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Graphing Calculators - Need Help  
User currently offlinePH-BZA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (16 years 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1165 times:

Guys, for a high-school student, which graphing calculator should one get - the TI-83, TI-86 or the HP-40?

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (16 years 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 945 times:

I've personally gone through many of these.


The TI-89, although a little more expensive, is clearly the winner. Very easy to use and very powerful. If you do not want to spend that much, then get the Casio CFX-9850. They are Casio's equivalent of the TI-83, yet they are more powerful, have more features, much easier to use (icon menu), have a better screen (sharper and color), and are cheaper.

User currently offlineAC_A340 From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 2251 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (16 years 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 941 times:

Most schools use the TI-83. The teachers are most familiar with them so they can help you. I went out and bought the TI-83 Plus. I am very happy with it. You can download games for it from the internet and everything. It just has more memory than the TI-83. That's the only difference. It cost me about $150 cdn. If you want more info, email me (profile).

User currently offlinePH-BZA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (16 years 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 939 times:

Well personally I do not want something as expensive as the TI-89. I just want something that has enough functions and capabilities to last me through high school and college. Casios, I am not very fond of since I have had problems with their calculators in the past.

User currently offlineSmoo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (16 years 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 955 times:

I say stick with the TI-83. Its the cheapest and easiest to use. (Its also the best platform for calculator games---TI-83 has the most games on offer for download off the internet)

The TI-86 can be quite tricky to use at first, and from my high school experience some paranoid old hags did not allow it to be used (I have no idea why). It does not offer so much more than the TI-83 to be worth the big difference in cost. If price is not that big of an issue. The TI-86 does have some helpful Calculus features, but for stuff like doing homework, you have to show your work anyway. It has good commonality with the TI-85, IMHO the best calculator TI ever produced, although I think the -85 has been retired in favor of the -86.

TI-89---very nice but you'll never need 75% of the features on there and its quite expensive. Very unlikely they will allow you to use this on stuff like standardized tests, SAT's, etc. (Final Fantasy 7 is available for the -89 though)

I've found that my old beat up TI-82 has lasted me throughout high school and most of college with pretty much all I've ever needed, although it does depend on what courses major/you're taking in college. I know that people who took Physics in my college were doing fine with their -83's.

I say buy the TI-83PLUS. Its got all you'll ever need.

Casios....lets not go there  

BTW, like your handle. I've flown on PH-BZC many times.

User currently offlinePH-BZA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (16 years 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 928 times:

Well what's the deal with all of those files on the Internet when the TI-83 Plus has only 24K memory? Also, I just selected my handle randomly from aircraft registrations I've come across - I've actually never flown on PH-BZA even though I know it's a KLM 767-300.

User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (16 years 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 927 times:

I'm an engineering student, so my views are a little biased in terms of what I do with a calculator...

Basically I would look at what you're using it for. A more expensive calculator might save you buying another later on if you are going to seriously need it. Matrices, for example, are nice to be able to work with, but it's not necessarily something you will ever use outside of an engineering or applied mathematics field.

In terms of what I like, I have a Sharp and it's pretty good and fairly user friendly. If you want a serious calculator for use in engineering work, for example, the standard calculator we use are HP's (HP48GX, if I remember right, but I'm not totally sure on the model #). If you only plan to use it as far as high school goes, or into a university study that doesn't too much applied math, then TI's are cheaper, and (although I don't really find them user friendly) they are fairly common in classroom environments, so teachers can probably help you use them.

User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Reply 7, posted (16 years 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 910 times:

something TI... I think I used TI-83 when I was in high school. And you can program it to pass messages to your neighbor (alpha mode)!  

Up, up and away!
User currently offlineDC10 From Canada, joined Apr 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (16 years 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 908 times:

Reverse Polish Notation on HP's are definitively the best way to right equation. The Solver of HP are very useful too!
HP is, for me, the best tool for an engineer

User currently offlineAirbus60 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (16 years 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 909 times:

err, get the hp40

i have a hp38G
it's done good for me, so yeah get a hp

User currently offlineSmoo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (16 years 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 909 times:

Be careful though, HP calculators are not permitted on standardized tests (like the SAT) due to their infrared transmitting ability.

User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7100 posts, RR: 23
Reply 11, posted (16 years 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 907 times:

I've had my good old trusty TI-85 for almost five years and it has always served me well from high school to college where I am now. It's especially useful seeing that I am an Applied Math major. However, in some of my math classes we are not allowed to use a calculator at all.

User currently offlineFlyBoy From United States of America, joined May 1999, 85 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (16 years 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 903 times:

It all depends on how far and what aspects of math you will focus on. I personally use a TI-89 and have been extremely satisfied with my results and it came in handy on the ACT and SAT. It is more expensive than any other TI calculator (except the -92/-92Plus). I am currently enroled in Precalculus Honors and when we did our statistics unit, my -89 couldn't do all the things that the -83/-83Plus can do. My school actually favors the -83 series (that is what they buy for class sets and what we use on tests if we are allowed one at all   ) My cousin is an electrical engineering major (junior) and he swears by his -89 saying how it simplifies steps that everyone else must work out by hand. The problem I have heard of with the -85 is its complete lack of statistical analysis.



User currently offlineMeister808 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 974 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (16 years 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 899 times:

Personally, I have and 83+, and it's great. However, 86's are good, too. Best advice; anything by TI is sure to be compatible and reliable.

Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3241 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (16 years 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 899 times:

Personally, I recommend the TI-86. But I am biased because I am very familiar having used a TI-85 since junior high school (I don't actually have an 86, my brother does, however).

Perhaps a little background would help:

For quite a while the two major TI graphing calculators were the TI-82 and TI-85 (the TI-80 and 81 were around as well but are less powerful than the 82 and 85). The 85 is a bit more advanced (allowing such things as variables with names longer than one letter), and has a slightly different interface. Then came the TI-92, the big powerful calculator. Because its keyboard has a normal QWERTY (computer/typewriter) style layout it is not allowed to be used on some standardized tests such as the SATs.

A couple of years ago, right about the same time the AP Statistics and Probably test was introduced, TI introduced the TI-83 and then the TI-86. Essentially, these are versions of the 82 and 85, but with additional functions geared towards the AP Stat test.

Finally, the TI-89 was introduced, essentially a TI-92 but with the traditional TI graphing calculator layout. I guess TI realized they'd sell more 92s if students could use them on the SAT.

Becaue of my own experience with the TI-85, I reccomend the TI-86. It also seems like its designed for a bit more advanced college mathematics. However, if you don't have any experience with any, you might want to get whatever your school recommends, probably the TI-83 because your teacher will be most familiar with it and thus will be able to provide the most assistance.

Re HP's: With them, you have to enter data in reverse polish notation (for example 23 as opposed to 23 on a TI). This can take some getting used to, but I have friends with HP's and they said it's not too bad. Also the infrared capablities are a concern on standardized tests, often though if you just put making tape over the end of the calculator that blocks it and you'll be ok. Again, check with your school.

User currently offlinePandora From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (16 years 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 915 times:

it's good! lots of games can be downloaded!!

User currently offlineLauda 777 From Sweden, joined May 1999, 501 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (16 years 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 894 times:

I prefer the Ericsson T-28s  

Joystick for flightsim. Yokes for real planes.
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