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HP NW280AA Prime Graphing Calculator

  • Calculators-Graphing
  • 10 lines x 33 characters + menus + header
  • Lithium Ion rechargable
  • 320 x 240
  • TFT
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HP Prime Graphing Calculator - NW280AA

Touch-Enabled. Full Color. Revolutionary Functionality.
Experience handheld calculating in the age of touch with the HP Prime Graphing Calculator, a sleek full-color, multi-touch calculator that delivers touch screen or keypad interaction, easy integration of multiple mathematical representations, quick formative assessment, wireless connectivity, and a long-life, lithium-ion rechargeable battery.



The Calculator You’ll Want to Hold on To
  • Say hello to the evolution of handheld calculating in a 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 rich calculating experience with familiar HP keypad and a large 3.5-inch diagonal, multi-touch display.

Powerful Applications
  • Easily switch between symbolic, graphical, and numerical table views with dedicated buttons. Explore math concepts with Dynamic Geometry, CAS, Advanced Graphing, and spreadsheet applications.
  • Save time and keystrokes with RPN and programmable functions, and see intermediate results while you work.
  • Turn the calculator into a testing tool with test-mode configuration that makes only pre-approved functions available.
  • We don’t stop at hardware. You also get an integrated tool suite. HP Equation Writer supports multiple linear and non-linear equation solving. HP Solve is a time-saving application that allows you to store equations and solve for variables.

HP Designed to Keep You Up and Running
  • Be productive longer with the lithium-ion rechargeable battery.
  • When you need to charge up, the convertible charger works with the USB connection on your PC or a standard AC wall plug.

Connect Wirelessly to a PC
  • Wireless connectivity and the HP Calculator Connectivity Kit allow you to connect to your PC.
  • Using this formative assessment bundle, teachers can conduct student polls and view their work in real-time.

Learn more about the Hewlett-Packard NW280AA


Calculators & Accessories




Graphing Functions
2-D Functi

Quick Info


  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year

Customer Reviews of the Hewlett-Packard NW280AA

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  • Megan H.
  • 8/15/2014 8:08:32 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggs

Pros: - Good battery life needs to be plugged in about every 3 weeks.
- Good organisation of functions and windows to find what you need
- Ease of use

Cons: None that I noticed

Other Thoughts: I used this for College level biochem, and I have to say it worked great for what I needed. Such as unit conversion with measurements, has a great deal of prefixes and all the base measurements you will ever need. Made class much easier for me, I am slow with converting and this calculator had it all ready.

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5 out of 5 eggsNot for the casual user

Pros: nice big touch screen
thin and light
brightness adjuster
automatic dimmer
store values in variables
Computer Algebra System (CAS)
data sharing

They've come a long way with graphing calculators. This device is very sophisticated compared to the older TI's. It may be wise to skim through the manual that came with the calculator, just to get familiar with where everything is located. It's pretty easy to move around once you know how to access the functions.

The screen has a title bar, the time, and battery power indicator. When not in use, the screen dims after 30 seconds, then the unit turns off after 5 minutes. I haven't been able to figure out where to adjust these settings. The brightness can be adjusted by holding the On button, then pressing the + or - keys for brighter (+) or darker (-). There's 4 levels of brightness.

HP built its functionality into packages called HP apps. There are 18 HP apps: 12 are mathematical topics or tasks, 3 specialized solvers, and 3 function explorers. You can also create custom apps based on any instance of an app.

Data sharing is another nice feature. You can send apps (custom or built-in) from one HP Prime calculator to another using the USB cable. You can also share programs, notes, lists, and matrices.

Overall, this is a very nice graphing calculator, well worth the money. It will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Cons: no way to set timer on screen dim or auto shutdown

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5 out of 5 eggsGreat Graphing Calculator

Pros: Great design overall. Nice brushed aluminum front with a click wheel on the top. Buttons are responsive, depress easy and feel nice. The touchscreen is bright, vibrant and looks great. The fact that it is backlit adds a bit more functionality to the calculator. The USB port on the top is actually a Micro USB A port which is compatible with your standard Micro USB B cables. Just like most portable devices today, it charges the calculator's built in rechargeable battery and transfers data between the pc.

