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Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 27, 2015, TI Education will be officially launching the TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator, a sleek, modern twist on the well-known TI-84 Plus family. Inside and out, this calculator is designed to build on the success of the color-screen TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition calculator, retaining the higher-resolution color screen while making the calculator sleeker, thinner, lighter, faster, and more power-efficient. We had the pleasure of speaking one day in advance of the official launch to the President of TI Education, Peter Balyta, who discussed the features and goals of this new device with us. This "latest edition of our most popular graphing calculator" is, in short, "really, really cool", and incorporates a host of suggestions from students, teachers, and even the wider hobbyist community.

One of the primary goals of this new calculator is to retain the pedagogical successes and well-known interface and features of the existing TI-84 Plus family of graphing calculators while incorporating improvements meant to make the calculator better for students. Physically, it is 30% thinner and 30% lighter than the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition; Dr. Balyta discussed how this will make it easier for students to bring their calculators to class, to exams, and for those so inclined, on buses or breaks for those who want to work on homework or explore programming. To make the calculator more fun and more individualized, it will be available in seven colors; although TI Education hasn't published official names for the colors yet, the TI-84 Plus CE will come in red, pink, blue, plum, navy, silver, and black.

The internals of the TI-84 Plus CE have also been improved from the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. First, it has 6x more user-accessible RAM, which will make it possible to store bigger matrices, more lists, and longer TI-BASIC programs in RAM. Although Dr. Balyta could not specifically comment on the processor model and speed in the new calculator (our previous information about the French TI-83 Premium CE indicates that it contains an ez80 with an unknown clock speed), he did say that side-by-side with a TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, the new TI-84 Plus CE will show a nice improvement in speed. We also believe that the calculator will contain the same roomy 3.5MB of user Flash memory as the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, making plenty of space for Apps and activities. Dr. Balyta particularly stressed the longer battery life of the TI-84 Plus CE. Realistically, students aren't always great about managing battery life, so with typical use, students can use the TI-84 Plus CE for up to a full month on one charge; battery life is no longer measured in hours or days. Based on comments from teachers and students about coming back from summer vacation or long breaks and finding their calculators' batteries dead, the TI-84 Plus CE also introduces a new deep sleep that will save the battery over months of non-use.

Pedagogically, the calculator keeps the familiar interface of the TI-84 Plus family. It has the same functionality as the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, and will come with the same preloaded Apps, such as EasyData, PolySmlt, CellSheet, Cabri Jr., and more. As always, TI has made sure that while the calculator can be used easily at home, in class, and on exams, it also is accepted on all the same standardized tests as the other TI-84 Plus family calculators, like the SAT, ACT, IB, and AP. Although with my journalist hat there's not much TI and I can say about upcoming activities and content for the calculator, you can rest assured that the company has an aggressive plan for helping students and teachers with STEM instruction via the new technology.

In terms of programming, the succinct summary is that almost all TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition TI-BASIC programs will work on this device as-is, and almost all assembly programs and Apps will require modification. TI recommends that programmers verify that their programs still work on the new device, of course. We plan to quickly upgrade Doors CSE for the new calculator as soon as we have enough information to do so, as well as provide a one-stop location for TI-BASIC and assembly programmers looking for information, tools, and resources.

Finally, the new TI-84 Plus CE brings mini-USB (only) connectivity; TI will soon be releasing more information about connectivity. We're disappointed that the CALCnet networking library, the ArTICL Arduino-calculator communication library, the Norland Research robot, and other I/O port hardware and software potentially won't work with the TI-84 Plus CE, but we're waiting for more information before getting our hopes completely dashed. There's a new TI-Connect CE specifically for the TI-84 Plus family of calculators that will provide the ability to manage multiple calculators, organize screenshots, edit TI-BASIC programs (!), and more.

As you can tell, we're very excited about the new TI-84 Plus CE, and will bring you a hands-on review as soon as possible. In addition, we expect to see a lot more about the calculator at T^3 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas this March. Do you have any questions about the new calculator? If so, please ask in the attached topic and I'll do my best to answer. We must heartily thank Peter Balyta and Ellen Goldberg for taking the time to speak to us today about the TI-84 Plus CE and for giving us a one-day head-start on the official announcement. Later tonight, TI will be releasing an official video (the one briefly visible in our TI-France's TI-83 Premium CE Hints at TI-84 Plus CE Features article) that we will append to this news.

