These days, everyone uses their laptop for calculations. There is that default calculator that comes with the operating system or even some third party apps. To a certain degree, they work but a physical, classic calculator is something that should not be missing from the arsenal of a student or engineer. There are three types of calculators. Most people will use the regular one but there is also a graphic calculator and a scientific calculator. The average person will never need a scientific calculator. It will prove to be a necessity for a student or an engineer.
Today we will have a look at 10 different scientific calculators. Most of them come from the same manufacturer and everyone can guess who it is. There are not that many to choose from which is why assembling this list has been a bit of a challenge.
Best Scientific Calculators in 2018
Our list should help anyone get the most value for money when searching for a scientific calculator. With these things said let`s jump right into our list of the top 10 best scientific calculators in 2018.
Table of Contents
- 10. Sharp EL-501XBGR Scientific Calculator
- 9. Canon F-719SG Scientific Calculator
- 8. HP 10s Scientific Calculator
- 7. HP 35s Scientific Calculator
- 6. Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX Graphing Calculator
- 5. Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator
- 4. Casio FX-300MS Scientific Calculator
- 3. Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS 2-Line Scientific Calculator
- 2. Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator
- 1. Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator
- Things To Look For When Picking A Scientific Calculator
10. Sharp EL-501XBGR Scientific Calculator
Sharp is a brand that needs no introduction. They still make scientific calculators and they are quite decent. The Sharp EL-501XBGR might not mean much in terms of naming but it is a great and inexpensive scientific calculator. It has an appealing design and plenty of useful functions.
- 131 special functions
- Large 10 digits display with a one-line layout
- Ergonomic design and compact for what it can do
- It seems that the batteries it comes with do not last that long
- One-line display may not be enough for some users
Let`s start with the cons. Most other scientific calculators that are actually worth spending money on have a multi-line display. A single line display can be insufficient for certain calculations. Also, the battery life is quite poor. Some users thought that the calculator broke after a couple of weeks then the batteries drained but they swapped the batteries and everything was fine.
Having 131 function covers pretty much all the needs of a student or engineer. The ergonomic design and compact form factor make it portable and easy to use. The built-in memory should help with some more advanced calculations.
9. Canon F-719SG Scientific Calculator
Canon F719SG is one of the more advanced scientific calculators on our list. From its display to the functions it supports, the calculator offers a good deal of the money. It is not particularly cheap but not expensive either.
- 302 functions and 38 built-in formulas
- Large multi-line display
- Long lasting batteries and solar cell above the display
- Despite the fact that it comes with a manual, some users may find it confusing to use
The Canon scientific calculator can handle pretty much any task. With so many functions and formulas built-in, the calculator should serve well an engineer. As a bonus, Canon included a cover that attaches to the back and protects the calculator when not in use.
Despite all the things that the calculator does well, it manages to be rather confusing to use. It is not a tool for beginners. Even after reading the manual it comes with, some users had trouble using it as it is confusing and takes some time to get used to it. It is also quite large and thick.
8. HP 10s Scientific Calculator
It might sound surprising but HP makes some rather decent scientific calculators. The 10s model is a simple device that is both affordable and easy to use. It is a solar powered model with plenty of built-in functions and an internal memory.
- Large multi-line display
- 240 built-in functions
- Solar powered model but also works as a battery powered calculator
- Keyboard layout and the quality of the buttons is quite poor
There are some that had the calculator for more than 10 years and it still survived the test of time. From that perspective the calculator is great but the build quality has not been improved. It is the same as it always been and that is poor quality buttons that are a bit difficult to press and the layout is not the best.
The good things that can be said about the HP 10s scientific calculator are the low price tag and the large multi-line display. It makes it easy to work with complex calculations and have everything on the screen. Things are easy to read and the 240 built-in functions should be enough.
7. HP 35s Scientific Calculator
The HP 35s scientific calculator can be considered the bigger brother of the 10s. It is also a bit more expensive but comes with more functions, better buttons, and a larger memory. Sadly, the calculator does imply a learning curve as it is not all that easy to use. It is not for beginners but given enough time, anyone can learn to use it properly.
- Multi-line LCD display with long battery life
- Hundreds of built-in functions
- Huge memory of 800 numbers
- A bit difficult to master as the button placement is a bit odd
A lot of users have made comments about the button placement. Truth be told, compared with other scientific calculators, the buttons are indeed placed differently. The instructions provided are helpful but it takes a bit of practice to get used to the calculator.
The calculator does have an interesting feature and that is the memory. It can retain up to 800 numbers which will prove to be helpful when working with complex calculations. From a price point perspective, the calculator is quite affordable.
6. Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX Graphing Calculator
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX Graphing calculator is one of the more advanced models on our list and despite being advertised as a graphing calculator, it can do much more than that. It comes with built-in templates for mathematical equations and an advanced menu with all types of formulas.
- Large color display with intuitive menus
- Easy to use navigation buttons and quick-access keys to various functions
- Rechargeable built-in battery pack
- The built-in battery pack does not last all that long and needs to be recharged frequently
Having a color display is a great plus but it is also a con. The display will make the calculator drain the battery much faster than a regular scientific calculator. However, because it is so large, complex calculations and formulas are much easier to follow.
