT or 2ND key.
These keys are replaced by a white arrow and an orange arrow, which both lead to two different functions labeled above the main buttons. This saves even more time, since more functions are able to be “shortcutted” through the main keypad without the need to use the menus.
The HP 50g has a very interesting key recognition: if you press a key before letting go of the other, it will recognize both key presses. However, if you press the same key twice very quickly to type a number such as “33”, it will only register the first press for 3, which can be frustrated when inputting long strings.
The HP 50g has a compact boxy design and grayscale screen, both designed to be resistant to daily wear and tear. This means resistance to falls, drops, and impacts against hard surfaces. The only parts of the calculator that require replacement are its batteries, and/or optional SD card.
Due to the increased workload of the CAS system, the HP 50g boasts a 2.5 MB combined memory. Furthermore, the memory is able to be boosted in the future if required with an SD card.
This calculator is able to conduct lightning-fast calculations, perfect for any student or professional. However, the real question is whether it is able to beat the titan of graphing calculators: the TI nSpire CX CAS, which is also good for AP Calculus. When solving the same integral, the TI nSpire indeed showed a faster solve time of about a tenth a second.
This may not seem like much, but after conducting tens of thousands of calculations, the time saved translates into hours. The choice to save money or save time is up to you.
Otherwise, for basic and intermediate functions, the HP 50g works flawlessly. This makes it a great choice for classroom use in algebra and calculus classes.
It doesn’t do financial calculations. If you’re looking for a financial calculator you might be interested in this article instead.
This is the most updated version of HP graphing calculators, succeeding the 48/49 models. HP boasts a large amount of information on its website, but there are fewer independent support networks than Texas Instruments or Casio. Users also report the included physical user manual of the calculator to be difficult to understand and navigate.
- ROM: 2MB
- RAM: 512 kilo
- Screen: 131 pixels by 80 pixels, high contrast grayscale
- Power: 4 AAA batteries + button battery
- Programmable: Yes
- Tests: Usable for many standardized tests
For students who are looking for a high-performance calculator with CAS for a discount price, the HP 50g is the perfect option. For heavier usage in problem solving and analysis, the nSpire may be a better choice. Nevertheless, you will surely love the HP 50g and save more money.