Daily Editor Jeffrey Ndubisi shows us the best calculator to buy when you can’t use your trusted TI-84.

If you’ve taken any sort of calculation-heavy class within the past four years, it’s not unlikely that you have one of these seafoam-colored devices in your arsenal.

Why? A fresh-faced you walked onto the Columbia campus with your trusty TI-84 variant in tow, sat down for your first day of lecture in Chemistry, and heard some version of the words “only non-graphing calculators will be allowed on tests.”

You briefly panic. Non-graphing calculator? What is this, the AP? Only a four-function calculator allowed? (Hell, are they even cutting out the square root key?)

In the sentences that follow, you hear something about getting an approved calculator at the bookstore. So after classes are done, you rush into the vertigo-inducing glass building, through its turnstiles, through its other turnstiles, down the escalator, find the calculator, throw down \$20, and get to work on your problem sets.

The original sin.

If you’re still using that calculator as your go-to “non-graphing,” please stop. The calculator is…fine, but do know that you have options outside of the bookstore. Crazy.

My personal pick? This guy.

This is the TI-36X Pro, and I could go over all of the reasons why I love this thing in a later post, but here are my top three features to love about this calculator:

1. Integrals. There is a way to take integrals directly on this calculator. Quite nice.
2. Embedded constants. You’re on an exam and you suddenly forget, for whatever reason, that Einstein figured out light’s speed. With that other calculator? Forget it. With this calculator? [2ND] + [  (  ] .

And finally:

1. Him.
This honestly makes the entire calculator worth it on its own and makes it outperform even my TI-84. You waste precious seconds on an exam when you have to type some number like 0.00086 in scientific form as 8.6 x 10-4. Where’s the carrot? Is PEMDAS working right? You have more important things to worry about.On top of that, it’s its own dedicated button—no [2ND] button necessary. The TI-84 has it buried under a [2ND] command. Therefore, the TI-84 is shit.

So do yourself a favor and, when it’s opportune, make the switch if you haven’t already. You’ll be happy you did—I guarantee it.

Equations via Bwog Archives