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HP Prime

Introduction Principal Features Emulators Availability Books Datafile Articles Programs Links


HP Prime is the latest scientific graphing calculator aimed at the high school and college/university market. Its headline grabbing unique feature is a colour, touch sensitive screen. Introduced in Autumn 2013, the HP Prime costs around £105 or US$150.

The HP Prime is a radical departure from recent HP calculators offering a multi-touch colour screen, significantly improved processing power from a 400MHz ARM CPU and a mobile phone rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. Wireless capability is not provided as standard (unlike the HP48/49/50 series) but through an optional USB adapter. This adapter does not run 802.11 Wi-Fi protocol but a proprietary HP standard which only supports master/slave configuration. This allows teachers to instruct all HP Primes in a classroom to disable or enable specific functionality through the HP Classroom Manager software running on a teacher's PC. HP Primes cannot communicate directly with each other wirelessly.

The HP Prime uses the Aplet approach first introduced with the HP 38G and most recently continued with the HP 39gII. Pressing the Apps button displays the available apps, dragging your finger up and down the screen scrolls through the available list and tapping an icon launches the app. You can also select the app you want with the cursor key. The touch screen also allows you to pinch or un-pinch in the Spreadsheet app to change the size of cells, and in the Advanced Graphing app you can change the scale of the graph.

Programming is in 'HP Basic' (i.e. not BASIC). The Prime implementation makes full use of the ARM processor to run programs very quickly and includes nice features such as the ability to retain comments in the code. The language has been improved upon from the HP 38G original, but remains better suited to writing on a PC and transferring to the calculator rather than writing directly on the calculator.

Principal Features

  • 400MHz ARM CPU
  • 32MB RAM
  • 256MB Flash ROM
  • 320 x 240 (half-VGA), 8.9cm diagonal, 16-bit colour TFT
  • 33 characters x 10 lines + header + menus
  • Multi-Touch sensitive screen
  • 2200mAh rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
  • Rechargeable via micro-USB
  • Graphing Apps
  • Statistics Apps
  • Solver Apps
  • Explorer Apps
  • Geometry Apps
  • Spreadsheet Apps with integrated CAS
  • RPN, algebraic and textbook entry modes
  • Programming is in the 'HP Basic' (i.e. not BASIC) language introduced with the HP 38G
  • Examination mode allowing teachers to selectively disable functionality such as CAS
  • Examination mode indicator LEDs
  • Included Accessories: Hard Cover, Quick Start Guide, CD (Connectivity Kit, Calculator Emulator and Quick Start Guide)
  • Included Accessories: USB cable, USB power supply
  • Optional Accessories: HP proprietary wireless USB adapter and HP Classroom Manager

HP Prime


The official HP Prime Virtual Calulator for PC along with latest firmware and documentation is avaiable from ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/Prime.

For PC users, a Pre-release emulator is available here. Note that this does not exactly replicate the HP Prime.


The HP Prime has been available since Autumn 2013.


The latest HP Prime documentation is avaiable from ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/calculators/Prime.

HP Prime Graphing Calculator Specification by HP

Full specification.

HP Prime Graphing Calculator User Guide by HP

The official HP User Guide for the Prime.

HP Prime Graphing Calculator Exam Mode by HP

Details for teachers to configure HP Primes for examinations by disabling certain functionality.

Datafile Articles

Introducing HP Prime Bruce Horrocks V32N2P14
HP Prime : A Programmer's View Mark Power V34N1P4
Emulators on the HP Prime Part 1 : Chip-8 Mark Power V34N1P4
Emulators on the HP Prime Part 2 : Turing Mark Power V34N1P4


HP Prime Chip8 Emulator including H.Piper, Breakout, Lunar Lander and other games
HP Prime Equation Library by Eddie Shore
HP Prime Equation Library with improved help text display from Datafile V35N1
HP Prime Racer Game by Mark Power
HP Prime Solitaire Baker's Game by Mark Power
HP Prime Turing Machine Emulator by Mark Power


HP Calculators

Page last modified : 14th February 2017