HP 50gCredit: hpHere are the best HP graphing calculators for high school or college students.

Scientific calculators have long been a staple in most high school mathematics classrooms. Their versatility, programmability and affordability make them valuable teaching tools. In particular, the built-in, high resolutions screens provide visual data that makes learning math far more  intuitive and effective.

Hewlett Packard has been manufacturing all types of calculators since it introduced the first scientific pocket calculator, the HP 35 in 1972. Its current line includes a wide range of graphing calculators suitable for high school and college students in a variety of disciplines.


Three of their most popular models are:


HP 39gs

Hewlett Packard’s most affordable model, the HP 39gs graphing calculator is actually quite suitable for almost all math classes short of calculus and is suitable for students taking AP Physics or Chemistry. It provides an intuitive interface that includes several plotting functions, statistical tools and geometric functions.

It includes and infrared port for wireless communication with another HP 39gs and with a USB cable for easy connectivity to computers and upgrades. Batteries are included and, in addition to the advanced users manual, HP support is available around the clock.


HP 40gs

For the more advanced student in calculus class, the Hewlett Packard 40gs includes HP’s proprietary Computer Algebra System that facilitates complex arithmetic and calculus functions. Over 600 built-in functions makes easy work of the computation of permutations, combinations, exponential and logarithmic functions as well as trigonometric problems.

This model also features an upgraded screen with higher resolution, contrast control and split screen capability. A USB and serial port are both included for easy connection to other calculators, computers and printers. Batteries are also included. All in all, this reasonably priced calculator will take a student through all four years of high school.


HP 50g

The HP 50g is Hewlett Packard’s latest and most powerful addition to its line of scientific graphing calculators. It has more memory, 2.5 MB, is faster and has a larger, high contrast screen that is scalable. Over 2300 functions make this graphing calculator a powerful addition to any undergraduate or grad students educational arsenal.

It connects to external devices via a serial port or through the provided USB cable. It is ideal for all pure and applied mathematical problems as well as advanced engineering problems. Solutions can be displayed in either 2- or 3-D renderings. Batteries are included and HP support is available online or via phone 24/7.


The Final Decision

Most back to school lists require the  purchase of a graphing calculator. A wise decision now will avoid further purchases in the high school years. Consider purchasing the best calculator that you can afford. It is an investment in your child’s future.

In addition, an intuitive, easy to use calculator can avoid years of math anxiety and also serve as an excellent teaching tool. A properly tended calculator that is not abused will last for an entire high school career and possibly longer. If you have more than one child, it can easily be handed down. The best HP graphing calculators for high school or college students is the HP line of  graphing calculators. It offers a wide variety of choices that are versatile, durable and affordable.

If you prefer the calculators of Texas Instruments, check out this IB article or thus one on The Best TI Calculators for High School.