Post new question
Honor Student
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎01-25-2015
Message 1 of 15 (14,971 Views)

Prime is a good choice for engineers?



I'm electronic engineer and I'm looking for a new calculator (my 48 G II suffered a little accident :smileytongue:). I've read a lot about the HP Prime and the TI Nspire CX CAS. The screen, the processor and the memory of the Prime caught my eye. But I saw that the Prime has some bugs in its software, while the Nspire seems to have a more mature software. Moreover, the Nspire plots 3D Graph, which is interesting feature for me.

In addition, I read that Prime is good for high school students, and the Nspire is great for engineers like me. However, the Prime has a excellent hardware that I think that it'll be easily improved in future updates...


So... Should I buy a Prime or the Nspire?


Sorry for any kind of error in my topic, English is not my first language :smileyhappy:


Best regards,


0 Kudos
W_W Tutor
Posts: 12
Member Since: ‎11-21-2014
Message 2 of 15 (14,914 Views)

Re: Prime is a good choice for engineers?

Hello Leo,


the prime may still have some minor bugs, but most of the bugs are fixed with the actual firmware now. I think, a more important issue is, that the prime supports rpn only for calculation and not for programming. The programming is completely different from hp48 ... hp50. The calculation with units is less intuitive than hp48 in my opinion.


But when you are looking for a 3d-plot for the prime, I recomend the programm/app by han. When you can live without rpn-programming and like algebraic entry i think, the prime will be a choice, you should consider.

Master's Graduate
Posts: 512
Member Since: ‎01-08-2009
Message 3 of 15 (14,898 Views)

Re: Prime is a good choice for engineers?

If you are concerned about the Prime being "designed for students" then you should be even more so concnerned about the nspire. While it is a very capable unit for certain (and defintiely more mature software since its been out for 5+ years), it most definitely is MORE targetted at high school then Prime. A simple look through the main function menu would show that. For example, your collection of matrix operations is much smaller and the CAS on the nspire does not handle anywhere near as much of the "higher" math type operations (the flip side being that it generally handles simple stuff better).


The general feeling I've gotten from reading comments online is that the nspire is "good for education, but not great for exams because so many things are so slow to do requiring lots of setup time for calculations". If you are a huge fan of the "document" model then that could also be a deciding factor.



All that being said, if you are coming from a 48/50g calculator you may end up feeling less at home. For example, soft menus are much less frequently used. Jumping to the nspire would most likely feel even less comfortable and restrictive then moving to Prime though. Since you can easily find the public FTP location where the Prime software looks for new updates, take it for a test drive by downloading a windows version.


Also, with full disclosure note that I am in the HP calculator group and was heavily involved with the creation of Prime so I am obviously biased despite my best efforts in this post. :-)



Although I work for the HP calculator group as a head developer of the HP Prime, the views and opinions I post here are my own.
Honor Student
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎01-25-2015
Message 4 of 15 (14,888 Views)

Re: Prime is a good choice for engineers?

Thanks for the replies, Tim Wessman and W-W. Your comments were very helpful to me.


The Graph3D is an amazing APP. I tested it in emulator and it ran very well. I read some update notes and I'm happy in see that the HP is improving the software :smileyvery-happy:


I live in Brazil and I never see someone using a Nspire here. Brazilians like HP :smileyvery-happy: So I only known the Nspire for reviews on the Internet. Once the price of both devices are high here in Brazil due the taxes (Nspire costs, on average, $ 300 and HP Prime, around $ 220), I thought a lot before purchase of Prime.


I want to thank again for the comments you made. As said before, helped me a lot.

Posts: 35
Member Since: ‎04-28-2015
Message 5 of 15 (14,872 Views)

Re: Prime is a good choice for engineers?

I am from Brazil too and it astonishes me the price they are asking for the Prime here. Talk about a ripoff!!!


Anyway, being a 50g enthusiast, I am still reluctant as to purchase the Prime, not only because of the price but also for the missing features as the prime is not the sucessor to the 50g. I would still buy it if it had full RPN integration,  the ability to solve non-linear systems of equations and perform parameter estimation, which are the most common things I do with my 50g.

