# The Best Graphing Calculator on the Market?

#### Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the better-than-a-TI? dept.

724
aaronbeekay asks: *"I'm a sophomore in high school taking an honors chem course. I'm being forced to buy something handheld for a calculator (I've been using Qalculate! and GraphMonkey on my Thinkpad until now). I see people all around me with TIs and think 'there could be something so much better'. The low-res, monochrome display just isn't appealing to me for $100-150, and I'd like for it to last through college. Is there something I can use close to the same price range with better screen, more usable, and more powerful? Which high-tech calculators do you guys use?"*

## PDA? (4, Insightful)

## revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760544)

## Re:PDA? (4, Informative)

## Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760666)

## Re:PDA? (3, Informative)

## malvidin (951569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761486)

## IA32 + Matlab R13 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761546)

## TI 89 (1, Informative)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760550)

## SR-40/TI-30 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760826)

## Re:TI 89 (2, Informative)

## teklob (650327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760830)

## Re:TI 89 (1)

## linuxboredom (1054516) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760892)

## Re:TI 89 (4, Funny)

## Rosyna (80334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760954)

I disagree. I paid about $300CAD for my Ti-89 and not only is not allowed on tests neither at the grade 12 level nor first year collegeMaybe it's because you're in Canadia. In the US, the TI-89 is explicitly allowed on tests [wikipedia.org] administered by the college board (but not ACT). It's also the reason I bought it, the TI-92 isn't allowed on any tests.

mine's already broken after only about 2 years of seldom use.How odd, I bought mine when it was first release (1998) and it's still going strong. Maybe it's the Canadian weather that caused yours to fail. Also, you're not supposed to use it while taking a shower.

## Re:TI 89 (1)

## Constantine Evans (969815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761360)

My TI-89 is also from around that time (probably circa 1999/2000), and has never had any problems. Could it be that newer models aren't as reliable? I know that this is the case with my HP graphing calculator (a 49g+ that a student left in my lab and never claimed), and would highly recommend against buying one unless you plan on buying an older model used. Recent HP calculators are no longer actually designed or made by HP, and have significant design and reliability issues. Wikipedia has a good description of the problems in its HP-49 article [wikipedia.org] . I've heard that older HP calculators are far better.

But my suggestion, especially if you plan on going into a scientific field, would be to either not use a calculator at all, or use any basic scientific calculator you can find. Graphing calculators in general are rather useless if one is competent in mathematics, and tend to just hinder work and learning. Arithmetic can be done on any scientific calculator, and most algebra and calculus is faster and easier to do on paper or in one's head. The graphing is generally so rudimentary as to not be very useful: one should be able to remember what graphs of basic functions will look like, and inputting data into graphing calculators is slow enough that using one for graphing measured data isn't very useful, especially since the graph won't be usable for presentations anyway. Learn how to use Matlab, Mathematica, Gnuplot, or some other serious program for graphing, and you will fare much better.

The only time I use a calculator these days is to do basic arithmetic when I need something better than an order of magnitude estimate, or, if Mathematica/Matlab can be called a calculator, when I need messy algebra/calculus/numerical computations done that are far beyond the abilities of a graphing calculator. I've scarcely used my TI-89 or HP-49g+ at all in the last 8 years or so - I don't even know quite where they are.

## Re:TI 89 (1)

## rhombic (140326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761106)

## TI 89 (5, Informative)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760560)

## Re:TI 89 (1)

## jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760650)

## Re:TI 89 (1)

## cdrdude (904978) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760738)

allof my math classes in high/middle school taught things for TI-83. I had to figure out how to do most things on my own, going off the class instructions as a rough guideline. It helps to know a little bit of the programming language for TI.## Re:TI 89 (1)

## FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761102)

In my maths course, no calculators are allowed in *any exam*, full stop.

## Re:TI 89 (1)

## theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761210)

Math is about more than just calculating. In the higher levels, it becomes irrelevant. Good luck proving something in your abstract algebra using it. And even in calculation-intensive courses (like my numerous stats courses) the calculations themselves are hardly the point.

-stormin

## Re:TI 89 (1)

## cdrdude (904978) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761252)

## Re:TI 89 (1)

## jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761504)

## HP (4, Informative)

## pyite (140350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760562)

I have an HP-48GX and it served me well through high school and four years of engineering school.

