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Hands-On with the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition: Full Review
Published by KermMartian on February 19, 2013 at 7:42:26 PM CST | Discuss this article (95)

The new TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition isn't the first color-screen graphing calculator. It isn't even TI's first color graphing calculator, a distinction claimed by the TI-Nspire CX and its sibling the TI-Nspire CX CAS. However, the TI-84+CSE, as we're abbreviating it, is a major milestone in the 17-year-old TI-83 and TI-84 Plus family of calculators. Although it retains the look and feel of the TI-84 Plus operating system, and keeps the familiar case shape and key layout, the outstanding feature of the TI-84+CSE is a bright, glossy color LCD screen. No longer will math and programs need to squeeze into 96 by 64 monochrome pixels; the new screen is 320x240 and can display 65,000 different colors. Starting in November 2012, Cemetech first discovered and received official and unofficial updates about the new calculator. We've seen a seminar showcasing the math features and gotten the official PR information. Now, we're proud to announce the first full, formal hands-on review of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition.

Our TI contacts sent yours truly, Cemetech administrator Christopher Mitchell, a preview calculator, the very device pictured above. I have spent hours engrossed in trying out its many new math and programming features, and my first impressions as a fourteen-year user of TI's graphing calculators is overwhelmingly positive. In this complete review, I'll show you the new math features, as well as the existing features that have been augmented with the color and higher resolution the new LCD affords. Since my real passion for TI calculators lies in programming, I'll also show you the new features for TI-BASIC programmers, and discuss some of the new discoveries that assembly programmers need to know. Finally, I'll do a quick teardown of the device, so that you can see what makes it tick. In a phrase, the new TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition is sleek, colorful, and takes good advantage of its new hardware, marred only by slight (easily-fixed) sluggishness.

Read the full review for all the details, along with more screenshots and photos!

The Big Picture
As I prefaced this review, the most important question I have to ask is whether the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition is an effective math tool. In a world where students are increasingly distracted by complex, flashy smartphones that are indistinguishable from tiny computers, and where TI's black-and-white calculators have been increasingly noted as antiquated, this is a huge step forward. From the perspective of a math student or teacher, this is a calculator that combines an easier-to-read, more expressive display that can show graphs and equations more easily with a familiar interface. All of the existing books and tutorials on the TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus apply to this new calculator, although it behooves new references to explain and explore the new features. The interface feels slightly sluggish, with some menus taking close to a full second to fully render, which hopefully won't discourage impatient students from using the device. From a programmer and enthusiast point of view, my reaction is more mixed. There's a prevalent opinion that something like a 25MHz ez80 CPU, a faster, more capable, and fully-compatible version of the processor in the new (and old) calculators, would have been a better choice. A CPU clocked at close to twice the speed would have helped reduce the lag in rendering complex menus and large images, and would have given programmers more options for creating quick, responsive programs.

Read the rest of this review, discussing all of the new math and programming features.



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2013 Articles
January 2013 January 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

Introducing "Using the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus" published January 7, 2013 by KermMartian
Update on TI 84+CSE Interface & Programming Capabilities published January 9, 2013 by elfprince13
TokenIDE Featured On Ticalc.org published January 13, 2013 by tifreak8x
Cemetech Contest #9 Ending Soon published January 15, 2013 by KermMartian
TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition: Official Press Release published January 18, 2013 by KermMartian
jsTIfied Online Calculator Emulator Adds TI-83 Support published January 21, 2013 by KermMartian
jsTIfied: TI-73, TI-76.fr, TI-81, TI-82, TI-82 Stats.fr published January 23, 2013 by KermMartian
TI-83 OS Author and TI Coder Shows First TI-84+CSE Game published January 30, 2013 by KermMartian

February 2013 February 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

TI-84 Plus C SE Seminar Reveals More Math Features published February 6, 2013 by KermMartian
TI Introduces TI-Nspire Apps for iPad published February 6, 2013 by KermMartian
jsTIfied and iOS6 published February 13, 2013 by comicIDIOT
Calculator Reference Pages and 84color.com published February 14, 2013 by KermMartian
KermM and critor Run First 3rd Party Code on TI-84+CSE published February 19, 2013 by DrDnar
Hands-On with the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition: Full Review published February 19, 2013 by KermMartian
Online TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition Emulator: jsTIfied published February 20, 2013 by KermMartian
First Hands-On Week with the TI-84+CSE published February 23, 2013 by KermMartian

March 2013 March 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

Cemetech Contest #9 Results published March 5, 2013 by KermMartian
Orion TI 84+, A calculator for the visually impaired published March 5, 2013 by souvik1997
Cemetech and Texas Instruments' 25th T^3 Conference published March 6, 2013 by KermMartian
Cemetech and T^3 International 2013: Day 1 published March 8, 2013 by KermMartian
TI-Nspire Apps for iPad Panel at T^3 2013 published March 9, 2013 by KermMartian
Cemetech and T^3 International 2013: Days 2 & 3 published March 11, 2013 by KermMartian
T^3 Postmortem published March 11, 2013 by merthsoft
Touchscreen Calculators on the SAT Soon? published March 13, 2013 by KermMartian
Happy Pi Day 2013 from Cemetech published March 14, 2013 by KermMartian
TI-Freakware's Converter published March 15, 2013 by tifreak8x
Overclocking the TI-83+SE / TI-84+/SE Family published March 18, 2013 by KermMartian
TI-84PCSE: Out in the community published March 19, 2013 by tifreak8x
Win a TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition published March 29, 2013 by KermMartian
KermM to Step Down, comicIDIOT Now Dictator of Cemetech published March 31, 2013 by elfprince13