More Information
TI-84 Plus CE information, documentation, and resources
Past TI-84 Plus CE news: TI-France's TI-83 Premium CE Hints at TI-84 Plus CE Features; A First Look at the TI-84 Plus CE

A TI-BASIC editor!? Smile Looks like TI is taking new steps. Sounds like this will be a fun adventure; can't wait to see how it will be received, in addition to functionality. Time for some fun! Very Happy
MateoConLechuga wrote:
A TI-BASIC editor!? Smile Looks like TI is taking new steps. Sounds like this will be a fun adventure; can't wait to see how it will be received, in addition to functionality. Time for some fun! Very Happy
Actually, TI-GraphLink used to have a TI-BASIC editor back in the day, and it was removed in the Windows version of TI-Connect. We're very happy that they'll be bringing it back, although we continue to feel that SourceCoder 3 or TokenIDE are the best ways to develop TI-BASIC programs.
KermMartian wrote:
MateoConLechuga wrote:
A TI-BASIC editor!? Smile Looks like TI is taking new steps. Sounds like this will be a fun adventure; can't wait to see how it will be received, in addition to functionality. Time for some fun! Very Happy
Actually, TI-GraphLink used to have a TI-BASIC editor back in the day, and it was removed in the Windows version of TI-Connect. We're very happy that they'll be bringing it back, although we continue to feel that SourceCoder 3 or TokenIDE are the best ways to develop TI-BASIC programs.

Ah, that makes sense, a little before my time. Razz I must agree with you there; it is quite a nice interface to use for SC and Tokens, plus they have a multitude of functions for other things as well. Smile
MateoConLechuga wrote:
KermMartian wrote:
Actually, TI-GraphLink used to have a TI-BASIC editor back in the day, and it was removed in the Windows version of TI-Connect. We're very happy that they'll be bringing it back, although we continue to feel that SourceCoder 3 or TokenIDE are the best ways to develop TI-BASIC programs.

Ah, that makes sense, a little before my time. Razz I must agree with you there; it is quite a nice interface to use for SC and Tokens, plus they have a multitude of functions for other things as well. Smile
I for one love my own SourceCoder 3 (very biasedly) because I can so quickly iteratively test and edit programs on the jsTIfied emulator. I have found that invaluable for speeding up development on my STEM Behind Hollywood activities.

Hooloovoo on #cemetech wrote:
what's the thing next to the USB port on the CE?
That's the charging LED.


On a more serious note, this is pretty cool, and I am very eager when I can place my order for this calculator to add it to my collection! Very Happy
Too many pink calculators! Shock

Seriously, though, I can't wait to get one of those calcs.


As for the deep sleep stuff, I hope it doesn't mean that the calculator will take 1 minute to boot like the Nspire.
tifreak8x wrote:
On a more serious note, this is pretty cool, and I am very eager when I can place my order for this calculator to add it to my collection! Very Happy
I'll certainly be posting the hands-on review within hours of having the calculator in my hands, but that doesn't help you guys. Pending that no higher power objects, I also hope to be able to turn my free time (hahaha) towards figuring out what we'll need for development with this calculator.
DJ_O wrote:
Too many pink calculators! Shock
Seriously, though, I can't wait to get one of those calcs.
As for the deep sleep stuff, I hope it doesn't mean that the calculator will take 1 minute to boot like the Nspire.
The boot process is already only a few seconds from a "cold" state with the existing calculators, and since this looks to be an ez80 with a minimally-modified OS, I don't anticipate a boot of more than a few seconds at worst out of the deep sleep state.
Having an official program editor built into TI Connect is, of course, quite powerful, and great for more amateur developers. I doubt, though, that they'll have the same suite of powerful tools that SC and TokenIDE have, such as xLib sprite editors and emulator support.

