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Lunch » Tags » Calculators » Reviews » Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphic Calculator » User review

The Quintessential Mathematic/Scientific Calculator

  • Nov 22, 2009
  • by
Pros: Light weight, well somewhat; large range of math & financial functions.

Cons: Expensive!

The Bottom Line: The Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator is probably the last calculator you will purchase in your academic career, it is just that powerful.  

It’s time for me to head back to school, DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management that is.  This time I am in pursuit of my MBA with a concentration in Networking and Telecommunications. Why pursue a boring ole traditional MBA when new technology is to be learned?  So that means math; lots of math; loads of math in the form of algebra, calculus, and the ever dread statistics. 

Did I mention that I hate math!?  What does one do when one hates math, but still needs to do it in spades?  Buy a calculator of course, but not just any calculator I needed a calculator cable of doing complex mathematics including graphing equations.  My very first course called for a Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator.

The 411 
The TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator can be used for:

o   Algebra 1 & 2
o   Geometry
o   Trigonometry
o   Statistics
o   Calculus
o   Graphing
o   Computer Science
o   Biology
o   Chemistry
o   Physics
o   Engineering
o   Financial Calculations
Texas Instruments released the first TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator, and upgrade of the TI-82, in 1996, and it has gone to be one of the most widely used graphing calculators for students across a broad range of educational levels.  
In addition to the functions found on normal scientific calculators the TI-83 Plus includes graphing, polar/parametric/sequence graphing modes, statistics, trigonometric, calculus (the Plus) and algebraic functions.  Texas Instruments released the TI-83 Plus in 1999 as a replacement for the normally aspired TI-83.  The TI-83 Plus also ships with flash memory, which would enable the devices’ OS to be updated as needed.        

Powered by (4) AAA-sized batteries (plus 1 CR-1616 or CR 1620 lithium battery for backup), the TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator is large unit ideal for advanced mathematics students high school algebra to college-level calculus, and statistics.  The TI-83 Plus packs a lot of mathematical punch and the price of $127.00 (Office Depot.com) certainly confirms it. 

The TI-83 Plus calculator combines features for statistical analysis, engineering, trigonometric and financial functions making it ideal for a student seeking an MBA.  Financial functions include TVM, cash flows and amortization, though surprisingly a percentage key is missing from the calculator.  
The two pound (yes, it is heavy, kind of) TI-83 Plus features a non-backlit 64x96 pixel grey scale LCD screen that is frankly hard to read unless the lighting is exactly right.  But the LCD display can display graphs and tables on a full as well as split-screen.  And the display exhibits up to (12) characters and eight lines.  The calculator can graph/trace equations while scrolling through table values.  And the TI-83 Plus can store and analyze up to 10 equations. 

I also purchased the optional TI-Graph Link (software and USB cable).  The software and cable allows one to connect the TI-83 Plus to a computer via a USB port permitting the transfer of files and data between the two devices. 

My Thoughts 

Ample time should be given to learning what the TI-83 Plus can bring to the table.  All of the nine digits are there of course, but the face of the calculator contains a whole lot more in the form of multi-colored special function buttons; and there are a lot of them!   However, the TI-83 Plus ships with very detailed, instruction manual, so I plan to carry it with me at all times.   

As I stated above, and it is worth restating, the TI-83 Plus’s non-backlit LCD is a little difficult to read when the unit is lying flat on a desk and a lot will depend on the lighting conditions.  Even with the right lighting, the top line of the display is hard to read.  

Though I was stunned by the high price of the unit the Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator is probably the last calculator you will purchase in your academic career, it is just that powerful.  You can buy it for a high school student and (s)he can use it through graduate school.  


Purchase Price: 127.99

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About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #188
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
About this product


This easy-to-use graphing tool is a must-have for classes ranging from Algebra to Pre-Calculus and Biology to Physics. Add Handheld Software Applications (Apps), and push its capabilities to the limit! With Apps like Organizer, Periodic Table, StudyCards , and CellSheet , how can you go wrong? And it's permitted for use on many standardized tests and college admissions exams.
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