hp 17bii+

here is hp's replacement for the 17bii. its very slightly smaller than the original, with a more rounded style and bigger buttons. although the buttons are of lower quality than the original and feel harder to press. i cant decide whether the screen is clearer or not than the original. i never did find the original's display especially clear, but nor is this. maybe they are about the same.

like the original, it supports both rpn and algebraic entry, although the rpn mode is somewhat harder to use since the input key (ie enter) has been made smaller. calculation speed is mostly faster, although some things are slower. n! is slower also calculation of rate (i) in tvm mode, for example. none are so slow as to be a problem though.

a welcome addition over the original is currency conversions. this was originally only a feature of the 19bii, and also euros have been added that didn't exist on the 19bii, which is good.

as a born again 17bii, it fulfils the same feature set, but there have been some bugs reported and omissions (like the L(x) and G(x) solver functions)1. there is also more memory (32k), not all of which can be used, but nevertheless it means many useful financial (and scientific) programs could be accommodated whilst leaving plenty of space for user operations.

it is a pity that this new model could not have also acquired new features. for example, sin, cos and tan (and inverses) are not here. admittedly, they have no real place on a financial calculator, but what the heck, they could have been put deep inside the math menu for that very occasional use. i would also like to see the normal distribution function (usually called Q). this would be a real help to implementing black-scholes which would have been of significant advantage.

the machine is powered by two cr2032 cells, rather than the original 3 lr44 (g13). this might mean it has a higher power consumption than the original, whose batteries would last for a considerable time.


1. there have been correction to models after serial# CNA41200001.