Finding The Best Calculator For Statistics In The Market
The best calculator for statistics has always been a conundrum among students. On one hand, you have teachers who recommend getting a graphing calculator and on the other hand, experts on internet forums recommend better and more advanced programs like R or STATA in place of a calculator.
To buy it or not, that is the question.
And the fact that statistical calculators are not inexpensive doesn’t make things any easier.
The fact is that almost every student who has ever studied statistics has owned a calculator. It all started with the granddaddy of them all, the TI-83, which was the de-facto best calculator for statistics for over a decade or two.
Talk to anyone who used the calculator and they’d probably still own it and claim that it works like a charm too.
But the market isn’t limited to the TI-83 anymore. It has exploded with options and a lot of these are cheaply made Chinese imports that may or may not work right out of the box. This makes it extremely important to tread carefully while buying one of these, lest you are ok being swindled off almost $100-$150.
As an ode to the students who are new to this and looking for some unbiased guidance, we have compiled a list of the top five statistic calculators in the market. These are the most advanced, most durable and most affordable calculators that have been handpicked after analyzing performance, price and customer reviews.
It goes without saying that you can pick any one of these as the best calculator for statistics for yourself.
#1 – Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator
We start our list of the best graphic calculators with what has been a worthy successor to the immensely popular TI-83. This is the TI-84 from Texas Instruments and it boasts of a whole laundry list of features that make life simpler in your calculations and during your tests.
Oh yes, it is approved for use during most common tests like the AP and IB as well as during exams like the PSAT, SAT and ACT. For the uninitiated, the ACT restricts the use of calculators like the TI-89 Titanium or the TI-Nspire CX that have integrated algebra systems
The Community Favorite
Despite being around for over a decade and despite Texas Instruments coming up with a full colored version, the TI-84 plus with its black and white interface remains a favorite among both students as well as the entire mathematics community in general. It is widely used in schools and many of the schools have also invested in software programs and training modules that rely on the TI-84 for teachers.
One of the most important reasons for the popularity is the 2.55 MP operating system (upgraded from the 2.53 MP) that makes it immensely easy to use irrespective of whether you are using it for calculus or advanced algebra. Not to mention that it has the same elegant design with tactile buttons that are well spaced, which is always a plus.
Along with the new operating system, the TI-84 has also gotten a bunch of new templates like summations, a bunch of quick access pop-up windows with dedicated keys to them and the ability to go back and alter previously made calculations which makes repetitive tasks a breeze. To top it off, there’s a huge list of applications included in the TI-84 like the Cabri Jr, Conic Graphing, Inequality Graphing, Simultaneous Equation solving, Probability Simulator, Vernier EasyData and Polynomial Root Finder. Compatibility with USB allows you to back up and transfer data seamlessly between your computer and the TI-84.
- Compact and elegant design
- Loaded with apps
- Dedicated keys for popup windows
- Lots of additional templates
- USB Compatibility to back up data
- Allowed for use during tests like AP, IB and exams like PSAT and NCT
To Sum It Up
It lacks the backlit color display and the crispness of the CE Plus. Also, there’s lesser scope of arranging a lot of data on the screen. But that’s not a deal breaker. With the versatility, the ease of use and the wide acceptance in the community, you won’t find a better and more reliable choice for the best calculator for statistics.
#2 – Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator, White
Casio was always the fastest growing competition for TI and the FX-9750GII which was their entry level model almost rivaled the TI-83 Plus in popularity. That has a lot to do with the under $50 price tag though. And as expected at this price point it is not loaded with bells and whistles. Instead, it has a barebones interface with just enough features that you’d need for your calculations and exams.
For some boasting rights, it was the 9750 series that first introduced the USB technology way back in 2009. While that may seem pale in comparison today, it pretty much sums up what the FX-9750GII stands for. It is
Compact Sized Calculator
At just about 6 inches in length, the FX-9750GII is more compact than other statistical calculators even from Casio. But the buttons are laid out in perfect logical order which makes it as easy to use as some of its higher priced brethren. If you have seen the 9860GII from Casio, you’d find that it almost looks like a smaller mirror image of that model. Occupying the center of the screen is a high-resolution LCD display with Casio’s proprietary enlarged dot-area technology which enables you to get really crisp and sharp graphs and formulas. The visibility is excellent even in a dimly-lit classroom and you should have no problems finding your way around the calculations.
Fast And Inexpensive
Powering the Casio fx-9750GII is an excellent CPU with 62KB RAM that allows a lag-free and fast performance even for the most complex calculations and graphs. During a test, this may well make the difference between completing the answers on time and wrecking your head over a calculator that takes ages to respond. It is compatible for use in PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, and ACT entrance exams and AP tests. The biggest draw of the Casio fx-9750GII though, remains the price tag. It is priced at almost half of what most statistical calculators cost. And at that price point, it isn’t a bad option at all.
