Best Calculator

Article Contents

Best Financial Calculator:

Financial calculators are a required tool for most business, economic, and accounting majors and can be an expensive investment. The best financial calculator is easy to use, has a variety of different functions that will help you with your calculations, such as amortization, loan payments, interest rate, cash flow, and more. Finding the best financial calculator can be a difficult task since there is many different models available with price ranges from $30-$100+. We judged our picks for the best financial calculator for students based on the following categories: price, useful functions needed for class, ease of use, and exam acceptance.

HP 12c Financial Calculator

The HP 12c is one of the easiest to use advanced financial calculator available on the market. The large layout of the buttons makes it ideal because it requires less searching for function buttons, thus making you more productive. According to the CFA institute, the 12c is one of only two calculators that is allowed during the CFA exam. The large 10-digit display is easy to read and provides large LCD numbers, which can be either a positive feature or negative. Some of the competition features a two-line display, which makes doing calculations somewhat easier, but the layout of those machines are often a hindrance. The HP 12c has over 120 business and finance functions such as, amortization, cash flow, bonds, loan payments, and more. The downsides? The 12c has a higher price than a lot of the competition. Read Full Review

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    HP 12c Financial Calculator

    HP 17bII+ Financial Calculator

    The HP 17BII+ is an easy to use two-line display financial calculator that does over 250 finance and statistics functions, including two variable forecasting. The built in 28K memory allows you to store functions and data. Using the device is easy, but does take some time reviewing the manual because you must learn how to input various functions. The downsides? The two variable statistics and forecasting are great for basic statistics, but for students who take advanced classes they will need to use a computer program and not a calculator. Overall, the HP 17BII+ is a great financial calculator for students, and has plenty of built in extras for various other math related classes. Read Full Review

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      HP 17bII+ Financial Calculator

      Texas Instruments BA II Plus Professional Calculator

      The TI BA II Plus Professional is one of the best financial calculators for students on a budget. The calculator has many financial functions that solve basic to advanced financial problems such as amortization, cash flow, and much more. One great feature is that the calculator is loaded with trigonometric functions and logarithm functions, including the natural logs, which are great for students who incorporate calculus in their classes. Economic students benefit greatly from this function because they not only have to perform financial applications, but also must incorporate calculus in related problems. Overall, the BA II Plus is a great budget financial calculator that does many functions that students require for a diverse set of classes. Read Full Review

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        Texas Instruments BA II Plus Professional Calculator

        Texas Instruments BAII Plus Scientific/Business Calculator

        The TI BA II PLUS is the less expensive version of the TI BA II PLUS professional, but still has all the functions needed for finance students. The calculator features finance functions such as amortization, bonds, cash flows (up to 24 uneven), depreciation, and more. Overall, this CFA exam certified calculator does all the basics that statistic and finance students need at the high school and college level at a budget price. Read Full Review

        Texas Instruments BAII Plus Scientific/Business Calculator

        HP 10BII Financial Calculator

        The moderately priced HP 10bII financial calculator is easy to use, has over 100 business and math applications, and is allowed for use on the CFP certification exam. One great feature is the statistical analysis of mean, linear regression, weighted mean, and linear regression. Typically, these functions can be found on the higher priced TI-83 calculators, but is a rare feature on a low priced financial calculator. This calculator can also handle the basic financial functions such as loan payments, amortization, interest rate, and more. Overall, the HP 10bII financial calculator provides all the essentials for students, and comes at a budget price. Read Full Review

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          HP 10BII Financial Calculator

          Best Scientific Calculator:

          Scientific calculators are useful for basic tasks for which a graphing calculator is not needed. Examples include basic physics, finance, or any calculations using dimensional analysis. For instance, they are helpful for converting Celsius to Fahrenheit and meters to angstroms. We will look at the scientific calculators on the market today and judge them based on their number of features, their looks, and their value. We also consider solar models.

