Two weeks ago, Cemetech interviewed the Education Solutions Architect at HP, GT Springer, to pick his brain about HP's new Prime graphing calculator. Due in stores this fall, the HP Prime represents a significant refocusing of HP's efforts towards the educational market, especially high school and college students. At the same time, the Prime represents a modernization of HP's calculator hardware, matching the Casio fx-CP400 with a (multi-)touch screen, and the TI-Nspire and TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition with a 320x240 color LCD. Among the most common questions from Cemetechians are what hardware the HP Prime will sport under the hood, and what graphs from HP's supposedly powerful new graphing utility look like. We're happy to be able to provide new information on both.

The specs we learned are probably not in as much technical depth as you all might want, but they do confirm much of what we suspected already and provide a few additional details. If you want to peruse them yourself, we have the full datasheet available. It confirms that the HP Prime will have a 400MHz ARM of unknown provenance, a 3.5" multitouch 320x240-pixel 16-bit color LCD, and an alphanumeric keyboard. The calculator's body will be 7.1 inches tall and 3.4 inches wide, with a TI-Nspire-esque 0.6-inch thickness. It will weigh in at 228 grams, or almost exactly half a pound. It will use a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that charges via the microUSB communication port; no information is available on how many hours of usage that battery will give you. One additional interesting tidbit from the datasheet is that the calculator will come with both the connectivity kit and an emulator right out of the box, a notable departure from TI's official emulators, which we believe are generally priced around the cost of the hardware handheld. Casio seems to take a middle ground, offering a 3-month free trial period of its emulators.

Our appreciation goes to HP for sharing this new information with us. We hope it gets you thinking about the state of the art in the still rapidly-expanding set of available graphing calculators. We have yet to get our hands on the fx-CP400 and the rumored (possibly touchscreen) TI-Nspire CX Premium calculator for comparison, but from what we know, I for one am looking forward to giving the Prime a try. Check out the screenshots HP provided from the Advanced Graphing App below, along with associated equations where available.

Graph 1: Equation unknown

Graph 2: SIN(v(X^2+Y^2)-5)=SIN(8*ATAN(Y/X)) [changing the sign "fills in" sections]

Graph 3: (SIN((p/LN(2))*LN(2*v(X^2+Y^2)*(6*COS(ATAN((MIN(ABS(X),ABS(Y))/MAX(ABS(X),ABS(Y)))))+v(36*COS(ATAN((MIN(ABS(X),ABS(Y))/MAX(ABS(X),ABS(Y)))))^2-27))))*SIN((p/LN(2))*LN(2*v(X^2+Y^2)*(6*COS(ATAN((MIN(ABS(X),ABS(Y))/MAX(ABS(X),ABS(Y)))))-v(36*COS(ATAN((MIN(ABS(X),ABS(Y))/MAX(ABS(X),ABS(Y)))))^2-27)))))=0

Graph 4: (SIN((p/LN(2))*LN(v(X^2+Y^2)*(3*COS(((ATAN(X/Y)+(p/12))MOD(p/4))-(p/)+v(9*COS(((ATAN(X/Y)+(p/12))MOD(p/4))-(p/)^2-)))*SIN((p/LN(2))*LN(v(X^2+Y^2)*(3*COS(((ATAN(X/Y)+(p/12))MOD(p/4))-(p/)-v(9*COS(((ATAN(X/Y)+(p/12))MOD(p/4))-(p/)^2-))))<0

The specs we learned are probably not in as much technical depth as you all might want, but they do confirm much of what we suspected already and provide a few additional details. If you want to peruse them yourself, we have the full datasheet available. It confirms that the HP Prime will have a 400MHz ARM of unknown provenance, a 3.5" multitouch 320x240-pixel 16-bit color LCD, and an alphanumeric keyboard. The calculator's body will be 7.1 inches tall and 3.4 inches wide, with a TI-Nspire-esque 0.6-inch thickness. It will weigh in at 228 grams, or almost exactly half a pound. It will use a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that charges via the microUSB communication port; no information is available on how many hours of usage that battery will give you. One additional interesting tidbit from the datasheet is that the calculator will come with both the connectivity kit and an emulator right out of the box, a notable departure from TI's official emulators, which we believe are generally priced around the cost of the hardware handheld. Casio seems to take a middle ground, offering a 3-month free trial period of its emulators.

Our appreciation goes to HP for sharing this new information with us. We hope it gets you thinking about the state of the art in the still rapidly-expanding set of available graphing calculators. We have yet to get our hands on the fx-CP400 and the rumored (possibly touchscreen) TI-Nspire CX Premium calculator for comparison, but from what we know, I for one am looking forward to giving the Prime a try. Check out the screenshots HP provided from the Advanced Graphing App below, along with associated equations where available.

Graph 1: Equation unknown

Graph 2: SIN(v(X^2+Y^2)-5)=SIN(8*ATAN(Y/X)) [changing the sign "fills in" sections]

Graph 3: (SIN((p/LN(2))*LN(2*v(X^2+Y^2)*(6*COS(ATAN((MIN(ABS(X),ABS(Y))/MAX(ABS(X),ABS(Y)))))+v(36*COS(ATAN((MIN(ABS(X),ABS(Y))/MAX(ABS(X),ABS(Y)))))^2-27))))*SIN((p/LN(2))*LN(2*v(X^2+Y^2)*(6*COS(ATAN((MIN(ABS(X),ABS(Y))/MAX(ABS(X),ABS(Y)))))-v(36*COS(ATAN((MIN(ABS(X),ABS(Y))/MAX(ABS(X),ABS(Y)))))^2-27)))))=0

Graph 4: (SIN((p/LN(2))*LN(v(X^2+Y^2)*(3*COS(((ATAN(X/Y)+(p/12))MOD(p/4))-(p/)+v(9*COS(((ATAN(X/Y)+(p/12))MOD(p/4))-(p/)^2-)))*SIN((p/LN(2))*LN(v(X^2+Y^2)*(3*COS(((ATAN(X/Y)+(p/12))MOD(p/4))-(p/)-v(9*COS(((ATAN(X/Y)+(p/12))MOD(p/4))-(p/)^2-))))<0