Making the most of your HP calculator


Home Club Calculators Handhelds Magazine Discussions

HP49G series

Introduction Principal Features Emulators Availability Books Datafile Articles Links


The HP49G was introduced in 1999 and withdrawn 2003. Despite the radically different case and keyboard, the HP49G has a lot in common with the HP48 series. The HP49G came into being because of HPCC and a group of HP48 enthusiasts who wrote the MetaKernel and the Erable mathematics package. At the HPCC 1997 Conference, HP asked whether HPCC members would buy an upgraded HP48G with MetaKernel, Alg48 and Erable built in. The overwhelming response was "Yes" and the HP49G was born.

The HP49G has the best software of any HP calculator, but oddly HP compromised on the quality of its keyboard in order to reduce costs and compete with TI's top end models. The rubber keys suffer from the printing rubbing off with wear - something which was impossible on the moulded keys of older models. The display of the 49 has better contrast than the 48, but early models suffered from a rainbow effect being visible.

The HP49G is not expandable (hence no "X" on the end) because HP took the opportunity to increase the available memory and include Flash ROM. This allows the user to upgrade the operating system. This has proved particularly valuable given the complexity of the software.

Some features of the HP48 series are missing from the HP49G: there is no Infrared communications capability and no built-in Equation Library.

The HP49G+ replaced the HP49G with another case, keyboard, display and internal design. The most significant changes are internal with the Saturn CPU having been replaced by an ARM CPU emulating the earlier chip. This has opened up another level of programming: native ARM machine code. By programming the ARM CPU directly programs ought to be able to run much faster than programs written in Saturn machine code or the higher level RPL and HP Basic languages. The provision of an SD card slot also opens up many new possibilities over the non-expandable HP49G.

The display of the HP49G+ is improved over that of the HP49G in terms of contrast and by being 16 pixels taller. Unfortunately many programs not specifically rewritten for this model are unlikely to be able to take advantage of the extra space.

Principal Features

  • 512K RAM
  • 2MB Flash ROM
  • 131x64 High Contrast LCD (G)
  • 131x80 High Contrast LCD (G+)
  • RS232 communications via Kermit (G)
  • SD card slot (G+)
  • Object based
  • Symbolic algebra
  • Computer Algebra System
  • Step-by-step solving
  • "Infinite" stack (to limit of available memory)
  • Reverse Polish Notation or Algebraic (switchable)
  • Matrix handling
  • Complex numbers
  • Extended integers
  • Units
  • 2D/3D graphing with tracing and zooming, real-time rotation
  • Enhanced User Interface including Filer application, faster Matrix and Equation editors
  • RPL, HP Basic and Assembly language programming
  • Accessories: HP PC/MAC Connectivity Kits; Overhead Display Unit; Portable DataLab


For PC users, the excellent Emu48 is available from www.hpcalc.org. It allows you to emulate the HP49G, as well as the HP38G, HP39G, HP40G, HP48S and HP48G models. You can even pick different skins (KML scripts) for the different machines to suit your PC's screen resolution. Download HP49G specific files from here.


The HP49G is no longer in production as it has been replaced by the HP49G+.


Contact Wlodek to order books. HPCC members can find ordering details and a full book list in the Memberpack.

Note that books about the HP48 are generally relevant to the HP49G as the machines share much underlying software.

Datafile Articles

Neural Networks Part I: Feedforward Hardlimited Networks Peter Gatenby V21N1P36
Neural Networks Part II: Learning by Back-propagation Peter Gatenby V21N2P10


HP49G front (high resolution) - 178K JPG
HP49G front - 35K JPG
HP49G case and back - 17K JPG
HP49G English Language Brochure - 32K PDF (needs Adobe Acrobat reader)
HP49G French Language Brochure - 113K PDF (needs Adobe Acrobat reader)
HP49G Emulator and latest ROM releases
hpcalc.org (HP49 Software Archive and FAQ)
Building the HP49G Serial PC-Link Cable

Page last modified : 29th May 2007