Best Graphing Calculators

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 29, 2017
graphing calculators help us visualize complex math concepts in numerous subjects, from pre-calculus to natural and exact sciences — anywhere you need to create graphs. We will tell you how to choose the graphing calculator that will work best for you. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Application
Internal Memory
RAM
PC Connectivity
Display
Battery
Warranty
 
PROS
This graphing calculator offers a very high performance owing to a big RAM and fast ARM9 400 MHz processor. Metal case makes this device sturdy and ensures its heavy-duty operation while the help messages greatly facilitate the calculator use.
CONS
The high-capacity accumulator is of a built-in type and is not user replaceable. Despite the wide Windows and Android platforms support, there are no Mac versions of the bundled software.
OUR VERDICT
This excellent HP graphing calculator has an amazing functionality and numerous bundled applications available via a touch screen control.
detailed parameters
Application
Engineering, Computer science, Surveying, Trigonometry, Statistics, Geometry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics
Internal Memory
256 MB
RAM
32 MB
PC Connectivity
USB
Display
3,5 " TFT 320 x 240 pixels 16-bit TColor Touch Screen
Battery
Lithium Ion rechargeable, up to 3 weeks of operation
Warranty
Limited 1-year warranty (may vary by region)
PROS
Casio FX-CG-10 graphing calculator has a big button panel, removable batteries, and a battery indicator. The calculator features the ability to draw graphs in different colors so that you can easily distinguish them, and a memory you can expand with a Micro SD card.
CONS
It has a graphical lag. If you're trying to move with an oriented block during graphing, it will take some time to load the graph.
OUR VERDICT
This calculator is perfect for pre-calculus and statistics classes, as well as for a variety of physical calculations.
detailed parameters
Application
Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, AP Calculus, AP Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Business Finance
Internal Memory
1.5 MB
RAM
62 KB
PC Connectivity
USB
Display
3.7" LCD screen, 384 × 216 pixels
Battery
AAA x 4, 140 hours of operation
Warranty
Limited 1-year warranty
PROS
Excellent display of this graphing calculator has 8 lines with 16 characters each. The calculator has a data acquisition function, supports TI Basic and ASM programming, the device is PC and MAC-compatible, integrates with existing projection system or interactive whiteboard.
CONS
The device has comparatively small RAM and low display resolution, which do not affect its basic functionality, though.
OUR VERDICT
A superb choice for solving a wide range of tasks. The calculator battery ensures long and reliable operation while the endurable case makes it a tool that you can take from your senior school to college.
detailed parameters
Application
Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1&2, Trigonometry, Geometry, Precalculus, Calculus/AP Calculus, Statistics/AP Statistics, Business&Finance, College Math, Linear Algebra, Biology, Chemistry/AP Chemistry, Physics/AP Physics
Internal Memory
480 KB
RAM
24 KB
PC Connectivity
USB
Display
2.8" monochrome screen, 96 x 64 pixels
Battery
4 AAA alkaline batteries+1 extra lithium battery for data emergency backup, up to 6 month-operation
Warranty
Limited 1-year warranty
PROS
This graphing calculator supports RPN and algebraic notation as well as HP Solve application that helps save your time significantly.
CONS
The screen can display two alphanumeric strings only.
OUR VERDICT
The HP 35s model can handle 100 built-in functions and is a perfect choice not only for students but for professionals in many fields.
detailed parameters
Application
Engineering, Surveying, Science, Medicine
Internal Memory
30 KB (800+ Memory registers)
RAM
No
PC Connectivity
No
Display
LCD, Adjustable contrast with 2 lines x 14 characters + indicators, 14 character dot matrix (5 x 7)
Battery
2 x CR2032 batteries, battery life: 0.73 year, 1 hr/day (approximately 9 months)
Warranty
Limited 1-year warranty
PROS
The items of this calculator's screen menu are arranged in such a way as to provide an easy, intuitive access to the commands and frequently used functions. In addition, the mathematic expressions are displayed in a way just like they'd be typed in textbooks.
CONS
The symbol markings on the keys are hard to read against the gray key material.
OUR VERDICT
This device is a perfect option for secondary and higher school students as it offers such advantages as the viewing of several calculation results at a time and their comparison.
detailed parameters
Application
Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, Physics, Trigonometry, Statistics, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, College math, College Science, College Engineering
Internal Memory
8 memory registers, 1 formula register (44 characters), up to 3 list formulas (up to 42 characters or items)
RAM
No
PC Connectivity
No
Display
MultiView™ LCD display, which supports up to four lines × 16-character
Battery
Battery powered with solar cell assistance to lengthen battery life
Warranty
Limited 1-year warranty

