Saturday, October 18, 2008

HP 35s Scientific Calculator Review

HP 35s Scientific Calculator
From Hewlett Packard

Customer Reviews

Very good, but not quite the glory days4
Probably the best scientific calculator on the market right now. Well designed and well built with a proper heft to it. The keys click, which is great, but instead of smooth and rounded like the Voyager and Pioneer families, they're square and wider with a different font.

Overall an excellent tool, but lots of little niggles that keep it from getting five stars and being an instant classic. The case itself is probably the most rigid of all my scientific models, but it's probably at the cost of being a little big, which makes pocketing the 35s a bit of a chore. Being a sort of commemorative edition, it apes the shape of the original HP-35, so the sides curve and has the larger size. The battery door (which covers a full third of the back of the case) annoyingly flexes and creaks, an odd oversight for such a well built design. Fortunately I was able to stop the creaking with some 3M grip tape stuck in the battery area. Something I didn't notice at first but has started to bug me is that the (C)/on key is not recessed or low profile. Accidentally turning the unit on is quite easy. This design oversight is almost bizarre, as every single other TI or HP I have has a low profile on button of some sort. Because the key layout uses distinct arrow keys that only have one secondary function, there were some small compromises made elsewhere in function layout. Most of these can be can argued endlessly, but the one change that was a genuine mistake was subordinating the STO key. RCL and STO are on the same key, with RCL as primary.

High quality product5
Thank goodness Hewlett Packard went back to the traditional calculator that made them famous for years. The recent 33s was a complete and utter mess. The 35s is an outstanding scientific calculator for a great price. I would highly recommend this to anyone. Away from the unit itself, the zippered clamshell case that comes with it is nice but overkill and too bulky. A leather slipcase like which comes with the 33s (which I ordered and fits well, and is way less bulky) would be better. Also, they've stopped shipping printed manuals. You have to call the 800-hpinvent number and get to the calculator customer service group and ask for a printed copy. They happily send it quickly for free, but getting it was a PITA. I know everybody wants to save trees, but the target market for this design genuinely expects (and actually reads!) the printed manual.

Those details aside, I'm happy with my purchase.

Piece of Junk1
With my old HP42s to compute sqrt(-1) you punched 3 keys: 1, +/- (change sign), sqrt; simple, straight forward RPN. For the HP35S the same key strokes give "INVALID DATA". You can ultimately compute the sqrt(-1), but it takes about 8 or 11 key strokes. Cannot give the exact sequence since I returned the calculator. I feel sorry for anyone who thinks this is a good calculator, they may not have had a real HP before the greed of Fiona. Too bad zero stars are not allowed.

Product Details

  • Brand: Hewlett-Packard
  • Model: F2215AA#ABA
  • Dimensions: .72" h x 3.23" w x 6.22" l, 3.00 pounds


  • Robust and economical scientific calculator
  • 100+ built-in functions; 30 KB memory with 800+ registers
  • Supports RPN and algebraic data entry
  • 2-line, 14-character display
  • 1-year limited manufacturer's warranty