## Re:HP (3, Informative)

## honkycat (249849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760722)

Personally, I decided that I did not actually need the graphing features so now just use an HP-33s. It's pretty solid and does everything I need. For me, in the real world, I found that the graphing capabilities of the calcs were not useful -- if I needed to plot, I would do it on a computer. The graphing calc was just not a substitute. I suppose the programming might be more flexible on the bigger calculators as well, but I have not once found myself wishing for one since high school.

(for reference, I've worked as an electrical engineer/programmer and am now a graduate student in physics)

## Re:HP (2, Interesting)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760964)

Personally, I decided that I did not actually need the graphing features so now just use an HP-33s. It's pretty solid and does everything I need. For me, in the real world, I found that the graphing capabilities of the calcs were not useful -- if I needed to plot, I would do it on a computer. The graphing calc was just not a substitute. I suppose the programming might be more flexible on the bigger calculators as well, but I have not once found myself wishing for one since high school.I must agree with you in many ways here. But to me (also a physicist) the HP-33 has too much clutter and is too slow. The TI-36X does 99.5% of all the calculations that I need and since I've used it so long I no longer need to look at the keypad while entering commands. It also has the benefit of only allowing you to only input one calculation at a time which will help prevent errors (like missing a parentheses or accidentally evaluating an exponent on only the numerator). For more complicated calculations using matrix transformations or graphs of non-linear systems the HP-48/49 and soon to be HP-50 series can't be beat.

For anyone who is planning to be a physical scientist or an engineer, a powerful calculator is a handicap and will hurt you in the long run. The ease of solving problems in low level math courses will come to haunt you when you take a course that includes something like Laplace transforms or complex analysis.

## Re:HP (4, Insightful)

## miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761432)

For anyone who is planning to be a physical scientist or an engineer, a powerful calculator is a handicap and will hurt you in the long run. The ease of solving problems in low level math courses will come to haunt you when you take a course that includes something like Laplace transforms or complex analysis.Spoken like someone who doesn't know how calculators are intended to be used. As I have told many a math student in my classes, calculators are no substitute for understanding how to work a problem. They are

labor saving devices## Re:HP (1)

## mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761266)

Personally, I'd still like my TI-89 even if I never graphed anything on it again. I just really like being able to see the whole expression I type in (not to mention that it's "pretty printed").

## I don't think they sell it any more (2, Informative)

## hc5duke (930493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761010)

## Re:HP (2, Insightful)

## cab15625 (710956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761436)

They are rugged. My old one got dropped all over the place, crushed in a book bag on numerous occasions, you name it. It took some heavy duty organic solvents to finally kill it dead.

They have a truck load of built in libraries and functionality (from simple math, to symbolic calculus, and handling of units).

The replacement that I finally bought is a 48gII and it will even do fft's.

And don't let RPN scare you. Once you get the hang of it, RPN is great.

Now, if only I could get it to interface properly with my linux box ...

## RPN Baby! (5, Funny)

## billdar (595311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760588)

There is just something fundamentally appealing to owning a powerful calculator 90% of the population can't even add two numbers on...

## Re:RPN Baby! (1)

## Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761048)

## Re:RPN Baby! (4, Interesting)

## Mr. Frilly (6570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761242)

A friend of mine at MIT had an HP-48, and I had a TI-81, we used to do a lot of engineering problem sets together and would often race on entering calculations. Averaged over time the competition was a draw. Although the HP-48 definitely wins from a "cool" factor perspective (where cool=geek).

Speaking of the TI-81, I bought mine in 1991 for $82, and I'm still using it every day.

## Re:RPN Baby! (1)

## cab15625 (710956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761604)

[whatever normal notation is called]"infix notation" (putting the operator between the operands)

Compared to Reverse Polish Notation and Polish Notation. The name comes from the fact that the original Polish Notation was developed by a Polish mathematician.

RPN is actually easy to get used to. If your grade 1 teacher had told you to write equations that way, you'd be griping about infix and having to keep track of all those stupid brackets. Think of it like the difference between English grammar and German grammar. As far as memory/technology goes, I doubt there's much of a saving with RPN since all those numbers still have to be stored in a stack.

