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How to Choose Talking Calculators

Updated on September 27, 2011

Are Talking Calculators Right For You?

A calculator should add speed and convenience to your life. They should allow you to do calculations accurately and give you confidence that there are no errors.

Talking calculators can add additional convenience. They can help assure accuracy by repeating the digits you enter as a mechanism for double checking what you do. They can allow you to keep your eyes on your work. They are also perfect for anyone with a visual impairment. The jumbo sized devices paired with the talking function are especially useful in such situations.

Tips For Choosing the Right Talking Calculator

Like any device, there are a range of features and functions on these devices. Here are a few to consider when you're shopping.

  • Size
    For those with any vision problems, having a display or keyboard that is large enough to read can be important. For the rest of us, a larger keyboard means the device is easy enough to use without accidentally triggering other buttons. Display sizes may be less than 1/2" in height or as large as 1 3/4" in height. Key size can range from around 1/4" to over 1 1/2".
  • Portability
    For many, a desktop model is preferred, but for those who want to take their calculator with them to class or a meeting, a portable handheld model is a better choice.
  • Talking
    The best talking calculator will probably give you the option of adjusting the volume and perhaps shutting the voice off altogether for those instances when making noise won't be accepted. You also want to know what the device will speak. Many will read the display aloud, will this include the time or date when it's displayed? Will it repeat each digit that you press as well as the equation result? It should also have a back space key to make corrections when you hit the wrong key. Just as important however, is a repeat function. If you missed something or forgot, you need for the calculator to repeat itself sometimes.
  • Display
    Aside from having adequate size and brightness, you also want to know how many digits the calculator will display. Some are 6 digits, others 8, and some display 10.
  • Earphones
    If you want to be able to continue using the device without turning off the voice, even in situations where there should be no noise, look for a model with a headphone jack and earphones.
  • Calculations
    Some talking calculators provide basic math calculations only. Many allow you to calculate percentages. Some provide more specialized calculation abilities; calculus, algebra, and more.
  • Specialized Features
    Beyond this, there are other specialized devices. For instance, some models are built into mousepads for those who need the device at their computer primarily. There are also some that provide self guided practice for elementary school age children. Some also offer alarm clocks.


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    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 years ago

      My mom used to have a talking calculator before. Back then, I just enjoy hearing what it says so I frequently press the keys until the sound is no longer very clear.