Graphing is extremely fast and I was quite pleased with the responsiveness of the calculator. It is much quicker to utilize the touchscreen rather than to use the physical keys. Navigation and scrolling with the touchscreen is very similar to today's touch screen devices. The fact that the calculator displays color makes it easier to track multiple graphs. Multiple graphs are now color coded making it easier to know which graphs belong to what equation. Another nice thing is the support for RPN mode on top of CAS, starting to become standard for all calculators today to include both formats. The added help system is great for beginners and helps out with equations an general use. Included apps seems to be standard nowerdays and of course is great to have in a calculator like this.

Cons: Battery life is significantly lower due to the color backlit display but that is to be expected and there really isn't an option to change the level backlighting. No expansion compared to the HP 50G as well.

Other Thoughts: Solid calculator and much more advanced compared to graphing calculators several years ago. The unique interface along with the color touch screen are the biggest reasons to get this calculator. It is decently priced considering all the features that are included and is definitely a top choice for those looking for a new calculator or those looking to replace their old black and white monochrome dinosaurs of the past.

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4 out of 5 eggsHP Prime Graphing Calculator

Pros: Sleek, sturdy, nice buttons and touch screen
Overall great performance and graphing speed is quick
Multi-touch screen display
Great touchscreen features, copy/paste
Amazing colors and bright screen
Mathematical apps for school, engineering, finance, and business. And apps for solving almost any mathematical solution
The ability to swap between CAS, RPN and other modes fairly easily
LEDs on the frame that indicate different modes that can be seen from a distance which could be good for educators purposely limiting functionality for exams
Rechargeable long lasting Lithium ion battery
USB for PC connection and charging
PC emulator software

Cons: Firmware updates probably needed
RPN feels a little unfinished.
No printed manual
Sliding case is a little annoying

Other Thoughts: I recommend to use the Internet forums and videos as sources for tutorials.

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5 out of 5 eggsHP successfully bridges the gap

Pros: Unbelievable power for such a low price.
Solid user base with very knowledgeable professionals offering help with virtually any question a user can have.
High commitment on HP's part to solve bugs and provide firmware updates rapidly.
Quick response from HP employees to answer questions with authority in user forums
Programming language is pretty simple to grasp and begin using.

Cons: very difficult process to update firmware. I found that the USB port MUST support 1.1 or it just won't work, and nobody from HP knew that. Someone at hp musem dot org offered the advice of switching usb ports until one worked, and for me it worked as soon as I plugged into a legacy port (black, not blue or yellow) on my laptop.
RPN does not work across modes, but you can inline via copy/paste - if you want! sort of defeats the purpose of RPN.
Difficult to read the orange shift codes. The blue ones aren't all that easy to see either.

Other Thoughts: I think this calculator is an attempt to get into the classroom and compete with TI, while not alienating the 48G users looking for a replacement/successor. It should do both to some extent, but I expect the religious wars to rage.

HP employees weigh in frequently on hp museum. org and it is an invaluable resource. I can't imagine anyone squeezing the full power from this "supercomputer" without the help and training there. I highly recommend it.

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5 out of 5 eggsNot for Sheep.

Pros: WARNING: I am a hard core HP calculator fanboy. This is why: I got a single HP48G in middle school. I used it in every single math/science/physics/biology/chemistry/finance class from 7th grade to college to after college in real life work to even today it’s on my desk. (albeit virtually) I watched those poor sheep with their TI-81, then having to upgrade to TI-82, then TI-83, then TI-85, then TI-92, with each different class. Then all have to get an HP when they entered the REAL WORLD. What suckers. YES, TI gives out free calculators to teachers and text book publishers. And YES TI makes tons more money this way, but But go into any engineer/finance/business office TODAY and you will find them using HP calculators.

So you can go buy a dozen Ti calculators, one for every new math, physics, chemistry class, or just get ONE HP for all your schooling.

With RPN, you can just do math faster than others. I’d say twice as fast, and when you’re testing, that can make a difference. PRN is weird at first, then you love it and never go back. There is not a single class when we were asked to do a math problem and I wasn’t the FIRST person done They all thought I was just super smart, but I just got the right calculator.

