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There are different calculators available, varying from a standard calculator to a financial calculator with complex operations. If you're looking for a calculator for basic arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, a standard calculator shall be optimal.
A scientific calculator is much more suitable if you're looking for advanced calculations like trigonometric, logarithmic, or exponential operations. It is an apt choice for students in mathematics and scientific fields.
Then there are financial and graphing calculators - made for users looking to solve equations and plotting graphs; Functions like differential equations and histogram plots are doable. These calculators are programmable and come equipped with WiFi, so you can directly solve a math equation via the internet or download programs or apps.
If you are an engineering student, then owning a scientific calculator is the first and foremost thing you should do. Solving algebric equations, matrixes, and vectors, finding square roots, cube roots, and most other complex operations like calculus, statistical, and regression calculations, or dealing with complex numbers are just a few keys away with the help of a scientific calculator.
Basic calculators are great for solving simple equations with one or two variables, but scientific calculators allow you to input a problem with an order of operations. In scientific calculators, parentheses are included as an option, allowing you to solve more complex problems.
One of the essential aspects is selecting the apt size for usage. There are pocket-size calculators that you can fit in your palm and store easily in your pocket. Then some desk-sized calculators provide a big numeric pad to handle and work on. There are the standard desktop size calculators, and there are extra-large.
If you're criteria of selection hinges on portability, look for a pocket-size calculator. They are easy to carry, but they are not suitable for speedy calculation because of the small keys. If you're looking for a calculator for fast calculation and portability is not a big criterion, desktop size calculators are much more preferable. The keys are more snappy, and the bigger display helps in working fast and efficiently.
A calculator with 16-18 cm is good enough to accommodate all the important functions and keys and offers a decent display. It is portable and lightweight too, which provides it an added advantage over big heavy calculators.
So, for comfortable and error-free calculation, do focus on the gap between the keys. Examine the keypad and select accordingly. We recommend experimenting with different keypads and selecting the one that suits you best.
Though the key size is an important factor, people looking for scientific or graphing calculators might have to compromise a bit on this factor. Calculators with many keys and who can perform complex operations usually don't have bigger key sizes to accommodate all the keys.
For students and accountants, a display with at least ten digits visible on the calculator is suitable. It would not only enable them to work with large numbers but also give more accurate decimal values. The ideal recommendation is a 12-digit calculator for students and accountants.
There are custom made 14 digit calculators for big calculations available as well. Such calculators are desk oriented and huge in size. They are apt for fast calculations with big numbers.
A 12 digit display is good enough in most cases. There are some calculators which also offer a 10+2 digits display. 10+2 basically allows 10 digits for mantissa display and 2 digits for exponential display.
Modern calculators also allow a 2-line display and a useful replay function. The 2 line display would include the operation in the first line and the solution in the second line. All this helps to make mathematics easier to use and understand.
During an exam or when tallying a cost sheet or some important calculation, you don't want your calculator slipping and shifting while pressing the keys to check whether the numbers match or your calculation is correct.
Your calculator should be able to withstand the force used on keys during fast calculations. Make sure the calculator you select has a sturdy grip when placed on a surface. Many calculators also come with rubber grips at the back to prevent them from slipping or falling. It is a small but overlooked aspect; ensure you get it right.
Most calculator bodies are made out of plastics, and plastics have low coefficients of friction. So check out the calculator's grip and make sure it's not slippery and can stay intact on a surface. Rubber grips at the calculator's back are a great additional feature to have, but very few calculators offer that.
For example, when you're trying to solve a mathematic equation or tally a balance sheet with multiple additions and subtractions, you press 13+2-4 very fast; almost simultaneously, the calculator will pick it up in an exact way with the key rollover function.
This is an important function because you can't match speed with accuracy without it. If you’re someone who works really fast and your work involves multiple different operations like addition subtraction and more, we strongly recommend you check for this function.
Whether it's an exam or a job that requires you to be quick, speed is almost non-negotiable in such cases. A key rollover function is highly beneficial, and it makes sure that no data is lost while you are providing high-speed inputs to the calculator.
You probably won't need an N-key rollover that can interpret the input from as many keys you can press at the same time, but at least 2 key rollover function would be great, which can register input from both the keys you press simultaneously.
There are multiple functions available in a calculator apart from the essential functions some of which add convenience and enhances accuracy and a better experience.
There are some other useful features which you may want in your calculator too. A GT key, the grand total key, would help calculate the sum of all previous results. It helps you enhance time efficiency, adding all the results at the end with a button press.
For example, you calculated 1500+500=2000 and later another calculation 2560-520=2040. Instead of putting numbers again for addition between 2000 and 2040, you can press the GT key, and the calculator will bring up the number from internal memory and give the total.
The function of an MR key is very similar to the GT key. Both of them are used for recalling the current memory register value. So if you don't have a GT key on your calculator, then all you would have to do is use the MR key in combination with M+/M- keys which are used to add or subtract the current value to (or from) the stored value in the memory register.
