Best Calcultors 2024

The evolution of calculators mirrors the dynamic changes in technology and user requirements. These devices, which began as simple tools for basic arithmetic, now offer a wide array of functions and applications, catering to the needs of students, professionals, and hobbyists. This guide highlights some of the best calculators on the market, detailing their specifications, unique features, and the particular audiences they serve.

Leading the pack is the Casio FX-991EX ClassWiz. Known for its advanced computational abilities, the ClassWiz features a high-resolution LCD screen for better data presentation. It handles complex number calculations, matrix and vector computations, and includes over 550 functions. With dimensions of 11.1 x 77 x 165.5 mm (0.44 x 3 x 6.52 inches) and a weight of 90 grams (3.17 ounces), it combines compact design with robust functionality.

Another top choice is the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE. This calculator is a favourite in educational circles, particularly among high school and college students. It offers a vivid colour display and a rechargeable battery, making it ideal for graphing needs in calculus, engineering, and trigonometry courses. The TI-84 Plus CE measures 19.05 x 88.9 x 184.15 mm (0.75 x 3.5 x 7.25 inches) and weighs 255 grams (9 ounces), featuring a user-friendly interface and the ability to install additional software applications.

For budget-conscious consumers seeking advanced features, the Sharp EL-W516TBSL is a standout option. It provides a WriteView 4-line display and encompasses 640 functions, including those for complex calculations and probability distributions. Its size (20 x 80 x 158 mm or 0.79 x 3.15 x 6.22 inches) and weight (177 grams or 6.24 ounces) make it an ergonomic choice for extended use. Additionally, its dual power source – solar and battery – ensures reliability.

In the financial arena, the HP 12C Platinum is a perennial favourite. Esteemed for its reliability and timeless design, it is widely used in the finance and real estate sectors. The calculator features over 130 functions for financial calculations such as loan payments, interest rate conversions, and depreciation. With dimensions of 14.5 x 79 x 127 mm (0.57 x 3.1 x 5 inches) and weighing 113 grams (4 ounces), the HP 12C Platinum is particularly noted for its RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) entry system, appealing to those who prefer this mode of operation.

What to Consider When Buying a Calculator?

  • Functionality: Assess the calculator’s capabilities. Do you need basic arithmetic, scientific functions, graphing abilities, or financial calculations?
  • Display: Look for clarity and size of the screen. A larger display can enhance readability, especially for complex calculations.
  • Power Source: Choose between solar-powered, battery-operated, or dual-powered calculators. Consider the longevity and availability of power supply.
  • Usability: Ensure the calculator is user-friendly. Key spacing, layout, and responsiveness can impact usability, especially for extended use.
  • Portability: Consider the size and weight, especially if you need to carry the calculator regularly. Compact designs can offer convenience without sacrificing functionality.
  • Build Quality: A durable design is crucial for longevity, especially for daily or rigorous use.
  • Price: Determine your budget. While higher-priced models often offer more features, there are efficient options available across various price ranges.
  • Brand and Reviews: Consider the reputation of the brand and read user reviews for real-world insights into performance and reliability.
  • Compatibility with Educational or Professional Requirements: Ensure the calculator meets the specific needs of your course or profession, including any restrictions or requirements.

Tip: Factor in your specific needs and usage patterns. A calculator that aligns well with your daily requirements.

Best Calculators 2024

1. Casio FX-991EX ClassWiz

Casio FX-991EX ClassWiz

RRP: $72.99 from Amazon

  • High-resolution LCD screen
  • Complex number calculations, matrix and vector computations
  • Solar panel with battery backup for consistent power
  • 552 functions covering a broad range of mathematics

The Casio FX-991EX ClassWiz is a remarkable blend of functionality and user-friendliness, making it ideal for students and professionals alike. Its high-resolution LCD screen ensures clarity in displaying complex mathematical data. The calculator excels in performing complex number calculations and handling matrix and vector computations. The inclusion of 552 functions caters to a wide range of mathematical needs. Its solar panel and battery backup provide reliable, long-term power. The ClassWiz stands out for its comprehensive capabilities, compact design, and sustainability, making it a top choice for those needing a versatile and robust calculator.

Dimensions: 11.1 x 77 x 165.5 mm; Weight: 90 grams

An excellent choice for those requiring a blend of power and portability in mathematical calculations.


2. Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE

RRP: $109.99 from Amazon

  • Color display and rechargeable battery
  • Graphing capabilities for calculus and engineering
  • Solar panel with battery backup for consistent power
  • 552 functions covering a broad range of mathematics

The Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE is a dynamic, user-friendly graphing calculator, highly favored in educational settings. Its color display and rechargeable battery add to its appeal and functionality. The calculator’s graphing capabilities are particularly beneficial for calculus, engineering, and trigonometry. A standout feature is the ability to download additional software, enhancing its versatility. Its intuitive interface makes it accessible for students, facilitating a smoother learning curve in complex subjects. The TI-84 Plus CE is an exemplary tool for students seeking a reliable, feature-rich calculator to support their academic pursuits.

Dimensions: 19.05 x 88.9 x 184.15 mm; Weight: 255 grams

Ideal for students in need of a reliable graphing calculator for their academic journey.


3. Sharp EL-W516TBSL

Sharp EL-W516TBSL

RRP: $29.31 from Amazon

  • WriteView 4-line display
  • 640 functions, including probability distributions and complex number calculations
  • Ergonomic design for comfortable extended use
  • Solar power with battery backup ensures consistent operation

The Sharp EL-W516TBSL is an excellent choice for those seeking advanced features without a hefty price tag. Its WriteView 4-line display allows for easy viewing of calculations and results. The calculator boasts 640 functions, including probability distributions and complex number calculations, making it versatile for a range of mathematical tasks. The dual power source of solar and battery ensures consistent operation. Additionally, its ergonomic design makes it comfortable for prolonged use. The EL-W516TBSL is a budget-friendly yet powerful calculator, ideal for students and professionals who need a reliable tool for complex mathematical operations.