April 2013 April 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

Announcing SourceCoder 3: Closed Alpha published April 2, 2013 by KermMartian
TI-Connect 4.0 and 84C OS 4.0 released ! published April 10, 2013 by Lionel Debroux
TI Releases Schedule for Annual Educators' Conference published April 16, 2013 by elfprince13
Presenting Graph3D v4.1, a Color 3D Grapher published April 18, 2013 by KermMartian
Editorial: On Choosing and Shelving Projects published April 24, 2013 by KermMartian
More Details on the Casio fx-CP400 Touchscreen Calculator published April 27, 2013 by KermMartian

May 2013 May 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

HP Prime Multitouch Graphing Calculator: The Scoop published May 9, 2013 by KermMartian
Cemetech Member Carves Intricate Wooden TI-83+ published May 22, 2013 by KermMartian
HP Prime Datasheet and Screenshots published May 24, 2013 by KermMartian
Planned Server Maintenance, May 27th-28th. published May 24, 2013 by comicIDIOT

June 2013 June 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

Promotions: Comic to admin, Tari to server-admin published June 5, 2013 by elfprince13
Sandpaper v0.95 Calculator FTP Client/Server published June 10, 2013 by KermMartian
June Software Trifecta, Part 1: Doors CS 7.2 Beta 3 published June 13, 2013 by KermMartian
June Software Trifecta, Part 2: gCnClient v2.0 published June 14, 2013 by KermMartian
June Software Trifecta, Part 3: Sandpaper v1.0 published June 14, 2013 by KermMartian
Announcing Cemetech Contest #10: Physics Programs + Prizes published June 19, 2013 by KermMartian
Cemetech Contest #10: Rubric and Rules published June 24, 2013 by KermMartian

July 2013 July 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

Happy US Independence Day; Community Digest published July 4, 2013 by KermMartian
Doors CS 7.2 Released! published July 11, 2013 by KermMartian
Calcuzap: PatrickD Starts TI-84+CSE Phoenix Game published July 19, 2013 by KermMartian
Presenting Celtic 2 CSE published July 20, 2013 by KermMartian
Orion TI-84 Plus Talking Graphing Calculator Released published July 26, 2013 by merthsoft
Cemetech Contest #10: One Week Left! published July 31, 2013 by KermMartian

August 2013 August 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

TI-84+ C Silver Edition Back-to-School Sale published August 4, 2013 by comicIDIOT
This Week in Ticalc Downloads published August 8, 2013 by merthsoft
TI-Nspire Apps for iPad published August 4, 2013 by comicIDIOT
Tetric A: Color Tetris for the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition published August 13, 2013 by KermMartian
Cemetech Contest #10 Results and Winners published August 15, 2013 by KermMartian
Inspiring Students: "STEM Behind Hollywood" published August 18, 2013 by KermMartian
TI-Planet Summer 2013 Contest: The Treasure of Knossos published August 16, 2013 by critor
"Using the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus" Published published August 22, 2013 by KermMartian
Back-To-School Guide 2013: What Calculator Should I Buy? published August 24, 2013 by KermMartian

September 2013 September 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

Eigenmath: At Last, a Casio Prizm CAS published September 6, 2013 by KermMartian
Cemetech Returning to World Maker Faire 2013 published September 9, 2013 by KermMartian
Hands-On with the HP Prime: Full Review published September 11, 2013 by KermMartian
Announcing Doors CS for the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition published September 17, 2013 by KermMartian
Cemetech at World Maker Faire 2013 Recap published September 29, 2013 by KermMartian

October 2013 October 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

HP Prime Archives Added published October 4, 2013 by KermMartian
Doors CSE 8.0 Release Candidate 1 published October 14, 2013 by KermMartian
Cemetech Returning to T^3 2014 published October 23, 2013 by KermMartian
Doors CSE 8.0 Release Candidate 2 published October 24, 2013 by KermMartian
The World's Only TI-82 Plus published October 27, 2013 by KermMartian
An Onslaught of Tetrises! published October 31, 2013 by tifreak8x

November 2013 November 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

Doors CSE 8.0 Released published November 5, 2013 by KermMartian
rom8x Modernized published November 8, 2013 by KermMartian
Put Games on Your TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition published November 11, 2013 by KermMartian
3+ Years of Have Calc, Will Program (HCWP) published November 13, 2013 by KermMartian
Hands-On with Guerrilla TI Calculator Accessories published November 23, 2013 by KermMartian
Graphics Excellence: IkarugaX and SolidFRAME published November 25, 2013 by KermMartian
Jezzball v1.0 Released, in Monochrome and Color published November 30, 2013 by KermMartian

December 2013 December 2013 [Back to News Archives Index]

Cemetech's Lightning Contest #11 Starts Tomorrow published December 5, 2013 by KermMartian
ticalc.org's 2013 POTY Competition Underway published December 8, 2013 by KermMartian
Cemetech's Lightning Contest #11 Results published December 12, 2013 by KermMartian
Omnimaga 2013 Coding Contest Results published December 15, 2013 by KermMartian
Merry Christmas from Cemetech: Calc Books and SourceCoder 3 published December 23, 2013 by KermMartian
DecBot Reaches 20,000 Points published December 29, 2013 by merthsoft
Cemetech Minecraft Server 2.0 (MC 1.7+) published December 31, 2013 by KermMartian


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