Before starting the calculation, press the MC key, which clears the memory register. Now suppose your first operation gives a value of 90, and you press M+, and your second operation gives a value of 80, and then you press M+ again. Now, if you press MR, then you would get a value of 170(90+80).
Certain calculators instead provide a fixed display at a titled angle. These calculators are also convenient to use but don't offer equivalent customization.
An adjustable tilting screen is also beneficial when the battery is low and the LCD starts to fade at a flat angle. The Liquid Crystals (LCs) used in digital calculators are of the 'twisted nematic' type controlled using a passive matrix of electrodes.
For the calculator to work, the twisted LCs need to 'uncoil' (to change the polarization of light). When available power is low, the crystals do not uncoil to the extent that they uncoil when the available power is sufficient. So when you tilt the calculator, you are looking at the strongest component of the polarized light.
Certain calculators are fixed with solar cells for an alternate source of energy apart from the battery power. There are small cells placed near the display of the calculator.
Since the calculator requires minuscule power to function, these solar cells provide sufficient energy for function. When buying a calculator, you can check under the specifications or the calculator's image on the box, around the display, whether it has solar cells or not.
Solar panels help extend the life of the calculator by slowly recharging the original battery. Solar cells generally work well with natural sunlight. Because artificial sources of light such as incandescent and fluorescent bulbs mimic the sun’s spectrum, solar cells can also work indoors, powering small devices such as calculators.
You can recharge a battery-powered calculator by leaving it in a bright location but out of direct sunlight. Clean the panels occasionally to keep them working well. Dust, dirt, and oils from your fingers can cause a significant amount of refraction, causing the solar energy to be lost.
These days many manufacturers offer a warranty on their products for better support in a product malfunction or manufacturing defect. Some calculators come without any warranty, and similarly, calculators with a warranty of up to 3 years.
We recommend getting one with a warranty and checking thoroughly on the product box or e-commerce website for an available warranty. It helps in availing good value of the money spent on product, in case things go wrong.
Most modern calculators will offer you a 3-year warranty that is economical for college-going students who don't have to buy another calculator during their time in college in case anything goes wrong. Some calculators offer a 1-year warranty which is also not a bad deal. But avoid calculators which offer no warranty at all.
Click to purchase
HL-122TV Silver Basic Calculator
Lightweight, Portable Option for Complex Operations
FX-CG50 Scientific Graphic Calculator
One of Top Choices for Scientific Calculations
BA II Plus Financial Calculator
Fast and Accurate for Financial Students and Users
FX-991EX Classwiz Scientific Calculator
A Scientific Calculator With 552 Functions
Large Display and Huge Keys for Easier Typing
Basic Calculator With a Large Screen
Ultra-Lightweight Foldable Calculator With Large Display
HL820LV Portable Calculator
Small and Sturdy Portable Calculator
Desktop CT500 JS
Speedy Calculations and a Large Display
Inexpensive Option for Basic Operations
This calculator is a beast amongst scientific calculators available. It is one of our top recommended choices for calculators. The calculator comes with more than 2900 functions, advanced 3d Graphing. There are apps already present for research and modeling.
One of the major advantages is, Apps for use can be transferred to the calculator using a USB cable. The calculator comes with a hard case for sturdy grip and safety. The calculator is recommended for students appearing for IB, SAT, ACT, PSAT.
This calculator by texas instruments is a considerable choice for users looking for accurate and fast financial workings. It has a 10 character display with clear and sharp text. Many CFA users recommend the calculator as per their personal experience.
As per the reviews, it takes a short amount of time to get accustomed to the user interface. The keys are soft press on the keypad. It comes with a protective sliding case for protection against accidental falls or shocks. Overall, it is a recommended product for financial calculations.
This scientific calculator by Casio stands out amongst other similar calculators available with its extensive 552 functions available. The dimensions of this calculator are only 18cms, making it a portable and compact choice for users.
One of the unique functions available in the calculator comes with an inbuilt QR code function, which can provide graphical equations on your smartphone after scanning the code. The keypad comes with metallic keys for sturdy input and useability. The product is recommended by engineering and maths students based on their user experience.
Since it can also perform tax functions, it could be used by those engaged in accounting and bookkeeping. However, due to its size, it would not be appropriate for those looking for portable options. This may also not last as long as it isn’t dual powered and cannot run on solar power.
It also comes with a three-year warranty, so in case you damage it, you can always get it repaired. However, due to its size, it only has an eight digits display, and it isn’t dual-powered either, so it cannot run on solar power.
It may also seem harder to use for those used to plastic keys as this has soft, rubber keys. Lastly, if you require complex calculations, this will not suffice, and you should consider one of the other calculators we’ve mentioned.
Suppose you're looking for something different like the Best PC games to play or a new printer for your home, or a completely different flowering plant for your home or balcony. We got different Buying guides with a plethora of information to help you select the right one for yourself.
No. 1: Casio | HL-122TV Silver Basic Calculator
No. 2: Casio | FX-CG50 Scientific Graphic Calculator
No. 3: Texas Instruments | BA II Plus Financial Calculator
No. 4: Casio | FX-991EX Classwiz Scientific Calculator
No. 5: Orpat | OT 1700T
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