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HP48 series

Introduction Principal Features Emulators Availability Books Datafile Articles Links


The HP48 series was the top of the HP range from 1990 until the introduction of the HP49 in 1999. The range consists of the HP48S, HP48SX, HP48G, HP48G+, HP48GX and HP48GII. The GII model is still available and all models are well supported by HPCC members as well as the internet community as a whole (see the links section below). The HP48 series has its own internet news group: comp.sys.hp48.

The basic design and layout of the 48 series was also used for the HP38G, and then augumented to produce the HP49G, HP39G and HP40G. In addition to software changes between the models, the main difference between the 48/38 series and the 49/39/40 machines is the keyboard: the 48/38 machines having a "traditional" HP quality keyboard; the newer models having rubber keys. The displays have also been improved: the G series are better than the S series. Recent G series models use the even better display from the 49/39/40 machines.

The same CPU and much of the operating system is shared between the 28, 38, 39, 40, 48 and 49 machines. Consequently it is possible to port software from the earlier machines provided machine specific capabilities are avoided.

The HP48GII is different to the rest of the HP48 series because it uses an ARM CPU, like the HP49G+, to emulate the Saturn CPU of the earlier models. It also has a significantly different case and keyboard design.

Principal Features

  • 32K RAM (S, SX and G models)
  • 128K RAM (G+ and GX models)
  • 128K RAM (80.7K available to the user on GII model)
  • 2 expansion slots (SX and GX models only)
  • 131x64 LCD
  • RS232 and Infrared communications via Kermit
  • Object based
  • Symbolic algebra
  • "Infinite" stack (to limit of available memory)
  • Reverse Polish Notation
  • Time, Date and Alarm functions
  • Matrix handling
  • Complex numbers
  • Units
  • Solver
  • Graph plotting
  • Equation Library Card (for SX only)
  • Equation Library built in (G, G+, GX)
  • Enhanced User Interface (G, G+, GX)
  • Additional Functions (G, G+, GX)
  • Computer Algebra System - CAS (GII only)


For PC users, the excellent Emu48 is available. It allows you to emulate the S or G series, as well as the HP38G, HP39G, HP40G and HP49G models. You can even pick different skins (KML scripts) for the different machines to suit your PC's screen resolution. Download the emulator, calculator ROMs, skins and latest service packs from

Unix, Linux and Mac users are catered for by X48. Download from


HP48S, HP48SX, HP48G, HP48G+ and HP48GX models are no longer in production. The HP48GII is still available.


Contact Wlodek to order books. HPCC members can find ordering details and a full book list in the Memberpack. Note that many of the books listed below are out of stock or in short supply. Wlodek buys and sells second hand copies if they are available. There is the possibility that the books by William Wickes may be reprinted, let Wlodek know if you are interested.

THE HP48 HANDBOOK by James Donnelly

A condensed collection of information about the HP48S, the HP48SX, and the Solve Equation Library. Much more convenient to carry around than three large user manuals and it contains information not in the manuals. £13, postage in the UK & Europe £1.50.


As above but covers the HP48G and HP48GX too, with more examples and a chapter on programming with SystemRPL. £16, postage in UK & Europe £4.

HP48 INSIGHTS I by William C. Wickes - OUT OF STOCK

The first of a two volume set describing the HP48S and HP48SX philosophy and workings. This volume concentrates on principles and programming. Dr Wickes was the HP48 design team leader so his insights are uniquely interesting to HP48 users. £18, postage in UK & Europe £4.

HP48G/GX EDITION of the above - OUT OF STOCK

covers additional features of the HP48G and HP48GX. £20, postage in the UK & Europe £4.