## TI-85 (1)

## damian cosmas (853143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760590)

## Re:TI-85 (1)

## Fuyu (107589) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760944)

## Re:TI-85 (1)

## damian cosmas (853143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761092)

## TI89 (1)

## cpearson (809811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760598)

Members wanted at Vista Forum [vistahelpforum.com]

## HP 48GX (2, Informative)

## c0d3r (156687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760610)

## Ebay yourself up an old TI-82 or -86 (4, Informative)

## Paltin (983254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760616)

My only difficulty was an occasion scramble to find where some higher level functions were, as the rest of the class had newer calcs and they couldn't help me out.

Just do yourself a favor, get an older calc (with an instruction book), and spend the rest of the cash on ice cream.

## Sliderulers.. what you realy need is a slide ruler (1)

## PS3Penguin (1048518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760620)

## Re:Sliderulers.. what you realy need is a slide ru (1)

## Nutria (679911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761346)

Graphing calculators are **WAY** over-rated ... what you really need is nice slide ruler! Remember .. nothing goes better with a slide ruler .. than a nice pocket protector to put it in! (Ok .. I can now get my former boss of my back ... He was always pushing slide rulers on the other engineers).Not only that, but they don't have batteries to run down, or need an AC adapter.

Very useful for when society collapses and needs to be rebuilt.

## TI 89 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760634)

## Dunno (1)

## Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760636)

However, and far more importantly... I got a free solar powered calculator today and I'm unaccountably pleased with it.

## Re:Dunno (1)

## Jesterboy (106813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761012)

Also, I got to keep it on a lot more tests than the graphing calculator people...^_^

## hp50g (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760638)

## Hard to say (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760644)

letme use. TI-89## Ummm, HP 48G (3, Informative)

## Gogl (125883) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760658)

This is one realm where you want a tool, not a toy - if you want something flashy and shiny with a nice screen and pleasing UI, save your pennies for an iPhone or something. If you want something that does math, and does it damn well, buy an HP calculator.

PS - I guess this doesn't quite fit your answer as according to Wikipedia they stopped making them back in 2003, so it's not really "on the market" any more. They are currently selling HP-49 series, which is still better than TIs but just isn't built like the 48Gs (the tactile feel of the keys really does matter on a device where punching numbers is the main use). Still, I'm guessing that 30 seconds with eBay and you'll find 48G's...

## Let the Flaming Begin (4, Insightful)

## billdar (595311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760662)

Especially when the HP48GX is the clear winner...

/me ducks## Re:Let the Flaming Begin (1)

## pyite (140350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760708)

## Re:Let the Flaming Begin (2, Insightful)

## mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761298)

...they had been forced to use TI calculators in high school, and that was what they were used to.

## TI-86 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760664)

## TI-89 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760676)

## TI-92? (1)

## frieza79 (947618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760690)

I remember it not being any better than the TI 85, at least for that class.

## Re:TI-92? (1)

## Fuyu (107589) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760850)

## Re:TI-92? (1)

## Fuyu (107589) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760900)

## Re:TI-92? (1)

## demeteloaf (865003) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761490)

For most standardized tests (In the untited states at least), such as AP exams and College board tests (SAT, SAT IIs, etc), The litmus test for "is a calculator allowed or not" is whether it has a QWERTY keyboard. The Ti-92 has a qwerty keyboard, and isn't allowed.

Realizing this, Texas Instruments essentially released the exact same software, only without the QWERTY keyboard on the -89. Basically, unless you need to have the QWERTY keyboard for some reason, I'd go with the -89, simply because you can use it on the standardized tests.

## Dunno if it exists (1)

## nbehary (140745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760692)

## TI 89 (1)

## Real World Stuff (561780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760694)

## Are you kidding? (1, Interesting)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760724)

First Post?

## Why you should still consider a TI 89 (5, Informative)

## andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760734)

## Re:Why you should still consider a TI 89 (1)

## Constantine Evans (969815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761460)

People who can't figure out how to solve equations that the TI-89 can solve probably need to be taking more math courses rather than relying on the calculator, which will only hurt them in the future.

## TI-86 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760736)

## Go with the flow... (1)

## Roger Wilcox (776904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760746)

I used a tri-color Casio calculator in high school, and all of the examples in the textbook gave instructions for TI calculators only. I spent hours figuring out how to use my Casio every time I had to do a new type of problem. In the end, I don't think it was worth it.

When I got to college I bought a TI anyway - our textbook had the instructions for TI right in it, and I didn't want to risk falling behind because of my calculator.