What is a Graphing Calculator

Calculator, an electronic device to perform calculations, is known to us from childhood. Some calculators allow us not only perform simple math operations, but also derive complex formulas and perform programming. But what if you need to immediately draw a graph for the obtained values? graphing calculators can help you solve the problem. graphing calculators are almost mathematical computers with graphic screens. Not only do they help you calculate, but also show the results in graphs.

As an addition to your graphing calculator we recommend buying a document camera, which helps you optimize your study process. With such a device you are able to visualize (scan) different electronic documents and file content, 3D objects, flow and motion diagrams by outputting them to a display or a TV, interactive board or a projection screen.

What Features to Compare

Choosing a graphing calculator, you first need to pay attention to its Functionality. Best graphing calculators should ideally combine all the necessary functions that will enable its use in various fields of science, such as algebra, trigonometry, geometry, statistics, in the field of business, finance, biology studies, physics, chemistry, calculus and linear algebra, at the same time. Tables and lists modes make it easy to operate with a large number of digits and numbers and perform statistical calculations. It is worth to pay attention to the built-in library of equations and functions where all a user needs to do is to substitute their values. It is better if graphing calculators have the ability to add custom functions — for example, if you lack built-in functions in a calculator, you can always create your own program in such a calculator.

Another important parameter when choosing among graphing calculators is their Specifications. They make a difference to how quickly the device can cope with the tasks. graphing calculators have their own built-in memory where all knowledge database of a device is stored. The best graphing calculators have up to 16 MB of memory. It is good if a calculator has an expandable memory that allows you to improve the functionality. Another important parameter for graphing calculators is the amount of RAM that directly affects performance and speed of calculations. One more virtue the best graphing calculators can impress with is their ability to connect to a computer through a USB port that allows the transfer of files and data between the devices.

graphing calculators feature the ability to display graphs and charts. This implies the importance of such component as a Display. Modern graphing calculators mainly have LCD displays. The best graphing calculators have excellent color LCD displays with more than 65 million vibrant colors. Next, it is important to consider the screen size. The best graphing calculators feature a screen size of about 4 inches. And finally, the most important parameter to assess the quality of a display is its screen resolution. This directly affects the quality and graininess of the image itself and how precise the graphing will be, especially in 3D visualization and operations with three-dimensional models.

Battery plays an important role in the work of graphing calculators. Manufacturers tend to use AA and AAA batteries in their devices. Basically, it is convenient as at their discharge, you can simply replace the batteries. On average, these batteries will be enough for about 140 hours of autonomous work. But, many companies have developed their own types of batteries that can be recharged when needed. The work of such built-in rechargeable batteries can last up to two weeks under normal use of the calculator.

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HP Prime Graphing Calculator

Functionality

This graphing calculator offers a rich functionality including the 2-D graphing function, calculation and plotting for many scientific-oriented functions (polar/rectangular conversion, etc.) as well as the calculation of many statistical and mathematical functions. The reviewed HP Prime Graphing Calculator is a perfect fit for making calculations in such areas as engineering, computer informatics, surveying, trigonometry, statistics, geometry, biology, chemistry, and physics, which proves the device versatility. As this HP graphing calculator has many preset calculation modes it can significantly facilitate the solving of long equations containing many variables. Worth mentioning as a separate point is the availability of hints feature, which can dramatically improve the calculator usability.

Review of HP Prime Graphing Calculator

Specifications

The HP Prime Graphing Calculator specifications make it one of the best graphing calculators among the reviewed models in terms of performance. The impressive 256MB integrated memory, which is arguably the biggest on the market provides enough space for storing complex functions and calculation patterns making this calculator a versatile solution. The available amount of RAM is 32MB, which is also an outstanding value for a device of this type and together with a 400 MHz ARM9 processor provides a fast performance of data-heavy computing, plotting and other calculations.

