Scientific and graphing calculators are powerful and valuable for students and professionals. There are also many exciting options like DM42 Vs HP Prime that are currently the most capable offerings from the respective companies. While both calculators are equally advanced and come with every primary feature, they are not identical, so it is wise to consider what you need and what the calculators can offer. Today we will see which model fits you best.

In this comparison, we will talk about:

  • What is the Use of Scientific and Graphing Calculator
  • What are DM42 and HP Prime
  • How are the Design of DM42 and HP Prime
  • How are the Interface of DM42 and HP Prime
  • How is the RPN in DM42 and HP Prime
  • How is the CAS in DM42 and HP Prime
  • How is the Graphing in DM42 and HP Prime
  • How is the App in DM42 and HP Prime
  • How is the Programming in DM42 and HP Prime
  • DM42 Vs HP Prime

Scientific and Graphing Calculators Uses

There are several different types of calculators and their primary functions outside of doing the basic calculation. A scientific calculator is helpful for both students and professionals such as engineers. One of the essential functions of a scientific calculator is solving input with an order of operations. A regular calculator can’t handle the problems and determine which numbers should be addressed first. Scientific calculators can work on speed, area, and many more formulas. You can save time on solving a sine function without manually working on it.

On the other hand, one of the most common graphing calculator functions is algebraic equations. You don’t need a calculator to understand the concept. But, second-year algebra students must have some necessary graphing calculator skills, such as sequence graphing and tables, and understand the creation of a matrix. Students will also meet geometry, where you see angles and hyperbolic functions. Graphing calculator can show the visual. Graphing calculator also deals with trigonometry like a standard graph’s amplitude, period, and phase shift. It is worth noting that around 5 – 10% of ACT math and 20% of SAT problems will include trigonometry concepts.

DM42 HP Prime
Product Dimensions8.54 x 6.02 x 1.73 inches
3.66 x 0.65 x 7.28 inches
Shipping Weight6.3 ounces
8 ounces
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About DM42 and HP Prime

Both calculators are very capable of helping students and professionals in their field, depending on what you want to work on. Calculators usually last for many years, so you can still use the one from high school or college. Many popular classic calculators are no longer available due to the company expanding its product collection and upgrades. HP is one of the most popular calculator brands with a huge fan base. Unfortunately, the company no longer sells its classic RPN calculators, such as the HP42S.

However, HP still sells many powerful calculators that may also fit you, such as the HP Prime, the currently most powerful model in the collection. Still, many want the old HP RPN calculator, and a company named SwissMicros offers a copy of classic HP RPN calculators, like the SwissMicros DM42 Vs DM41X. You can quickly tell what the calculator is based on because they use the same model – for example, the DM42 is based on the classic HP42S introduced in 1988. This calculator runs the Free42.

It is relatively easy to find a good smartphone app for scientific calculators today, and Free42 is a faithful recreation of the classic HP42S. If you have the Free42 installed and want a physical form of the app, the DM42 is an excellent choice, including for the former users of HP42S. On the other hand, the HP Prime is the most advanced calculator from HP that is allowed on the test. We think Prime is focusing on the education part more than professionals like DM42. In addition to that, Prime is a modern graphing calculator.

Prime features help students and make them useful in the learning environment. The modern features like color touch-screen and different modes make it a versatile tool for students and professionals who need a compact and reliable tool.

DM42 and HP Prime Design

The DM42 and HP Prime are visually similar to many older HP calculators that precede them. The Prime is about the same size as the HP50G graphing calculator but slightly slimmer and lighter. The DM42 also looks almost identical to the HP42S but slimmer and more modern. SwissMicros kept the original calculator’s layout and added several buttons, acting as soft buttons at the top for convenience. The main difference between the new DM42 and the HP42S is the screen because SwissMicros uses a high-resolution, single-color display.

The HP Prime doesn’t look like the typical graphing calculator but an earlier smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard. Unlike the DM42 with stainless steel construction, the Prime is made entirely of plastic. Still, the build quality is good, and it feels well-made. While DM42 has the best single-color display, the Prime has a wide, color touch-screen which arguably looks fascinating and convenient as you can navigate the calculator and execute commands through the screen. The screen size is similar, but the Prime is easier to read.

Like many modern calculators, the HP Prime uses a rechargeable battery, which you can replace if needed. One full charge will last for approximately 24 hours with constant power and minimum CPU use, so most people should be able to make the battery last for several days. The DM42 still uses a lithium coin cell, but the calculator is very efficient; one battery can last for more than a year. You can replace the battery if needed, and there is no option to charge the calculator.

DM42 and HP Prime Interface

The DM42 and HP Prime are very different calculators by type but first, let’s see the interface. In Prime, you can access two main calculation screens: Home Screen and the CAS calculation screen. The DM42 is a four-stack RPN calculator so that you can see several stacks, depending on the setting, and you can view up to five registers. The Prime is arguably the more user-friendly and intuitive in general, as most people will know how to start using the calculator for simple calculations.

You can start using Prime in its Home view by entering what you want to solve, such as appendix expression, function with an expression, and you can dial a catalog of functions for convenience. Prime supports single-line algebraic entry and textbook-style entry. Users can dial a template and start entering the problem like in a document. Additionally, you can store the function using the soft key.

DM42 and HP Prime RPN

As mentioned earlier, the DM42 is an RPN calculator or Reverse Polish Notation, which means you need to enter the number to the stacks followed by the operators. Most people use the Prime in either Textbook or Algebraic mode, but this calculator also has RPN mode; you can choose what mode to use on the calculator. RPN requires you to enter the number first – for example, calculating 2 x 3 + 4 means you have to enter 2, 3, 4, and press the multiply key followed by the plus key.

