Despite the constant advent of new technologies, there is still a place for scientific calculators in academia, and not just for math-oriented students. This is because scientific calculatirs are very practical in nature along with being quite versatile by most standards. In truth, you can use a scientific calculator both for an EIT or PE exam, and even for a wide range of engineering applications provided that you take the time to figure out how to best make use of it.
Having said that, we should point out that not all scientific calculators are built to the same standards, nor can they all be expected to perform equally well. As a matter of fact, some of the big names in the industry seem to be well ahead of everybody else in both complexity and ease of use. It is for this reason that you want to learn as much as you possibly can about what exactly makes a good scientific calculator and what to look for when buying one. To help you through, we put together a list of the ten best scientific calculators money can buy.
Best Scientific Calculators – Reviews
10Victor 940 Advanced Scientific Calculator
Equipped with a 2 line & 10 digit display screen, the Victor 940 Advanced Scientific Calculator features a dual power backup that includes solar power and batteries. It is also packed with over 240 different functions that include fractions, reciprocals, cubic and quadratic equations, conversions, factorials, and also performs basic scientific functions, which makes it ideal for college and high school students. Made from premium quality materials, it features a classic white design and comes with a hard slide-on case for optimum protection and long-lasting durability. Not just that but it is also fairly easy to use on account of its ingenious design.
9Canon F-719SG Scientific Calculator
The Canon F-719SG Scientific Calculator is a premium grade electronic device that is designed with a Dot matrix 4-Line large display screen. Equipped with 302 different functions, this scientific calculator comes with 38 formulas that are inbuilt and easily accessible. Durable, light in weight, and extremely efficient, this calculator is ideal for college, school and official use and comes in a vibrant green color. The calculator features different modes and can easily simplify fractions, change decimals and calculate square roots with a single button. For help with using this device, it comes with an easy to read manual from the manufacturer.
8Sharp EL-W535TGBBL 16-Digit Scientific Calculator
Equipped with the latest WriteView feature, the Sharp EL-W535TGBBL 16-Digit Scientific Calculator features a large 4 line, LCD display screen that offers optimum visibility of your mathematical calculations and statistics. Including 422 functions, this calculator comes loaded with 8 temporary and 3 definable memory buttons that are extremely convenient. Featuring 1 and 2 variable statistics, it comes equipped with a home key that allows you to go back to the home screen and start fresh with ease. Made from heavy-duty, durable materials, this calculator features a black and blue classy finish with a unique 3D light catching slide-on hard outer casing for optimum protection. Light in weight, durable and highly efficient, this calculator is dual powered and can be backed up by batteries or solar power.
7Casio FX350ES Plus Scientific Calculator
Including a 2-line display screen, the Casio fx-300MS Scientific Calculator is a basic electronic device that is designed with up to 240 different modes and functions to help you with your math and financial calculations. Featuring a multi-replay function, it allows you to check your previous calculations and ensures you do not make any errors. Equipped with 9 variable memories, the calculator supports a variety of complex calculations, calculus, algebra and 18 different levels of parentheses. Featuring an easy to use key layout, this solid calculator is durable, long-lasting and comes with a slide-on casing for protection for good measure.
6Sharp EL501XBWH Engineering/Scientific Calculator
The Sharp EL501XBWH Engineering/Scientific Calculator is a high-quality electronic tool that is uniquely designed for trigonometry, statistics, algebra, general science, and variable statistical calculations. Featuring a clear 10 digit LCD, single line display screen, it comes loaded with 131 scientific and mathematical functions that work great for college and high school students. Backed up by two batteries, this calculator comes with an automatic shut off function that helps save energy efficiently. Thanks to its solid construction along with its protective hard casing, it helps prevent scratches and dings, along with being able to optimizes its durability levels up to quite an impressive standard.
5Casio FX-991EX Engineering/Scientific Calculator
Popularly known for its exceptional quality and high performance, the Casio FX-991EX Engineering/Scientific Calculator is one among the best electronic scientific calculators available today. Equipped with a high-resolution display screen, it allows you to view additional data that include 4 x 4 matrix calculations as well as spreadsheets. Featuring a natural textbook display, it provides clear and precise visibility of numbers and symbols as you would see it in your books. With up to 522 functions, it features a simultaneous and polynomial solver and comes with a handy numeric differentiation function. Made with heavy duty, durable materials, the calculator can be backed up by an LR44 Button Cell Battery or solar power.
4Casio FX 260 Solar II Scientific Calculator
The Casio FX 260 Solar II Scientific Calculator is a premium quality, multi-functional electronic gadget that is designed to perform the calculation of fractions and various trigonometry functions. Featuring a 10 digit display screen, the calculator comes with space with 2 additional digits to help with a wide range of complex calculations. Easy to use, it features a simplified key layout is solar powered and is made from heavy duty durable materials. Loaded with over 140 different functions, it is approved and can be used on exams like AT, AP, PSAT/NMSQT, and ACT. For optimum protection, the calculator also comes with a handy hard slide-on case.
