TI-84 Plus CE vs TI-83 vs Ti-89 Review
14 Min Read
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Table of Contents
Graphing Calculators are considered a staple in science and math courses, especially in high school and college. While many models are available, Texas Instruments is the most used brand and is often the default in textbooks. Most teachers are familiar with the Texas Instrument line, and they are widely accepted for use on tests.
Within the Texas Instrument line of graphing calculators, there are several options as well, although many of them are similar. This review will focus on the pros and cons of the TI-84 Plus CE, looking at categories such as hardware, overall features, graphing capabilities, and apps. We will also look at how the TI-84 Plus CE compares to similar calculators such as the TI-84 Plus, TI-83, Ti-89, Casio fx-9750, Casio fx-cg50.
Overall, we believe that the TI-84 Plus CE is the best all-around graphing calculator on the market. From wide availability to the fact that it’s of the most traditionally used calculators in the classroom, this is a great calculator for high school students in math and science courses and most college students.
Texas Instruments TI-84 CE Review
TI-84 Plus CE Hardware
Let’s start by looking at the TI-84 Plus CE’s hardware. When you first open the clamshell package, it’s easy to like this calculator’s overall design, appearance, and feel. But that’s only the beginning. Looking at what’s inside your calculator helps us see its capability and limits. While this calculator has been on the market for several years, its hardware is still robust and should fulfill the needs of most students. The color screen is a huge bonus, and other features make it clear why it is a sturdy calculator all around. A few years ago, the upgrades made to this calculator included an updated, faster processor. In addition to a fantastic display, the calculator’s processing speed should be significantly improved compared to older TI-84 models that used an older processor with a newer screen.
- This edition’s redesign features a sleek and slim design that can easily slide into a pocket. It also looks and feels nice, even coming in a few different colors.
- The backlit full-color screen has a large screen size of 320x240 pixels and a high resolution of 140DPI. So, in addition to graphing multiple lines clearly and setting them apart using color, the screen also holds a lot more information than older models in the same TI calculator line.
- The TI-84 Plus CE Calculator comes with built-in USB rechargeable batteries. With average use, you’ll get almost 30 days per charge.
- The TI-84 Plus CE has 3 MB FLASH ROM memory for storing data and apps. It also has 149 KB of free RAM.
- Some users might prefer a calculator that runs on disposable batteries. These tend to have a longer charge life, but the thinner, more sleek design depends on the thinner internal battery pack.
- Users interested in installing lots of apps or who might want to use this calculator for games might find the onboard 3MB of FLASH ROM is not enough for their needs, although this is considered a lot of storage in the graphing calculator world.
- The TI-84 Plus CE does not have Bluetooth or WIFI capabilities, so anything you want to download or upload to the calculator will need to go through the USB connection.
TI-84 Plus CE Built-In Functionality
The TI-84 Plus CE is packed full of features. This calculator has something for every student, from gorgeous display options to robust math graphing and calculation abilities. Of particular note are the vast features that can be accessed through the menu system. From basic graphing to statistical analysis, this calculator is truly multifunctional.
- This calculator makes heavy use of the full-color screen with the ability to add images to graph backgrounds so students can apply math to the world as they see it. The full-color display feature also extends to having fifteen colors for graphing and the ability to change the colors and style of the grid and axis on the graph.
- The TI-84 Plus CE can calculate real and complex numbers to 14-digit accuracy and displayed with ten digits plus a two-digit exponent
- Onboard graphing features include the ability to graph ten rectangular functions, six parametric expressions, six polar expressions, and three recursively defined sequences. In addition, users can define ten graphing functions that can be saved and analyzed concurrently.
- Sequence graphing mode shows time series plots, cobweb/stair-step plots, and phase plots. The calculator also allows for interactive analysis of function values, roots, maximums, minimums, integrals, and derivatives.
- TI-84 Plus CE view modes let you see Horizontal and vertical split-screen options. You can also see graphs and tables side-by-side.
- The calculator’s matrix operations include inverse, determinant, transpose, augment, reduced row echelon form, and elementary row operations; convert matrices to lists and vice-versa. You can also store up to 10 20x20 matrices.
- The statistical analysis features are many, including plot definitions for scatter plots, xy-line plots, histograms, regular and modified box-and-whisker plots, and standard probability plots. There are also advanced statistics features that include 10 hypothesis testing functions, seven confidence interval functions, and one-way analysis of variance.
- In addition to the many features listed above, there are also fifteen probability distribution functions, including Normal, Student-t, Chi-square, Binomial, and Poisson.
- Finally, the TI-84 Plus CE includes some business functions, including Time-Value-of-Money (TVM), cash flows, and amortization; full-screen interactive editor for solving TVM problems.
- Some students might not use most of the features, and others might feel some are lacking. Knowing what the features are ahead of time is helpful, especially if you are looking to use your calculator over multiple years and through many levels of math. The TI-84 Plus CE is exceptional for Algebra II classes but might come up shy for AP Calculus BC.
- Finding many of the functions is a bit challenging – while there are loads of helpful tutorials online, the menu system can get a little convoluted and complex if you don’t exactly know what you’re looking for.