## Re:Go with the flow... (1)

## creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760894)

When I got to college I bought a TI anyway - our textbook had the instructions for TI right in it, and I didn't want to risk falling behind because of my calculator.The first time I ran into a pre-calculus math book that required a graphing calculator, I couldn't afford to get one. I spent hours graphing each homework assignment on paper and turning in approximate answers. The instructor gave me a C but I had better understanding of graphing than all my classmates combined.

## Re:Go with the flow... (1)

## superiority (892798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761062)

## This is slashdot ... (1)

## vogon jeltz (257131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760762)

## Save your money (1)

## davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760768)

Whatever it is, it will be better or cheaper than what's here today.

HP's 9g [hp.com] probably isn't enough but at $30 it's worth checking out.

Casio has the FX-7400GPlus [casio.com] for under $40.

Used TIs can be had for under $60.

The only reasons to spend more are if the time-savings are critical or if your school requires features these less expensive calculators don't handle.

As long as you are a student, don't do anything with a calculator you couldn't do in principle with pencil and paper.

Remember, the generation before yours survived high school and college without the benefit of graphing calculators, and the generation before that used pencil, paper, and tables. Most of them turned out okay.

## Re:Save your money (3, Interesting)

## greg1104 (461138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761584)

Remember, the generation before yours survived high school and college without the benefit of graphing calculators, and the generation before that used pencil, paper, and tables. Most of them turned out okay.And you never know when being able to do things by hand is going to save your ass.

I recall a physics exam my freshman year of college, fairly simple mechanics stuff: find how long something takes to slide down a ramp, that sort of thing. About 10 minutes into the hour long exam my calculator blew up. Something in the LCD burst, it was a paperweight.

This was the kind of tech school where the professors just don't give a shit about your issues, and where too many missed exams counted against you heavily; leaving in the middle of one without completing it was the same thing. I was fast enough to get everything but one problem finished with 40 minutes to spare even without the calculator. Only problem was that the answer involved multiplying by the sine of an angle.

I had a couple of sin and cos values memorized: 30 degrees, 60 degrees. Had memorized the square roots of 1 through 5 to a few places, and happened to know how to compute those by hand as well.

Ever come across these formulas?

sin(x/2) = ± sqrt([1 cos x] / 2)

cos(x/2) = ± sqrt([1 + cos x] / 2)

sin(a±b)=sin(a)*cos(b)±sin(b)*cos(a)

Well, if you know sin(30) and cos(30), from these you can compute the values at 15 degrees with a few mathematical operations, then 7.5, then 3.75, etc. Build that little table, and then you can add or subtract things together to reach other values, and maybe throw in a little linear interpolation. Eventually I build an estimate answer using this approach that was close enough to get most of the points for the problem. Got dinged for not using enough significant digits, as if I'd made a rounding error, but got most of the credit.

When time was called I was in the middle of trying to check my answer against the results of a Taylor Series computed with Horner's Rule [dattalo.com] . Converting degrees to radians by hand is a snap once you've memorized Pi to a thousand places [youtube.com] ...

## TI's aren't that bad (1)

## Lifyre (960576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760784)

HP makes some decent graphong calculators but iirc they run on reverse polish notation which while very nice can take some time to get used to.

You may also want to look into just getting a pda and putting a math program on it but unfortunately I have no experience using them in that regard.

Of course all this info could be worthless since it's at least 3 years old.

## Legal for tests (1)

## SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760886)

Then, find the best TI that you can guarantee will be allowed pretty much everywhere -- or better, get your parents to buy it; it's for education, right?

This does not excuse you from having a laptop in college. The TI is for math -- the class and the tests. The laptop is for every class that isn't math. Put your calendar on it, put notes on it, and if at all possible, put your books on it -- I was often able to get away with just a Powerbook and one textbook, and by the time you're in college, you might not even need that textbook.

Oh, by the way, if you can get by without graphing features, do that for awhile. College rules could change, and this is a high school chem course -- consider if it'll be terribly inconvenient to buy a $5 non-graphing calculator, or even *gasp* consider not using one! I didn't need one in high school till I was pretty much doing calculus, and then, the class was small enough that we could just borrow a supply of the school's own calculators.