HP Prime Graphing Calculator in the use

Display

HP Prime Graphing Calculator is equipped with a high-quality 16-bit color display that provides a precise image display of your diagrams, plots and calculation results. The diagonal size of the screen is 3.5 inches and the resolution is 320 x 240 pixels, which is beneficial for displaying function diagrams. Another display-related feature that makes this HP model one of the best graphing calculators is the availability of touch screen control along with button control. The display of this graphing calculator accommodates up to 10 lines of 33 symbols in addition to menu items and a header.

Detailed review of HP Prime Graphing Calculator

Battery

The HP Prime Graphing Calculator uses a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, which maintains the device operation for up to 3 weeks on one charge. To make the battery power use more efficient the graphing calculator has an Auto power off function with a user selectable function activation period (5 minutes default). With that, you do not need to worry about losing your data as the memory content is backed up automatically on auto power off.

VIDEO
HP Prime - video review and initial impressions
HP Prime Graphing Calculator
HP Prime Graphing Calculator
 

Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM Color Graphing Calculator

Functionality

Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM are easy to use graphing calculators with an icon-based menu. It features built-in spreadsheet applications and the unique technology of bringing real images into mathematics. If you are studying at school or university, we recommend that you consider this model. It should also be noted that the message menu supports 7 languages.

Review of Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM Color Graphing Calculator

Specifications

Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM graphing calculators feature a high-speed processor FX-CG10 PRIZM, which speeds the processing up of about three to five times — significantly faster than the other models. Lengthy calculations and complex graphics solutions are performed much faster. These graphing calculators come with 1.5 MB of internal memory and 62 KB RAM. These figures prove that Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM might be the best graphing calculators in their respective fields of application, such as higher mathematics and natural sciences.

Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM Color Graphing Calculator in the use

Display

As for the display, this model has a full color LCD screen with a diagonal of 3.7 inches, more than 65,000 brilliant colors and more than 82,000 pixels. The calculator screen has a resolution of 384 x 216 pixels. This is perhaps the best graphing calculators display option. If you do not want to deal with poor image and graininess in the graphs, then you definitely need to pay attention to this model.

Detailed review of Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM Color Graphing Calculator

Battery

Like most graphing calculators, Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM operates on AAA size batteries, one of the most commonly used battery type. Four rechargeable AAA batteries can provide up to 140 hours of stable autonomous work, and you will have no trouble finding a replacement almost anywhere should such need arise.

Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM Color Graphing Calculator application

VIDEO
Casio Prizm fx-CG10 Review and unboxing
Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM Color Graphing Calculator
Casio FX-CG10 PRIZM Color Graphing Calculator
 

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator

Functionality

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator offers a very good functionality, including 12 preloaded calculation applications such as Cabri Jr., Conic Graphing, Inequality Graphing, Probability Simulations, StudyCards, TimeSpan, Topics in Algebra 1 Chapters 1-4 and 5, Transformation Graphing, etc. This TI graphing calculator is capable of splitting the screen for displaying relevant function diagrams in one window and scrolling table values in another. This rich functionality renders the calculator an effective tool in such areas as Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1&2, Trigonometry, Geometry, Precalculus, Linear Algebra, Biology, Chemistry/AP Chemistry, Physics/AP Physics.

 

Review of Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator

Specifications

The Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus has a decent processing power, which results in good performance. The onboard 24KB RAM ensures high speed of graphing, defining, saving, analyzing up to 10 functions at a time or performing a list-based one/two-variable statistical analysis operations or other complex calculations. To a large extent, this model owes its high performance to the processor used, which is 2.5 times as powerful as the one of the previous model. The ROM is 480KB, which provides enough room for storing the most necessary applications and data.

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator in the use

Display

For displaying calculation results, plotting functions and expressions the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus graphing calculator uses an improved 2.8-inch monochrome display with a comparatively low 96 x 64 pixels resolution. Despite such resolution, function graphs and figure projections are clearly discernible and easy to read. As for the values, this TI graphing calculator can display up to 8 lines with up to 16 characters in each, which allows manipulating large expressions and big numbers.

Detailed review of Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator

Battery

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator is powered with four ААА alkaline batteries, which are unluckily not included in the package. Please pay attention to the additional lithium battery, which serves as a data backup power source in case of basic batteries depletion or recharging. To prolong the operation on one battery charge this graphing calculator uses the function of automatic power off when the system detects a device idle operation for a certain period of time.

