Posted by: insight4survey | September 27, 2007

Review of FX-5800P

Now now. I have the privilege to see this model once, test it for a short while and “feel” it.

Firstly, the dimension of the calculator is just right for most hands. This is an important factor because devices are designed for human use. Therefore, an ergonomic design is one of the winning properties of modern products.

The calculator has 120-odd built in programs/formulas, which is a nice touch, although it is not easy to find someone who has need for as much as 20% of these formulas. You can define your personal formula using existing formulas, which is cool. These user-defined formulas are stored as programs.

The language installed in this model is Casio BASIC. If you know how to handle Casio BASIC of FX-7400G+, it will be a breeze working on this model. This is an upgrade from older model such as FX-603P because conditional branching and jump are now easier to write. Of course, a few days to figure out Casio BASIC is necessary if you have never work with one before. Two extra commands of the FX-5800P BASIC is the Locate and Getkey commands. These can be very useful in designing friendlier user-interface.

Another nice feature is that user can add extra variables for storage of values, in the form of array Z[i], where i =1, 2, …. Theoretically user is allowed to add up to about 2372 such variables, but in practice this is not possible. If you are quite a heavy user with fair amount of programs loaded, I would estimate that you can get another 300-400 extra variables (that’s 5Kb memory taken) out of your machines using this feature. That is not a lot if you are working with a lot of data, as in most real technical problems.

Now if you have used the Casio FX-ES series scientific calculator, you’d see that Casio has sort of fused features of the FX-570ES with some of the features of the FX-880P, with a modern twist. For one, the Natural Display is obviously a new feature previously available on the FX-570ES. The Matrix and Equation, two features only available in Casio MS and ES series previously, are now available in FX-5800P. Other ES features such as CALC and SOLVE are also now available in the FX-5800P.

In short, it is not wrong to describe FX-5800P as the enhanced version of FX-570ES, with 120 built in formulas, and has programming capability.

If you are an engineer or students of engineering, and you need a scientific calculator, forget the FX-570ES. Fork out extra couple of hundred ringgit (3.60 ringgit = 1 US$) and buy this baby. Perhaps the only problem is that your school may not allow you to bring it in to exam hall. Well, all I can say is, your school’s lost. (Come on, this is the information and knowledge age…do you still assess people’s formula memorising capability?)

I do have 2 bones to pick though. Firstly, the memory size is just 28KB. This is 2007, and my lousy 2004 hand-phone has 11MB on it. 64Kb or 128Kb is more like it IMHO. Furthermore, there is no storage memory (Flash.) Come on Casio R and D…my 2G thumb drive cost only RM70 (USD20), and the price is still spiralling down faster than you can say wait. Perhaps I am being too critical, but you cannot blame me for being idealistic and ….greedy. 😀 Anyway, its a thumb down IMHO.

Another is the infamous speed comment by users. Some users ridiculed its speed as being too slow for comfort. If it is true, well, in this age of speed, there is simply no excuse for producing an electronic device slower than, say, a model which is 15 years older. I hope what I heard is not entirely accurate.

If these two “bones” are not an issue for you, by all means, get it for your technical work. But of course if they are BIG issues for you, well,  go get the Casio baby monster  FX-9860G…you will be drooling over its speed, memory capacity, functionality and massive features if you have one. YES, I said IF. 😀

Coming Soon…what do I think (if you care) about CFX-9850GC+ and FX-9860G…

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