TI89 vs HP50g graphing calculator online

One of the questions we hear from our readers regularly is whether they should get the HP50G or the TI89 Titanium graphing calculator for someone going to college.

At a certain point, when you are about to get into college to study electrical engineering or calculus etc you will need to decide between the two best graphing calculators for college – the TI89 Titanium graphing calculator or the the HP50G graphing calculator or the the regular TI 89 .

Both of these calculators are great – basically they good for advanced math, calculus and electrical engineering not only in college but also when you graduate and get into a career.

Here is what you need to know about each of these-



HP 50g:

Very Fast processor CPU: 75 MHz ARM9 (Capable of 250 MHz operation)
Screen resolution is quite low: 131×80
IrDA (infrared) Port
SD Expansion Slot: The HP has expandable memory. It has a card slot for 2GB flash expansion memory. This can be great for storing additional programming.
More RAM than TI: 512k
Adequate Flash: 2MB
Faster ARM processor, graphing 10x faster then the 89
Does not have Box/Whiskers, and other graph/plotting functions
Built-in Speaker
More Open OS (HPGCC, etc)
Features HP trademark calculator keys.
Leather case included
New display upgrade–the new HP 50g display features a 30% increase in usable space over the HP 49g+
New powerful SD card slot allows you to format your card right in the calculator and expand memory
Massive 2.5 MB total memory–512 KB RAM plus 2 MB flash ROM for performing future upgrades**
New larger equation library and 2300+ built-in functions–ideal for both professionals and students
The choice of efficient RPN, Textbook or Algebraic data entry

Here is what you need to know about the TI 89.

TI-89 Titanium:

Great high Screen Resolution: 160×100
Much slower than HP50 CPU: 12 MHz (MC68000)
Less RAM: 188K
Most Flash: 2.7MB
Better Lab Support (Calculator Based Laboratory System
Proprietary OS
Better Classroom Support, Geared to Education

“This is the most powerful scientific calculator in its class.If you’re majoring in Engineering, or plan to major it, then you must get this one (or regular Ti-89).If you buy anything else for cheaper price, you’ll have to spend $150 more to get this later anyway. (like me)” Click here to read the rest of this review.

Technical Details for TI 89

16 preloaded Graphing Calculator Software Applications (Apps), including EE*Pro, CellSheet & NoteFolio
Electronic upgradeability for maintenance upgrades and new software downloads
Preloaded with Offiical AP Calculas exam review questions
Built-in USB port with cable
3x the Flash memory of the TI-89

Get the the TI89 Titanium graphing calculator for lowest price here or the the HP50G graphing calculator for 50% off here here.

More widely used

It is important to get a graphing calculator that is more likely to be used by fellow students and the instructor. This makes it easy to get help from others and to follow instructions. The TI89, as is the whole TI brand, is therefore much better for college as it is more widely used across the USA. .

More programs
The great thing about TI 89 is that it is like the IPhone and its Apps. It has more programs which have been designed by other third parties. Some of these programs are very useful. For example you can do non symbolic calculus function on the TI84 plus SE.
The TI89 has more programs and games. Many are Free. You can even run M68000 assembly language programs on it too.

If you plan to use the HP50G for AP stats you need to make some programs or download them.
For electrical Engineers the TI89 comes with a database of equations (EEPRo). There is also EEPRo for HP 50 G. Do a search on Google.

HP does not have an official application website. You get this from hpcaclc.org (for HP 48, 49 and HP50 G).It is open to any user of the HP calculators. If you go to the “electrical Engineering” subject in the website you will find programs for the HP 50G. It will also use all the HP 49 programs. If you go to ticalc.org you will find a lot of programs for the Ti89. CAS is better for Math class with the TI89.

The RPN Syntax.
If you choose HP50G make sure you learn RPN syntax if you want to unleash the full power of this calculator. The RPN mode helps one to learn much more about the equations. Although one can run the HP in an “Algebraic” mode it is also more efficient to use the RPN.

“For the longest time, I could not decide on this or a TI for my mechanical engineering degree, but my friend talked me into this (HP50G) based on the advanced functions. After he showed me how to use the RPN mode I was blown away and am very happy with this calculator.”
Click here to read the rest of this review. .