- Pocket-sized calculator
- Compatible for use in PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, and ACT exams and AP tests
- High speed CPU with 62KB RAM
- High-resolution LCD display with enlarged dot-area technology
- USB Connectivity
To Sum It Up
If you are looking for the best calculator for statistics on a budget, look no further. The Casio fx-9750GII is your best bet. It may not be the most advanced one in this list, but it more than suffices for use in school and college.
#3 – HP G8X92AA LA Prime v2
The G8X92AA from HP is a cutting-edge new generation statistical calculator that boasts of features like a full-color display, multi touch control options like the keyboard or the touch screen and the ability to switch between different types of views (Graphical or numbers) with dedicated keys.
That’s not all either. With a simple firmware upgrade and HP Prime Wireless Kit1 and HP Connectivity Kit, you also get support for P2P (Prime to Prime) and in-class Wi-Fi that allows you to wirelessly connect and transfer data between the calculator and a computer. As would be evident by now, the usage of the calculator is not limited to a statistic class. It is also widely used in engineering, chemistry, computer science, trigonometry and the likes.
Sleek, Stylish With a Cover
Unlike the other models that have remained unchanged over the years, the HP G8X92AA looks stylish and sleek. It has a brushed metal chassis with a matte-silver finish that not only looks good, it also adds to the durability of the unit. Accidentally dropped it while fiddling with the keys? It will work flawlessly.
Oh, by the way, it features a slide-on cover that will protect the keypad and the touch screen when it’s not in use. The keypad is quintessential HP and if you prefer going the touch screen way, then you will find that the 3.5 inch screen with multi diagonal touch allows you ample room to toggle through the menu and find the application you need.
Packed To The Brim With Features
The HP G8X92AA is hands down, the most feature rich statistic calculator that we have seen in recent times. There’s no end to what you can do with it. But just to give you an idea, it features graphing functions like scatter plot, 2-D, parametric and more, Scientific functions like unit conversions, Boolean graphics and angle conversions, statistical functions like Σx, Σx2, Σy, Σy2, Σxy, linear regression and more.
It is approved for use in PSAT/NMSQT®, SAT®, SAT® and select AP® Exams. What’s more is that a single button will activate a test mode during which only selected applications work, turning it into a mock test interface. The G8X92AA is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery that can be powered by direct power or by a USB connection.
- Sleek and stylish metallic casing
- 5 inch multi touch LCD full-color display
- Loaded with apps and features
- Perfectly placed buttons on the Keypad
- Approved for use in PSAT/NMSQT®, SAT®, SAT® and select AP® Exams
- USB connectivity
- Support for P2P (Prime to Prime) and in-class Wi-Fi
To Sum It Up
If money is not a constraint and you are looking for an advanced statistical calculator, go for the HP G8X92AA.
#4 – Sharp EL-W535XBSL Engineering /Scientific Calculator
Talk about budget priced statistical calculators and no one would believe that you could buy one that’s priced under $15. And it isn’t one of those cheap Chinese-made gimcracks either. This is the Sharp EL-W535XBSL that earns the reputation of being the cheapest statistical calculator in the market currently.
That moniker does not do justice to the device for this is an amazingly versatile calculator that can help you perform over 330 types of functions and calculations. That’s not bad at all. Club that with the reasonably large display and excellent keypad quality, you have a very worthy #4 choice in this list of the best calculator for statistics.
Twin Power Calculator
The Sharp EL-W535XBSL is the only calculator in this list that can be powered by both batteries as well as solar power. While that does little to improve the lifespan of the calculator, it does assure you that if the battery runs out of juice at a crucial juncture, you still have the option to power the calculator for that little extra time. It is not the most compact one that we have seen. It is approximately 9 inches in length. But this gives you ample spaces between the keys on the keypad. The construction is pretty rugged too and the Sharp EL-W535XBSL also comes with a slide-on cover protector.
Another neat addition to the list of features for the Sharp EL-W535XBSL is the Writeview technology that displays formulas exactly as they appear in a textbook. This makes them easier to understand and solve rather than wasting time trying to figure out the formulas by drawing comparisons. The 4-line display is not top notch. But it does the job. Visibility is pretty good too. The calculator also features a playback function that allows you to go back and edit the formulas in case of an error. Along with the 335 function solving ability, it also allows users to solve up to three equations at the same time. User functions can be programmed into four programmable keys for easy and instant access.