YES you can turn RPN off.

So... I’ve always marveled at the sub-snail pace calculator technology moves compared to anything else. FINALLY they've upgraded the 4mhz CPU to something real. What an advance in the calculator. Full color and touch! It's about time.

Hallelujah! MicroUSB connectivity! No more wonky proprietary serial cables. this makes it oh so easy to take NOTES into tests (that allow notes of course. Ahem.) So you can type up your notes and examples and use throw them so easily on the calculator via MicroUSB and the connectivity pack (coming soon). I LOVE IT!

Button press is great due to hard plastic, much like the HP48’s. No mushy soft buttons like the HP49's.

The help is amazing, no matter what you are calculating, you can hit help to remind you what all those variables stand for and do. I sure wish I had that when I was in school.

Everything is so quick on this calculator. I can't get over it.

-Dual touch, pinch to zoom in/out (doesn’t work as well as cell phones do)

It seems they've added the most popular add-on programs, (like Triangle Solver, etc) that we all had to install 3rd party in the olden days. Nice.

Cons: Battery life isn’t going to be several months like with the monochrome dinosaurs of the early 1990s, BUT since it’s Micro USB and every cell phone charger will work for this as well. (Except of course for iPhone, but iphone users will buy TI’s because they are sheep and that’s what sheep buy.)

-No option to change brightness
-no connectivity kit included

Other Thoughts: -4 hours to charge completely, which is weird, (compared to months on end without changing the batteries with the older HP's) but worth it.

Don’t forget how fun it is when someone asks to borrow your calculator and you ask, “Do you know how to use it?” and they smugly say “yes, of course” then they sit there for a while and then hand it back... “um... nevermind.“

It’s really a bargain because this is what calculators cost 20 years ago and it can finally do so much more.

I can’t really test reliability. I don’t know if it is as bulletproof as the HP48’s. It’s certainly slimmer and wicked fast. The touch screen is different to get used to, but I like it.

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5 out of 5 eggsMy new best friend.

Pros: Small and light
Built in screen protector
Color touch screen
Nice size clicking buttons
Basic start guide
Fast to calculate and graph
Color and 3d graphing
Rechargeable battery
Brushed aluminum front plate
Multiple app’s installed

Cons: No qwerty keyboard
Rechargeable battery not easy to replace if depleted
Only 1 year warranty

Other Thoughts: I love the color touch screen, makes navigation easier.

I have an earlier TI graphing calculator at home that I use to calculate power efficiencies in data centers down to rack level and some of the formulas I use can be complex, especially at rack level. Using this type of graphing calculator makes life sweeter. These calculators are not for everyone however and they will take some time to get to grips with. I have had this calculator just over a week and I now see no reason to use my old calculator, this has become my new best friend.

This calculator is quick to start up and has a bright screen, that can be adjusted, and I had no problem seeing the screen even in full sunlight. The screen protector is a terrific addition and allowed me to throw the calculator in my toolbox without the usual worries over a cracked or scratched screen.

Numerators and denominators were easy to enter using the menu’s, and onscreen help and navigation with the clicky keys was almost perfect, the keys were a great size for fingers, my older calculator with smaller keys often resulted in occasional errors due to fat fingering.

The keyboard had buttons for CAS, Homescreen and Apps as well as a toolbar and help button, there are alpha and shift keys that allow easy access to multiple function keys.

I was able to copy and paste calculations from the home screen to the cas environment easily, saving considerable time.

Clicking on the app button brings up a bunch of apps including graphing and spreadsheet apps, statistical functions and finance apps as well as mathematical apps like triangle solver, geometry and trigonometry apps.
I tried some simple graphing and was impressed by how quickly the plot was calculated and displayed. I was able to use the touch screen to move around the graph to any location.

I really enjoy using this calculator, it is small and light and fast and has everything I need from a graphing calculator. I have only scraped the surface of this device so far.

I would have preferred to have had a full qwerty keyboard like my TI has and was not able to print off my graphs successfully yet (however this is more than likely due to me than the HP Prime). I was also disappointed by the one year warranty.