Dimensions: 20 x 80 x 158 mm; Weight: 177 grams

An ergonomic and versatile choice for students and professionals alike.


4. HP 12C Platinum

HP 12C Platinum

RRP: $49.49 from Amazon

  • Over 130 financial functions
  • Unique RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) entry system
  • Classic design known for its durability and reliability
  • Widely used in finance and real estate industries for its specialized functions

The HP 12C Platinum is a stalwart in the world of financial calculators, revered for its reliability and classic design. It features over 130 financial functions, making it a mainstay in finance and real estate industries. The unique RPN entry system is a significant advantage for those accustomed to this method. Its durable and classic design appeals to professionals who value longevity and tradition in their tools. The calculator’s specialization in financial functions makes it an indispensable asset for finance professionals, offering precision and efficiency in various financial calculations.

Dimensions: 14.5 x 79 x 127 mm; Weight: 113 grams

A classic design and RPN entry make it a preferred choice for finance professionals.


5. Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS Color Graphing Calculator

Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS

RRP: $153.19 from Amazon

  • Advanced Computer Algebra System (CAS)
  • High-resolution color display
  • Graph and rotate 3D functions
  • Interactive geometry capabilities

The Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS is an advanced tool designed for higher-level mathematics and science. With its Computer Algebra System, it adeptly handles complex algebraic equations and calculus. The color display enhances the visualization of graphs and 3D functions. Its interactive geometry feature is particularly useful for students and educators in mathematics and engineering fields.

Dimensions: 7.5 x 3.4 inches (190.5 x 86.36 mm); Weight: 8.1 ounces (229.63 grams)

An essential tool for advanced mathematics and scientific explorations.


6. Hewlett-Packard HP Prime G2 Graphing Calculator

Hewlett-Packard HP Prime G2

RRP: $161.79 from Amazon

  • Full-color, multi-touch display
  • Integrated HP Solve application
  • Advanced graphing and dynamic geometry tools
  • Wireless connectivity for data sharing

The Hewlett-Packard HP Prime G2 is a cutting-edge graphing calculator ideal for engineering students and professionals. It features a vibrant full-color, multi-touch display and an integrated HP Solve application for solving equations symbolically. Its advanced graphing capabilities and dynamic geometry tools are perfect for complex mathematical explorations. Additionally, wireless connectivity facilitates easy data sharing and collaboration.

Dimensions: 7.13 x 3.38 inches (181 x 85.8 mm); Weight: 8.04 ounces (228 grams)

A sophisticated tool for modern engineering and mathematical tasks.


7. Casio FX-CG50 Color Graphing Calculator

Casio FX-CG50

RRP: $127.00 from Amazon

  • High-resolution color display
  • Ability to draw 3D graphs
  • Extensive mathematical function catalog
  • PC connectivity for data transfer

The Casio FX-CG50 Color Graphing Calculator is a top choice for high school and early college students. It offers a high-resolution color display and the capability to draw 3D graphs, enhancing understanding of complex concepts. The calculator includes an extensive catalog of mathematical functions and allows for connectivity with PCs and other Casio graphing calculators for data transfer.

Dimensions: 7.42 x 3.52 inches (188.5 x 89.5 mm); Weight: 8.15 ounces (231 grams)

An ideal tool for educational settings requiring advanced graphing capabilities.


Calculators: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What type of calculator do I need for high school or college math?

Answer: For most high school and early college math courses, a scientific calculator like the Casio FX-991EX is sufficient. For advanced courses like calculus, trigonometry, or engineering, a graphing calculator such as the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE is recommended.

Q: How important is the power source for a calculator?

Answer: The power source is crucial, especially for those using calculators frequently. Solar-powered calculators with battery backup, like the Sharp EL-W516TBSL, offer reliability and longevity, ensuring continuous use without the need for frequent battery replacements.

Q: Can I use any calculator for standardized tests like the SAT or ACT?

Answer: No, standardized tests have specific guidelines for calculators. For example, most graphing calculators are allowed on the SAT, but calculators with a computer algebra system (CAS) are not. Always check the test’s calculator policy beforehand.

Q: What features should I look for in a calculator for finance or real estate?

Answer: For finance or real estate, calculators like the HP 12C Platinum, which specialize in financial functions such as loan payments, interest rates, and amortization schedules, are ideal. Features like a Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) entry system can also be beneficial.

Q: Are there significant differences between brands of calculators?

Answer: Yes, different brands like Casio, Texas Instruments, and HP offer varying interfaces, functionalities, and specialties. For instance, Texas Instruments is renowned for its educational-friendly graphing calculators, while HP is known for its financial calculators.

Q: How do I maintain and care for my calculator?

Answer: Keep your calculator clean, avoid exposure to extreme temperatures and moisture, and replace batteries as needed. For solar-powered calculators, ensure the solar panel is not obstructed. Regular care prolongs the lifespan and performance of the device.

David Court
David is a professional journalist. He's been reviewing lifestyle and technology products since 2007. His CV boasts a series of high-profile websites that he's previously edited and managed. These sites include PCAdvisor.co.uk, TechAdvisor.co.uk, PCPro.co.uk, Alphr.com and ExpertReviews.co.uk. Reviewsfire.com is his new project.

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