Graphing calculators has been e necessity for a long time and it probably going to stay that way in the future because the tool is indeed beneficial in classes for students. Texas Instruments as one of the most popular brand have several new collections to offer such as TI 84 Plus vs TI Nspire CX which is similar to each other yet also different because one of them is more advanced in some sides than the other. Go check our article below to find your choice.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Do you need Graphing Calculator
  • What are TI 84 Plus and TI Nspire CX
  • What TI 84 Plus and TI Nspire CX Look Like
  • What TI 84 Plus and TI Nspire CX can offer to you
  • TI 84 Plus vs TI Nspire CX

Graphing Calculator
Graphing calculator first appeared in the 1985 made by Casio and even though there has been debate at that time whether the tool is a necessity in our children learning process, many researchers found that they are actually helpful for students who have mastered the basic math, so they can spend less time solving the problem and focus more on the harder part of their lesson. In present day, the tool is also allowed in many standardized tests but the model may be limited depend on the policy.

Teachers knew that there are two types of understanding; the first being the instrumental understanding and the second being the relational understanding. The first comes from mastering a procedure or memorizing a fact without really understanding the mathematics behind it such as when you know how to calculate it but have no idea on why we should find the result. The second is the opposite and more into connection, conceptual, and understanding. Just like what you may already expect, people with this understanding can calculate and understand why they should do it.

The last  type of understanding is what graphing calculators has been advocated to use for because the tool have a huge potential of helping students developing their rational understanding and to put it simply, the calculator will take care of the first understanding while students can focus more on the second.

The benefit showed clearly in 1995 because at that time Advanced Placement calculus program started requiring the tool in their courses and due to this shift, students is also asked to use rules to find derivatives and integrals of functions.

After the initial year, there was a marked that shift the focus on understanding the instrument towards what we know as rational understanding. As the exams change, teachers teaching will also need to change to support what students are going to deal with in the exam and in AP program especially, it required teachers to use graphing calculator in their courses which making not only students need to learn how to use the tool but also the teacher and help them to learn through the tool.

As you may already know, graphing calculators are never cheap and decades old popular tool may still price so high for some reasons even though there has been many new models in the market that unfortunately still also expensive especially the Texas Instruments and many people thought that their calculators are still expensive even after released for so long because of the unwritten standard of mathematics in the US which making the units is more preferable compared to the other.

In present day where technology ruled over so many aspects of human life, in school, graphing calculator still irreplaceable. People may find a mobile app that works just like a graphing calculator but it won’t be allowed in any standardized tests because of the chance of cheating while in school rooms they will provide more entertainment for students that have a high chance of hindering the learning process. With those, we don’t think that graphing calculator will be replaced soon from school with anything more modern.

About TI 84 Plus and TI Nspire CX
When talking about graphing calculator, the one name that always appear in our mind is definitely Texas Instrument because this brand is the most popular in the US and if you try looking for the best unit today, chances are most of them will be filled with different models from the brand. Another thing that made the brand loved by many users is seems to be the huge amount of community which makes things easier to help fully understand the calculator or when troubleshooting some issues.

The company is the world’s largest maker of analog technology components after the acquisition of National Semiconductor is 2011 as well the leading brand for calculator especially those with graphing capability after the success of their TI-81 which is released decades ago. The company also offer regular calculator or for other purpose but the most popular will be the graphing one. Since their first unit, the company continue to upgrade their products to be better and of course more modern to broaden their capabilities.

They have a huge list when combining all the graphing calculators that has been released by the brand but if you need the one that offer all the features added with some modern touch, you may interest in TI 84 Plus and TI Nspire CX. Both of them are considerable new releases which is why their capabilities should be able to surpass their predecessor but in term of age, the 84 Plus is older because they are released back then in 2004 while the Nspire CS debut in 2011 with the brother CS CAS.

Looking at TI 84 Plus name, it seems that the unit have an original model before but in fact there is no original TI 84 model because the line only have two calculators which is the Plus and Silver Edition. However, from these two models there are Plus C Silver Edition, Plus CE, and Plus CE-T that are rather similar to each other and are differentiated by some of capabilities such as the Plus C Silver Edition have a color screen as opposed to many other graphing calculators.

As for the Nspire model, the line have several calculators as well in the catalogue such as Nspire CM-C, Nspire CX-C and the CAS version of both of them.

Compared to those released before, this line is full of more modern units and will works more conveniently for student as well but of course, the more capabilities Texas Instruments put in the unit, the price for these graphing calculators can’t be said affordable, moreover, the Nspire CX model which is one of the latest addition to the line.