          Sharp EL-W516B Scientific Calculator

          First we'll warn you that if you don't like a lot of features, this model is not for you. With the EL-W516B, Sharp has reinvented the concept of the scientific calculator. It displays four lines of text and shows entered expressions in condensed textbook form. It sports over 530 scientific programs and four programmable macro keys. You can even solve algebraic equations. The EL-W516B is battery-powered. At lower than $20 why bother with anything else? Read Full Review

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            Sharp EL-W516B Scientific Calculator

            Casio FX-115MS Scientific Calculator

            With a natural textbook display and over 279 functions, the FX-115MS is hard to beat. It can solve linear equations (not symbolically) and also uses solar when possible but has battery power when solar is not available. It has great aesthetics too. It does not support RPN, but it is otherwise a fully-featured engineering calculator at a low price with great reviews to boot. Definitely don't forget to check this one out. Read Full Review

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              Casio FX-115MS Scientific Calculator

              HP 35s Scientific Calculator

              The HP's main claim to fame is reverse Polish notation support. Some people may find that perplexing, but it allows you to enter long expressions without using parentheses. Expressions are entered from the center outwards. The battery-powered HP features over 100 functions and 800 storage registers. It supports fractions and has a two-line, 14-character display. Forty-two built-in physical constants are included. It supports standard algebraic entry as well. It is quite pricey but at the time of writing there is a promotion where you can at least get a free HP 10S calculator in a bundle with this one. This should get you through any class at high school or college not requiring graphing. Read Full Review

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                HP 35s Scientific Calculator

                Texas Instruments TI-34 II Explorer Plus Scientific Calculator

                The TI-34II is a basic, well-priced scientific calculator that should cater to most needs. It has a large body of high reviews and it has a two-line, 10+2 (10 mantissa, 2 exponent) display with up to 88-character support after scrolling! This is a solar model, so you'll need light to use it. It has a clean interface and color-coded, functionally organized keys. Reportedly, it's also very durable. Its aesthetics and durability may suit younger students. Read Full Review

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                  Texas Instruments TI-34 II Explorer Plus Scientific Calculator

                  Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS Scientific Calculator

                  The TI-30X IIS is a hybrid-powered (IIB is battery-only equivalent), quite simple calculator. Like the TI-34, it has 88-character support and a 10+2 normal display. Its appearance is more conventional and it has basically the same features at the TI-34. Like the TI-34, this is a bog standard scientific calculator with no textbook display support. It supports up to 23 levels of parentheses and has many built-in functions. Read Full Review

                  Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS Scientific Calculator

                  Best Graphing Calculator:

                  Graphing calculators are a necessity at quite a young age these days.  Even my seventh grade math teacher wanted me to get a TI-83!  From AP Calculus tests to solving engineering problems, easy to use calculators can make your life as a student a lot easier.  Some support reverse polish notation (postfix notation/stack), but all here support standard parenthetical (infix) notation as well since most students don't have a use for RPN.  All these models are approved for the AP Calculus test/SAT and provide features recommended by the College Board.  They all perform functions that can get you through basic calculus courses in college, although some do more than others.  Note that these are the best calculators for students specifically, not overall.  That means it needs to be popular and easy to figure out.  We even take into account the range of games you can put on the calculator, but that's obviously not our primary criteria.

                  Texas Instruments TI-89 Titanium Graphing Calculator

                  TI's Motorola 68000-based TI-89 provides a built-in computer algebra system akin to computer software such as Mathematica and Maple. It can simplify mathematical expressions and perform partial fraction decomposition, useful for some intermediate calculus classes. Basic algebra, systems of equations, limits, derivatives, and integrals are also possible and can be performed symbolically. It can plot most anything including 2D, parametric, polar, and differential equations. Unfortunately it is too powerful to be allowed on the ACT exam, although it works for the SAT and APCalc. It's a little more expensive than the others and if you're not past the ACT you probably don't need a calculator this advanced. The TI-89 does support USB for downloading programs. Read Full Review

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                    Texas Instruments TI-89 Titanium Graphing Calculator

                    Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Silver Edition Graphing Calculator

                    This calculator is probably the most popular in the K12 system, right along with the TI-83. The TI-84 offers some minor improvements over its younger brother:a USBport and clock functionality. It has slightly faster processing as well, due to a higher speed Z80 CPU. This popular calculator offers 2D, polar, and parametric plotting. It does not have a computer algebra system, so don't expect to be able to perform anything symbolic like simplifying equations, at least without external software that can be downloaded. On this calculator, finding limits, derivatives, and integrals can only be done graphically, not symbolically. It can do slope and definite integrals only with limited non-symbolic accuracy, so it probably can't help you with most true calculus homework. Of course, plotting is helpful. This calculator can be used on the ACT, SAT, and APCalculus tests, among other standardized tests listed at the TIwebsite. Read Full Review

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                      Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Silver Edition Graphing Calculator

