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Calculator Review Thread watch

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    Due to the number of threads on the topic of calculators, it was mentioned that a review thread should be set up in order to organise opinions and collective ideas.

    Reviewed Calculators

    Casio fx-85ES - SimonM, kizdxb
    Casio fx-991ES - spex
    Casio fx-83ES - The Muon
    Casio CFX-9850GC - tommm

    TI-84+ - nota bene

    Reponding to this Thread
    Please respond in a similar format as below to ease reading.

    Example

    Make Casio fx-85ES

    URL Casio fx-85ES Webpage

    Cost ~ £5-10

    Features
    Scientific including solar panel - (Expand on this part)
    Two line natural display - Surds and fractions look right
    Statistic mode which can do regression lines etc

    Good points
    Solar panel is especially good

    Bad points

    General Comments
    Suitable for GCSEs and A levels has served me well


    Thanks you all those who've contributed, feel free to rep anything which has been useful
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    My CASIO fx 991 ES is the best non graphical calculator on the market.

    It can do definite integrate, find the gradient of a funciton at a certain point, summate (is that a word ?) finite series, do matrices, vectors, complex numbers, solve 3 variable simultaneous equations, and quadratics and cubics. As well as a whole heap of stats that i don't even understand.

    To top it off it has a solar cell (being green and all that) and displays things in natural form- ie surds and fractions making it dead easy to recognise a trig value. Bob truly is your uncle with this calculator. I can't think of any downsides to it really. It's saved my ass from making many a stupid mistake by checking my integrals, and the function which gives you a table of values for any given function is invaluable for cheating at graph drawing.

    Actually, one minor point is that it gets really slow when you're entering large fractions with lots of trig and exponents, but for 16.99 (what it cost me) that's easy to overlook.


    In fact, me and another friend with the same calculator always poke fun at the guy with the fx 85. How sad; calculator elitism
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    PS Helper
    I know i'm pathetic when I'm like "yes finally, a calculator review thread". shoot me pls

    thanks for making it though lol
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    There needs to be a Calculator Group.
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    On facebook you mean?
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    Can you use the fx-991es at uni for civil engineering?

    The calculator is great btw, very pleased with it. Though i did waste like 4 minutes in the exam trying to make sure my intergation was right. Oh well.
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    Here's the wiki page I created about the 991ES. http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...1ES_Calculator
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    I'll review the two I use:

    1) Casio fx-83ES

    Good features:
    - Very cheap, the best value for money calculator I know of.
    - Excellent natural display, displays surds, fractions, stuff in terms of pi
    - Very simple to use, e.g. one button changes from proper fraction to decimal and to improper fraction.
    - Can enter logs to any base, a feature some calculators don't have
    - Some stat and table features that I don't know how to use.

    Bad features:
    - Not as much fancy stuff as its bigger, more expensive brother the fx-991ES.

    Conclusion: swear by it for all your basic calculations. This calculator represents > 90% of my calculator usage.

    2) Casio CFX-9850GC
    Cost - expensive! Mine was about £60, but it appears I've been ripped off because it's £48 on Amazon. Definitely worth it for serious mathematicians, though, and very, very useful in A-level exams.

    Features:
    Lots of different modes (I've omitted stuff like "table", which is for inputting stat tables for use in stat mode):
    - Run, your normal calculations mode. The display isn't very good, and isn't natural (all typed along one line, and you have to bracket everything), and also it doesn't display answers in terms of surds or fractions, only decimals which is why you shouldn't use the calculator for your normal calculations. It does definite integrals/derivatives though, which is great if you need to check your answer in an exam. Also, it does complex numbers, finds arguments and moduli, etc.
    - Stat, no idea how to use it. Does all sorts of stuff though, quite a few distributions (e.g. normal), regression, some stats tests. I've not done beyond S1, so I don't understand half the stuff it does.
    - Matrices. Not learnt how to use it yet, but apparently it does all your basic matrix stuff e.g. inversions, determinants, which will help me in FP3.
    - Graph. Well, this is what you get the calculator for. Does cartesian [y = f(x) only, no y^2s or anything, unfortunately], polar [r = f(theta)] and parametric [y = f(t), x = f(t)]. You can colour your graphs, plot several at once, zoom (it's quite slow at this, but it works), show derivatives and coordinates at every point, and illustrate definite integrals and give their values, and all sorts of other stuff.
    - Dynamic graph, no idea what this does.
    - Recursion, ditto.
    - Conics, plots graphs of conic sections, s'alright.
    - Equation, solves arbitrary equations numerically and also solves quadratics and cubics exactly (well, gives it as a decimal, but it gives all two/three roots, including complex ones), which is quite useful, especially if you're trying to factor a cubic and you can't spot a factor straight away.
    - Program, apparently you can write programs on it, no idea how though.
    - Financial, does all sorts of stuff, interest and conversions being the more mundane inclusions.