I'm, of course, going to get myself a pink one of these new calcs, and see what needs to be modified in my few pure-BASIC programs as far as timing goes to make them work.
merthsoft wrote:
Having an official program editor built into TI Connect is, of course, quite powerful, and great for more amateur developers. I doubt, though, that they'll have the same suite of powerful tools that SC and TokenIDE have, such as xLib sprite editors and emulator support.
Indeed, I suspect they'll go with simple and solid rather than explore the host of features we've implemented for our IDEs; I don't see TokenIDE and SC3 becoming irrelevant

Quote:
I'm, of course, going to get myself a pink one of these new calcs, and see what needs to be modified in my few pure-BASIC programs as far as timing goes to make them work.
Of course you'll get a pink one! I suspect that once tr1p1ea and I overhaul Doors CSE and xLIBC, you'll need to make zero to few modifications of your BASIC and Hybrid programs.
KermMartian wrote:
merthsoft wrote:
Having an official program editor built into TI Connect is, of course, quite powerful, and great for more amateur developers. I doubt, though, that they'll have the same suite of powerful tools that SC and TokenIDE have, such as xLib sprite editors and emulator support.
Indeed, I suspect they'll go with simple and solid rather than explore the host of features we've implemented for our IDEs; I don't see TokenIDE and SC3 becoming irrelevant

Quote:
I'm, of course, going to get myself a pink one of these new calcs, and see what needs to be modified in my few pure-BASIC programs as far as timing goes to make them work.
Of course you'll get a pink one! I suspect that once tr1p1ea and I overhaul Doors CSE and xLIBC, you'll need to make zero to few modifications of your BASIC and Hybrid programs.

Sounds like you and tr1p get all the fun. Wink

One thing I noticed is that the arrow keys are a bit reminiscent of the original TI-83.
Woo! I'm keen for this, a new toy in the collection and it will be fun to see what we can do with it Smile
123outerme wrote:
Sounds like you and tr1p get all the fun. Wink
I'd be sarcastic and say that it sure sounds like fun indeed, but honestly, the technical challenge of figuring out the new device probably will be fun. Dr. Balyta confirmed that no SDK will be announced tomorrow with the product unveiling, and didn't make any comment about the future availability of an SDK, but I'm not holding my breath for one.

Quote:
One thing I noticed is that the arrow keys are a bit reminiscent of the original TI-83.
You're right; I didn't even think of that! The main difference is that although thinner, the TI-83 arrow keys still had an outer perimeter that was an oval rather than a circle.
KermMartian wrote:
I suspect that once tr1p1ea and I overhaul Doors CSE and xLIBC, you'll need to make zero to few modifications of your BASIC and Hybrid programs.
I think the only thing that I'll want to make sure of is that Dino Puzzle doesn't run too fast.
He, the integrated program editor in TI-Connect CE is not a surprise, it's been mentioned here more than ten days ago, as screenshots on TI's minisite about the 83PCE show.
But yeah, don't get your hopes up about a full IDE Razz

By the way, the official minisite is already launched, no need to wait tomorrow : http://education.ti.com/en/us/products/calculators/graphing-calculators/ti-84-plus-ce/tabs/overview

Note : as I've written on TI-Planet, it looks like TI has definitely removed the short-lived 84PCSE from their official calc comparison table, replacing it with the 84PCE... oh well.
Thanks for your comments, Adriweb. Smile

The promised promotional video is now live on YouTube (below). In addition, our friends at Gizmodo have posted about our interview with Dr. Balyta; they're especially impressed with the long battery life: The New TI-84 Has Battery Life That Will Make Your Phone Cry.
Got to love the title Gizmodo come up with.
Eeems wrote:
Got to love the title Gizmodo come up with.
Well, I know that battery life was one of the aspects about which Dr. Balyta was particularly excited, so I'm glad they chose that to pick up on. The commenters were somewhat less charitable, as you'd expect from the comments on any cutting-edge technology site covering the hardware in a calculator. As always, people whine about clock speed and memory capacity. Razz (And inability to put pictures of ... inappropriate content ... on the device, which of course we know is possible using SourceCoder, TokenIDE, or even TI-Connect itself).
I wonder how they're getting a month, even in whatever they're calling "typical usage", on a color calc. Surprised

Fancy display tech? Or just crazy aggressive (and annoying) power management?
bhtooefr wrote:
Fancy display tech? Or just crazy aggressive (and annoying) power management?

Considering TI really know how to make energy-efficient chips, a bit it both wouldn't surprise me.

But yeah, I doubt any of us here will ever see one month of battery life anyway.
  
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