## Don't take notes on a laptop (4, Insightful)

## rpbird (304450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761300)

## Re:Legal for tests (1)

## Linux_ho (205887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761544)

Ask around -- ask colleges you're interested in, ask your high school -- what you want is something that will be legal for tests.

Then, find the best TI that you can guarantee will be allowed pretty much everywhere -- or better, get your parents to buy it; it's for education, right?

Yes! Agree 100%. The TI-83+ features are the most that were allowed in my calculus tests (3 years ago). The prof allowed older/less featureful calculators if you wanted to use them, but anything with more features wasn't allowed. And there was a lot of help provided specifically for using the TI-83+, which was often a big timesaver.

## Depends.... (1)

## Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760790)

I have used an HP RPN and a TI-89 and I prefer the TI-89 because of the "pretty print"

But you should check to see if any of your current or future classes have restrictions. I know we can't use anything that has any wireless capability (no laptops, phones, newer calculators) and we have two classes: programmable and non-programmable. That is if calculators are allowed. We are never allowed calculators in math classes (would make it too easy otherwise), but they would allow a slide-ruler.

## You're screwed at college... get used to it... (0)

## creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760818)

I missed the days where you could get a $500 HP calculator to get you through four years of college and maybe graduate school while still being able to play Missile Command on it.

## Re:You're screwed at college... get used to it... (1)

## Paralizer (792155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761320)

The idea of taking a college level math course where you are not expected to solve problems manually is very strange.

## HP 48 4-Life!!! (4, Interesting)

## GreggBz (777373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760822)

RPN is very nice for long equations. Once you get used to it, you'll be more accurate and efficient. You'll never want to go back to algebraic entry. It has a lot of features, and still stands up pretty well to modern offerings. Unless they've made calculus problems a lot harder, you won't need anything more functionality wise.

The built in equation library is very nice. There is a plethora of available programs to download. The IR sensor is just cool and the keys have the best tactile feel of any calculators ever, and the batteries last about 20 months. Oh, and you could probably dip it in motor oil, and it would still work. The screen while having good contrast, is very fragile however. That's one bad thing.

Expect to pay $250 on ebay for a 48GX unless you get lucky. (The 128K expandable model. Original MSRP was $159 I think) You can probably get a 48G (32KB non expandable model) in your price range though.

## Re:HP 48 4-Life!!! (3, Funny)

## vogon jeltz (257131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760990)

Don't know about your HP-48 (which I own too, by the way), but one day the tomcat puked right onto my old HP-32S, which it didn't appreciate at all. I had to disassemble it (try that with the tank-like construction of HPs, took me me 2 hours) in order to clean it and make it work again.

## Ability to use? (1)

## nickmue (905710) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760920)

## A few options (1)

## complexmath (449417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760930)

If you're interested in just anything that can do advanced maths, you might want to look into an academic license of MATLAB, which runs about $100. You get a limited number of reinstalls and the license may expire four years after purchasing it, but it's a tremendous deal nevertheless. If only commercial licenses were affordable...

## Mathematica+UMPC? (1, Redundant)

## HRbnjR (12398) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760938)

Special purpose hardware is dead.

## You don't have much choice (1)

## Mark Maughan (763986) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760942)

waybehind the TI-92 many areas and I don't think there has been a new model since. If you have to graph a differential equation on an HP, be prepared to wait. The TI-89 has symbolic calculus, algebra, differential equations,## Just get the TI-83 (1, Informative)

## Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760960)

But I am a recent University graduate. I think I had something like 1 or 2 classes that allowed me to bring a Ti-83 into the test with me. Most of my math based classes specifically disallowed graphing calculators for obvious reasons. They are just too powerful, and make cheating very very easy. I had to buy a $10 scientific calculator for University.

So my advice? Don't buy the best calculator on the market. It will just collect dust, and you will be angry for having spent triple what a TI-83 would cost, and get far less use.

But if you really do want a good calculator, then I might suggest a TI-92. My math teacher in high school had one, and they were so very very sexy. The big difference between a TI92 and a TI-83 in my books is that a TI-92 does integrals. Which is mighty handy. It even does Vectors.

## HP-50G (2, Informative)

## zizzo (86200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760998)

## Solve and integral function on the TI-89 (1)

## opwierde (639081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761014)

## TI (1)

## Hadlock (143607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761034)

I have a Ti-86, which I got in 8th grade 12 years ago. It still works flawlessly. Luckily there were a couple of kids in each of my classes that could walk me through the menu system to make my 86 do what everyone else's 83 did like the teacher's example (done on an 83).

