Handheld Calculator Recommendations

Do you need a new scientific or graphing calculator that has enough functions to allow you to solve all the problem types you'll need? Maybe you are looking for the perfect calculator for a student, or perhaps you need a handheld calculator for your job.

We have reviewed five of the top handheld calculators for you. When you read our reviews, you will be able to select the best handheld calculator to meet your needs and help you be successful.

Top 5: Handheld Calculators Review

Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Scientific Calculator

The Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro is a scientific and engineering calculator. It is powerful and would be a great item to have on hand for when you are not allowed to use a graphing calculator or don't require all the extra functions and capabilities of one.

This item features a multi-view display. This display allows you to view more than one calculation at a time so you don't have to reset it for every use. This can help you track your work more closely and avoid errors.

The MathPrint feature allows this product to display symbols, fractions, and expressions in the same format they are generally shown in math textbooks. With this product, you are able to convert decimals, fractions, and Pi into alternative expressions.

You can also select degrees and radians, and various number format models. This one would be a great tool for students taking courses such as Algebra One, Algebra Two, Statistics, Biology, or Calculus.

Pros

  • Multi-view display allows you to keep track of and view multiple calculations at once.

Cons

  • Since this is a scientific calculator, it does not have as many functions as a graphing calculator.
Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator

The Casio fx-115ES PLUS is a scientific or engineering calculator. It is designed to be used by students in courses such as Algebra, Trigonometry, Statistics, Physics, and Engineering. This product is also cleared for use on the PSAT, SAT, ACT, NCEES, and AP exams.

This calculator features a large display area where you can keep track of your calculations. It can display multiple calculations at once. It also features natural textbook display, which displays expressions and symbols exactly as they will appear in a student's textbook.

With this product, you will be able to complete over 280 different functions and calculations. Some of the different functions include linear regression, statistics, fractions, and polar-rectangular conversions. There is also a table function you'll be able to use with this product.

Pros

  • Has been approved for use on most standardized tests.
  • You can view multiple calculations at one time.
  • You can complete over 280 different functions and calculations.

Cons

  • This is not a graphing calculator, so you won't be able to graph equations.
Texas Instruments Ti-84 plus Graphing calculator - Black

The TI-84 Plus is one of the most popular graphing calculators and it is made by the well-known brand Texas Instruments. It is a powerful machine and is capable of performing numerous complex calculations. With this product, you'll be able to solve calculations with both real and complex numbers with up to 14-digit accuracy. This item can graph ten rectangular functions, six polar expressions, six parametric expressions and three recursively-defined sequences.

There are 14 different zoom features that will allow you to interact with the equations you graphed to study them in different ways. There are also seven different graphing styles to allow you to view things from a different format. If needed, there are options to view items with either a vertical or horizontal split screen.

The matrix operations available with this item include inverse, transpose, augment, determinant, and other functions. There are three statistical plot definitions to allow you to create scatter plots, xy-line plots, histograms, box-and-whisker plots, as well as other types of plots. In all, this product can complete over 200 different functions, which will make it the perfect tool for school or mathematics careers.

Pros

  • Able to graph multiple types of functions, expressions, and sequences.
  • 14 available zoom features to allow you to analyze your graphs in different ways.
  • Can perform more than 200 functions in all.

Cons

  • If you are not familiar with how to use a graphing calculator, this product might be a bit overwhelming at first.
HP Prime Graphing Calculator

The HP Prime is a graphing calculator that has a color touch screen display. It has been approved for many standardized and AP tests including the PSAT, SAT, AP Math and Science Tests, and the IB Diploma Programme. To keep this item from being damaged when it is not in use, it has a slide on cover. The display area is also rather large, measuring at three-and-a-half inches diagonally.

This product includes spreadsheet, advanced graphing, and dynamic geometry applications. There are buttons that will allow you to easily switch between different views. You can use your finger to manipulate different functions or sketch; a feature most other similar products do not offer.

When you purchase this product, you'll also be able to download the HP Prime Mobile App. The app offers all the same features and functions as the actual product, so you'll always be prepared with what you need to tackle any problems and calculations. The app is available for Windows, Android, and IOS. This product can be connected to other devices through wireless as well, which will allow it to be used as a polling device in a classroom or as a means for students to send their data to a teacher.