- Scientific and mathematical calculator priced under $15
- Up to 335 calculations
- Four line display
- Playback function for editing formulas
- Solve up to 3 equations at the same time
- WriteView technology that displays formulas the way they are shown in textbooks
- Slide-on cover protector
- Dual power source
- Approved for use in AP Chemistry, AP Physics, PSAT/NMSQT, SAT I, SAT II, Math IC, and Math IIC
To Sum It Up
The Sharp EL-W535XBSL may not be the best calculator for statistics that money can buy. But if you are not looking for advanced features, then this might be a good choice for you. You should ideally speak to your high school teacher before you pick this. Many teachers prefer that their students either pick the TI-84 or the HP G8X92AA due to the ease of use.
#5 – Texas Instruments BA II Plus Financial Calculator
We decided to end this list of the best calculator for statistics with a slightly advanced one that offers financial calculations in addition to the standard mathematical functions. This is the BA II Plus from Texas Instruments. Along with an impressive feature bundle, it is also priced under $30.
The feature list is highlighted by a worksheet mode that lets you easily include tables for a variety of functions, a slide-on protective case for the keypad and in-built storage memory that allows you to store your worksheets.
If you are coming to the TI BA II Plus from a standard mathematical or statistical calculator, then you may find it a tad difficult to get used to the interface and the new functions. That’s partly because there are two different modes in which you can use this. The standard mode is easier to use and the other one is a worksheet mode.
While the standard mode lets you perform standard tasks along with finance related calculations like mortgage, annuities and trigonometry, the worksheet mode allows you to perform more advanced functions like amortization, depreciation and compound interest. With in-built storage, you can store your worksheets for later use and this prevents the need for typing cumbersome numbers all over again.
Lightweight And Minimalistic
At first glance, the BA II Plus looks very similar to the TI-83 in the design and the keypad layout. But it is smaller in size and lightweight too. It has a 16-digit LCD display that shows crisp and sharp numbers with excellent contrast. Also, we must mention the excellent user manual that accompanies the BA II Plus without which, it would be extremely difficult for a newbie to get to use the calculator. At a time when there’s a new model being launched every other day, TI’s BA II Plus has managed to hold its own and is currently the bestselling financial calculator on Amazon.
- Priced under $30
- Large 16 digit display
- In-built storage memory
- Dual modes for varied calculations
- Worksheet mode for advanced calculations
- Slide-on protective cover
- Bestselling financial calculator on Amazon
Picking The Best Calculator For Statistics
Thanks to different schools recommending different statistical calculator models that they are familiar with, it has become a lot more difficult to select one. But in many cases, it may be in your best interests to select the model that your teacher recommends. That’s because they will be using it extensively during graphing and even though a different model may work just as well, you’d be a lot more comfortable comparing what’s being taught in class with the same one.
Other than that, here are some of the features that you’d want to look out for while selecting the best calculator for statistics.
Statistic calculators have largely remained unchanged over the years. And for that reason most people do not attribute too much to the size. But if you are going to be carrying the calculator for exams and tests, then it is better if you pick one that’s easier to lug. A standard size for these units is between 6-9 inches. Anything bigger is best worth a miss. There are smaller units too but the usability is questionable at best.
Considering that you will be spending a lot of time clacking away on the keys, look for a calculator that has an evenly spaced keypad. The keys should be easy to press but they should have a responsive feel to the touch. Anything that is overly small will have keys cramped really close together and that’s a recipe for disaster while performing precise calculations.
The most desirable ones have a full multi colored LCD display. But even black and white displays work equally well provided that the numbers are sharp and crisp. You will be using the calculator in differently lit rooms. So, the display is of penultimate importance.
Apart from the type of calculations that you can perform, there are many other features that can make life simpler while you are using the best statistical calculator. The playback feature or a rewind feature as it is called in some models, allows you to go back and alter a formula or a calculation. Advanced graphing will be immensely helpful in both statistical as well as scientific calculations.
An internal storage memory allows you to store your calculations for future reference. USB connectivity will let you transfer the data from the calculator to a computer and vice a versa. Some advanced calculator models even support Wi-Fi these days allowing you to wirelessly transmit data. When it comes to features, the sky is the limit. But an often overlooked one is a sliding protective cover that keeps the keypad safe from wear and tear due to repeated use.
It goes without saying that you wouldn’t want to spend a huge amount to get a decent statistical calculator. And to that end, we have picked some amazing budget priced models for you. But as they say, you get what you pay for. The tradeoff is that lower priced models will rarely be as feature rich as the regular priced ones.
That’s it folks. We hope that this helps you select the right statistical calculator for use in your exams and class. If you have your own favorite model that you would like us to add to this list, please share it with us in the comments section.