For decades, HP 12C has always been the primary choice when somebody seeks for a financial calculator, either they are a professional or a student. However, Texas Instruments, as one of the biggest manufacturers of calculator products right now, has introduced Texas Instruments BA II Plus as a valid competitor on the market. Texas Instruments BA II Plus is priced at a more affordable price compared to HP 12C. Both are allowed in many exams, most notably CFP, CFA, CMA, and GARP exams. Which is the best calculator for you?
HP 12C is HP’s longest and best-selling calculator ever, as it has been in continual production since first introduced in 1981. It is extremely popular because of its excellent performance and superbly simple and intuitive operation. It has even become the de facto standard among financial experts and professionals. Furthermore, its programming mode is very reliable and convenient, working like a macro operation on a computer. It has 99 lines of programmable memory. HP 12C uses Classical RPN with 4 stack levels for entry and features a 10-digit seven-segment LCD screen. While it has all basic functions covered, it can be somewhat slow when working on iterative calculations, such as amortizing interest over the life of a loan. In addition, you have to keep in mind that, by design, it rounds up fractional periods to the next integer. (Read also: HP 12C Vs 12CP)
Texas Instruments BA II Plus
Texas Instruments BA II Plus is a financial calculator designed for business professionals and students. It features a comprehensive list of capabilities, such as time-value-of-money calculations, cash-flow analysis, NPV, IRR, amortization, depreciation, breakeven, etc. Not only for finance and business, but it is also usable for math, statistics, and science. Texas Instruments BA II Plus features 10 user memories for programming, and its performance is quite fast. It also features a 10-digit display. However, Texas Instruments BA II Plus doesn’t use RPN. Instead, it uses the algebraic notation, which uses parentheses. Also, at the contrast of HP 12C that is slim and sweeps horizontally, Texas Instruments BA II Plus is somewhat thicker and stretches vertically, much like other conventional calculators nowadays.
HP 12C Vs BA II Plus
|BA II Plus
|- Calculator with built-in financial functions and statistics - Uses Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) - More than 120 built-in functions, including register-based cash-flow analysis - 10-character, 1-line LCD display - Device measures 5.0 x 0.6 x 3.1 inches (WxHxD)
|- Performs common math as well as various financial functions - Worksheet mode includes tables for amortization, bond, depreciation, and compound interest - Built-in memory for storage of previous worksheets - Can perform cash-flow analysis and advanced list-based statistics - Slide-case included to protect screen
|3.5 out of 5.0 stars
|4.4 out of 5.0 stars
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The primary consideration in choosing between these two calculators is which entry mode that you prefer. RPN is indeed more intuitive and significantly more time-efficient, but that is only if you have been familiar with it. If you are used to RPN, then HP 12C is best. Yet, if you prefer the algebraic notation, or if you want a calculator that can be used for math, stats, and science as well, then Texas Instruments BA II Plus is the way.