Pros

  • Features a colorful touch screen.
  • Can complete multiple functions and tables.
  • Access to the HP Prime Mobile App upon purchase, which allows you to complete all the same calculations as the actual calculator will.

Cons

  • This is one of the more expensive items we reviewed.
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX Graphing Calculator

The TI Nspire CX is an advanced calculator with a full-color screen. This product is designed to meet the necessary requirements for math and science classes at the high school or college level.

This product offers many advanced features that will make it an asset for various classes and careers. You are able to import different photos and overlay graphs and equations on them. This will help students connect math and science concepts to the real world.

This product displays equations, symbols, and functions in the same format and style that students will see them in their textbooks. It features drop down menus, similar to a computer, where students can view and save their work.

When you purchase this product, you will also receive the TI-Nspire CX Student Software. The software will allow you to use a desktop or a laptop to complete many of the same functions available on the Nspire.

You will be able to use this product for various standardized tests including the SAT, PSAT, NMSQT, ACT, IB, and AP. A rechargeable battery is included with this product. You can easily charge it when needed by plugging it into the power adapter.

Pros

  • You can import photos to overlay graphs and equations.
  • Displays symbols and functions in the same way they are shown in textbooks.
  • The TI Nspire CX Student Software, included with your purchase, will allow you to use your computer to solve problems that you would otherwise need the calculator for.

Cons

  • This item does not have a touch screen.

Buying Guide

If you are looking for a new handheld calculator, either for work or a student in school, there are a few things you'll want to think about and consider before you make your purchase. First, think about the types of calculations that you or your student will need to solve. You want to make sure to pick one that has enough functions to meet your needs.

If you are purchase a calculator for a student, you might also want to consider the functions they'll need in a few years. You may want to purchase a more advanced option than what is required right now so that it will be able to be useful as they progress through their schooling. However, you don't want to overwhelm a younger student with a product that is way too advanced and may make more basic calculations harder to solve.

If you are considering purchasing a graphing calculator, you'll need to think about whether you want one with a color or touch screen. Also, since some of the options come with software for the computer or an app for your phone, you'll want to think about whether this is a feature you'd want to use or not.

best handheld calculator

All five of the options that we reviewed are excellent products and would be a great asset to a student or a person working in a math or science field. But one product stood out to us a bit more than the others. The Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX Graphing Calculator is our top pick.

We love this product because of all the different features and functions it has to offer. It features a color screen to help math come to life. With this item you can also import photos to overlay graphs or equations, connecting math to the real world.

Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX Graphing Calculator

This product uses drop down menus to allow students to save and view their different graphs and tables. To keep things consistent for students, this product displays symbols, equations, and functions in the same format they are shown in a textbook.

Purchasing the TI Nspire will also include the TI Nspire CX Student Software. Students can use this software on a computer to perform the same types of calculations the graphing calculator would normally be required for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Company Has the Best Calculators?

There are many companies that make great handheld scientific calculators. Some of the companies that are more well-known for their calculators are Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard, and Casio.

What Is the Best Texas Instructions (TI) Calculator?

Many of the Texas Instruments calculators perform very well. To decide which is best for you, you'll need to compare the features and calculations that various models are capable of performing with what you'll need to use your calculator for.

What Calculators Can You Use for the ACT?

There are specific rules about the types of calculators that you can use for the ACT. You are not allowed to use any calculators that have a built-in computer algebra system. You also may not use any PDAs, mobile devices, or laptops as your calculator.

Are Scientific Calculators Allowed on the SAT?

Yes, you can use a scientific calculator, but a graphing calculator is recommended when taking the SAT.

Final Verdict

There is a lot to love about the TI Nspire. However, if you feel one of the other calculators we reviewed is a better choice for you, then it is important for you to figure out what will work for your unique situation. Whichever one you've decided on, be sure to order it soon so you or your child can start solving complex problems with it!

REFERENCE & RESOURCES


The Official Top 5 Review team is dedicated to testing and researching the top products available for many different industries. We do the research and testing so that you don't have to! We welcome you to provide your feedback on your experiences with any products that you have experience with.

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