On the official "hpcomputers" Youtube account, there's now a marketing clip of the HP Prime calculator Smile

http://www.youtube.com/v/WF8tZP0uKu0



The 3.5" multi-touch color screen is mentioned, and we can also see the alpha keys superposed to other keys (like on the TI-Z80, TI-68k and many other models from other manufacturers), as well as a battery :bj:
However, no information about the CPU, RAM and storage room - which are the pieces of information of highest interest to me, as they truly are what defines a platform Sad

Through functionalities such as dynamic geometry, and specific students mention, we can see that the calculator is much more students-oriented than many other HP calculator models.

Speaking on my own, I think that the alpha keys superposed with other keys are much more convenient than the Nspire keyboards' two sets of keys and their tiny keys - even with long, thin fingers.

Looks like, from the clip and image, that those who indicated that its screen resolution and CPU / memory characteristics were the same as the 50g's, didn't have access to the correct pieces of information.

Anyway, this calculator technically makes HP calculators much closer to the state of the art in the matter of calculators, or even define said state of the art Smile
Of course, this calculator is unlikely to be cheap, but all calculators are too expensive for the limited functionality they provide. Earlier today, I read once again about a platform much closer to its real price: a $12 phone: http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=3040 ...

We'll see what TI does with the CX Premium Smile

Sibling topics: http://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=11613&lang=en , http://ourl.ca/18748
Very interesting to see HP join the 'arms race for graphing calculator supremacy'.
http://www.cemetech.net/news.php?id=547.

The prime calculator looks remarkably like a smartphone.

Quote:
Of course, this calculator is unlikely to be cheap, but all calculators are too expensive for the limited functionality they provide.

Couldn't agree with you more!

I would love to see Amazon bring out their own E Ink calculator to put the frighteners on TI, HP and Casio.

What fun and what choice for students then! Very Happy
Well, I didn't see this one comming.
HP have had a lot criticism in past years for neglecting their investment in the calculator research facility at Palo Alto where the HP35 (an IEEE Milestone) was developed. Ironically the HP35S Anniversary Edition is considered to be a disapointment and a somewhat lame attempt to rekindle the glory days of Bill Hewlett's culture.
This new offering looks set to blow everything else out of the water. If HP like it or not, there is a market for portable graphing devices which fill a niche between MathCAD and Maple etc and a conventional scientific calcilator. The fact that there are iPhone Apps to emulate graphing calcultors is proof positve and somewhat reflected in this design. There is also a another twist to this tale: Jean-Yves Avenard is a former disaffected HP engineer and known to be working on the Qonos. Unfortunately it looks like his vision has taken form and life from whence he came.
This latest salvo must surely mark the beginning of the end for the ageing TI-8x family ?

We'll see...
Ooh, this is very neat--I wonder kind of programming we'll be able to do on it. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!
If HP continues doing the following:

-Not bothering selling the calculator in United States (the HP 39gII is only available in Europe) and in most retail stores that sells TI/Casio calcs
-Failing to improve their website navigation so that it's actually possible to find anything at all
-Continue doing a poor job at marketing their calculator products in general

This calculator will fail, even if it's extremely powerful and not expensive.

Otherwise, if they do everything right (per TI/Casio standards), then it could have a better chance.

I mean, I'm literally the only HP game programmer in the entire English calculator community (and even then, I only made 1 game) and the first from here to have released an HP game since the last decade, so there's really a big problem here.

This calc looks quite nice, though. I wish they would move the d-pad/touchpad on the left or right, because it's gonna be hard to navigate otherwise, especially in games, as we could see on the Nspire models. I also hope it's not locked down and doesn't run on a Saturn emulator layer like the 50g instead of taking advantage of the CPU speed like the 39gII did.