The language on the prime seems more interesting to me in comparison to user-RPL, so I wouldn't mind translating a few programs I created to manipulate data (numeric integration etc).


Also, from the reviews I have been reading online, it seems the Prime is not quite ready for professionals. I myself am reluctant to believe that, I downloaded the emulator and it's been working properly as most bugs got fixed recently.





Posts: 35
Member Since: ‎04-28-2015
Message 6 of 15 (14,861 Views)

Re: Prime is a good choice for engineers?



I would not go for the NSpire. I would buy either the 50g or the Prime. I would pick the Prime if I were not dealing with very specific stuff. FYI, the prime is MUCH faster than the 50g. Some say there is no guess as to when or even if HP will release the successor to the 50g, so, go with the Prime.

Honor Student
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎01-25-2015
Message 7 of 15 (14,836 Views)

Re: Prime is a good choice for engineers?

Hello MarcioB,


I bought a Prime today morning. I think that the Prime will be improved in next months or years, mainly because the processor and excellent display. As I saw, the HP has interest in improve it :smileyhappy: New features should appear in the near future. Besides that, the HP Prime has warranty here in Brazil.


Thank you for your reply!

Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎02-04-2015
Message 8 of 15 (14,697 Views)

Re: Prime is a good choice for engineers?

Hello Leo,


I teach at a community college in an engineering transfer program.  I see and use many different calculators and have long been an HP calculator fan.  When HP dropped out of the calculator market a few years ago I lost faith in them, gave up my HP 48 and got a TI-89 Titanium.  The majority of my students use the TI-89.  When the HP Prime came out I got one and have been transtitioning to it for a few months.  I enjoy its speed, bright touch screen, solvers and graphing capabiltiy.  I don't care much for the orange alpha key labels.  I miss the indepth vector operations available on both the HP-48 and 50 and the TI-89.  I have written a few programs for the HP Prime and the connectivity kit and emulator work well.


All in all, I think the HP Prime is the future and the TI-89 is showing its age.  I am recommending it to my students.

Posts: 7
Member Since: ‎01-11-2014
Message 9 of 15 (6,438 Views)

Re: Prime is a good choice for engineers?

The last engineering class I had was several years ago, and I blew away all the young kids with my HP-35s.   The class used a lot of complex variables, and the way they were entered and displayed in either rectangular or polar was a big winner.  But the machine lacked features you would need for complex math, such as the complex conjugate function.  And the memory register layout was terrible.   It is a shame that this physical package was not made to be "repurposed".  The four line display would have been spectacular for the WP-34s.  


The 34s is my favorite machine, but it is non-graphing.   It has lots of good stuff and is well thought out by actual users who use it.   I have two that run on the HP platform, and one that runs on my cell phone.   If you don't need graphing, that is the one to get.


As for the HP-Prime, I have had four.  Two of them died with "flat keyboard".   Something goes wrong with the keys: they lose their fine "HP feel" and become unreliable.   One I leave in the original box because of what happened with the first two.  And the fourth runs on my cell phone.   If you have a modern android tablet, I highly recommend that as a platform for a prime.   And, in spite of a few reported bugs, the prime is a fantastic package that in my hands in 1959 would have made me the dean of engineering at a major university or possibly a presidential science advisor. The physical device is just not up to HP's traditional standards of quality and durability.   It wouldn't even survive one trip through a snow blower!  So get a prime and leave it in the box for when your cell phone has a dead battery.


I am looking for something like a SPICE circuit simulator and a Code 5 geometric optics package to run on a Prime; anybody seen one?

Posts: 2,644
Member Since: ‎02-17-2015
Message 10 of 15 (6,408 Views)

Re: Prime is a good choice for engineers?

Hi!, @richard1941:


You can see, all program's created, for HP PRIME and the big capacity, for generate many project's.

Only what, in your cases, today not have this. 

Welcome, to this Forum !.

Thank you soo much, by trusting in HP !.

Top Contributor (Gold 2016) - Expert Provost, in Spanish Forum ( and HP Expert Program Top Contributor #HPMeetup17.

Kind Regards.
† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation