Anyone who‘s been through a high-school algebra class surely remembers using a TI graphing calculator.
But who had a calculator like this one?
started the trend with the , and now you‘ll be the coolest kid in class with the new color option for the TI-84 Plus CE. (Note: It‘s more of a light pink color.)
The timing is pretty perfect, with students starting back-to-school shopping soon. and offer the rose gold model for $119.99. I remember paying $149.99 for my TI, and it was not rose gold.
This sleek new color will certainly make more of a statement than the classic black, blue, or gray options.
The 2.8-inch LCD screen is a big upgrade.
Image: Texas Instruments
There‘s more. Texas Instruments has updated the TI-84 from the days of a grayscale display. The calculator now features a 2.8-inch full-color backlit display with a 320 X 240 resolution. It also packs in 154KB of RAM and 3MB of ROM, for a faster experience. The design is slimmer at 0.8 inches; the calculator weighs in at 14.1-ounces. It‘s got a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a USB-cable instead of a pair of AA batteries.
There are still plenty of pre-loaded education-centric applications, like CellSheet, MathPrint, and Cabri Jr. And of course it can handle addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division, along with intense graphs and quadratic formulas. But in the same way you can play games on your iPhone or Android, you can also game on this graphing calculator.
Games can easily be ported and installed by plugging the TI-84 into a Mac or PC with the included USB cable. A quick Google search provides a bunch of websites that store the game files. The list is long: Pac-Man, 2.0, Tetris, Connect 4, even Roller Coaster Tycoon — and more. Many of these are designed for the gray-scale model but should still run on the Ti-84.
Granted, these games are not endorsed by the original creators and have different controls (although I‘m sure someone could figure out how to hook up a gaming controller to one of these calculators). In fact, it‘s running a proprietary version 5.4 operating system that will likely make future applications easy to bring over.
Image: Texas Instruments
At the end of the day, the TI-84 still stands as a trusted companion for any algebra, geometry, calculus, and even physics class. It‘s even permitted for the SAT and ACT.
My blue and gray TI calculator was good. But had I had slightly more RAM, a rechargeable battery, and this epic new color, I would have been geeking out in high school. It‘s time for smartphones to move over. Calculators are cool again.