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Tips for Choosing Solar Calculators

Updated on September 27, 2011

Are Solar Calculators Right For You?

Solar calculators offer a few advantages. Their initial cost tends to be low. In addition, the cost to keep them powered up over their life time tends to be low as well, as you don't really have to worry about replacing any batteries. In fact, they are somewhat worry free as you also don't have to think about charging them either.

These calculartors also make great portable devices because they are light and you don't have to worry about how to power them up when you get to where you're going.

On this page, we'll introduce you to some of the features you need to consider when choosing one of these devices and show you some good models to consider. If you're interested in a specialty calculator you will also find links at the bottom of the page to help you find exactly what you need.

Buying Tips

There are a variety of solar calculators on the market. Here are some of the features you need to be aware of before making a choice:

  • Overall Size
    Some models are made for desktop service; they tend to be a bit larger. The portable models are handheld devices which typically are suitable for carrying in a pocket. Clearly, if you want a calculator to take into meetings, classes, and so forth, a handheld model might be something to consider. On the other hand if you want a calculator with larger buttons, one that will stay stationary, and has an easier to read display, a desk top model is a better idea.
  • Backup
    Solar power will provide the power you need to operate your calculator in most circumstances. However, in dim lighting, it can pay to have a dual power source; allowing you to use battery power when needed.
  • Display
    Display size can be important for many people as larger displays are easier to read for them. A display panel that tilts can also assure easy reading, especially since they can eliminating any glare. Some are even designed specifically for those with low vision. Brightness and contrast can also effect how easy it is to read.
  • Functions
    Any solar calculator can provide basic math functions. Beyond this, you may find models that can calculate percentages, square roots, make tax calculations, solve equations with fractions, perform trigonometry problems, and more. You'll see some speciality calculators below.
  • Protective features
    Auto off is a great feature on any calculator, but especially on a portable one that might accidentally be triggered on without the user knowing it. Of course, a protective case is also useful on handheld devices to avoid damage to the display, keys, and so forth. There are a few solar calculators that are also water resistant for added protection from the elements.
  • Results
    Some calculators will display 6 digit results, others 8, 10, or 12. Some use punctuation, such as commas, and others don't. Know what types of calculating you will be doing so that you make the right choice.
  • Ease of Use
    Handheld models tend to have smaller buttons, as well as displays, leaving more room for errors in keying. For this reason, button size and spacing can be things to consider. Some users prefer the softer rubber keys while others like the speed of a harder key.


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      LizzyJean 7 years ago

      I teach physics so a good calculator is essential. I prefer the solar ones. The battery opperated ones always go dead at the wrong time.