August 23, 2012

TI-Nspire CX Handheld Graphing Calculator

Buying a new calculator for yourself or your student can be a particularly difficult thing to do.  As a math teacher, one of the most common questions I get at the beginning of every school year is, "What calculator do I need?"  This question doesn't always have an easy answer, because with so many choices out there it all depends on what you want.  There's everything from cheap basic calculators all the way to highly specialized multifunction calculators designed for specific fields.  However, for education purposes I always recommend that my students find a calculator from Texas Instruments.  TI calculators are second to none when it comes to being user friendly and supporting learning.

One of the newer calculators from Texas Instruments is the TI-Nspire CX Handheld.  Just like computers and cell phones today would be seen as pure science fiction compared to even just a decade or two ago, this calculator is far superior to what students have had in the past.

The first thing that strikes you is the color screen.  The display is clear and bright and really makes the calculator stand out.

After you get past the flashy view, the TI-Nspire CX is a powerful tool.  Like many other calculators it can handle tasks from basic math and algebra as well as advanced calculus and statistics, but the TI-Nspire CX does much more.  This calculator allows you to create documents and insert applications for graphical and data analysis or even scientific functions. These documents can be saved and edited later so none of your work is lost.

The calculator also comes with computer software that basically gives you a virtual version of the calculator on your desktop.  Documents and projects can be created and worked on using either the handheld unit or the computer software and since the calculator is USB capable, all your work can be transferred between the two.  To top it all off, the calculator includes a rechargeable battery so as long as it gets plugged in, there's no more worry about batteries dying in the middle of a test.

With everything that the TI-Nspire CX can do it might seem like it would be banned from important tests, but it's approved for use of major exams like the SAT or ACT and AP exams.

I have been thoroughly impressed with the TI-Nspire CX.  I had the chance to use it over the summer in some advanced statistics courses I'm taking and it was fully up to the challenge.  I plan on making good use of it in my classroom this year as well.  I definitely recommend it as a great calculator for students.

My thoughts - I don't know much about calculators, but it was so funny to watch my husband use this one.  He is currently doing an advanced statistical degree, and he used this calculator every day on his homework.  Sometimes we would be sitting there and he would just start laughing, or exclaim "That's Awesome!"  when he found a new feature.  It was fun to see him so excited.

To Buy - The Calculator is available in store and online at a variety of stores nationwide.  I checked out quite a few of them and it looks like the best deal on the calculator is on Amazon.  You can get the Texas Instruments Nspire CX on sale for just $129.99 (plus free super saver shipping).

The Calculator features

  • Large Screen size: 320 x 240 pixels (3.2" diagonal)
  • 16-bit color
  • 100MB of storage memory
  • Visualize in full color
  • Use digital images or your own photos
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Thin design
  • 3D graphing
  • USB port for computer connectivity
  • Approved for standardized test
  • Easy to use computer features

  • To Win one of these awesome calculators, check out the Texas Instrument Facebook Page.   Winners will receive

    Grand Prize: Mayim Bialik will come to the winning school to teach an integrated math and science lesson, plus your classroom will win the following:
    • TI-Nspire™ CX Handhelds
    • TI-Nspire™ CX Navigator™ System
    • Customized Teacher Training Program
    • Data Collection Tools
    First Place: 12 first prize winners will receive a
    TI-Nspire CX handheld
    Second Place: 25 second place winners will receive an autographed poster of Mayim Bialik

    I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post.

    1 comment:

    1. that looks like a cool calculator! my daughter has to have one by that company but not that exact model- wow calculators are getting so advanced!