By the way, this is what you can do in pure BASIC on a HP 39gII (even with no scrolling/screen shifting command):



Note that the grays are messed up. It actually looks like this:

I think this calculator looks great, and combined with the news of the touchscreen Casio fx-CP400 that we broke a few months ago, I think this is further evidence that as we reported, the CollegeBoard may be allowing touchscreen calculators on the SAT soon. As Lionel says, we will see what TI's response is.
I empathise with DJ_O. The thing that drove me away from HP calculators was the very poor support from HP and the lack of a proper community such that exists for TI. The Aplet building process for HP(39GII) was a bit clunky and the PC connectivity was still in the dark ages. A real shame because the products are great - it just that HP neglects them a little. The fate of this latest offering will be decided by how it is received by what is left of HP's loyal followers but it does look as if it's aimed squarely at the educational market. Myself, and I guess others will stay with TI mainly because of sites like Cemetech. HP calculators may remain a interesting addition to a largely TI collection.
Indeed, the linking software is so buggy and annoying to use. You have to open the emulator to get it to work and you absolutely need the latest version. Then you must send the files to the emulator then the PC/Calc. In other words, the emulator acts like a bridge between the calc and the linking software and half of the time your calc isn't detected or it freezes.

But again, the HP 39gII was designed for China in the first place, so they most likely didn't care about stability since people there will buy it anyway due to being cheap.

It's a real shame, considering what the calc can do just in BASIC.
flintymcqwerty wrote:
Very interesting to see HP join the 'arms race for graphing calculator supremacy'.

If you're talking supremacy in terms of sales, HP doesn't have much of a chance. TI is so engrained in the North American education market, I don't see how HP can make much of a dent unless they radically change their marketing and start working more with teachers and textbook publishers. (Perhaps the announcement of the Prime at the educational conference marks a change in this regard.)

If you're talking in terms of the calculator itself, some who regularly use both TI's and HP's are of the opinion that HP's already have supremacy. Wink

-wes
What's interesting is that this is HP's first high-end educational-oriented grapher.

Historically, HP has cut-down their high-end grapher du jour to make an algebraic-only, restricted educational machine (48G->38G, 49G->39G/40G, 49g+->39g+, 50g->39gs/40gs), although the 39gII is its own thing (and it's been implied that the Prime is at least somewhat based on the 39gII's software stack). As far as I know, the educational HPs are decent calcs - they're still the same build quality as the high-end machines that they're based on, so the 38G will be drive-nails-with-it quality and the 39gs and 40gs will be excellent - but there's not usually that much enthusiasm for them from what I've seen in the HP community (because of the lack of RPN), and being HPs, there's not much enthusiasm elsewhere, either.

This time, though, they're bringing hardware that looks to compete toe-to-toe with TI and Casio's best, and optimizing for education, but still sticking RPN in there (although by the sound of what I've read on the MoHPC forums, I'm almost wondering if RPN will be a second-class citizen, ala RPN implementations for TI calcs). Wonder what that'll mean for all sorts of things, the hackability (that HP's been known for since 41C programmers found synthetic programming, and HP decided to throw the community a bone, and maybe even before then) being the biggest concern. Everything else high-end and programmable (65, 67, 41, 48, 49, 50) has been aimed at engineers and such before students.

I don't think it'll succeed in the US educational market, though. TI is way too deeply entrenched, mandatory TI-84+s and Nspires and all. Europe and Asia, it's got a shot. The trick will be to see whether HP's sold out their traditional high-end buyers at the same time (and there's already some complaints about key assignments and such being optimized for education).

(The 38G appears to have been very competitive on paper... but was aimed at the 82, not the 85. Wonder why that one didn't take off, though... I have seen a textbook that had TI-82 keystrokes, but I didn't think that kind of thing was that common back in the mid 90s. I hear the 39/40 family is moderately successful in Europe, but pretty much a flop here (which is a shame, but it does mean that the 39gs (if you want IR) or 40gs (if you want CAS), which is pretty beastly hardware (a 75 MHz version of the 48gII hardware, which is a 131x64 sans SD slot version of the 50g hardware) is stupid cheap, if you need a grapher for a class, and they allow non-TI) - and, really, the 39 family is aimed at the 83+/84 it seems (but with 86-like capability). That said, I don't blame HP at all for not even trying the 39gII here - you can get a 39gs for $49 shipped, due to them being worthless here because Not TI!)