Button placement and build quality are quite decent and the price tag is well justified. The model can be found part of bundles that include additional accessories including a case. Some may see the price as a bit too high for a calculator but it is one of the most advanced calculators on our list.
5. Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator
Casio FX-115ES offers a great value for the money. It is a battery powered calculator that comes also with a solar cell. This gives it great battery life to compensate for the large multi-line LCD display. The device comes with a decent library of functions that should be enough to handle all types of calculations.
- Hundreds of built-in functions
- Large multi-line screen that is very easy to read
- Replay function that allows the user to backtrack the calculations step-by-step
- It seems that the calculator has a limited capacity for numbers and equations length
The Casio Fx-115ES is a decent pick for the ones that do not need something very complicated. It works well but for advanced calculations, the limitation of the capacity for number length will prove to be a problem. It will be enough for someone that did not own a scientific calculator.
In terms of utility, the calculator has plenty of built-in functions and equations. The large screen makes everything easy to read while the replay function makes it easy to undo a calculation or go a step back. For the price, it is a great scientific calculator.
4. Casio FX-300MS Scientific Calculator
Casio FX-300MS is the upgraded version of the FX-115ES. It has more functions and comes with a bonus slide-on hard case. The memory of the calculator is not that large as it holds 9 numbers although it should be enough.
- Multi-line display and large navigation button
- 240 functions and 9 variable memories
- Bonus slid-on hard case to make it easy to carry around
- Button quality is not that great. The buttons are a bit hard to press until they wear down and become a bit softer
The main issue that most users will notice is the quality of the buttons. It is not the buttons themselves but the membrane beneath that is pressed down when the button is pressed. They are a bit difficult to press but it gets better with time as the calculator is used.
Some of the things that are worth mentioning are the number of functions it supports. The calculator has 240 built-in functions and an internal memory that can store 9 results. It includes a matching slide-on case and comes with a rather low price tag.
3. Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS 2-Line Scientific Calculator
Texas Instruments TI-30X is a good option for the ones that have a hard time working with advanced scientific calculators. The button layout is very simple and everything is very easy to understand. Its design and build quality makes it one of the best-selling models from Texas Instruments
- Great button layout. Makes it very easy to use and understand
- Long battery life
- Multi-line display that is easy to read and comes with special characters for various functions
- Not advanced enough for an engineer
The calculator itself is great for a student but for an engineer, it might not be enough. It has a good deal of built-in functions but it is not as advanced as other models. The display holds multiple lines but its simplified button mapping seems to be focused more on an intuitive and simple layout.
The build quality of the device is quite decent. The buttons are soft and easy to reach while the housing itself is robust and sturdy. Inside the package, the manufacturers included a protective sleeve while the batteries it comes with should last for quite some time.
2. Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator
Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro is considered to be a model more suitable for engineers. The LED display can show more special characters and advanced symbols that are needed for more complex calculations. Button mapping makes it intuitive while the overall design makes it very comfortable to use.
- Hundreds of built-in functions for algebra, geometry, statistics, calculus and many more
- Dual power mode with a built-in solar cell and regular batteries
- Multiview display that can show multiple calculations simultaneously on the screen
- Grey or chromed buttons on the side are very difficult to read
The model appears to have grey buttons in some pictures but it can come with chromed side buttons. The chromed ones appear to be difficult to read. While this is not a major problem it does show some inconsistencies in manufacturing.
In terms of functionality, the calculator has functions used in many disciplines. It uses a multi-line display to show multiple calculations and it can show the special symbols exactly how they are used in textbooks. It can be used by students but it can serve an engineer just as well.
1. Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus is one of the most advanced calculators on our list. Despite being called a graphing calculator; it can serve as a scientific calculator just as well. The advantage comes with the larger display that can show very complex calculations. However, this does imply a higher price tag.
- Huge library of functions for graphs and equations
- Large memory and an intuitive button layout
- Long battery life
- Price is a bit steep
The main problem that needs to be mentioned is the fact that not that many people are willing to spend so much on a calculator. On the other hand, a $10 scientific calculator will not be able to handle the same complex calculations. It has a very large function library and the display makes it so much easier to work with.
Build quality is more than decent on the TI-84. The buttons are well placed and not too hard to make them difficult to press. Despite having a rather small instructions manual, the calculator is intuitive and it does not take long to understand how to use it properly.
Things To Look For When Picking A Scientific Calculator
Scientific calculators need to have built-in functions in order for them to handle various equations and calculations. The number of formulas and functions supported can vary a lot. This is the main aspect people look for in a calculator but there are some other things that matter as well.
- Battery or solar and battery? This seems like a no-brainer choice but there is a purpose to this. Battery powered calculators are usually cheaper and for a student, something more expensive than $20 might not be worth it. Solar ones have a much more decent battery life.
- How many functions are enough? It is difficult to say how many functions a good calculator needs to know but the more the better. Two scientific calculators that have 200 functions each might end up being quite different as they may be having different functions built-in.
- Does display size matter? Display size does matter and the bigger the better. The more lines the display can show, the more advanced the equations can be. However, if it is not going to be used for advanced calculations, even a two-line display should be enough.