Graphing calculators are an absolute must for students who are taking classes heavy in the science and mathematics. While scientific and standard calculators may have worked in elementary school, in no way will they be able to complete the job when high school and college roll around. This is because the graphing calculator is designed to allow students to graph functions. Whether they are simply graphing lines or engaging in parabolas, cubic functions, quadratic, polynomial or linear functions, they need a graphing calculator to get the job done.
A graphing calculator is not one of those items one can just go out and purchase the night before classes begin. The reason being that not all graphing calculators are made for all students. It’s best to know what it is you will be studying, and how in depth those studies will be: Electives or major classes. If you require one for your major, then choose wisely as it could affect your overall performance in homework and standardized testing results.
In order to get you started, we’ve made a comprehensive list of the top 10 best graphing calculators for you to examine. For our review, we’ve chosen the most dependable brand names, such as Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard and Casio. When you shop for a graphing calculator, purchasing a well-known brand is important. A solid brand name means that you will always get an accurate result, plus excellent customer support, upgrades and valuable apps. Avoid cheap knock-offs whenever possible, or you risk having issues such as battery failure and sluggish response time.
- Table of the Best Graphing Calculators:
- 1. TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator
- 2. Ti-83 Plus Graphics Calculator
- 3. HP35S Programmable Scientific Calculator
- 4. TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition Graphing Calculator
- 5. Hewlett Packard G8X92AA LA Prime Graphing Calculator
- 6. TI-84 Plus CE Lightning Graphing Calculator
- 7. Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator
- 8. Casio Prizm FX-CG50 Color Graphing Calculator
- 9. HP Prime Graphing Calculator
- 10. Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM Color Graphing Calculator
- Tips on How to Choose the Best Graphing Calculator
Table of the Best Graphing Calculators:
1. TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator
The Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator is just the tool your student needs to assist in their math and science studies. Powered by 4 AAA batteries, with lithium battery backup, you get 480KB ROM, 24KB RAM, 14 zoom features, and a display which shows 16 characters per line, 8 lines. This electronically upgradeable graphics calculator will allow the student to enter computations, which then appear as they do on their homework, no more guessing. So, If they copy an equation from the text book, it will appear on their graphics display screen, exactly like the text book. Features include: Bright back lit color display, import image ability, and rechargeable battery.
2. Ti-83 Plus Graphics Calculator
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The Ti-83 Plus Graphics Calculator is a fantastic learning tool for students, it’s easy to use and loaded with helpful features. Its 64 x 96 black and white display screen holds 8 lines, 16 characters per line. For memory, you get 24KB of RAM, 160 KB ROM. The TI-83 allows students to electronically upgrade their calculator to keep it up to date with the latest software. By using the TI-83, students can actually see what it is they are working on by using the nicely back lit display screen. Standardized Testing Organizations have approved this model to be used for SAT, ACT, PSAT, NMSQT, AP and IB exams. Easy to use, the color-coded keyboard is broken down into zones for certain duties: Editing keys, advanced function keys, scientific calculator keys and graphing keys. Texas Instruments also furnishes a free manual which explains how to use the TI-83.
3. HP35S Programmable Scientific Calculator
Looking for a way to sail through complex calculations, help you with your school work or hobbies? Then the programmable HP B004A0XHH4 , with its 3D graphing, charts and pre-made forms might help you out a bit. Features include: 128 KB of RAM, integrated equation library, 300 plus formulas and scientific constants, object orientated programming, HP MatrixWriter app, HP EquationWriter app, HP Solve app, and the ability to connect to your PC or Mac if you choose. The HP48G is powered by 3 AAA batteries, it displays 8 lines at a time, 22 characters each on its LCD display screen, and has over 2300 built-in functions. You also have access to a clock, calendar, appointments, alarms, Infrared Communications, and an optional connectivity kit to connect to PC/Mac is sold separately.
4. TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition Graphing Calculator
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The Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition Graphing Calculator offers you a vibrant full color high resolution 2.8 inch diagonal, display screen of 140 DPI 320 x 240 screen resolution, 16 bit color to make your calculations easier. Standardized Testing organizations PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP and IB have given this graphics calculator the okay to be used in testing situations. Features of this calculator include a rechargeable battery, ability to import photos, MathPrint, 3.5 MB ROM, 21KB RAM, and USB port connectivity. This model comes with helpful applications already loaded. You can also add images to your background, 15 colors are available for function graphing, 8 different graph styles, 17 interactive zoom features, and an easy to access catalog of all calculator functions are on board.
5. Hewlett Packard G8X92AA LA Prime Graphing Calculator
This multi-touch Hewlett Packard Graphing Calculator gives you the power of performing calculations in full color, it’s like holding a mini computer in your hand. The TFT display screen is 320 x 240 16 bit color Touch Screen, giving your 10 lines x 33 characters, menus and header. This model has been approved by the Collage Board and IB Diploma exams, so feel free to use this calculator when taking PSAT, NMSQT, SAT, AP and IB tests. You can use either the keypad or touchscreen as well. Features include wireless connectivity, USB port 256MB Flash memory, 32MB, mDDR memory, auto power off, power off memory protection, and powered by a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery. Functions performed include graphing, scientific, statistical and math.