This calculator will not appeal to the masses; however scientists, mathematicians and engineers will love it. I know I do.

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3 out of 5 eggsSolid Graphing Calc

Pros: Very slick design, great button layout, and effective touchscreen. The best attempt at unseating the TI series of graphing calculators. Nice placement of feet on the case and the back of the calculator. USB charging is very convenient. There are exam mode LEDs that are very convenient if applicable by the institution you are using it in. The preloaded apps are your standard selection: Function, Advanced Graphing, Geometry, Spreadsheet, Statistics1Var, Statistics2Var, Interference, Data Streamer, Solve, Linear Solver, Quadratic Explorer, Trig Explorer, Triangle Solver, Finance, Linear Explorer, Parametric, Polar, and Sequence. My favorite feature is the function template pop-up window, this feature lets you plug in numbers to your function of choice to help make sure you enter the values correctly. Moving back and forth between the Home and CAS work spaces is very easy as there is a good Copy and Paste functionality.

Cons: The packaging is hateful for no real reason (Retail packaging is important HP) The micro-USB cable acts as a data cable and a charger but looks to be sourced from a pretty strange parts bin as there is a rubber boot of unknown function on the USB A connector and a non-country specific AC adaptor plug box :/ As many people are using their smartphones for graphing calculators these days, you cannot browse the internet, upload photos to Instagram or make phone calls with this device.

Other Thoughts: Unquestionably the HP Prime is the best Graphing Calculator HP or Texas Instruments have available on the market. The features, abilities, and application versatility all lead the field due to the ease of usability and capability. The problem I have is that you have literally 1000's of Graphing Calculator Apps available on Itunes and Google Play to compete with that keep you from having to buy, carry around, and not lose an additional device. Because of the fierce competition from Free and Paid apps for existing smart phones and tables, the learning curve to brave if coming from a TI series of graphing calculators, and the overwhelming educational infrastructure available for TI series I do have reservations for extending my full recommendation for this device. If you have existing HP graphing calculator experience and you aren't using it to cheat on your physics exams, then this is probably THE calculator for you.

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5 out of 5 eggsHP is back.

Pros: Modern, light-weight, really-thin, physically appealing, fast processor, nice backlit color touch screen, rechargeable Li-Ion battery that lasts a really long time before recharge via USB. The buttons feel right for an HP – much better than recent models. The graphing features are rather spectacular and ultra-fast and can do things like implicit equations, inequalities, and conic sections. It’s not just y=... Has an app model in which each app is isolated and has its own settings/content/variables. Built in apps include spreadsheet, equation solver, stats, financial, and more. Some apps are aimed at the education market for high school level and up. There is data collection potential. There is wireless add-on capability. You can download an emulator so you can try a virtual calculator. Get it from: Write programs on the computer and transfer to the calculator – or just program on the calc. There is a decent amount of memory. There is a textbook-like input option very much like the Casios that makes it easy to enter equations the way you would write them on paper. There is an exam mode for teachers. It is quite inexpensive for what you get. The learning curve is less than the typical HP like the 50g and more like learning a TI-89 but with a lot more power under the hood.

By the numbers: 400 MHz ARM, 32MB memory (1/2 used by OS), 256 MB flash, 320x240 true color touchscreen display. CAS engine said to be based on the Giac/Xcas open source CAS started by Bernard Parisse. It’s really nice seeing HP committing some resources back into what they invented- the “calculator” (named by Bill Hewlett).

It takes more than a week to get familiar with a powerful calculator like this and I’ve owned most of the HP calcs since the HP-55. I'm also very familiar with the TI series including the TI-89 and the TI-84 loaded with Zoom math CAS from helping my kid with trig, calc, and stats. I’ve also used the multiple versions of Wolfram’s Mathematica and the MAPLE programs since they were first available as well as some ipad/iphone CAS apps. This is a new type of beast as far as handhelds go.

