Buying a calculator is oddly intimidating. However, if you follow a few basic rules which we’ll outline below, it needn’t be. The thing you need to keep in mind the entire time is “what am I going to use this for?” Do that and pick a major brand such as Casio, Sharp, Canon, HP or Texas Instruments (TI) and you’ll end up with sound purchase. Here’s a roundup of the Best Calculators you can buy in 2017.
Let’s start by outlining the different calculator types. There are three main groups.
- Pocket calculators
- Desk calculators
- Scientific and graphing calculators
What’s the Best Pocket Calculator?
There are a few things to consider when buying a pocket calculator. Pocket calculators tend not to be as powerful or sophisticated as some of the more advanced devices. This means you can power them with a built-in solar panel and you should place this high on your list of priorities.
The next thing you need to consider is what sort of sums do you plan on doing with the pocket calculator? If you’re planning only on doing basic maths on the fly then you can make your purchase based on looks and size alone. However, if you’re a tradesman or professional looking to do slightly more complex equations you might want to look for something a little more advanced. A tradesman following blueprints should look for a pocket calculator with a built-in metric-t0-imperial functionality, for example.
Aesthetically, it’s a question of personal preference.
Pocket calculator checklist:
- Will it fit your pocket?
- Do you want a cover?
- Does it have a solar panel?
- Do you need metric-to-imperial shortcuts?
The 3 Best Pocket Calculators
What’s the Best Desk Calculator?
Typically desk calculators are the most basic of all. Their job is to help you do simple sums as quickly as possible. Before making a purchase it’s important you consider how much you expect to use your desk calculator. Some desk calculators may seem comically large, by they’re this size for a reason. If you’re spending only a few seconds a day on your desk calculator, you can pick one solely on looks. However, medium-to-heavy users should look to buy a larger desk calculator for accuracy and comfort.
Desk calculator checklist:
- Is it solar powered?
- Do you want a “00” key?
- Are the display and buttons large enough?
The 3 Best Desk Calculators:
What’s the Best Scientific or Graphing Calculator?
If you’re buying a scientific/graphing calculator for an exam, the first thing you should do is check if it’s an approved brand. Next, you want to check whether the calculator can perform the type of equations you need. All the models we’ve listed below are suitable for UK GCSE and A-Level exams.
What’s the difference between a scientific and graphing calculator? The display. With a graphing calculator, you can plot and visualise graphs. Whereas when using a scientific calculator you can see only numbers and letters.
Buying a scientific/graphing calculator for professional purposes means you need to be more specific with what you’re looking for. Architects will need a different feature set to that of biologists, for example. Needless to say, you should check the specs of the calculators listed below to ensure they fit your requirements.
Scientific or graphing calculator checklist:
- Is it approved by the UK Exam board?
- Do you need it for plotting graphs or equations?
- Is it fit for both GCSE and A-level exams?
The 6 Best Scientific or Graphing Calculators
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