Craft & Design
The best graphing calculator on the market

Slashdot has a great discussion on what’s the best graphing calculator on the market. A lot of good posts on how/where/why specific models are used – Link.

Pictured here, the TI-89 from ticalc.orgLink.

Got a favorite?

12 thoughts on “The best graphing calculator on the market

  1. I recently got an 89 titanium (as pictured :P). That being said, I wasn’t allowed to use a graphing calculator for any of my calc classes (3) or differential equations… For the most part, good professors won’t let you use ’em :P

  2. I just got a 89 titanium last week for school. They actually said to get the TI-84+, but the 89 is a lot better, and was $5 cheaper!

  3. I’m in the same situation as Trebuchet03, I bought the TI-89 Titanium at the start of college thinking it would be helpful for my math classes. Now I’m in Differential Equations, the third (or fourth) of four math classes for engineers, and I have yet to be allowed to use a calculator in class or on a test. That’s not to say that they aren’t useful I have used it plenty to double check my calculus equations in physics.

  4. I disagree completely. I was a TI graphing calculator fan for years until a college professor turned me on to the world of HPs. While this TI-89 has more features, more memory, and more flashy tricks, my HP 48g will smoke this thing any day of the week in pure speed in calculation and data entry. There is more to a calculator than flashy tricks. I use mine every day in a real world engineering environment and the speed and power of the RPN based HP saves me time and as you can calculate on any of these little machines, time is money.

  5. I love my hp48 (even have a backup), and it’s 15 years old! It’s a quality tool – the buttons are durable & the marking on the keys are molded plastic that go all the way through — they’ll never wear off. The circuit board is gold-plated for reliability. There is a steel backbone inside to give the keys a solid feel.

    The design is incredibly thought out to make you more productive… but you’ve got to remember it’s a tool made for engineers, by engineers. I find RPN much simpler to use than parenthesis. One of the stories that best illustrates that is hp’s first calculator watch: it’s got tons of functionality!! To change timezones, type “Get-time 1 : 0 0 + Set-Time”

    One cool thing is that you can change the user interface… redefine any key, change the output, anything. I was working on a program to make it speak out all the answers. (I got the speech working, but didn’t get it saying the correct digits).

    I found the graphing part most useful when trying to understand the feel of a problem. My teacher was discussing a formula, but I had to see the graph to understand it. He eventually showed that graph about 30 minutes after I’d seen it on my calculator.

    HP got out of calculators for about 10 years, but then re-entered it with calculators that emulated the software in the 48/49. I haven’t played with the new ones, nor the TI calculators (which have quite a following).

  6. While the HP49g+ here is a powerhouse, I must admit that HP’s change from the professional looking HP48 housing is a bit of a disappointment. Those classic HP devices have a timeless tool-look too them. However, no slouch is the HP49g+, with a user interface that is geared towards the professional community who make more than class grades with their hardware.

    Remember, teaching foundation skills in a classroom is one application – and what the class uses will likely dictate what you buy. But when it comes time to the work you do -every day- you’ll probably have a very different interest in toolset, and definitely one that can be molded by the user.

    There’s never such thing as “too much flexibility” unless you’re talking about a bridge.

    – Bill

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