And, there is an HP community, although it's scattered, and it isn't educationally or gaming oriented at all.

One big thing is, you've got the RPN vs. RPL schism - thing to keep in mind is that HP intended their graphers to be the successor to the 4-level RPN calcs, and actually didn't even market them as graphers until the 48G (the 28S and 48SX actually advertised themselves as scientific, not graphing, even though graphing support had been around in the very first calculator with user-facing RPL, the 28C). Yes, the graphers are all User RPL, the non-graphers are all RPN (well, then you've got the 42S, which is System RPL, but pretends to be RPN), but it's not really a non-grapher/grapher schism. Think of it more like... I dunno, a TI-84 vs. Nspire schism? The different systems definitely use different approaches to get things done, each with their own downsides, and some people detest RPL. (Me, I like RPL, but do get the elegance of a good RPN calc.)

The RPN side of the schism has actually produced some amazing results re: hackery - a full-custom firmware replacement for an HP calculator, and a full custom CPU board (including an FPGA-based redesign of the CPU that was originally in the calc) for another HP calculator. And, that side has started to aim for full-custom hardware to run their software - complete with a big LCD, to show multiple stack levels at once.

RPL side has had some amazing hackery too (some of which ended up in the 49G, 48gII, and 49g+/50g ROMs), but not much recently. Then again, the Prime announcement has started some discussion about reimplementing RPL from scratch, because now the RPL crowd realizes that the days of high-end RPL hardware are numbered, with the Prime existing.
It looks shiny. I like shiny things. It has my vote.
bhtooefr wrote:
Historically, HP has cut-down their high-end grapher du jour to make an algebraic-only, restricted educational machine (48G->38G, 49G->39G/40G, 49g+->39g+, 50g->39gs/40gs), although the 39gII is its own thing (and it's been implied that the Prime is at least somewhat based on the 39gII's software stack).
That makes a lot of sense; I never quite thought about it that way before. It seems like an odd sort of way to compete to me, as compared to building an educational calculator from the ground up, but it makes sense for their traditional strong audience of professionals and engineers.

Quote:
This time, though, they're bringing hardware that looks to compete toe-to-toe with TI and Casio's best, and optimizing for education, but still sticking RPN in there (although by the sound of what I've read on the MoHPC forums, I'm almost wondering if RPN will be a second-class citizen, ala RPN implementations for TI calcs).
I wouldn't be surprised; if they're looking to appeal directly to the users who traditionally buy TI calculators, RPN notation would just get in the way of the pedagogy.

Quote:
I don't think it'll succeed in the US educational market, though. TI is way too deeply entrenched, mandatory TI-84+s and Nspires and all. Europe and Asia, it's got a shot. The trick will be to see whether HP's sold out their traditional high-end buyers at the same time (and there's already some complaints about key assignments and such being optimized for education).
I fear you may be right, but I think marketing has a lot to do with it. I feel that Casio did very little work to market the Prizm in the US, perhaps considering it a lost cause, but I know that (for example) in Portugal, it's extremely widely used.

Quote:
And, there is an HP community, although it's scattered, and it isn't educationally or gaming oriented at all.
And that's what we're here for! Presumably if it's a fun device to work with we'll have plenty of games and utilities to code.

Sarah wrote:
It looks shiny. I like shiny things. It has my vote.
And there we have the counterpoint to bhtooefr's extremely intelligent post.
KermMartian wrote:
Sarah wrote:
It looks shiny. I like shiny things. It has my vote.
And there we have the counterpoint to bhtooefr's extremely intelligent post.


