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5 Best Scientific Calculators For College

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When it comes to solving mathematical and scientific functions in college, an advanced, high memory and high-speed calculator can come in handy. The right calculator with the right features can make learning easy by solving both scientific and mathematical problems.

Best Scientific Calculator For College

The following review analyzes five of the most popular college calculators by examining their respective features, pros, and possible cons. The review will also provide additional insight on how the calculators operate and along with a description of their full capabilities.

When buying a calculator for college, features such as size, memory, and performance are crucial, especially when dealing with complex equations. It is essential to ensure you select a calculator that meets your specific academic needs for different disciplines whether it is engineering, mathematics, science, architecture, or biology. Below is a review of five of the best calculators in the market followed by a buying guide to make sure everything goes smoothly when buying a scientific calculator for college.


1. Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition Graphing Calculator Black

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition Graphing Calculator

The Texas TI-84 comes with impressive features that enhance its performance. With a full-color display, you can view your screen with ease while the backlit display increases functionality so you can use the calculator even at night when there is little or no light. Impressively, the graphic calculator`s display supports up to four types of images starting with jpg, bmp, jpeg to png. This capability makes the calculator appropriate for use, more so when dealing with complex diagrams or equations.

Another feature that makes the Texas Silver Graphing Calculator is its long-lasting rechargeable battery. This makes the calculator convenient for use and durable in the long run as well. You can also benefit from its light weight of 9.1 ounces and portable size of 7.5×0.9×3.3 inches which ensures you can carry the calculator from one class to another without feeling the pinch of its weight.


  • Easy to learn TI-84 functionality
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Image support( can import color images as well)
  • Full-color display
  • Easy to use interface
  • Portable due to its manageable size
  • Supports different Image Types


  • Could be difficult to use for beginners
  • Requires advanced scientific and mathematical knowledge for optimum use


  • Comes in multiple color selection which gives you the opportunity to select a color of your preference
  • Comes with a user guide to help new users to understand its functions
  • Appropriate for subjects such as geometry, statistics, calculus, biology, pre-calculus, pre-algebra, business and finance, physics and chemistry. An added advantage is that it is fully permitted on testing such as SAT, AP, and ACT. This makes it reliable and usable on almost all study occasions.

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2. HP Prime Graphing Calculator

HP Prime Graphing Calculator

Appropriate for computer science, engineering, physics, chemistry, surveying, trigonometry, statistics, geometry, biology, and physics. This makes it usable in virtually all academic disciplines that require advanced calculations. The calculator comes with an impressive 8GB ram which triples its performance due to high memory. Its weight of 15.2 ounces makes it portable and easy to carry around either from field to work or from one class to another. Additionally, the product brags of 3.5-inch multi-touch display; a feature which significantly enhances the user experience while increasing the working space.

The calculator keypad is designed in similar fashion to all HP devices which makes it familiar to users. An amazing feature is a programmable function that saves time as well as keystrokes while allowing you to receive immediate results while working. You no longer have to worried about using a college approved calculator as the HP LA Prime V2 Calculator is University-board approved meaning you can use it in different exams including NMSQT and SATs as well. Solving linear equations has never been easier as the calculator uses the HP Equation system that supports multiple non-linear and linear equations. Also, you can save your equations and solve for variables later through the HP solve function.

The HP Prime V2 calculator can also be turned into a testing tool by turning test-mode on through the dedicated buttons. The buttons are well placed to ease switching in between operations such as numerical tables, symbolic or graphical functions.


  • Easy to use and switch in between mathematical functions
  • Portable due to lightweight
  • 8GB ram
  • College Board approved
  • Can save equations
  • Also, performs testing functions
  • 3.5-inch multi-touch display


  • Challenging to use for beginners
  • Battery not rechargeable

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3. HP 35s Scientific Calculator

HP 35s Scientific Calculator

The HP 35s Scientific Calculator comes with a wide LCD screen with adjustable contrast which makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. This enhances image quality enabling the user to see images, lines, and coordinates without any struggle. Additionally, the college calculator brags of over 100 built-in functions to support its 800 memory registers. Its make-up ensures it can be used in various disciplines such as science, medicine, surveying, architecture, engineering, and mathematics.

The calculator is designed to make learning easy for college students and can also be used by medical personnel, engineers, and surveyors. One feature that makes the calculator superior is its alphanumeric two-line display this enables you to view results, entries, prompts, and menus with ease. The 30KB memory ensures the calculator can perform various functions at once without slowing down or hanging. The over 800 memory registers facilitate equation storage, a feature which allows you to store any equation and use it late to solve various variables. This plays a massive role in ensuring large computations can be done quickly and smoothly.


  • Comes with a 365-day warranty
  • Has a premium protective external case
  • Easy to use due to the user manual
  • Offers both RPN and Algebraic entry system
  • Light and portable
  • Over 100 built-in capabilities and functions
  • Large Memory


  • Batteries are not rechargeable

Additional features

The HP 35s calculator comes with a one year warranty that ensures you get the best out of your investment. Versatility is no longer an issue when it comes to the HP 35s as users can select between algebraic entry-system and RPN logic while the alphanumeric display makes viewing of variables and results easier. Also, the scientific calculator is College Board approved which makes it suitable for use in various exams.

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4. Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator

Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator

The Casio fx-9750GII graphing calculator comes with high-resolution, LCD that brags of enlarged dot-area features which produce sharp graphics and easy to observe formulas. With a 62KB Ram, the calculator is capable of making lengthy calculations while focusing on complex graphics simultaneously. The increased processing speed increases its accuracy while also increasing chances of student success, more so during tests. Due to this, the calculator is permitted for extended use in SATs, College exams, AP tests and PSAT as well.

The calculator also comes with a user guide and a firm hard case for protection purposes. This plays a pivotal role in increasing usability and user satisfaction. Additionally, the calculator is USB enabled which allows you to transfer files to and from the calculator, to other calculators, your computer or even displaying the screen through a projector.


  • Protective Casing
  • User guide
  • USB functionality
  • Can perform Dual graph functions
  • High resolution
  • College-Board approved
  • High Memory


  • Is not rechargeable
  • Difficult for beginners to use

Additional features

  • Can perform bar and pie graph functions as well as financial functions.
  • Comes with four alkaline batteries that are not rechargeable
  • Can compute complex calculations due to the high-performance operating system
  • Appropriate for pre-Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, Statistics, Physics, finance and business, chemistry and biology.

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5. Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/ Scientific Calculator

Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/ Scientific Calculator

The Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering calculator comes with an advanced four-line technology suitable for higher education science and math functionality. This makes the calculator ideal for complex calculation more so in courses where engineering technology is not permitted. The calculator also comes with a solar-powered charging system that ensures power is never an issue. Impressively, the calculator can perform complex functions such as Boolean operations, statistical analysis, and unit conversions as well.

College students will find the calculator reliable in performing fractional computations as well as calculate various angle units such as rads, degrees, and radians when trigonometric functions are being performed. The metric-English conversions will help students perform their assignments accurately with a significantly reduced margin of error. At a weight of 4 ounces, the calculator is portable and easy to carry from one class to the next.


  • Solar powered
  • Portable
  • Suitable for various college disciplines
  • Can calculate different angle units


  • Uses single line technology reducing the effectiveness of the display.

Additional features

  • Comes with multi-view options in its display as multiple calculations and functions can be displayed simultaneously on the screen. The
  • Math-print capability enables the device to show various expressions, mathematical symbols as well as stacked fractions just as they appear in college textbooks

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Buying Guide for College Calculators

College calculators are a unique brand of multi-disciplined calculators designed for performing various academic functions. As a result of this, finding the perfect calculator that suits all your educational activities can be quite a daunting task. Therefore, what are some of the things that must be taken into consideration when buying a scientific calculator?

college calculator reviews

The following are things to look when buying a scientific calculator

1. Display size

The best college calculators usually have significantly larger displays than average calculators. The need for a large display screen is to enhance the viewing of objects and diagrams when conducting mathematical or scientific operations. For accurate results, it is best to go for a calculator with a large screen to prevent missing out on potentially crucial coordinates, figures, and lines. Also, as you might have noted with the above-listed brands, modern calculators are compatible with various image formats. Having a large display size will ensure you upload and share images just as they are in real life.

2. Memory

A convenient calculator for college is one with large memory and fast processor. A large memory translates to faster calculations and multitasking operations as well. For instance, the HP G8X92AA LA Prime v2 comes with an incredible 8GB memory that enables you to perform multiple functions at once. Having a large memory in your calculator means you can even store your equations without the need to type everything from scratch when using the graphic calculator. Also, a large internal memory is helpful when sharing images and files directly from the calculator to the PC. A good memory is crucial in ensuring you can multi-task and use the graphic calculator in course-specific disciplines as well.

3. College Board Approved/ Capability

Be sure to go for the right type of calculator based on your needs. If you want a calculator for school, then it must be College Board approved for you to use it during examinations. On the other hand, if you need a graphic calculator for work or a project be sure to check the specification on the calculator whether it supports your specific discipline. However, most college calculators are capable of performing basic complex computations in disciplines such as chemistry, geometry, mathematics, physics, trigonometry, and biology. The more the disciplines, the higher the value created for the end user.

4. Battery and Charge

Most calculators are leaning more towards rechargeable batteries in a bid to create extra value and increase the reliability of the calculators. However, some reputable brands are still using alkaline batteries that are not rechargeable. Be sure to select depending on preferred use. For example, if you intend to use the calculator frequently, go for rechargeable batteries to increase efficiency (or brands with a high battery life of up to four months.)

calculator batteries

5. Additional features

Best calculators have additional features such as USB functionality to increase usability and create additional values. Therefore, when buying college calculators, selecting one with additional features such as USB connectivity or pre-installed applications might come in handy in the long run. This is because the additional features make the calculator easier to use and more reliable as different operations can be performed simultaneously.

6. Usability and Complexity

Do not go for a complex calculator that you will give you problems when operating. Instead, select a brand that is easy to use and learn. For instance, ensure you buy a calculator that comes with a user manual or active support on the website. This will help ensure you learn to use the calculator for your different campus courses. However, choosing an average graphic calculator to perform complex mathematical problems will not give positive results. Therefore, choose a calculator based on your needs. If you want a graphic calculator that can perform complex algebraic functions, go for a brand that offers the functions you desire. It is essential to ensure the selected calculator satisfies all your needs whether school or work-related.


[1] collegeprep101.com : COLLEGEPREP-101 – Home of all your college preparation needs

[2] ecampustours.com : 15 essential school supplies that you will need for college

[3] wikipedia.org : Scientific Calculator

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Updated: November 27, 2017

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