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Calculator Contest: TI-84’s Days Are Numbered

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Calculator Contest: TI-84’s Days Are Numbered

Yael Livneh, Centerfold Editor

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When it comes to calculators at Gunn, Texas Instruments (TI) reigns supreme. From scientific calculators to the TI-89 Titanium graphing calculator, TI dominates the handheld computing device scene with their impressive range of products. TI has reported that their best-selling models are the TI-84 Plus and the TI-Nspire CX, but which calculator helps students excel the most? I have owned a TI-Nspire CX for the past three years, and it’s been by my side for every standardized test and classroom quiz since I bought it. However, I wanted to see if I was missing out on something great with the TI-84. To truly understand the world from the perspective of a TI-84 user, I borrowed a friend’s model for a week to see if it would enhance my academic life in any way.

After using the TI-84 for a week, I realized there was a clear winner: the TI-Nspire. While I may be slightly biased, given my previous experience with the Nspire, the 84 was still far more difficult to navigate with its ancient display. Released in 2004, the model barely has any storage and has no ability to upload digital images or include computer software like the Nspire can. That said, the 84 has been around for longer than the Nspire, and has a much wider range of user-generated programs available for download online. The TI-84 was also useful for following teacher calculations, as SmartBoards use the TI-84 format.

For years, my TI-Nspire has been my trusty sidekick, graphing in full-color and boasting 100 megabytes of available user storage—and I intend to keep it that way. Its full alphabetical keyboard allows me to easily type equations and integrals with its individual letter buttons, and its clean user interface makes it easy to solve complex tasks that the 84 cannot even begin to compute. The TI-84’s archaic Solver function made math class harder than it already was, cementing the TI-Nspire’s indisputable position as the better calculator.

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Calculator Contest: TI-84’s Days Are Numbered