Cons: CAS and numeric mode are separate apps and copying/pasting between the two modes can be frustrating. For example, you often need to use uppercase variables in home mode and lower case in CAS. No 3D graphing yet but it is supposed to be coming. No pinch zoom like iOS/android for the graphs. RPN is only available in numeric mode not in CAS and doesn’t work quite the same way as it does on the older HP’s. Pale blue and orange legends on the number keys are hard to read till you memorize them. There is a buglist on this new device which is decreasing with firmware updates. It’s easy to migrate to from a TI device, it’s also easy if this is your first advanced calc, but it’s harder if you’re coming from an HP. (I’m guessing most early-adopting first-time buyers are going to be prior HP users.) Programming language is HP PPL only (no RPL). There is no SDK for accessing native code and no ASM feature. It lacks a periodic table app and the calc-to-calc linking mentioned in the manual isn’t functional at this time. No external memory slot. It takes a bit of time to understand the implementation of apps because saving the data that you enter into an app (like data, settings, variables) isn’t done as a document but as a clone/instance of that particular app. It’s OK, but is an unfamiliar concept.

This may look like a lot of cons, but it's really not. I expect most of these to improve with firmware updates and some to only be relevant to old HP users.

Other Thoughts: All the handhelds have a learning curve before they become a tool. The learning curve on the older HP’s was the steepest but the reward was the most efficient way to solve professional problems and the deepest toolset. HP’s solved stuff the TI’s didn't and could be easily programmed for repetitive problems. They have a devoted following that is fanatical about using RPN to enter data. If you are one of these fanatics, this isn’t your next calculator - yet. It won’t be a seamless, easy transition like going from one model of HP to the next one up. If you don’t have the time to learn a new system and you depend on your calc for your bread, stay with the 50g or your old 41 (one of which backed up the space shuttle landing computer).

The TI’s are much more plentiful out there and fill the US educational/academic niche since they are designed to solve problems just like in the books and almost all the book examples look like they are written for TI’s. Most kids are taught on TI’s in school. TI’s are also approved devices for most of the standardized tests like the AP’s. The HP Prime is not currently approved for the college board tests yet.

The Casio’s I’ve tried have also been aimed at education and marketed as the cost-effective alternative. They have two nice features: a very nice pretty print entry system, and a button that will display a number in various methods (decimal, fraction, mixed fraction). The HP Prime has a button for doing just that and also has a built in pretty print entry system.

It is my impression that this particular HP is aimed at the higher educational market. It is more modern, has a faster processor, is more capable and is flashier than the competition. Its success will depend on whether HP continues to support and upgrade the firmware with features such as pinch zoom and 3-D graphing as well as getting it approved for standardized testing. The sales base can be expanded rapidly to include the large number of older HP fanatics and professionals by making the RPN implementation better. An under-$200 long-battery-life portable calc can beat a laptop or a tablet running a math package in terms of practicality and cost if the old HP guys didn't have to re-learn everything from square one. HP already has the non-4-banger financial market for calculators but didn't have one that does nice color graphing till now. TI has the US academic market. HP has the niche engineer/professional market and could get some of that to move to this device with minimal firmware changes. I think the Prime fits well in the “I passed AP calc, gonna be an engineer” spot for now. It could fit the high-school crowd if it gets approved for college board board testing and gets some teachers on board. Maybe start in the Euro teacher market. Prime is certainly a lot more capable than the TI’s. It also fits well with the finance crowd too. Lots of potential here.

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  • Anonymous
  • 3/31/2014 11:16:47 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Eggxpert Review

2 out of 5 eggscalc nice software sucks

Pros: Like other reviewer stated this thing does everything you can think off. But at the same time my iPhone can do almost as much for free. The touch screen is nice but looks like it came out of the 80's. It has a reset button on the back if some how you lock it up

Cons: This is a warning to all potential buyers. Use the calculator but don't use the software. After installing on my pc it no longer boots, well maybe it will someday but it's been stuck on the Starting Windows screen for over 30 minutes. It also took several attempts and several hours to install the software. After I finished installing and tried it out it work as it should and I turned off the pc now it no longer boots. This was windows 7 ultimate 64 bit on a i7 hex core with 32gb ram and 480ssd it still took 2 hours to install

Other Thoughts: Other thoughts well use a sharp knife to open the package. The software is very buggy and the usb charging cable is very bulky and stiff.

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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