So, you are looking for a scientific calculator and you are not sure which one to get. Perhaps you are a parent, and your kid just told you this year they need to start using one for their classes, or you are that kid yourself and have no idea what they’re used for and can’t really tell the difference. Some high school students about to start college might also find themselves puzzled when trying to choose a scientific calculator that can handle the workload they’ll be taking but isn’t overkill at the same time. Regardless of who you are, here we explore the options to help you choose the best scientific calculator for you.
Best for students: Casio FX-300MS
Casio has been a household name in the field of scientific calculators for a few generations now, and the FX-300MS is an iconic model that has certainly withstood the test of time. For students in high school and even for some introductory courses in college, this model should be more than enough since it can handle algebra, calculus, and more than 200 mathematical functions. It has a solar battery so you’ll always have power when you most need it, and the display shows up to two lines of numeric text. You can comfortably log in your calculations and check your results using the large keys and arrow pad if necessary.
Best for college students: TI-84 CE Plus
Texas Instruments has also been a staple for more than half a century in terms of education technology, and particularly specialized electronics with professional applications. The TI-84 CE Plus is the latest iteration of the signature TI-84 calculator most people know. It isn’t just a scientific calculator but a graphing calculator as well, and this version has a color display and a rechargeable battery that can solve anything you throw at it beyond regular math calculations and into physics, biology, chemistry, statistics, and more. Bonus: it’s also approved for SAT use!
Best for general use: TI-36X Pro
If you’re looking for something in between an entry-level calculator and something more capable in terms of raw computing power, the TI-36X Pro might be the winner in your book. This Texas Instruments calculator can handle college science and engineering problems as well as regular high school-level assignments. Its four-line display is a plus when it comes to comparing different results or performing simultaneous calculations. The best of all, however, is that it sticks to the price range of affordable calculators while packing enough power to stand alongside sister devices in upper price brackets.
Bonus: TI-Nspire CX II CAS | best for professionals
For those modern professionals that just want the latest in science tech, the TI-Nspire CX II CAS might be worth taking a look at. While comparably expensive to the rest of the list, this model justifies the price tag by including advanced features such as rechargeable batteries, touch pad controls, 3D graphing capabilities, integrated note-taking applications, and compatibility with cross-platform software for desktop use and easier data analysis.