Standalone Calculators Still Exist! And, TI’s Nspire Seems Controversial

With all the computing tools available today, I often forget that there is still a place for a more-or-less dedicated calculator device. However, they are often mandatory in middle and high school math classes these days. I remember going in search for a good price for the TI-83 when my daughter started middle school. But, in the effort to compete with general purpose computing devices as well as mobile devices like the iPod touch, calculator designers are trying to step up their game. Unfortunately, there is the possibility of over-designing a calculator. And, this Wall Street Journal article reports TI stepped over that line with their high-end TI-Nspire…

Numbers Don’t Add Up for a TI Calculator

The WSJ reports it priced at $135. However, Amazon displays retail prices ranging from $170 to $200 with actual purchase prices of $135 to $140. Critics seem divided into two camps according to the article: One camp thinks the Nspire is overly complex for a calculator while a second group finds it limiting compared to older models.