This is the standard for graphing calculators for high school and early college-level mathematics; the calculator is a pleasure to use. This device is approved for SAT/ACT/AP exams. I have been using this device for two months for Calculus 1, and it is accurate all the time. The box includes the calculator, slide case, mini-USB cable, I/O cable, getting started guide, CD-ROM, and four AAA batteries. The device is powered by 4 AAA batteries and a lithium battery backup to protect RAM. It has a 15 MHz processor, 480 KB of ROM for data and app storage, an I/O port, and a mini-USB port, which can be used to load apps found on the Texas Instruments official website. Additionally, the calculator comes preloaded with 12 apps. Cabri Jr™ (interactive geometry), Conic Graphing, Inequality Graphing, and Probability Simulation are four of the most useful preloaded apps for most students.
The five keys at the top of the calculator (y=, window, zoom, trace, and graph) and their second function keys (stat plot, tblset, format, calc, and table) are conveniently placed for students to graph and view a table of x and y values for the function. The calculator has shortcut keys for common functions such as x^-1, x^2, sqrt(x), 10^x, and e^x. It also has the mathematical constants pi and e on the right hand side of the calculator.
SUMMARY: PROS: Good all-around graphing calculator for high school and early college-level math; apps can expand this hardware's feature set; calculator is approved for SAT/ACT/AP exams; long battery life; great user interface CONS: This calculator is a bit expensive, considering the cost to produce this hardware; it doesn't have a computer algebra system, so it lacks features such as taking limits, finding partial and total derivatives, finding some indefinite and definite integrals, matrix operations, and advanced statistical computation. If you need a computer algebra system, you should go with the
TI-Nspire CX CAS
TI-89 Titanium Graphing Calculator
; both are permitted on the SAT and the AP. If cost is a concern, get the
Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator
, which has similar functionality to the TI-84.