VIDEO
TI‑84 Plus C Silver Edition Graphing Calculator Unboxing
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphics Calculator
 

HP 35s Scientific Calculator

The Choice is Yours

The HP 35s model is one of the few graphing calculators, which enables you to choose between two popular data entry systems, namely the reverse Polish notation (RPN) and the algebraic logic. The reverse Polish notation (RPN) is a notation of mathematical and logical expressions, in which operands are placed before operator symbols. This representation type known as reverse Polish notation is also called a reverse bracket-free notation (RBN), postfix notation, Lukasiewicz’s bracket-free notation. As for the algebraic logic, it is simpler to implement as it requires only two operation registers for two last operands and saving the last entered operation. This kind of notation is quite convenient for performing simple calculations, for example in the instances when a user hasn't prepared the whole calculations sequence beforehand but performs all calculations on the fly instead; with that, a user is interested only in the current operation and its results. This functionality shows that this versatile HP 35s graphing calculator that supports the reverse Polish notations and programming functionality provides comfort and ease of use. This model is one of the best graphing calculations for engineers, surveyors, students, research assistants and health professionals.

 

Review of HP 35s Scientific Calculator

Paying Tribute to Classics

Today very few people know that HP company had no connection to the production of personal computers up to the middle sixties. The first calculating device by this company was the НР 2116A mini-computer. The price of this behemoth of a device was $50 000. Interestingly enough, this computer is the largest electromechanical device ever manufactured by the company. Initially, the НР 2116A computer was designed for the domestic wants satisfaction but afterward it was decided to establish a batch production. Getting back to the topic, the first programmable calculating unit in the world was produced by HP in far 1968 and was named HP 9100A. The maximum configuration of HP 9100A was being sold at $4 900. This computer was distinguishable for offering its users a few very elegant engineering solutions (for example, the computer was able to save the last entered digits on an emergency power off) and soon gained popularity. After a few years, in 1972, the world’s first scientific handheld calculator the HP-35 was produced. At that time this calculator was innovative and the first truly compact computing device. Subsequently, the HP-35 gained a recognition as one of the most important milestones in the history of computers development. That is why in 2007 the НР company decided to launch the production of HP-35s anniversary model with a vintage design to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the legendary HP-35 model.

HP 35s Scientific Calculator in the use

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Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
HP 35s Review
HP 35s Scientific Calculator
HP 35s Scientific Calculator
 

Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator

Compare and Research

Despite its comparatively low price the reviewed calculator offers the feature list that makes it distinguishable among competing graphing calculators. The Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro device, notwithstanding its monochrome screen, offers some advantages in terms of data display. The MultiView ™ LCD display, with which the manufacturer equips the graphing calculators of this line accommodates up to 4 alphanumeric lines with 16 symbols in each. Thus you will be able to view several calculation results simultaneously, which is extremely convenient in terms of their comparison. The display menu is organized in a rational and intuitive way; this simplicity enables you to quickly access frequently used functions and offers a special hint mode, which greatly facilitates the numerical solution of equations, polynomial equations, and linear equation systems.

 

Review of Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator

A Bit of Interesting Information

Did you know that the Texas Instruments company aside from producing graphing calculators is engaged in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices, microcircuits, electronic components and related products? The company itself was founded on December 6, 1941, and is headquartered in Dallas city, Texas, USA. Worth mentioning is the Texas Instruments’ geography and scale that makes it the fourth largest manufacturer of semiconductor devices having ceded the leadership only to Intel, Samsung, and Toshiba. The company holds a leading position in the manufacture of mobile device microcircuits as well as in the digital signal processors (DSP) and analog semiconductors. TI also produces microchips for wideband modems and PC peripherals, electronic consumer devices and RFID tags. Remarkably, in 2009 the company occupied the 215th position in Fortune 500 top list.

Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator in the use

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Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator
Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator
 

Sources:

1. Graphing Calculator Reviews, TopTenReviews.

2. Graphing Calculator Buying Guide, eBay. March 3, 2016.

3. Brett Gordon, The Best Graphing Calculator (Guide) – 2016 Reviews, Top Rate Ten.

4. Graphing Calculator, Wikipedia. May 26, 2016.

5. Calculator Buying Guide, freeMATHhelp.

6. Jeff McCalla, C. C. Edwards, TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator For Dummies, dummies.

7. Choosing a Graphing Calculator, KERBAL. December 29, 2013.

8. How to Choose a Calculator, wikiHow.

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