TI Wizard

Games, Software, and Tutorials for TI Calculators

Which Calculator is Right for You?

Written on 08/26/2009 by Andrew | 0 comments

Texas Instruments produces a variety of calculators, all designed for different people with different needs. Of course, this may leave you wondering– which calculator should I buy?!

TI-83 – From $45.00  – [amazon_link id=”B00000JBO8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Purchase TI-83 from Amazon[/amazon_link]

Affordable, and can be used anywhere where a TI-83+ can
One of the oldest graphing calculators from Texas Instruments.
No longer sold in stores, must buy second-hand from places like Amazon.com

6MHZ Z80 Processor
First produced in 1996

TI-83 Plus – From $55.00 – [amazon_link id=”B0006Z5D74″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Purchase TI-83+ from Amazon[/amazon_link]

Originally released in 1999, the TI-83 Plus is essentially an upgraded version of the TI-83. The Plus version includes several new features, such as Flash Applications, Flash ROM memory, and a faster processor. This model has the largest amount of user-created programs and applications available, including anything from equation solvers, to Mario clones. This is currently the recommended calculator for junior highs and middle schools.

Faster trigonometric and graphing functions
Currently stocked in stores

Older model calculator
Limited memory, which may affect usability for games

8MHZ Z80 Processor
24KB RAM, 160KB Flash ROM
First produced in 1999

TI-84 Plus – From $75.00 – [amazon_link id=”B0001EMM0G” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Purchase TI-84+ from Amazon[/amazon_link]

The TI-84 Plus is one of the newest calculators designed by Texas Instruments, first produced in the year 2004. The TI-84 Plus features more memory (3 times more than the TI-83 Plus), a faster processor, and a clock (along with some programming functions that use the clock). This calculator also boasts an upgraded screen and new button colors, although the keyboard layout is the same as the TI-83 Plus. This calculator is 100% compatible with the TI-83 Plus and the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition.

Compatible with the TI-83 Plus
Upgraded screen
Memory is 3X larger than TI-83 Plus
USB port, in addition to the standard I/O port

Slightly more costly
Screen driver may cause issues with games, such as Mario. There IS a fix, however.

15MHZ Z80 Processor
24KB RAM, 480KB Flash ROM
First produced in 2004

TI-84 Plus Silver Edition – From $77.00 – [amazon_link id=”B0001EMM0Q” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Purchase TI-84+ Silver Edition from Amazon[/amazon_link]

This version of the TI-84 Plus is customizable. The Silver Edition features customized, removable, faceplates (the piece of plastic behind the keys), and a custom cover. This calculator is ideal for the student who wants to be unique– it even comes in pink. The Silver Edition packs even more memory into the calculator– 9 times as much as the TI-83 Plus (1.5MB).

Even MORE memory for games
Custom colored (or designed) faceplates
USB Port is more friendly than the I/O

Slightly more costly than the TI-84 Plus, but just a mere $2.00
Same screen driver issue as the regular TI-84 Plus, but it is fixable

15MHZ Z80 Processor
128KB RAM (24KB Useable), 1.5MB Flash ROM
First produced in 2004

TI-89 Titanium – From $100.00 – [amazon_link id=”B0001EMLZ2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Purchase TI-89 Titanium from Amazon[/amazon_link]

Unlike the TI-83 Plus series (which includes the TI-84 Plus), this calculator is generally used at the high school level. The TI-89 Titanium features 2.7MB of Flash memory (2 times the TI-84 Plus), 3D Graphing, and a completely different home screen layout. Included, is a USB port, which is easier to use than the I/O port that was built into the earlier calculators.

Much more memory, and it is more powerful than a TI-83 Plus
Advanced math functions, mainly used in high school

May be confusing to use after using a TI-83 Plus

12MHZ MC68000 Processor
188KB RAM, 2.7MB Flash ROM

Voyage 200 PLT – From $160.00 – [amazon_link id=”B00006D2Q1″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Purchase Voyage 200 PLT from Amazon[/amazon_link]

The Voyage 200 is essentially a TI-89 Titanium, except it includes the standard “QWERTY” format keyboard. This may be convenient for typing, but some state and college exams do not permit this keyboard format during test taking.

“QWERTY” keyboard
Interesting, pocket dictionary-like layout

Not permitted on most exams

12MHZ MC68000 Processor
188KB RAM, 2.7MB Flash ROM

TI NSpire TouchpadTI NSpire – From $115.00 – [amazon_link id=”B003EK7O1G” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Purchase TI NSpire from Amazon[/amazon_link]

The TI NSpire is the newest, most advanced, and most feature-filled calculator on the market. This version of the TI NSpire includes two keypads– the default NSpire pad, and the TI-84 Plus keypad. By switching the pads, you get FULL compatibility with the TI-83 Plus series. The calculator includes advanced math functions, individual letter keys, an advanced display (unlike anything else on a calculator), and much, MUCH more. On the NSpire, you can draw shapes, add text, create spreadsheets, and calculate decimals with amazing precision (12 decimal places).

Amazing gray scale screen
Easy to use
Large number of features

More expensive than most of the TI Calculators
Small, integrated alphabet keys can be awkward to use

150MHZ ARM Processor
16MB RAM, 20MB Flash ROM

Math Level Permitted on SAT/ACT Overall Rating
TI-83 Middle School Yes 6/10
TI-83+ Middle School Yes 7.5/10
TI-84 Plus Middle School Yes 8/10
TI-84 Plus Silver Edition Middle School Yes 8/10
TI-89 Titanium High School – College Yes 8/10
Voyage 200 PLT High School – College No 7/10
TI NSpire Middle School – College Yes 9/10

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