- Some advanced calculus features seem to be missing. There also doesn’t seem to be as much in the way of equations needed for engineering or electricity, although this might not be the calculator that students in advanced math courses are seeking.
TI-84 Plus CE Included Apps
This TI-84 Plus CE includes many of the apps that past versions included and a few more, bringing the total of included apps to 12. From finance apps to spreadsheet apps, this calculator even has a periodic table. Some of these apps come in handy outside of math class and might not be explored as part of a course – however, they can prove helpful in various situations in which you might use a computer or phone to work on problems – instead, you can use your calculator.
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE Comparison Reviews
1.TI-84 Plus CE vs TI-84 Plus
While part of the same line, the TI-84 Plus CE and TI-84 Plus have a few significant differences, mostly related to the age of the TI-84 Plus. Released in 2004, this is the most common calculator found in schools and is one of the best-selling graphing calculators in the world due to its price and durability.
Compared to the TI-84 Plus CE released in 2015, the TI-84 Plus feels older. While it has nearly all the same features as the TI-84 Plus CE, one of the starkest differences is comparing screens. The TI-84 Plus only has a screen resolution of 96x64 pixels and is not backlit. The screen is also not in color. The text on the TI-84 Plus is larger than the text on the TI84 Plus CE, but as a result, much less information can be displayed on the screen.
Finally, the TI-84 Plus does not have an onboard rechargeable battery and requires 4 AAA batteries. There is a cord included for data transfer, but because of the additional weight of the batteries and space needed to house them, this model is heavier and thicker than the TI-84 Plus CE.
That all being said, if those design-related differences don’t bother you, the lower price of this calculator, combined with the fact that it still has nearly all the same calculation capabilities as its younger brother, the TI-84 Plus CE, is still a great student calculator worth looking at.
2. TI-84 Plus CE vs TI-83
It’s honestly surprised that the TI-83 graphing calculator is still being sold today. Initially released in 1999, it quickly became one of the most widely used graphing calculators on the market, a reason why it is still around, more than 20 years later. While the TI-83 was ahead of its time when it first came out, ushering in a new era of graphing calculators, it is now well behind the innovations in calculators that exist today.
It has many graphing and computing features as the TI-84 Plus CE, but the hardware does not compare. It has the smallest amount of onboard ROM and RAM of any Texas Instruments graphing calculators, runs on alkaline batteries, and cannot be programmed with TI-Basic or Python.
The smaller, lower-resolution screen appears dark and harder to read than newer calculators such as the TI-84 Plus CE. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with the calculator itself, I would look at some of the other TI calculators out there unless you’re on a tight budget.
3. TI-84 Plus CE vs TI-89
One of the most significant differences between the TI-89 and the TI-84 Plus CE that users need to know is that the TI-89 is not accepted for use on the ACT or IB tests. This is because the TI-89 has advanced features such as a built-in Computer Algebra System (CAS) that are not permitted on those tests (and can’t be disabled like in other calculators on the market). In addition to the CAS, the TI-89 also has 3D graphing capabilities and loads of calculus, mechanical, and electrical engineering functions, making it a great calculator for those interested in using their calculator in high school and college. Compared to the TI-84 Plus CE, it lacks hardware features such as a full-color screen, a rechargeable onboard battery, and the ability to be programmed, but it still packs a powerful punch. This is a great calculator for anyone who needs additional features the TI-84 Plus CE doesn’t offer but wants to spend a little less than what the Nspire series of calculators provide.
4. TI-84 Plus CE vs Casio fx-9750
After looking at the prices of the Texas Instruments calculators, students are often surprised at the difference in price between the TI calculators and those of other brands. Casio is no exception. The cost is one of the most considerable differences between TI-84 Plus CE and Casio fx-9750. The Casio fx-9750 graphing calculator has many of the same features as the TI-84s but can be found at almost half the price. Yet, with that price difference are a few tradeoffs. Like other models, the Casio does not have a full-color screen. It has less working memory, and while it is a little faster, it is primarily because it is not as powerful. This would be a great calculator for someone not looking to spend a lot of money or someone who doesn’t expect to be using the calculator for a long time.
5. TI-84 Plus CE vs Casio fx-cg50
The TI-84 Plus CE and Casio fx-cg50 are a pretty close match in comparison. The Casio has a full-color screen, high screen resolution, and a lot of the same functionality as the TI-84 Plus CE. It does have a lower price point significantly more storage space (coming in at 16MB versus 3MB). It allows for many more advanced features such as the ability to be programmed with Python, 3D graphing, and much more computing power. The main downside is that these calculators are still not as popular in the market, and many teachers and textbooks don’t focus on how to use them, preferring the more popular TI-84 calculators.
Final Verdict on the TI-84 Plus CE
It is easy to see why the TI-84 Plus CE is so widely popular. From overall ease of use and the fact that it has just about every feature most students need – it’s one calculator you can’t go wrong with. It might not have all the fancy features of some higher-end calculators, but for most students, you don’t need those advanced functions. It’s accepted widely on standardized tests, teachers know how to use it, and there are many, many other resources available for learning how to use this calculator.