The TI-84 Plus: A 10-year-old calculator that still monopolizes the education market

By Himanshu Arora ยท 14 replies
Sep 8, 2014
Post New Reply
  1. In this day and age, when smartphones have wiped out the need for devices like wristwatches, cameras, and more, the TI-84 graphing calculator, first released back in 2004, stands as an exception, as it continues to sell even today. In an article titled...

    Read more
  2. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 474   +84

    I have one and I like it.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    These will pile on our scorched bodies after a nuclear holocaust, still functioning :)
  4. I still occasionally use my TI-35 Plus which on the back says that it was manufactured in 1991. Sure, I can use any of my two iPads, my smartphone, my laptop or my big honking gaming PC, but if the calculator happens to be within reach, it's just easier to grab it and use it instead of fiddling with calculator apps.
  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    I have, right next to me on my desk at work, my TI-82 that I used in high school back in 1995. It drains batteries fast, but otherwise still works great.

    But I don't think that's why they're still around...
    1) Educational contracts are very lucrative and never go away. Look at the scam that is the text book market. They change the chapter order, called it the '9th edition' instead of the 8th, and make everyone pay another $150 for it. The 7th edition will be on Amazon for $5.

    Not true at all.. you can get a graphing calculator app for a smart phone. But the TI-84 can do something no smartphone can, and that's prevent cheating.

    The TI-84 is still used probably because it still works fine, but also because you CAN'T text, communicate or take notes with it.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. If you are smart you can take notes on it. I used to have a program I wrote that would solve calculations for me by entering the variables.

    In another case I have stored notes by storing them under a variable. Anything is doable on these provided you know what you are doing.
  7. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    "Not true at all.. you can get a graphing calculator app for a smart phone. But the TI-84 can do something no smartphone can, and that's prevent cheating."

    There is validity to the claim. In university math and statistics courses, things can get tricky when there isn't a standard format for how to perform operations, because how to work problems on a calculator is always handled in the textbooks on the TI-84 platform. The math may be the same, but how you input data into different calculators makes a lot of difference.

    Anti-cheating is a bonus, perhaps, but certainly not a significant feature. To paraphrase an instructor I had once, you can use whatever calculator you want, there are some decent free apps on the Internet. Don't expect me to know how to help you, tough. Everything in this class is built around the TI-84 Plus.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I bought a TI-85 back in 1996 or 1997. Can someone with an 84 tell me why the 84 is used over the 85? Hell, I saw TI-83s being sold (maybe 83+) not that long ago, but I don't see anyone selling the 85 anymore.

    I bought (on the recommendation of the university) an HP-48G when I started college, and that is hands down the best calculator I have ever used. RPN ftw!

    Edit: I looked up the 84. There was no regular 84, only an 84+ which was an upgrade to the 83. I probably would have learned that if I read the actual article, oops :). Rest of my post still holds, the 83 I still see around on occasion.

    Double Edit: The 84 is almost identical to the 85. The 84+ came out in 2004, the 85 came out in 1992. The only upgrade is a little more ram and slightly higher resolution screen. I hope the marketing team at TI got some good raises when they introduced the 84+.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  9. Still using a TI-83 from 97' still works great.
  10. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    I have a Ti-84 Plus Silver Edition That I have had for quite a long time I believe I was 14 when I got one back in 2004 (Pretty much when it was released I remember) and thought that it was great and still do.

    Its functionality is why it remains king even over more recent models and such because it the just has a simplistic feel for students to use and as others have stated its hard to have distractions on it. Sure you can install games and such but its not something that is easy since you have to install it to a computer to do so and then use the program to import the apps which already makes it easy to avoid when schools loan them out. On top of that its very durable and easy to just wipe randomly without having to worry about anything being wrong with doing so (To avoid cheating with home written programs).

    Still grab mine every once in awhile just for simplicity and nostalgic sake. Great device and still is!
  11. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    I still have my TI-83+. That thing looks like it has been through a warzone... though, considering survived 13 years of usage and tons of physical abuse it is sort of expected. Haven't touched it in a number of years but I'm sure it still works.
    SNGX1275 likes this.
  12. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,071   +428

    I would be using a TI Nspire CX CAS if I was allowed to in a classroom. I don't get why educators take decades to adapt to technology when the rest of the world takes about 3-5 years to fully integrate new technology into businesses.
  13. demonlord721

    demonlord721 TS Member Posts: 23

    They are the best calculator right now for one and only one reason. They are the most powerful calculator in the sub $100 range that isn't banned by educators and testing agencies. If they weren't banned because they are too powerful the TI-89 titanium and the CX-CAS would be the ones used by the majority of students. The CAS engine allows for irrational expressions as an output and can do advanced calculus. No more decimal approximations.
  14. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    My TI-83 plus had all sorts of things on it that would of had me failed for cheating had I ever been caught, I wrote my own programs to solve algebraic equations, trigonometry, and all sorts of notes. I even got a hold of the answers for a whole exam and had it stored on my Ti-83 one time. That thing probably help me cheat more than anything else in high school, also it had games for passing time when not paying attention. I would have thought they had replaced it by now, mine is easily over 10 years old now, considering I had inherited it when I took possession of it.
  15. I bought a CASIO classpad 400 and Its Way better in dimly lit classrooms then the TI stuff.
    And its only 150 bucks .

    Side perk , my Trig proff was the writer for the GUI for the first gen classpads many years ago .

    TI needs to get back in the game and innovate.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...