Issues with HKEAA-approved calculators (Problèmes avec les calculatrices approuvées par HKEAA)
Posté le 07/01/2020 17:01
Casio fx-50FHII was introduced back in 2013, alongside with fx-50FII and fx-3650PII. Like its predecessor, fx-50FHII is just a fx-50FII without the ability to show formulas in order to get approved by H.K.E.A.A. to use in public exams. But since then, Casio do not have any plan to upgrade this calculator (and fx-3650PII) for six years. Does it mean we have already benefited so much from it?
Mainstream calculators in HK
The above link is the approved calculators in HK. We can see that HKEAA only approved two types of Casio programmable calculators (fx-50F series and fx-3xxxP series) and they became the most commonly used calculators in HK. All of them are not graphic models unlike Graph 35+EII and Graph 90+E.
Issues with fx-50FHII
(Here I will use fx-50FHII as a main example. I do not have fx-3650PII so I will try not to make so much opinions on it)
Issue 1: Old specs from predecessor
fx-50FHII still uses 16 units of dot-matrix display in upper line and 10 units of match-7 display in lower line as same as its predecessor. In fact, Casio has used such display for its fx-50F and fx-3650P lineup for 13 and 17 years respectively. Considering the current prices of them, it is definitely not a great display for them nowadays.
Issue 2: Lacking of calculus
Perhaps it is the most acute disadvantage in this calculator. HK students who elect Mathematics Extended Module 2 - Algebric & Calculus (we call it M2) suffer the most. Most secondary schools in HK recommends fx-50FHII since of its larger bytes for programs. However, if the students choose to study M2, they will need to buy another calculator that has the calculus functions (e.g. fx-3650PII) and this will lead to spend more money just for these calculations. There are calculus programs for fx-50FHII, but they are somehow less accurated. They are not perfect compared to the original feature.
Issue 3: Feature-lacked Casio Basic and poor programming environment
Although fx-50FHII have some advanced commands, but it is still not that useful when you have only four program slots and 680 bytes
. Also, this Casio Basic do not support nest. You cannot use any nest-needed commands within any of themself, so you cannot even make an easy-to-understand program involving many structured commands. Besides, it misses Prog, Do~LpWhile, Getkey, etc. It makes the fx-50FHII quite meaningless in programming. Also, fx-50FHII has 6 calculation modes, including COMP, CMPLX, BASE, SD, REG and PGRM mode. During creating a program, you also need to determine one of five modes the program will run in. It is frustrating that users cannot use complex number functions and even the List function in a program which set in COMP mode.
One of the solutions is to buy fx-3650PII as mentioned. However, if you add the prices of fx-50FHII and fx-3650PII (it is currently ~220 HKD and ~180 HKD respectively according to my research), you will find that spending 400 HKD (€46.2) for only 8 program slots and 1070 bytes in two calculators in total is certainly not ideal for all of us since this price is close to the price of fx-5800P!
I think the best solution is to request Casio for releasing a calculator which at least includes calculus, exam mode and acceptable specs (at around fx-5800P level) within 300~400 HKD budget. This could replace both fx-50FHII and fx-3650PII which exist for years.
Whether it is a market strategy of Casio or not, it is hoped that Casio and HKEAA would work together to develop a better version of approved calculator.
Related link: https://community.casiocalc.org/topic/7932-article-fx-50fhii-is-it-really-enough-for-hk-students-nowadays/