6. TI-84 Plus CE Lightning Graphing Calculator
Designed to be small and compact at 30 percent lighter, the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus will fit comfortably in your pocket, school bag or brief case. With it’s lighter and slimmer design, you’ll barely feel it, and that is what they were going for. This model has an easy to view 2.8 inch (diagonal) display screen with a resolution of 320 x 240. As for color, you get 16 bit color at 140 DPI, or dots per inch. This model gives you up to 15 colors for your function graphing needs, and comes with many of your favorite apps, and some new ones as well, such as: Cabri Jr., Science Tools, and Vernier EasyData.
7. Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator
The Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator lets you solve the toughest math and science assignments with ease. This model allows you to keep your calculator in top form with upgrades to the operating system and software. TI has made your life easier by having apps such as StudyCards, Vernier EasyData, and Science Tools, among others already loaded. You get 24KB or RAM memory, and 160 KB Flash ROM for storage. The 8 line, 16 character display is in black and white, not color, with 64 x 96 resolution. Other features include horizontal and vertical split screen options, and a catalog of all TI calculator operations at your fingertips.
8. Casio Prizm FX-CG50 Color Graphing Calculator
Whether you’re taking algebra, calculus, physics or business and finance having a high performing calculator can make all the difference, and that is just what the Casio Prizm FX-CG50 Graphing Calculator is all about. With its high resolution LCD display you get over 65,000 colors, and the Picture Plot Technology means you can add images into your calculations. Casio’s Natural Textbook Display means an easy to use calculator to help immerse students in their studies. Features include: Color Link, G Solve and Explore Feature. There’s so much you can do, from spreadsheets to graphing conic sections, and this model can be used with projectors in case you are an educator and wish to project the operations onscreen. This model has been approved for use in standardized tests such as the SAT, NMSQT, ACT and AP exams.
9. HP Prime Graphing Calculator
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The Prime Graphing Calculator by Hewlett Packard is an easy to use, basic graphing calculator that’s tough enough to handle functions and reliable so you’ll always get the correct answer quickly. Enjoy either using the touch screen or keypad to navigate this 16-bit color LCD Graphing Calculator with its full color, pinch to zoom interface. The 320 x 240 display screen holds up to 10 lines, 33 characters per each line. College Board approved to assist you in the classroom and also taking standardized tests such as the SAT, PSAT, NMSQT, and AP exams. This HP Prime Graphing Calculator also comes loaded with useful apps including: Polar Statistics, advanced graphing, function, spreadsheet and much more.
10. Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM Color Graphing Calculator
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The Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM Color Graphing Calculator gives you 21 character, 8 line display with 16MB of memory, on a color 3.17 inch diagonal LCD display screen which can produce up to 65,000 colors in high resolution, easy to read text book display. Simply input your data using the user friendly, well laid out and designed keypad or stylus. Connectivity is via USB, and calculator is powered by 4 AAA alkaline batteries which give you approximately 140 hours of calculator use. A key reason many love this calculator is the speed, as it’s around 3 to 5 times faster than standard calculators. Approved for use for PSAT, NMSQT, SAT, ACT and AP exams.
Tips on How to Choose the Best Graphing Calculator
Now that you’ve gone over our top ten graphing calculators, it’s easy to see what it is you might need. Basic things to consider when purchasing are the display screen, ease of use and brand name. In the following buyers guide, we’ve listed some of the more important considerations. All of these considerations were chosen as factors to help you succeed in the classroom and at exams.
Approved for Testing
While it may be tempting to purchase a cheap brand, you may be sacrificing a great deal in exchange for saving a penny or two. For instance, will that calculator be admissible in standardized testing situations or even school exams? If you are not sure, just look at the specs of the graphing calculator you are interested in and see if it is sanctioned for use by Standardized testing organizations for SAT, ACT, PSAT, AP, IB, or ask your teachers.
Appropriate for the Courses You Need it For
Not all graphing calculators are designed and created equal. Some may work for geometry, but not for business finance or statistics. If you are studying mechanical or electrical engineering, then you’ll find that only a few models will suit your purpose. For instance, a graphing calculator which works well for calculus might not help you if you need it for earth science.
Does it Have Main Key Features?
Know what you need your calculator to do for you. Consider factors from connectivity to power source. Key features to consider are memory available, USB connectivity, color or black and white display, rechargeable battery or alkaline, the amount of characters and lines per screen, or can it import images. Also, remember you’ll be using these often during exams, so it is important that you purchase a calculator with a fast response time, long battery life and quick keypad. Finally, can this calculator grow with you? In other words, can you download apps, update your operating system or software?
You spend a good portion of your time studying, so you’ll want an accurate, dependable and durable graphing calculator. If this is important to you, then please choose a brand name such as Texas Instruments, Casio or Hewlett Packard. These companies have been manufacturing graphing calculators for many years, and are in it for the long haul. They offer manuals, excellent customer support and warranties for your product.
There you have it, the review for the best graphing calculators of 2021, plus a basic buying guide to assist you in making your purchase. While it might be tempting to go with a cheap knock off or used graphing calculator, we strongly advise against it. Inexpensive brands are not dependable, can be sluggish and easily damaged. Purchasing a used calculator means you’ll get the graphing calculator designed several years ago, besides being dropped a few times, the used graphing calculator was designed at an earlier time, with plenty of years under its belt. It may not have the useful applications, function abilities or even be able to be upgraded. Purchasing a new, brand name graphing calculator which has all the capabilities you need now and in future, is the best, and most cost-effective route to take.