HP48 INSIGHTS II by William C. Wickes - OUT OF STOCK

The second volume, describing the HP48 applications (or "power tools") in detail. This volume was written for the HP48S and HP48SX - it is applicable to the HP48G and HP48GX too, but does not deal with their additional features. £18, postage in UK & Europe £4.


disks with the programs for the above programs are available. Each disk contains the programs from one book, already in elecrtonic form, so they can be copied to an HP48 from a computer with a disk drive, to save readers the effort of typing in the programs and correcting typing errors. The disks cost £3 each when they are ordered with a book, or £4 if ordered separately, including postage in UK & Europe. Please specify whether you want a 3.5" or a 5.25" disk.


£15, postage in UK & Europe £3.

THE HP48 DATABASE by James Donnelly

A kit (manual and disk of programs for the HP48 and IBM PC compatible computer) providing a general-purpose database engine designed specifically for the HP48. £16, postage in UK & Europe £1.50.

THE HP48 FILE MANAGER by James Donnelly

A kit (manual and disk of programs for the HP48 and IBM PC compatible computer) to simplify the display of data on the HP48 and the transfer of data between the HP48 and a personal computer. £11, postage in UK & Europe £1.50.


A kit (manual and disk of programs for the HP48) to add many new commands to the HP48, especially useful for people planning to program their HP48 seriously. Details of this kit were given in Datafile V9N7. The commands work both in the HP48S/SX and the HP48G/GX. Commands similar to some of the toolkit elements have been built into the HP48G/GX but most of the commands are not in the HP48G or HP48GX. £16, postage in UK & Europe £3.


A book describing how the HP48 calculators can be programmed in their own internal system language, and for the ultimate control in the language of their own microprocessor. Contains many examples. A disk is included, with programs which allow the user to compile, assemble and link programs on an IBM PC compatible computer ready for downloading to an HP48. The disk contains example programs too. £22, postage in UK & £4.

HP48S/SX MACHINE LANGUAGE translation from the French book "Voyage au Centre de la HP48" by Paul Corbis and Sebastien Lalande, translated by Douglas R. Cannon - OUT OF STOCK

This is an alternative book for people wanting to use the internal features of the HP48. It is in some ways more technical than the book described above, and it contains more tools for users wanting to study the internals of the HP48 more extensively. The book has no program disk - you have to type the programs in yourself. A program is included to let the reader enter machine language programs as blocks of hexidecimal code. £21, postage in UK & Europe £4.

POCKET GUIDE FOR HP48G/GX by James Donnelly

suitable for HP48S/SX too. £8 including postage in UK & Europe.


£8 including postage in UK & Europe.

Datafile Articles

A Home Affair Download Jordi Hidalgo V21N3P31
Neural Networks Part II: Learning by Back-propagation Peter Gatenby V21N2P10
Neural Networks Part I: Feedforward Hardlimited Networks Peter Gatenby V21N1P36
Not the Coconut Grove Mark Power V19N1P14
More About Restoring PICT Mark Power V19N1P16



comp.sys.hp48 via web browser
HP48 Web Ring

Software Archives - the most complete software archive for HP48 series machines

Home Pages (alphabetically)

Antoine (Games)
Carlos Alberto Marangon (HP48 for Beginners)
Daniel Lidström
Jake Schwartz
Jason Grant
Jean-Yves Avenard from the Wayback Machine
Joe Horn
JFG's Home Page (Pirate Adventure)
Lilian Pigallio (Games)
Mark Power (VT52 and Graphics Library)
Peter Gatenby (Neural Nets) from the Wayback Machine
Robert Parry (RPL references) from the Wayback Machine
Scott Guth (SURF, STAT)
Sylvain Gamot (High speed serial communication e.g. for MIDI)


HP48 terminal emulators from the Wayback Machine
HP16C Emulator Library Page
HPShell V3.0 - HP48
Urania/48 - Astronomy
The Official HP98 Home Page


I2C Interface
Connecting a modem to your HP48
HP 48 I/O Technical Interfacing Guide
IR Transfer to HP Palmtops from the Wayback Machine
HP-48 Kermit Hints and Tips
How to make a HP48 Sound Card

Page Last modified: 1st January 2022