A Buying Guide for Land
Surveyors and Engineers
HP48GX has been discontinued, many of you in the Land Surveying
and Engineering professions are
wondering where to turn. The
HP48GX has not only been discontinued, but it has been banned from
the NCEES PLS, PE, LSIT, and EIT exams, supposedly because it has both
an alphanumeric keypad and has communication capability. This
leaves Land Surveyors and Engineers in an interesting predicament.
You have the option of trying to find a
used HP48GX at
Amazon.com or on
E-Bay, or you can move into the 21st century with Hewlett
Packard's new line of calculators.
calculator is right for me?
HP48GX remains the industry
standard for handheld calculators. The 128kb of on-board RAM and
two expansion slots for
add-on cards are unique among calculators.
If you plan on using an add-on card, such as
RAMSS, or you plan to use your
HP48 as a data collector for field
work, then this is your only option. Unfortunately, Hewlett
Packard has decided to discontinue production of this model. You
can still find them out there, but the prices have been being jacked
up now that they are no longer being manufactured.
Now the all-new
have hit the market! The
HP49G+ offers the memory card expansion
slots like the
HP48GX, and both calculators offer graphics,
programmable memory, and communications abilities.
HP48GII has 128kb of Flash ROM,
and is intended as the replacement for the
HP48GX, however it doesn't
seem to offer expansion slots for your COGO cards. The
has 512kb of Flash ROM and holds up to 800KB of available user memory
via SDRAM cards. The
HP49G+ is the top-of-the-line of HP
calculators, with expansion slots, a fast 75MHz processor, and that
HP-48G has only 32kb of RAM and
no add-on slots, but has all the other capabilities of the
However, it is only about a third of the price. So, if you are a
student, who doesn't need a lot of add-on programs, or you don't plan
on creating too many of your own programs, the
HP48G is certainly an
The HP-48G+ has 128kb of RAM, but no
add-on slots. It also offers capability to hook up an overhead
projector for presentations. If you prefer to make your own
programs, or want to download programs off the internet, the 48G+ may
be for you. It costs about twice as much as the 48G, but a third
less than the GX.
HP-49G has a whopping 1.5MB of
on-board memory (512k RAM and 1MB of flash ROM), but has no expansion
slots. You won't be able to use it with
RAMSS, but you'll have plenty of space to write your own programs
or download from other folks, and you can hook it up to a projector
for overhead presentations.
If you're looking for a calculator
to assist you on your NCEES PLS / PE or LSIT / EIT exams, the
is probably the best option out there. NCEES has banned the
really good calculators due to communication and text-editing
abilities, so you might want to add this one to your collection.
The release date is slated for October, 2003.
All the calculators are able to hook
up to your PC with the connection kit, and all have infrared
capability for printing or connecting to another 48.
For more information about which HP
calculator to buy, try the links below. To see prices and
specifications, click on the images in the table at the bottom of the