Sarah++

I wish I saw at least one HP graphing calc, but I doubt I have.

It already has a leg up on the Prizm - a clock displayed in its main menu Razz
With the marketing angle and educational market customer base aside, the issue remains as previously held, with the PC connectivity: which is dire.
The fact the new HP35S does not even have any kind of port is a brain dead design decision.
I will await to see what programming language is offered and if they have finally sorted the PC connectivity (or lack of) problems.
My old TI-86 is shiny but through continued use... Very Happy
We don't actually know how the PC connectivity will work on the Prime, although it's presumably through USB.

That said, given that an HP employee said (either on MoHPC or on HP's own forums, I forget which) that the 39gII's software stack would be the basis for all future high-end calculators... I'm thinking that connectivity will work like the 39gII. I don't believe there's an SD slot, so you can't use it like a 49g+ or 50g and ignore the connectivity software (which is what I do on my 50g - I download to a 16 MiB MMC card that came free with a camera, and stick that in the 50g, rather than deal with Conn4x and all the fail that comes with). Programming has been stated to be based on the 39gII's language, and not at all RPN-based. (This makes sense, given that the 39gII is pretty clearly positioned against the TI-84+, and the Prime clearly positioned against the Nspire.)

The 35S's problem is that it's basically a polished 33S (which was a fairly mediocre machine), designed to get something out quickly with minimal investment. It's based on a Sunplus 6502 controller, with mask ROM, no USB (or serial UART, even, I think - you could bitbang something, but that just sucks) support, but a decent LCD controller. The Atmel SAM7 part that HP is using more lately (and is in the delightfully hackable 20b/30b) has a mediocre LCD controller, and HP has said that they don't want to have to use a separate LCD controller (and apparently nothing in their price range with an ARM has a decent one integrated).
bhtooefr - You are obviously well versed in HP technology. I tinkered with the Aplet generation for the HP39GII with Conn4X and could not get the screen grab to work. I think the sotware was desgned to run on Windows 3.1 using COM ports and was a bit clunky. I got a bit disallusioned with the lack of web support and defected. So did you program straight to "Basic" without the Aplet building process ?
DJ_O wrote:


By the way, this is what you can do in pure BASIC on a HP 39gII (even with no scrolling/screen shifting command):




This could also be a reason I like it. But I think it's because it's shiny.
I've not actually done anything with the 39gII, and don't have one. (I grabbed the emulator, but no RPN mode == little interest.)

Anyway, the 39gII connectivity kit isn't Conn4x (unless I'm missing something here). Conn4x (and I assume ConnX3 for the RPL-based 39/40 calcs is the same way, but the 39gII is very different) is an incredibly dated program, and the RPL HP calcs don't work like TIs, you have to explicitly command them to link up to a host (enabling the Xmodem or Kermit server). If you're using the Aplet Development Kit, I don't believe that will ever work with the 39gII - it's designed for the very different, almost completely unrelated (except for UI conventions) 39G/40G/39g+/39gs/40gs.
Any time frame on when more info will be available? I'm curious about it.
Info's been slowly tricking out on the Museum of HP Calculators forum (the organization is... almost non-existent, and rather confusing, but the technical content is honestly pretty amazing), and you can find some tidbits here and there on HP's own calculator subforum. You might also find some tidbits on the comp.sys.hp48 newsgroup, but given that the 39gII and Prime are a new platform unrelated to the HP-48, it's out of scope on that newsgroup.

The interesting thing is how the MoHPC forum treats the 39gII. It's clear that it's considered this "other" thing that lacks RPN and therefore isn't quite worthy (that forum consisting heavily of RPN faithful, me being part of that set), but there's definitely interest in how that machine ticks (especially given that Tim Wessman (one of the engineers of HP's calculators) has explicitly said that the 39gII's software is the basis of every high-end graphing calculator to come).

I'd go so far as to say, if you want to get used to how the Prime works, grab the 39gII emulator if you haven't already.
  
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