    Conclusion - a must-buy for any A-level maths student who has the money (unless there's a better calculator out there which I don't know of).
    • Thread Starter
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    Thanks spex and tommm for contributing, but could you please both edit your posts slightly into a similar form to the first one. It just keeps things neater for everyone.

    By quoting me and then coping the example it should be easy enough to fill in
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    (Original post by spex)
    My CASIO fx 991 ES is the best non graphical calculator on the market.

    It can do definite integrate, find the gradient of a funciton at a certain point, summate (is that a word ?) finite series, do matrices, vectors, complex numbers, solve 3 variable simultaneous equations, and quadratics and cubics. As well as a whole heap of stats that i don't even understand.

    To top it off it has a solar cell (being green and all that) and displays things in natural form- ie surds and fractions making it dead easy to recognise a trig value. Bob truly is your uncle with this calculator. I can't think of any downsides to it really. It's saved my ass from making many a stupid mistake by checking my integrals, and the function which gives you a table of values for any given function is invaluable for cheating at graph drawing.

    Actually, one minor point is that it gets really slow when you're entering large fractions with lots of trig and exponents, but for 16.99 (what it cost me) that's easy to overlook.


    In fact, me and another friend with the same calculator always poke fun at the guy with the fx 85. How sad; calculator elitism

    Totally agree to say my calculator does all that it is relatively cheap. It can do everything except obviously graphs.
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    Make Casio fx-83ES - 2nd review

    URL http://"http://www.casio.co.uk/produ...H/At_a_Glance/

    Cost ~ £5-10 - Although I got mine for £3.00 at Sainsbury's last summer

    Features
    The natural texbook display.
    Just your average GCSE scientific calculator really.

    Good points
    The natural textbook display is amazing. when you right a fraction, it actually looks like a fraction. It helps you get the right answer by just being so clear and straight forward to use.
    It also simplifies all answers and displays them as fractions, surds or occasionally in terms of pi.

    Bad points
    In Stats mode, you cannot use any of the things described in the good points above, they only work in computation mode but its not too much of a hindrance as the only thing you use the Stats mode for is the occasional question.

    General Comments
    Brilliant and cheap and just what you need for GCSE and A level[/QUOTE]
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    TI-84+ (Guess this is valid for TI-83/TI-83+ and the Silver Editions of all of these three)

    Cost appr. £100

    GDC, has everything you need and a lot more - not natural display though... It is allowed in A-levels/IB etc. as it doesn't do symbolic calculus (e.g. TI-89). It is relatively easy to navigate, and most useful functions are easy to find. Only runs on batteries (cells!).
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    the Casio fx-85ES was renamed the park and shop calculator at college.
    a few people got one in AS, people started relising it could do surds,logs etc, and it turned into a must want item.
    when the 'park and shop' stopped selling them, it was inconvieniant to go looking for one lsewhere (as the shop was opposite college) , so there was a crazy stealing streak of these calculator, all going round in circulation, after your 8th one you realise that you have your 1st one etc...
    v good calculator. cheap, bort once for 4 quid - stolen 4 times.
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    Does anyone know if there is a mod function on the Casio fx-83ES calculator? i cant find it anywhere.
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    (Original post by beau01)
    Does anyone know if there is a mod function on the Casio fx-83ES calculator? i cant find it anywhere.
     \boxed{ \mbox{Abs} } Top left.
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    Really? How do you use it. I tried 36 'abs' 26 and it gave me 832! The correct answer is 6.
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    (Original post by beau01)
    Really? How do you use it. I tried 36 'abs' 26 and it gave me 832! The correct answer is 6.
    Oh. You don't mean "mod function" then. Abs gives the absolute value (or modulus).

    Do you mean you want it to find 36 (mod 26)? (which isn't even 6 anyway??)
    If so, the calculator can't do this directly. It's easy enough to do though. Divide 36 by 26, and multiply the decimal part by 26.
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    Yeh sorry that was a typo I mean 32 mod 26 which is six. Your way wouldn't work it would just give you the number before the mod each time. the handiest way is to just take 26 from the first number until you get a number below the number after mod.
 
 
 
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