With the HP 50G Gamma function and the factorial do cover all the real numbers. Its soft buttons are much better than the menus. You can even make music using the BEEP function. HP’s RPN is great and it makes a great foundation for building more tools.

With TI89 there is a program that will let it use the RPN. It a free 3rd party RPN.

Those who go with or learn RPN( even if its not easy )never want to go back.

Easier to learn
HP50 G has a higher leaning curve partly because of the RPN language (for programming) which is a little more difficult to learn.

The TI 89(as well as the 83/84) uses the BASIC, a simpler language for progamming. Both the HP50G and the TI89 have the CAS (Computer algebra System) functions.

However some serious engineers like the HP 50G as it is more powerful than the TI 89. However it has a steeper learning curve. You will learn how to actually USE a calculator rather than the easier way of simply pushing buttons on the TI 89. However the HP has an instructional manual which can be referred to and makes learning easier.
The TI 89 menus are well organized which makes doing any calculations a breeze.

Sturdy or not sturdy?
The complaint against the TI89 is that the font is small that some people have a hard time reading it.
HP has a more sturdy build. There are stories of HP salesmen throwing the calculators to the ceiling and letting them fall on the hard floor and they would still work. The batteries last longer on the TI89. The HP eats up power and batteries. If you use it a lot you have to replace the batteries almost every two weeks. The calculator turns off after five minutes of non use. This can frustrate people who want to take a break especially if you were blind typing formulas. The battery case is not good. The springs are weak. The cover of the battery is not very firm.
Many people say that the HP will last longer .Ti may not last as many years as the HP.

Bottom Line
The HP 50G is cheaper than the TI 89 but this does not mean that the HP is inferior. Some have said that HP is trying to under price their devices in order to break the market domination of the TI. The HP has higher resale value than the TI. You are unlikely to find the HP in local stores but you can order it online.

In our experience many people who compare the TI89 Titanium graphing calculator and the HP50G graphing calculator have not tried both. Most HP users have tried TI before but most TI people have never tried the HP.So be careful when you take advise from someone who has never tried the HP50G.

From a purely specifications standpoint the HP is much better. The HP has a faster processor but that is never such a big deal.

“Compared to the TI-89, the HP-50 seems more powerful. The CAS seems a little stronger, it has a lot more built-in mathematical, scientific, and engineering applications, and the hardware is far superior.Click here to read the rest of this review.

You may not even notice or have to take advantage of that. The TI 89 has advanced symbolic manipulation – i.e. it can simplify and manipulate all types of maths from calculus to Trigonometry. For Maths we say TI 89.

“5.0 out of 5 stars Must have calculator!This TI89 calculator has saved me from failing my college algebra course. It is a definite item to purchase for all college level math courses. Glad I bought it.”Click here to read the rest of this review.

If you are in a career such in engineering then you should consider the HP50G. However if you are in college taking advanced course such as Advance calculus and maths, or Trigonometry, we propose the TI89. It has advanced statistics capabilities and has better support (by educators).

If you like to figure things yourself rather than going the easy route then you should get the HP50G.

If in high school we recommend that you do NOT get the Ti89 nor the HP50 G. Consider the TI84 Plus or Plus Silver edition and then later in college get a TI89 or a HP 50G. It will ensure that you learn the computations behind the solutions. It is also allowed in exams including in standardized exams such as SAT.

You need to learn how to know or have an idea what most simple functions should look like between two axes. So even if you are using a calculator its good to make sure you understand the computations behind them . Of course when you have to make actual measurements from the data you have to use the calculator.
We recommend the TI 89 because it is more common- your fellow students and professor are more likely to use it – which makes it easy to follow instructions and also to get support from fellow students.

The HP50G is listed at Amazon for $175 ( currently ( jan 2013) there is a special discount price of $87) cheaper than the the regular TI 89 which is almost $187 ( the TI 89 Titanium) is $139). Get the the TI89 Titanium graphing calculator for lowest price here or the the HP50G graphing calculator for 50% off here here. However review the prices listed below as occasionally other vendors may have lower prices.

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