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Back in 2011, Casio released the Casio Prizm calculator, a revolutionary device that added a bright full-color screen to the classic graphing calculator. It offered 384x216 pixels of space for numeric math, graphing, and user-made programs, powered by a 58MHz processor that could be clocked up to nearly 100MHz. Here at Cemetech, we embraced the calculator, building up lots of documentation and creating plenty of programs. We even wrote a forceful editorial promoting the Casio Prizm over the subsequently announced color-screen TI-Nspire CX, citing the latter's lack of programmability (which was subsequently ameliorated). The Casio Prizm's popularity eventually waned in favor of the admittedly weaker and slower TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition and TI-84 Plus CE, the latter being by far the calculator with the most active set of projects these days.

This March, we announced that Casio was following up the trusty Casio fx-CG10 / fx-CG20 Prizm with a new fx-CG50 calculator. Casio was kind enough to send along a review model of this calculator, so we had the opportunity to go hands-on with it. I outlined my initial impressions in a hands-on review video, while Cemetech administrator Daniel "tifreak8x" Thorneycroft explored the speed of user-made BASIC programs on the new calculator. We found that the calculator represented a significant improvement on the physical design of the older calculator, with a brighter, crisper screen and a zippier experience. On the other hand, the interface remains somewhat unintuitive, and the calculator continues to rely on now-outdated AAA batteries. Among our most important takeaways:
  • Pro: More modern, squarer case design, with attractive white and pseudo-carbon-fiber plastics separated by a thin aqua line, and a more comfortable keyboard, with a few chromed keys as accents.
  • Pro: Iterated color screen, brighter, crisper, and with truer colors (but the same resolution as the fx-CG10/20)
  • Pro: Significantly faster interface, especially for running Casio BASIC programs, as shown in tifreak8x's video below.
  • Pro: New built-in (limited) 3D graphing application
  • Pro: Unrestricted BASIC, C, and SH ASM programming features (the latter two only unofficially supported)
  • Con: Same arguably unintuitive OS interface as the older calculator
  • Con: Necessarily thicker than the TI-Nspire CX and TI-84 Plus CE due to continued use of AAA batteries for power.

The vast majority of our criticisms about the new calculator could be solved by updating the operating system, but we also believe that avid Casio calculator users will find the interface much more intuitive than those of us trained on TI graphing calculators. We just wish there was more official documentation on the Casio BASIC programming language! Are you considering getting a Casio Prizm fx-CG50 for the upcoming school year? For that matter, have you taken a look at our Back to School Graphing Calculator Guide yet? We're more than happy to field questions or comments on Casio's newest calculator in the comments, and be sure to check out our video reviews below.

I only have one question... Does a new fx-CG50 smell like a new fx-CG10/20 does? Razz
JosJuice wrote:
I only have one question... Does a new fx-CG50 smell like a new fx-CG10/20 does? Razz
No, actually! The plastic doesn't offgas in the same way.
heh - my CG10 still smells factory fresh. Its grown on me. too bad the OS is so unwieldy that I care not for using it. the new one is faster, huh? and what do you mean unrestricted?
The fx-CG10, fx-CG20, and fx-CG50 can all run Add-Ins made by third-party programmers like us with no jailbreaking or other unlocking necessary. By contrast, all of TI's latest calculators have some sort of restrictions on native programs: without Ndless, you can't run native code on the TI-Nspires at all, and we can't sign Apps for the TI-84 Plus CE.
So basically nothing new...
Can't believe they are still using AAA batteries, despite the ergonomic and economic advantages of a rechargeable battery.
I think with a rechargeable battery, a good 3d graphing app, and maybe a little bit more intuitive UI, this would be a much better calculator that people might actually consider buying.
Casio is usually pretty good at making goodish UIs, just look at their scientific calculators, which are all very intuitive and very popular, idk why their graphing calculator lineup is so messy.
Also, they should stop focusing on the student market, because wether they like it or not, that is already owned by TI. Instead, I think throwing in a CAS, they could make this a good calculator for the professional market, worthy of standing side by side with the HP Prime and TI-nspire CX CAS.
PS. I can't believe you would do that to a ti-83, what a horrible thing to do Kerm!
It's actually double speed and I believe has quite a bit more RAM.. +6MB I think but I don't think all of it is usable. If it does, there should be a huge number of potential applications that open up.
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