TI 84 Plus and TI Nspire CX Design
From the outside design alone, we can instantly recognize that the Nspire CX is a more modern unit of a graphing calculator compare to the other and this is can be easily distinguish by the display and layout because these two are not coming with the same layout like many other Texas Instrument graphing calculators. For the Nspire model, the screen is in color while the older unit is black and white. Actually, the 84 model also have the colored version called with 84 CE that have the same everything except for the screen.

Comparing the build, the Nspire series is also the first Texas Instrument graphing calculator which is coming in a slim design and modern interface along with the first colored screen. The old design with “wings” are now gone and the button of CX is snappier or more responsive than the older Nspire models.

TI 84 Plus and TI Nspire CX Capabilities
One of the most common reason why student will be interested in either TI 84 Plus or TI Nspire CX is the CAS or Computer Algebraic System because those who are not allowed to use the calculator with the specific features will want these two since they are not equipped with the said capabilities. They are also safe for high school student and those who need to take standardized test for these two will be allowed during the test such as ACT.

For those who are not familiar with CAS or computer algebraic system, this capability means that the calculator is able to produce symbolic results and they can manipulate algebraic expressions, performing operations like factor, expand, and simplify.

Additionally, they are going to give the exact answers in the exact form without numerical approximations. Nspire model actually have the one with CAS called the Nspire CAS for those who need to check the unit or TI 89 as opposed to the 84 model. Read also: TI 84 Plus vs TI 89 here.

Several years ago around 2010, Texas Instrument released a new operating system for the calculator and finally giving it the “mathprint” which means now the graphing calculators can produce fractions like fractions, exponents look like exponents as well and many more similar examples. Additionally, there are also a lot of new templates that make the advanced algebra and calculus a lot easier such as the non-base 10 logs, integral, summations and many more. The new upgrade even add another capability to allows users scroll up to previous calculations and edit them along with enabling a series of pop-up windows accessible via the F1-F4.

At the other hand, Nspire CX also getting an upgrade after being released and one of them is the capability to interact with the new Robotic TI Innovator Rover while a few years back, the company have an app for iPad users which can help them doing some works on their smart devices. However, the app is not to replace the need for physical unit itself since we can’t use them on any standardized tests.

Comparing both of them from the operating system alone, many people or teachers have an opinion that the Nspire model’s operating system is standing out or superior to other graphing calculators from the company like with the 84 or 89 models because of the upgrade in the type of interface used to let students who are growing up in modern era where internet is something we used every moment can get easily familiar with because the models have drop down menu.

Additionally, the new system offer the ability to open multiple tabs just like what we can do in our browsers, have drag and drop interface or file and folder system like when using computer.

As opposed to the old models where we need to press a lot of buttons, new calculators commonly don’t require such operation anymore because they can detects max and min values along with intercepts while using trace, adding much more convenience for the users. Symbols will also appear like those in text book or how students usually writes them so there will be pretty much no code to memorize.

Beside on the software, another great upgrade on Nspire CX is the battery because we know that in the past, the battery is wired to your calculator so when users facing a battery issue, it will be hard to change them since it is not made to be user friendly while the new upgrade change the design and now they are connected by a compression contacts like our cell phone battery making it easier to remove or change them when needed. However, it won’t be a common issue because the battery is rechargeable.

This side is also separating the TI 84 Plus and TI Nspire CX the most because the 84 Plus model is powered with 4 AAA batteries and a backup button cell battery. The last thing we want to mention about these two is on the memory because depend on the model you get, there will be 128KB RAM in 84 Plus while Nspire CX will have 100 MB user memory.

Comparison
Now, let’s compare TI 84 Plus with TI Nspire CX. As you may already know, both of them are non CAS graphing calculators and what we think as the main difference is on how to operate them due to different hardware and software, making Nspire a friendlier unit to use such as the colored screen, the drop down menu and the rechargeable battery along with many other additional benefits.

TI 84 Plus Vs TI Nspire CX

NameTI 84 PlusTI Nspire CX
BrandTexas InstrumentsTexas Instruments
Features- Preloaded with software, including Cabri Jr. interactive geometry software - Up to ten graphing functions defined, saved, graphed and analyzed at one time- Color Screen - Rechargeable battery included.Lasts up to two weeks on a single charge - Thin Design and lightweight with easy touchpad navigation
Price

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Rating4.4 out of 5.0 stars4.3 out of 5.0 stars
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Conclusion
All in all, both of them are a good option to pick if you are looking for a dependable graphing calculator to go. However, we do like TI Nspire CX better due to the more advanced features and friendly display as well as better operating system for students who want a more modern unit.

 

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