Graphing calculators have become a staple in math classes around the world, particularly in high schools and colleges. This type of calculator helps students understand mathematical and scientific concepts better. From algebra to calculus, a graphing calculator will help you create graphs with ease. This article provides a list of the best graphing calculators available on the market today. You can study and compare the various models and brands on the list, so you will eventually purchase the graphing calculator that will best suit your needs.
What to Look For
There are several major factors to consider when looking for the best graphing calculators, including ease of use and longevity. Graphing calculators that are outdated, fragile, and confusing will not last long enough in the hands of students. Below are the four most important features that you need to take note when it comes to finding the best graphing calculators.
You need to consider the technical aspects of this computing device, such as input styles, screen resolution, read-only memory (ROM), and the random-access memory (RAM). Most calculators use the algebraic input style, but some models use the Reverse Polish Notation (RPN). It is important to search for a fast RAM for quick graphing and calculation.
The calculator must be durable enough to withstand the weight of the bag. Make sure that the calculator that you will choose can do various mathematical functions and withstand the constantly rough treatment. It is also necessary to check whether the calculator is compatible with the test that you will take.
Ease of Use
The best graphing calculator is easy to use and has an ergonomic design. It should come with user-friendly buttons and the functions must be within reach. This means certain math formulas should be easily accessible, and not under multiple menus. The display should also make it easier for you to read the data.
Graphing calculators can be complicated. It is crucial to have a documentations and manuals with extensive information to help you perform specific computing tasks. You also need to check if the manufacturer offers efficient and effective customer support, whether online, via email, or through phone. Most calculators come with a one-year limited warranty.
You need graphing calculators to help make your math life easier. The list below are top rated graphing calculators with solid features, are durable, and have extensive customer support.
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TI 84 Plus
The TI 84 Plus has been adopted by nearly every high school and colleges worldwide. It is known as one of the most popular calculators among students since it is compatible with the major tests. This calculator features basic functions, such as exponents and multiplication, and can be found on the physical buttons.
Other operations can be done using the same keys by simply pressing the “Alpha” or “2nd” buttons. This model runs on 480KB of ROM and 24KB or RAM, while the screen display measures 160 x 120 pixels. Best of all, the TI 84 Plus comes with a one-year limited warranty.
The HP 50g features more than 2,300 built-in functions. This adjustable-type calculator has 2 MB of ROM and 512KB of RAM, which are more than enough for long-term usage. In addition, this unit allows SD card for improved programmability. You can also use the HP 50g on major tests, except the ACT.
The positioning of the buttons is similar to that of the Texas Instruments calculators. You can hit the “Alpha” button and two arrow buttons to access the more advanced functions. Purchasing this unit will give you a one-year limited warranty and a solid customer support.
The TI 89 has ample storage space and a high amount of RAM. The screen display is slightly smaller than other Texas Instruments models, and the unit is only limited to algebraic input. Its user interface made navigation much easier than the previous models, but it could take some time for beginners to get used to it.
In terms of durability, the TI 89 is perfect for students. The manufacturer offers solid customer service that is reachable via email and telephone. The user’s manual is available in 11 languages, including French, English, Chinese, and French.
The ClassPad330 is filled with extremely helpful features, including a powerful Computer Algebra System (CAS) that makes programming easier. You can write the programs to solve mathematical equations. You can also use the programming language for basic and advanced mathematical questions, from algebraic functions to differential calculus.
The stylus allows you to navigate the large screen, but is slightly smaller than the regular pen. It should be noted, however, that the ClassPad330 is only helpful outside the classroom. This calculator is banned on major tests and in many schools.
This graphing calculator has a noticeably smaller screen, but features a high-contrast display to make it readable. It also has one of the largest storage capacities on the list. While the unit has a low amount of RAM, customers have no complaints about its processing speed. The device is compatible with nearly every subject, except linear algebra. The buttons have been laid out similarly to the other models mentioned here.
This durable calculator supports numerous standard classes and features a favorable framework. It screen is slightly smaller than most of the models on the list. The only downside, however, is the low 26KB RAM. The tight space limits the number of programs or applications used, but you should not worry too much about it. This calculator is perfect for basic math classes, and is compatible with every major test.
TI Nspire CX
The Nspire CAS can handle the more complex mathematical and scientific concepts. It features a lightweight and slim design, with rechargeable batteries that could last up to two weeks. You can choose to graph 3D functions automatically or manually, which is a helpful feature. The backlit color display is also pleasant for the eyes. With highly versatile functions, this calculator is one of the best on the list.
The Prizm is one of the most underrated calculators on today’s market. This non-CAS graphing calculator is extremely easy to use. It has a lot of features that you will not normally find in most graphing calculators without CAS function.
The Prizm has the ability to simplify the radicals, search for exact trigonomic values, and applies the textbook format for the mathematical symbols. This means you will no longer have to waste plenty of time learning the syntax. You can easily locate the Y-intercepts, and quickly solve for the X values. Since it does not have the CAS function, the Prizm can be used for the ACT. It is affordable, too.