Texas Instruments Graphing Calculators
TI delivers quality
For almost two decades, Texas Instruments has been the leader in graphing calculators. This is particularly true in the educational community, where their use is near universal. The reasons for this are simple: TI delivers a quality product, durable and reliable, and they have reached out to the educational community through professional development and educational after market products for their calculators.
CAS Graphing Calculators
If you are in calculus or above, you may be looking for a calculator with a computer algebra system, or CAS. This type of calculator can manipulate variables, so it has the ability to solve equations involving x and y. This is a really powerful feature, and while it's ok for the SAT and AP Calculus test, the people at ACT have banned it from their tests.
Texas Instruments makes several different CAS calculators. You can read up on them on the TI website.
- TI-89 Titanium
- TI-Nspire CAS
- TI-Voyage (banned from all standardized tests)
Most students will end up choosing the TI-89 Titanium or TI-Nspire CAS because the TI-Voyage is a lot bigger and banned from all standardized tests. There are some significant difference between the two, so I suggest checking out this article comparing the TI-89 vs. TI-Nspire CAS. At this point, the TI-89 Titanium (review) is probably still the most popular, but the CAS is gaining acceptance rapidly.
Non-CAS graphing calculators
If you're not taking calculus or plan to take the ACT, you'll probably end up with a non-CAS calculator. There are several options to choose from in the Texas Instruments family. The most popular are the following.
- TI-83 plus
- TI-84 plus
You're probably going to end up choosing between the TI-84 plus and TI-Nspire. Be aware that Texas Instruments has discontinued the TI-84+ Silver Edition. This doesn't mean the regular TI-84 plus will be discontinued, but it does sort of indicate it's on the tail end of it's life.
Texas Instruments has a wide variety of choices in graphing calculators. They are definitely in transition, however. After over a decade of their TI-83/84 line dominating the market, the TI-Nspire is a huge departure. The Nspire line is high quality, though, and if you are looking to pick up a new graphing calculator, the Nspire is the way to go.
- CAS Calculators
If you do get serious about TI graphing calculators, you'll want to take a look at specific models of CAS (Computer Algebra System) calculators from TI.
- HP Graphing Calculators
One of the alternatives to Texas Instruments is HP, which also has a long tradition of graphing calculators.
- Casio Graphing Calculators
For over a decade, Texas Instruments has dominated the graphing calculator market. But TI is not a student's only choice. Casio provides an alternative that is appealing to a lot of students. Casio markets...