## Durability (3, Insightful)

## the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761058)

If you do get a 48GX do be careful protecting the screen. The carrying case doesn't provide enough protection - I lost one because of that.

## The ti89 is a magic wand (1)

## chowdy (992689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761128)

## Save yourself the trouble (1)

## moorcito (529567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761138)

## Boring? Maybe. Care? No. (1)

## Paralizer (792155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761144)

The TI-89 is definitely recommended.

Do not get a TI-83. The 83 may cost you $60 less, but it's generations behind when it comes to the features it offers. You don't need a 500MHz to calculate some equations or differentials, but you do need a calculator that is reasonably powerful (for that type of thing) and has the software to do what you need. For these reasons, I don't think you can beat the TI-89. There is a TI-93 (I think is the model number) but as I recall is just a TI-89 that has a small keyboard and a slightly larger screen.Since you're in high school you may want to consider what is allowed on standardized exams. For the SAT calculating devices can not make noise or have a keypad. This excludes many top-tier calculators except the TI-89. You'll likely not need anything of this caliber for such exams, but it is still nice to have a calculator with you that you are comfortable with. You don't want to go into any exam where you are not familiar and comfortable with the device you are using as it may cost you valuable time trying to find the feature you need or the exponent button.

Last I checked the 89 is around $140, and it's

definitelyworth it. I think most people who have used it would agree that there is significant value there. I've used it throughout high school and college, going on 7 years now. It has never not been able to do what I wanted it to (I'm a computer science major with a math minor).## TI-89 is your best bet (1)

## smthngcrprt726 (994828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761174)

## TI59 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761202)

P.S., my wife made me get rid of one of the TI59s I had plus printer. I still have one (not sure if it works, but I mostly use Octave).

## Re:TI59 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761368)

## TI 83-86. Not the best, but the standard. (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761260)

Another thing to consider is whether or not your chosen calclator is allowed on standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT. It would suck to get familiar with a calculator and not be allowed to use it on an important test.

I eventually chose a TI-84+ because it was the best calculator allowed by my Calculus class, and my instructors used them.

If you want to try out TI calculators, You can use an emulator, try VTI, I found it at ticalc.org. There are Windows and Pocket PC version available, although I would love to find one for my Zaurus.

My 2 cents

## HP 48 (2, Insightful)

## peacefinder (469349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761334)

The bad news is that HP's calculator division ain't what it used to be. The good news is that almost all HP calculators are extremely durable. I have personally worn out multiple HP calculator keypads, but it took about two years of heavy use to wear out each one. And by heavy use I don't mean mere homework... I mean 8 to 10 hour days at my job, where 60% of my job was to crunch numbers. (Yes this job was better suited to other hardware, but I worked with what I could get.) If you can find a used one that works at all, it should prove very durable.

If you can find one, a 48G or 48GX would be excellent.

(I am less impressed with the newer HP49 and its derivatives. It seemed to be a step backwards in usability to me, mainly because of the keypad layout. The all-important "enter" key is in a bad spot, and not double-sized.)

## WHy any? (2, Insightful)

## sevenfactorial (996184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761340)

## This is very off topic, but... (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761344)

## TI nspire (4, Informative)

## zbowling (597617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761382)

## Newer HP's also support standard entry (1)

## monkeyengineered (1042116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761438)

## Qonos (1)

## morcheeba (260908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761442)

It's amazing how much computing power there is now compared to my 4-bit processor hp48 (it still rocks). If only there was a nokia770-like device with a decent keyboard, it would make a great calculator platform.

## TI-89 (0)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761466)

If you're wondering why I got the '92, it was a gift when I graduated from undergrad from the math department, not something I purchased because the '89 was insufficient. Also, as mentioned earlier by several folks, the '92 is not allowed on most standardized tests.

## you insensitive Clod! (-1, Troll)

## Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17761552)

## Screw calculators (1)

## ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761554)

## Casio FX-7500g (1)

## wanerious (712877) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761558)

foldingform factor. Why has no one else done a folding calculator? My favorite of all time.## TI-89 Platinum (1)

## SaidinUnleashed (797936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17761574)