Students and adults who plan to work in a field related to science will need a scientific calculator like SwissMicros DM42 vs DM41X. These calculators are a fresh iteration of the old HP scientific calculators that many may already be familiar with but more powerful. Both siblings share many similarities and are slightly different. Today we will see what else the two can offer and which you may like better.

In this comparison, we will talk about:

  • What is a Scientific Calculator
  • What are SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X
  • How is the Design of SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X
  • How is the Display in SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X
  • How is the Keyboard of SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X
  • What is the Processor in SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X
  • What is RPN in SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X
  • What is the Screen Menu in SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X
  • What is the IR Printing in SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X
  • How is the Connectivity in SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X
  • How is the Shortcut Function in SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X
  • SwissMicros DM42 Vs DM41X

Scientific Calculator

Calculators are handy tools to help humans solve mathematical problems. A scientific calculator is one of the most advanced and versatile choices that could last for many years, from students to working adults. The calculator is more complicated than a typical basic calculator but with a myriad of other features. This calculator type is perfect for handling certain functions in fields like trigonometry, physics, chemistry, and engineering. The calculator also has additional features allowing you to work with exponents and logs that require memory to perform functions for the best results.

For students, if you will take any classes that teach geometry, scientific notation, trigonometry, engineering, and physics, then it is best to invest in a good scientific calculator. Depending on the budget and functions, scientific calculators start around $10, while some models can cost more than $200. If you have a syllabus, check what calculator the class requires to ensure you get the correct choice. You may not need the most expensive and advanced scientific calculator, but many modern iterations make everything a breeze.

DM42 DM41X
Product Dimensions8.54 x 6.02 x 1.73 inches
5.67 x 3.03 x 0.47 inches
Shipping Weight6.3 ounces
6.3 ounces
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About SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X

Scientific calculators are available from many different brands. Some companies like HP still sell a few of their classic scientific calculators for the fans, especially those who have used them during school and college. Today we have another scientific calculator alternative that runs on HP firmware and is still reasonably priced for what they can offer. You may have heard of SwissMicros because this brand is quite famous for its classic HP calculator clones. This company makes modern scientific RPN calculators, and they are fantastic.

SwissMicros is probably the most well-known RPN scientific calculator in modern days, especially among HP classic calculator fans. Like many companies, you can choose among several options, like the SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X. As you may guess, these calculators use the old HP calculators. For example, the DM41X runs the HP41CX firmware while the DM42 is based on the HP42S. The DM42 is also popular among Free42 smartphone apps. So, if you have already used the app, we believe you will also love the actual calculator.

These calculators are an excellent alternative for those who love the classic HP RPN scientific calculators but can no longer find their favorite model or use their old ones. Hewlett Packard has already stopped calculator production since 1990, and then the more advanced calculators started dominating the market, even those superior to the famous HP41, the original DM41X. However, the calculator still lives among enthusiasts for its power, ease of use, and familiarity. SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X are more powerful, thanks to the advanced technology.

The main difference between SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X is what they are based on. Both calculators are extremely capable and have all the standard functions with a different layouts based on different HP models. The DM42 is generally more appealing for the everyday user, while the DM41X is for those interested in exploring the capabilities of the HP41C ecosystem.

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X Design

The visuals of SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X are identical at a glance, both the size and design. You can tell them apart by seeing the layout because the two have different layouts. If you have the HP41CX, the DM41X will have the exact layout but a bigger and better display. These calculators have been around for a few years and will last for many years. Unlike typical modern calculators, the housing is made of stainless steel with matte black Physical Vapour Deposition coating and engraved with laser.

The construction is rigid, and the unit feels well made. They are neither too thick nor slim if you need to carry the calculator in a pocket. The dimensions are standard as a typical calculator at 77mm wide, 144mm deep, and 12 mm tall. These calculators weigh 180 grams, and both come with a five years warranty. Four rubber feet prevent the calculator from slipping when you put it on a table.

The display is identical and measured around 58.8 mm by 35.28 mm with 400 by 200 pixels. These screens are probably the best in a calculator that uses single color. Of course, you can find many more fascinating displays like the color screen in Casio FX-CG500 Vs TI Nspire CX CAS, but they are usually graphing calculators. These calculators require one CR2032 coin cell and one battery that lasts approximately three years.

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X Display

We want to discuss the display or screen first because it is one of the best things in SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X. These calculators have fw display modes; one has four lines of the original font with 12 characters, and the other has two lines at the bottom and three lines of some information in the upper area. These calculators have time functions like the classic HP models that have been around since the 80s. The information on the top area includes the pending alarms if you have one, the current program, memory configuration, and printer mode.

These calculators feel like a smartphone or older cell phone with date, time, battery, and the current state file. We can’t stop admiring the LCD screen, especially with the set of OFF screens, which means the calculators show images when it is turned off, but without draining the battery, a very cool feature that makes the overall experience more fun. Another cool thing you can do on the screen is change the images to your personal preference, such as a pattern or information, in case you forget the calculator somewhere.