Depending on your prior experience, RPN is not as popular as the more common system, where you must enter the operator after each number. But, RPN can be faster once you are already familiar with the method. While the DM42 is a four-level stack RPN, the Prime is an advanced 128-level RPN.

DM42 and HP Prime CAS

Another basic calculator mode in Prime is CAS or Computer Algebraic System, which is a handy feature, especially for students. This feature helps students do much more on the calculator and ease their work on paper. The CAS allows you to do things like factoring polynomials, expanding expressions with variables, and solving almost any algebra problem. Users can use Prime to simplify nearly anything by typing it and pressing enter. Even better, the calculator will give you an exact simplified answer, not the decimals, which means you will get an answer in fractional or simplified radical form.

DM42 and HP Prime Help Menu

We love that DM42, and HP Prime includes a Help menu to show you around, and it is helpful. In Prime, you can press the Help key from any screen to enter the Help menu. The system groups the information based on the context, so you don’t need to dig through the menus. You can also press the Tree button to access all the different pages. The organization looks like how a computer arranges its folder, so it will be easy to find what you are looking for.

The DM45 uses the soft button as a Help function; you can press it from the home screen. The Help menu is more like a reference guide and not as detailed as the Prime menu. Still, you can find a guide using the DM45 Alpha menu, Flags, Virtual Variables, Screenshot, Setup menu, etc. You can use the up and down arrow to select each category.

DM42 and HP Prime Graphing

Another thing that prominently sets the DM42 and HP Prime is the graphing function. HP Prime is a modern graphing calculator so that you can graph on the unit. The color touch-screen improves the graphing ability; you can do basic and advanced graphing without any problem with this calculator. This screen allows you to finger-pan around the graph and look at the line, like when navigating Google maps on a smartphone. We can also pinch to zoom directly instead of going to a different page to reset the window size.

The DM42 is a scientific calculator based on the HP42S. SwissMicros choose to faithfully recreate the classic favorite without tweaking too much, meaning the lack of graphing ability is intended, and it is not an issue if you don’t need it. However, similar to the original HP42S, where the graphing skills were rudimentary, the DM42 has an IR sensor and requires a compatible printer to plot (HP82240B). But, looking at the DM42’s hardware, the calculator should be able to graph directly on display.

DM42 and HP Prime Apps

The Prime is a convenient and straightforward calculator for general purposes and almost everyone. Our favorite part of this calculator is the Apps. The app icons look like those in the old pocket phone, and Prime has nearly every app you may need; this calculator even has four apps for graphing and data collection and storage. Users can use the spreadsheet function and graph the entries. All apps are easy to use, but you can always check the Help menu when finding an issue.

One app that you may use often and that will save you time on SAT is the triangle solver. This app seems similar to the triangle solver program in TI-84. You can input any three characteristics of a triangle beside the only three angle measures and calculate the other side length and angles. Simply put, the app frees you from knowing how to use trig laws to find the parts of a triangle.

DM42 and HP Prime Program

DM42 and HP Prime are programmable, and you can do advanced programming besides taking a few inputs and producing a number. There are not many online programs available for Prime compared to other popular graphing calculators like TI-84, but you can find some useful apps. The DM42 doesn’t have convenient apps and a simple interface, but you can find many programs for the calculator, including a program to calculate the sides and angles of a triangle and plots function on HP82240.

Programming in Prime is also fun with PPL, as the native programming language is similar to Pascal. You can easily translate the programs from C, Fortran, or pseudo code and get the program run immediately.

DM42 Vs HP Prime

Both calculators are powerful and carry all the basic functions you may need. The main difference between DM42 and HP Prime is that one is a scientific calculator, and the other is a graphing calculator. Older HP calculators inspire both, but unlike in the past, the HP Prime is a tool focusing on education as it is designed to be less intimidating and more convenient. The calculator is more intuitive but probably quite limiting for professionals.

While Prime has a few modes, including RPN, we think this function is not fully integrated into the calculator like a dedicated RPN model. In addition, we do like the apps and interface as it looks modern, so everyone can use the basic functions without the learning curve. But, the apps are also not integrated into the main operating system, so you have to select the app first and do the work in it instead of working from the main system.

- Case made from stainless steel, matte black Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) coated and laser engraved
- Open Source Free42 running on SwissMicros Operating System (DMCP)
- Monochromatic ultra high contrast (14:1) transflective memory LCD display
- Ultra low power ARM Cortex-M4F 80 MHz. 32 MBit external flash
- IB Diploma Programme exam approved
- Sleek, slim, brushed metal design that looks great and performs even better. Keep the calculator protected when it's not in use with a slide-on cover
- Enjoy a feature-rich calculating experience with familiar HP alphanumeric keypad and a large 3.5-inch diagonal, multi-touch display
- Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, 256 MB flash memory
- Unique STEM ecosystem with HP Prime Graphing Calculator, HP Prime Wireless Kit1, and HP Connectivity Kit


NOTE : Product prices, availability, ratings and save money information are accurate as of the date/time indicated on post time (as seen right bellow the post) and are subject to change. Any price, availability and save money information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The decision is all yours because we think these calculators fit different people with different applications. We recommend HP Prime for students who want the CAS, a good programming environment, and intuitiveness. The DM42 is an excellent choice for everyone who already uses the HP42S or Free42 and wants the exact calculator with a more modern approach.

DM42 Vs HP Prime
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