3Texas Instruments TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator
Powered by a single lithium battery, the Texas Instruments TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator features a one-line 10-digit display screen for basic math and science calculations. Designed for algebra, general math, and general science, this calculator can perform a variety of conversions, change fractions to decimals, logarithms, factorials, roots, reciprocals, powers, decimals to degrees, polar to rectangular and more. An ideal tool for school and college students, it can also be utilized by professors during exams and while taking classes. All things considered, it is one of the most versatile scientific calculators the market has to offer right now and definitely one of the best in this price range.
2Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator
Unlike most of its kind, the Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator features a natural display screen that provides clear visibility of expressions and results as shown in your textbooks. Including over 280 functions like statistics, complex number calculations, computers, standard deviation, polar-rectangular conversions, fractions, base arithmetic and more, it is the ideal tool for high school and college students. The calculator also features a multi-replay mechanism that allows you to recheck through your previous calculations to make sure you have not made any errors, also allowing you to edit and recalculate at will. Overall, it is one of the most versatile calculators out there.
1Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator
Designed to handle financial functions, calculus, trigonometry, and engineering, the Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator features a large 64×96 pixel LCD display screen. This basic graphing calculator can display tables and graphs on a split screen providing you with instant connections with the data and the graph shown. It also comes with an inbuilt memory with analysis of up to 10 matrices and is approved for use on various exams including SAT, ACT, PSAT/NMSQT, AP, and the International Baccalaureate. Made with durable materials, it is lightweight, convenient to use, and features 14 different zoom functions for you to use at any given time.
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What To Look For In A Scientific Calculator
Although most scientific calculators are built to meet specific expectations, some definitely stand out above the industry standard by virtue of their ease of use and functionality. In this respect, the well-established manufacturers have a steady foothold on the market through some really exceptional devices. Even though scientific calculators may seem obsolete in the age of smartphones and tablets, some of these devices are impressively high-tech and multifunctional. Having said that, let us find out what exactly makes a decent scientific calculator and what to look for when buying one.
Why Use A Scientific Calculator?
Whether you are taking an engineering class or you are deeply passionate about mathematics, you will undoubtedly need to invest in a scientific calculator sooner or later. A good place to start is to look for a calculator that solves equations step by step as it enables you to go through the steps before you take the actual exam. On a related note, try to find a calculator with a graphing function for added depth.
Types Of Calculators
- Four Function Calculators – These calculators are intended for elementary school students as they only incorporate a handful of functions and capabilities. Quite simplistic in their design and general purpose, these calculators are also quite affordable by most standards. That said, you shouldn’t expect them to be too complex, nor should you expect them to boast any higher form of problem-solving features.
- Scientific Calculators – As the name suggests, these are calculators that deal with Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Math Analysis, and Geometry Concepts. To be more precise, such a calculator incorporates sin, cos, tan, In, Iog, exp, 1/x, nPr, nCr, and many other useful features. Also worth mentioning is that these calculators are definitely a few steps removed from the 4-function calculators, which means that you can expect them to command a slightly bigger price tag.
- Graphing Calculators – These are the calculators that most 9th graders use, almost to the point that many people consider them mandatory. Capable of handling Algebra II, Trigonometry, AP Statistics, and everything related to Calculus, they are highly practical calculators that many students around the world use on a daily basis. They are also widespread and easy to come by, which means that you shouldn’t have too many issues finding a good one.
- Easy To Use – Most scientific calculators are very easy to use, even the more complex versions. They are also very easy to figure out, even without any instructions from the manufacturer, a highly intuitive design that recommends them for pretty much anyone. One thing to point out about scientific calculators is that they do not suffer from the complexity of too many functions, which is a problem that many graphing calculators have.
- Quick-Solving Capabilities – A decent scientific calculator will solve real problems and complex math questions without causing the user too much stress. The good ones usually boast logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, and fast access to constants pi and e along with exponential functions and complex numbers. These features are very useful when solving a wide range of engineering problems as part of the engineering coursework and pertinent exams.
- Detailed Knowledge – Another great thing about scientific calculators is that they contain a detailed amount of knowledge for you to learn from. True, this knowledge may come in the form of complex functions, but this doesn’t make it any less valuable as long as you have the capacity to draw the appropriate conclusions. It is common for these calculators to provide a theory for each of the results, which in turn, provides you with a great way to learn and improve.
The Smartphone Issue
Some people wrongfully assume that they can simply install a smartphone app to replace a scientific calculator. In truth, these apps don’t usually come close to the sheer complexity of a stand-alone scientific calculator, not by a long shot. These devices are highly complex and designed to be easy to use, whereas smartphone apps are usually all over the place and less functional than the real thing. In other words, even though smartphone apps do indeed possess the capabilities of traditional scientific calculators, they are nowhere near as user-friendly as the scientific calculators most people use.