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X Keyboard

The next part we want to talk about is the keyboard. The opinions may vary, but we think the keyboard is a crucial part of a calculator as it is an interface to input the information and execute the commands. The earlier model of DM42 was a bit rough with stiff buttons, and it can be challenging when you need to type fast as it is prone to miss a key. Thankfully, the later shipment fixes this issue and makes the keys feel better, similar to the DM41X.

But, we also heard some people don’t particularly like the keyboard of DM42 either, as it feels inferior to the original HP calculators. Our main complaint is that these keyboards can feel too stiff, and the keys are small, which is expected due to the relatively compact size. However, we still think most people will get used to the keyboard after some time. There is a decent gap between the keys to help prevent miss typing and give your finger more space before hitting a different key.

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X Processor

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X are similar yet different calculators; the core is the main difference. As mentioned above, the DM42 runs based on Free42. SwissMicros uses the Ultra low power ARM Cortex-M4F 80 MHz on both calculators, but the DM42 runs the modified version of Thomas Okken Free42S simulator to emulate the app’s user experience. On the other hand, the DM41X runs a hardware emulator and uses the original 41CX firmware. Thus, the DM42 doesn’t always produce the same results as the HP, but it is a more modern machine and is 50x faster than the original HP calculator.

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X RPN

The SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X are RPN calculators with a four-level stack. For those who are not familiar yet with RPN, the concept may sound more complex. The concept started in 1920 when Jan Lukasiewicz developed a formal logic system that allows mathematical expressions to be specified without parentheses by placing the operators before (prefix notation) or after (postfix notation) the operands. The prefix notation is also known as the Polish Notation to honor Lukasiewicz. HP calculators adjusted the postfix notation for a calculator keyboard and added a stack to hold the operands and functions to reorder the stack.

HP then called the result Reverse Polish Notation or RPN to honor Lukasiewicz. For example, to calculate 2 + 3 x 4, you will first enter the number into the stack, press multiply, and then plus. This inputting method is unfamiliar to most people as the algebraic calculator is the most user-friendly and common worldwide. If this is your first RPN calculator, you may need some time to get used to the mechanism, but most people interested in these calculators must at least have used one before.

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X Screen Menu

You can do many things on the calculator’s screen by entering the settings. Since the calculators have a built-in clock, you can adjust the time and date. The SwissCross DM42’s settings menu is more similar to the typical settings in a cell phone or smartphone. You can even change the status bar or select what menu appears on the calculator’s top status bar. Some people may want to change the font size for easy reading, and you can do this in DM42 by adjusting the value.

Users can specify each stack with a value from -5 to 5, so if you select 1 as the Font Size Offset Reg X while the other remains zeroed, the X register will appear one step bigger than the others. In addition, this calculator allows you to easily change the Stack Layout into six different layouts or combinations, including XYL, XYA, and XY.

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X IR Printing

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X have IR printing functions and work with HP 82240A/B infrared printer through emulation using the Thermal Printer module bundled in the firmware. But, the Thermal Printer must be plugged-in first. Your manual book should contain the simple steps to activate the printer module. While these calculators print to the HP IR printer, the functions and behavior are identical as implemented in the previous 82143A printer. In DM41X, you can set the delay time in seconds with the default value at 1.8 seconds.

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X Connectivity

As for the connectivity, these calculators are very similar. Users can connect a USB Micro B port and then press the corresponding buttons to activate the USB disk according to the manual. This way, you can use the calculator as a storage device like a typical smartphone. Users can take screenshots by pressing and holding the Shift and DSP buttons. Screenshots are saved as .bmp files under the disk’s SCREEN folder. You can also save the screenshot files in the disk’s OFFIMG folder.

SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X Shortcut

Another very useful feature of SwissMicros DM41X is the custom shortcut function which can save a lot of time in completing your calculation. Press the CST button at the bottom, and the calculator will show you the shortcut list. You can also have different mappings in different files. For example, you want to run a factorial that is mapped to the A key; you can enter the number to the stack, press the CST and A buttons then the calculator will show the result. Overall this feature is very handy and relatively easy to understand.

SwissMicros DM42 Vs DM41X

The SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X are very similar but are based on different HP models, so there will also be some differences. Both calculators can do all basic functions like most advanced scientific calculators today, but it may relate to preference, especially as the former owner of their original HP calculators. The DM42 is generally more modern and ideal for users who plan to write their programs with deep precision and program performance. The DM41X has many available modules that will be created and refined.

- 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
- Case made from stainless steel, matte black Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) coated and laser engraved
- Based on the legendary HP-41CX, it runs on the SwissMicros Operating System (DMCP). Logical compatibility with existing HP expansion modules.
- Monochromatic ultra high contrast (14:1) transflective memory LCD display
- USB-Micro-B port, connects as USB mass storage device


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The decision is all yours because there is no wrong choice. The SwissMicros DM42 and DM41X are modern and powerful RPN calculators for professionals, especially former users of HP calculators. We recommend the DM42 for deep precision and the DM41X for convenience. The DM41X also supports Synthetic Programming and MCODE, in addition to FOCAL keystroke programming language.

SwissMicros DM42 Vs DM41X

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