Question about HP 12c Calculator

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Do you have advice in calculator choice between HP 12 c and the TI BA II Plus Professional Financial Calculator? Assuming that I get proficient with RPN (which I'm learning now); is one faster than the other? more functions?

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The 12C is more expensive and more powerful than the BAII+Pro. The HP is also programmable, which the TI isn't. Starting from scratch (assuming you've never used a calculator before---a somewhat unreasonable assumption) the TI might be easier to learn, at least initially. But after a certain point, the HP will leave the TI behind. The HP is faster and more capable.

There are at least three different versions of the 12C available. There's the original 12C, the 12C Platinum, and the current 12C. The only way to tell the difference between the two non-Platinums is to look at the battery compartment---the original uses three button cells while the newer uses two coin cells. The newer one is MUCH faster. The Platinum, however, can use RPN or algebraic.

Unless your choice is limited to the 12C or the BAII (by the requirement of an exam, perhaps), you might want to look at the HP 20B and the HP 30B. Programmability aside, they're even more powerful and easier to use and faster than the 12C, and the 30B is also programmable.

There are other considerations, of course. Factors such as the feel of the keyboard, the 12C's landscape orientation as opposed to the others' portrait orientation, etc, are all matters of personal preference.

Disclaimer: I own multiple HP and multiple TI calculators. I tend to use HP calculators for calculating, while I use TI calculators to answer questions here at FixYa.

Posted on Mar 23, 2011

Testimonial: "Ha!!! In fact my choice is limited by the CFA exam."

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http://education.ti.com/downloads/guidebooks/financial/baiiplus/BAIIPLUSGuidebook_EN.pdf

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