Calculator Recommendations for this class (Fall 2016)
What calculator do I need for this course?
Quick Answer: It depends on what you want to spend and whether you just want a good calculator for this one course or if you want a good calculator for future use.
Here are my brief recommendations:
- If you like TI calculators and you can find a way to spend about $100 then a good calculator for a College Algebra or Business Calculus course is the TI-84 Plus CE (on sale at Walmart right now for $88). The older TI-84 Plus, or 84 Silver Edition would also work just fine. I will be showing how to do the things we need to do in class with this calculator (simply because this is what most of my students have). There is more help on the web for this calculator than any other. If you already have an older TI-82, TI-83, or TI-84 from high school, then use it. It will do everything you need for this course.
- The very best calculator overall for Math/Engineering majors is the HP Prime (model G8X92AA). This calculator has a superb CAS operating system and a well designed touch screen for the graphing applications. It is more expensive (about $150-$175) but well worth it for a career in Math or Engineering. HP does have as much online help available as the TI calculators, but they are improving. Because the calculator has so much more capabilities than the TI-84, it does have a steeper learning curve. But once you learn how to use it, you will be very glad you chose it!
- If you don't mind figuring out how to use them, any of the Casio graphing calculators will also do a great job and you can get one for about $45. The only drawback to these calculators is there is less material on the web for help with them (but I think plenty if you don't mind searching a bit). Also, I will not be using one of these in class. But anything the TI-84 does, these calculators will do just as well.
- If you like Casio calculators, then the best inexpensive calculator for the course is the Casio FX-115. It costs about $15 at Walmart and has the features you will use most in this class. Some other decent choices would be the TI-36X Pro ($19). There are just too many inexpensive TI calculators to list them all. The two key features you want to have are the ability to get a table of function values and the ability to work with fractions.
Created on ... Aug 28, 2007
Last updated on ... Jan 13, 2015