Monday, March 19, 2018

Review: Canon F-605 Scientific Calculator

Review:  Canon F-605 Scientific Calculator

Company:  Canon
Type:  Scientific
Memory:  7 registers
Battery:  LR54 x 1
Years:  Current (4/172015-)
Cost: around $10
Number of Functions: 154
Operating System:  Immediate Execution

On a trip to Fry’s for computer headphone/microphone set, I always head to the aisle where the calculators are.  Besides the “dollar store calculators” and printing calculators, every one Fry’s had I have their model.  Except for the F-605, which was packaged in a box.  So to the check stands I went, with the F-605, a $2 A+ Homework scientific calculator, and headphone set in tow.

Another Clone of the Sharp EL-501X… or is it?

At first glance, the Canon F-605 looks like a clone of the Sharp EL-501X.  Sure, it has it’s complex numbers, complete with the [ a ] and [ b ] keys, the keyboard is nice and compact, and it has its base conversions with one variable statistics.  Close inspection, the F-605 differs from the EL-501X in a number of ways.

By the way, I reviewed the Sharp EL-501X in July 2014, which you can click here to see:


The display has 10 digits, but carries 14 internal digits. 

We have our scientific functions, logarithmic functions, exponential functions, hyperbolic functions, decimal degrees/degrees-minutes-seconds conversions and power and root.  The [ F←→S ] converts the display from floating to scientific notation.

For the polar/rectangular conversions, the [ a ] and [ b ] keys are used.  [ a  ] is used for x and r, while [ b ] is used for y and θ.

Here is where the Canon F-605 starts separating itself from the rest of the clones.  The F-605 offers fractions, with fraction/decimal conversions and improper/proper fraction form conversions. 

The F-605 has a random number function which generates numbers from 0 to 1, which has three digits. 

One of the great surprises the F-605 has is that it has seven memory registers, A through F, and M.  There are also the arithmetic storage functions M+ and M-.  The nice thing is that all seven memory registers are available on all the modes, except for statistics, where M is not available.

Base Display Modes (except for Decimal) is limited to arithmetic. To convert numbers, just call their respective mode. There are still no Boolean functions, just arithmetic. 

The Complex number mode only allows for complex number arithmetic.  The [ a ] and [ b ] are keys to enter and display the real and imaginary parts.  You still can use rectangular/polar conversions.  ( [ a ]:  real/abs, [ b ]: imaginary/argument)

The F-605 has one variable statistics.  In addition to mean, deviation, and sums, the F-605 offers the minimum and maximum of the data set.  In statistic mode, parenthesis and store to M keys are used for accessing statistical results.  You can’t use parenthesis in stats mode on the F-605.  One thing I am very happy about, unlike most of the scientific calculators in this family, the F-605 has it Statistics mode on a key other than ON/C!  Yes, putting a mode as the second function of the clear button is very annoying. 


The keyboard is very clean, and fonts are readable.  The keys do have a rubbery feel, but so far, out of the using it, I have no complaints about the response.  The calculator is very light weight. 


If you are looking for an inexpensive $10 (or possibly less) scientific calculator and you don’t want a solar calculator, I can recommend the F-605.  I would say that the F-605 is just above the Casio fx-260 Solar or Sharp EL-501X.


This blog is property of Edward Shore, 2018


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