Best TI Calculators

Updated November 2020
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Buying guide for best ti calculators

With a calculator app on every smartphone these days, having a dedicated calculator may not seem necessary anymore. But there are plenty of applications and projects that require a speciality calculator, especially if you’re a student. When it comes to calculators, it’s hard to top the models put out by Texas Instruments (TI).

But there are so many TI calculators to choose from that shopping for one can become a serious challenge. You need to figure out which type of calculator will work best for your needs, as well as the best display, power type, functions, and other features to help with your projects or assignments.

At BestReviews, we’re dedicated to improving your shopping experience. We take care of the in-depth research, so you’ll have all the information you need to choose the best products for your home. In the market for a TI calculator? Continue reading our shopping guide for what you need to know before you buy.

TI graphing calculators can perform all the same functions as scientific calculators, but they are also able to graph functions.

Types of TI calculators

Basic calculators

A basic calculator is also known as a handheld calculator or a four-function calculator. It’s what most people picture when they think of a calculator, and it handles the four basic arithmetic functions of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. These TI calculators are designed to be used on basic math problems and calculations.

A basic calculator usually has a single LED screen with a single-line display, though some TI models offer a three-line display. Basic calculators are typically compact enough to fit in a pocket.

Scientific calculators

A scientific calculator can perform all the arithmetic functions of a basic calculator, but it also offers advanced functions, such as powers, logarithms, and trigonometric concepts. Some TI models can also handle fractions. Scientific calculators are designed for advanced math problems and calculations. A scientific calculator usually has a display with between one and four lines.

Graphing calculators

Graphing calculators can perform all the functions of a scientific calculator, but they also feature a large display that allows these TI calculators to create graphs for various functions and equations.

Financial calculators

A financial calculator handles all the functions of a scientific calculator but includes some extra functions related to finance. You can use this type of TI calculator to calculate interest and mortgage payments with ease.

Features to consider for TI calculators


When you’re shopping for a TI calculator, consider what level of math or type of projects you will use it for. Most TI calculators are used by students, so math level is usually the determining factor.

TI basic calculators are best suited for elementary school students or anyone who needs a simple calculator to perform the four basic arithmetic functions.

TI scientific calculators work well for students who are studying algebra, advanced algebra, and geometry. They can also come in handy for individuals who work in the computer field.

TI graphing calculators are ideal for students who are studying advanced algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and statistics.

TI financial calculators are typically used by professionals who need to calculate financial figures, such as accountants, real estate agents, brokers, or financial advisors.

If you’re a student, it’s also important to consider whether a certain type of TI calculator is permitted for use during common standardized tests. For the math section of the SAT or PSAT, nearly any TI calculator is permitted as long as it doesn’t use paper tape or feature a QWERTY keyboard. For the ACT, nearly any TI calculator is permitted as long as it doesn’t feature computer algebra system functionality, paper tape, noisy operation, or a power cord. For AP exams, like AP Calculus and AP Statistics, TI graphing calculators are usually the best option.


TI basic, scientific, and financial calculators all have fairly basic LED displays. However, advanced models may offer multi-line displays to make calculations a little easier. Some TI basic and financial calculators offer two-line displays, while advanced scientific calculators offer up to four-line displays.

When it comes to TI graphing calculators, some lower-end models offer basic black-and-white LCD screens that are large enough for easy reading. However, some higher-end models have a high-resolution, backlit color display that offers the most precise graphics for graphing and other calculations.

Power type

Texas Instruments offers calculators with solar power, replaceable battery power, or rechargeable battery power. Some models use both solar power and battery power to ensure your calculator is always ready for use.

TI calculators with replaceable batteries are fairly reliable except when the batteries are running low and require replacement. Those with rechargeable batteries are also pretty reliable, though you may need to plug the calculator in for charging when battery power is running low. Solar-powered TI calculators feature solar cells, which convert light to energy to power the device. As long as there’s adequate light, these TI calculators will always have power.


Most TI graphing calculators offer built-in memory that allows you to store equations and programs that you use regularly.

TI graphing calculators usually offer between 20KB and 150KB of RAM (random access memory), which is the memory that’s available for both read and write access. TI graphing calculators usually offer between 1MB and 3.5MB of ROM (read-only memory), which is the memory available for permanent items like apps.


In addition to math functions, some TI calculators feature additional functions to make operation even easier. A TI calculator with a notes function allows you to store notes for the calculations and projects that you’re working on. A TI calculator with a cut and paste function allows you to easily copy and transfer data during calculations.


TI graphing calculators can support a variety of apps that can make calculations a little easier. Higher-end models support a larger number of apps, while lower-end options only offer a few basic apps related to math and science calculations.


Higher-end TI calculators, including most graphing models, allow you to connect your calculator to other calculators or computers to transfer data. Most TI calculators that allow for connectivity require a cable for connection, which is included with the calculator.

Did you know?
TI calculators with rechargeable batteries can be charged using a wall charger, a USB cable, or a calculator-specific charging station.

Prices for TI calculators

The price of a TI calculator varies based on the type of calculator. However, you can usually expect to pay between $6 and $150.

Basic TI calculators usually run between $6 and $15. Scientific TI calculators typically cost between $10 and $20. Financial TI calculators generally range from $30 to $55. Graphing TI calculators usually run from $74 to $150.


  • Because TI graphing calculators usually have large displays that can be fragile, always put the cover on your graphing calculator before storing it or tossing it in your bag.

  • For TI calculators that require replaceable batteries, be careful not to mix old and new batteries, or the calculator’s performance may be affected.

  • For some standardized tests, you may be required to clear the apps and other programs from your TI calculator’s memory. Check your owner’s manual to determine how to clear your calculator, so you’re ready for the exam.

Texas Instruments offers support for their calculators through email and over the phone, so you can get in touch with a representative if you’re having trouble with your calculator.


Q. Is it possible to purchase TI calculators in bulk for a classroom?

A. Texas Instruments offers a variety of teacher packs for their calculators so you can purchase multiple calculators at a time. Most of the packs include up to 10 calculators and the appropriate accessories, and they are available for TI graphing, scientific, and basic calculators.

Q. For TI calculators with rechargeable batteries, how long is the battery life before the calculator needs to be recharged?

A. It depends on the type of TI calculator and how often you use it. Some of the higher-end TI graphing calculators have batteries that last for a month or longer without needing to be recharged. Other TI models may require more frequent charging, though the battery should last at least a week to 10 days if you aren’t using your calculator constantly.

Q. Do TI calculators come with warranty coverage?

A. Nearly all TI calculators, including graphing, scientific, financial, and basic models, come with a one-year limited warranty. The warranty covers material and manufacturing defects but typically doesn’t offer protection for damage that results from normal wear and tear or accidents.

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