                      HP (Hewlett-Packard) 50G Graphing Calculator

                      A little nicer aesthetically than the TIcalculators, the HP50g offers a computer algebra system and has great performance at a low price. It uses a 75 MHz ARM9 processor and can be hooked up via USB. It even has an SDslot. Standard plotting functions such as 2D, parametric, and polar are supported, along with differential equation plotting. The computer algebra system is a huge plus of this calculator versus others. Unfortunately it is prohibited on the ACT test. It's not as popular as the TI-84, but more functional and cheaper. Many may opt for the TI-84 instead due to its popularity and test acceptance. The HP 50g's symbolic derivative and integral capability might come in handy for calculus, though. It supports more obscure reverse Polish notation (RPN) as well, so if your old-timer parents want to use it, you're in luck! Read Full Review

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                        HP (Hewlett-Packard) 50G Graphing Calculator

                        HP (Hewlett-Packard) 39gs Graphing Calculator

                        The HP39gs is a great deal at around $50. It does not have a computer algebra system like the HP50g but it does functions similar to the TI-84. USB is supported for uploading programs, and it includes a very fast ARM9 processor. It doesn't support RPN. It will plot in 2D and is expandable with many downloadable programs on the web. The 39gs is quite possibly the best value in the industry right now. Yes, unfortunately it's not as popular as the TIs and maybe not as familiar to some people. It's an awesome choice for anyone on a budget and it looks pretty good physically, too. Read Full Review

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                          HP (Hewlett-Packard) 39gs Graphing Calculator

                          Casio FX-9860GII-L-IH Graphing Calculator

                          Casio shows us that TI and HP aren't the only games in town. The 9860's a great value and performs the same basic functions as the TI-84. It can perform many graphing functions and will be useful for undergrad math. It's accepted on the ACT, SAT, and AP Calc tests. It can also use USB. However, extra programs for it aren't as easy to find as for the other calculators. I like the looks of the other calculators better too. This calculator is worth it if you're on a budget, and it has spreadsheet support. Ultimately though, it's just not going to be as easy to follow along with the teacher when they're using a TI. Read Full Review

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                            Casio FX-9860GII-L-IH Graphing Calculator

                            Best Basic Calculator:

                            Numbers never lie. But sometimes you need to double-check what they tell you. Which is why we have calculators. There are all kinds of calculators designed for a myriad of applications; but sometimes all you need to do is add a few numbers together or maybe even subtract them from one another. Sure you could do that in your head, but you're human...you make mistakes. Calculators don't. These basic calculators each do the standard mathematical functions every calculator worth its solar panels is supposed to: add, subtract, multiply and divide. Many of them also have memory, square root, and percentage functions as well, for the more complicated equations in life. If you or someone you love needs a basic calculator in their life, give these five a moment of your time. They've each been chosen for our list based upon the following criteria: ease of use, functionality, power sources, portability, durability, and price.

                            Sharp Electronics EL243SB 8-Digit Twin Powered Calculator

                            No bells and whistles here, just simple computation buttons along with the very helpful clear entry (CE) key. This little calculator from Sharp is small and functional for students to take with them to school or for home use in balancing the checkbook. Read Full Review

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                              Sharp Electronics EL243SB 8-Digit Twin Powered Calculator

                              Casio SL-300SV Solar Powered Standard Function Calculator

                              Casio's SL-300V is a good basic calculator for those who need a larger display and bigger numbers on their keypad. The unit functions on dual power sources and offers all of the standard mathematic functionality you'd expect from a simple calculator. Read Full Review

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                                Casio SL-300SV Solar Powered Standard Function Calculator

                                Texas Instruments TI503SV Handheld Pocket Calculator

                                The first of two Texas Instruments calculators, this TI503SV has an ergonomic design to its curved cabinet. The blue color gives it more personality than your run of the mill device, making it a perfect fit for young kids. The battery life here is also among the best on our list. Read Full Review

                                Texas Instruments TI503SV Handheld Pocket Calculator

                                Texas Instruments 108 Basic Solar Calculator

                                This basic calculator is perfect for young students who need a device to help them solve math problems for school. The unit is highly durable for the less than delicate behaviors of small children who may not take tender loving care with their belongings. It's okay though, this calculator can take it. Read Full Review

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                                  Texas Instruments 108 Basic Solar Calculator

                                  Canon Office Products LS-555H Business Calculator

                                  This compact little unit from Canon is fully functional and portable, in a clamshell case that folds shut when not in use. The display is large but the keys are not, which makes it easy to stick into your pocket; if not entirely easy to use for those with larger fingers. Read Full Review

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                                    Canon Office Products LS-555H Business Calculator
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