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First impressions on Casio FX-5800P
04-19-2014, 02:55 PM (This post was last modified: 04-19-2014 05:41 PM by Manolo Sobrino.)
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First impressions on Casio FX-5800P
I've just received one of these brand new coming from Korea, and I want to share a few first impressions with you. People interested already know about its features (scientific, programmable, non graphing), here is the User's Guide.

The keyboard is decent, much better than the recent Casio scientifics, although it's plastic (ABS?) over membrane. It is "soft" (but not too/that much), yet provides a reasonable haptic feedback with an audible tap, no registering problems so far. Keep in mind that this is not an expensive calculator.

Pixels are on the big side, so numbers look big, pretty nice overall. LCD is quite good, a bit greenish but very readable. It has a protective (I guess Polycarbonate, maybe PMMA) protruding window, moderately thick, ~1mm. The calculator is well made, lighter than it looks, a bit tilted and a bit weight balanced towards the screen. Cover is made from ABS, (as is everything else?) looks a bit fragile but not flimsy at all, it closes nicely. Faceplate and cover are black, the rest is dark grey, and the texture of it all is matte. When closed it shows you just a silver small CASIO label... It's a fairly handsome closed calculator Smile.

It is strongly modal: MODE key shows/hides the mode menu, so you can pick one. After you choose one mode, you can get the menu of available functions for that mode that are not in the layout via FUNCTION key. If you don't choose any of them, you get out of there via EXIT key, which also returns to the previous menu in case you're in a sub-menu. It's not that awkward after you get the hang of it.

You have the same maths keys of a 115ES, but now Ans and inverse are shifted. I don't understand very well why Ans is not primary as it has the nice feature of understanding the arithmetic minus key sign as a minus sign everywhere. It has a prominent i key. There is no complex mode, it just works with complex numbers for arithmetic, ^2, ^3 and SQRT. All the features of the 5000F (formula and alphanumerics specially), 4500P/PA (FILE) and 5500L/LA are there, and those of the 115ES too except for unit conversions, in fact it's kind of a 115ES on steroids.

In COMP mode, Natural Display mode works like a charm (you can choose between this "MathIO" or standard "LineIO"), but it has a problem with implied multiplication (syntax error) if just a number follows the fraction (put an x (*), sqrt or a parentheses and it works). As different templates are used for proper and improper fractions there's no ambiguity, default mode is improper.

The speed is reasonable, input buffering doesn't seem to make it sluggish when entering long expressions. All 4 cursor keys enable REPLAY, and allow for navigation/editing through current input and recent history. The number of recorded calculations is not fixed, it appears to be limited by some specific memory constraint.

Statistics look nice, regression too, you can work straightforwardly with your table of data and move around it. Base-N mode is a pleasure, as in BIN you can see all the 32 signed/unsigned bits.

It claims 15 digits for internal calculations, 10 for display mantissa, a precision (meaning accuracy?) of 1 ulp for those and cumulative errors. Ordinary Casio range. I haven't tested it really (numerical solver & integration, programmability etc.), but trigs apparently don't do weird things.

It also remembers where you were (and your numbers) when you power it on. It comes powered by a Panasonic alkaline AAA battery. You have to unscrew the battery cover to replace it (the screw socket is made of metal, nice touch, Casio's own mechanical engineering is usually pretty good -in watches it's outstanding-, this doesn't look like a Kinpo idea). The back cover is fixed with Phillips screws, so I guess the whole calculator can be disassembled easily.

It came in a small package with an A-6 size plain paper copy of the ~140PP English User's guide, and a folded leaflet with all the constants and formulas. The "optionally available cable (SB-62)" which allows for settings and programs transfer between calcs (only) is not included.

Overall, a surprisingly pleasant and relatively inexpensive (on sale) welterweight calculator without school looks. I'm liking it so far.

(edit) I guess a lousy picture is due. It might not be apparent but it's half as thick as a (dead) 50G:

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First impressions on Casio FX-5800P - Manolo Sobrino - 04-19-2014 02:55 PM

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