Recently I had to get a scientific calculator for statistics because apparently my TI-84 Plus CE has too many functions like numerical integration. After realizing TI's US scientific calculators are lacking functions I wanted and are all kind of ugly, I went to datamath.org and found that TI sells the TI-30X Plus MathPrint. It's similar to the TI-36x Pro but it doesn't have integration capabilities, it has a higher resolution screen, a massive solar panel, and it's sold exclusively overseas.

It cost $36 to buy it from Amazon.fr (amusingly it was less expensive there than Amazon.com) and it showed up about 2 weeks later.

(Click images for full size)


Here's the packaging along with the included manuals. None of the packaging or manuals were in English, but the text printed on the calculator and the software are all in English.


Here's a comparison with the TI-84 Plus CE. The TI-30X Plus does look a lot better than other scientific calculators like the TI-30X IIS. It's about the same thickness and width as the CE but a lot shorter. The buttons are much squishier than the CE and not stabilized as well so typing isn't nearly as pleasant. The D-Pad, while usable, is also pretty bad and sometimes doesn't register a press unless you press all the way down on one of the sides.



There's only 4 Phillips screw holding the calculator together so of course I took it apart! This calculator has a date code of L-0820A and an interesting board layout. The bottom PCB for the keypad is obviously reused from past calculators. All the contacts are covered in some sort of epoxy so I can't probe them or try the reset pads for a reset button that doesn't exist on this calculator. I'm disappointed to see ribbon cables connecting the two PCBs and screen since that means I'll have to eventually fix them. But the pads look big enough that the inevitable ribbon cable failure shouldn't be too bad to fix.

The charging circuit is pretty cool. It charges the two CR2032 batteries but when it has extra power, it dissipates it with two big red LEDs that get pretty bright if you hold it up to the sun.

Unfortunately the processor is hidden under a pool of epoxy so I'm not exactly sure what's in this thing. I benchmarked a summation of x^2 from x=0 to 1000 and it took 10.00 seconds which is the same time as a pre-A TI-84 Plus CE. It's nice to know whatever processor this has, it performs as well as my daily driver calculator.


Using the calculator's software is actually really nice. It has an Exact Math Engine, multiple ways to enter expressions, and even some functions the CE doesn't have built in like base conversion, unit conversion, and 2's compliment.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the calculator so far. The buttons are its biggest downside but the rest of the calculator's features makes up for it. Now I wonder if I can overclock it... Laughing
Ooh I like the look of that calculator! Nice review Smile Do you know how it compares to the TI-36X Pro?
I like that they went for an higher resolution display like with Casio Classwiz series. Looks very nice too.
Nice, I didn't know these things existed! I think I'll grab a Pro and a non Pro for my collection. I have a few classes I have to use scientific calcs for and currently I'm actually using my TI-2500 since I don't actually have a scientific calc besides my HP-12C, if that counts.
Unfortunately I don't have a TI-36x Pro to directly compare it to (yet), but data math lists that the Plus variant of the 30x is lacking:
Numeric derivative
Numeric integral
Numeric equation solver
Polynomial solver

Basically anything that could help with calculus.

I really like the higher resolution screen as well. This reminds me of my TI-34 Multiview I used back in middle school, but better.

Zeroko mentioned on SAX how to get into a self-test mode which I didn't know existed on scientific calculators.
[2nd]>[reset]>[2nd]>[insert]>[on] pulls up the calculator's name and OS version. From there there's multiple tests you can start by pressing different keys:
[sto->] Cycles through different display patterns to test the screen
[xyztabcd] Starts a keypad test. It displays a vertical line on the screen. Pressing every button starting from the top left (excluding [on]) will add another line.
[x^2] Cycles through every contrast level and even loops back to the lowest level once it reaches the highest level.
[x^▫] Makes the screen flicker.

That's all the tests I could find. Unfortunately you have to press [on]+[clear] to exit which clears the memory, but cool to know nonetheless.
  
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