Not all of the calculators on the list are exactly comparable, existing at different times and at different prices and with different target use cases. If you're looking to make an informed decision about which calculator is best for you, I recommend reading one of the many back-to-school guides like this one.
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I have been coding for about 4 years and so far ti 84+ has been the best for me because the pixel count is not as outrageous as the CE version. Also it has most of the same commands and capabilities as the CE.
I use the TI 83+ because I do not care what features I can get.
Also, I believe that if software needs a powerful computer to run it, there is something wrong with it. Taking this to the extreme, if you can't put it on a TI 83+ there is no reason you would want or need that software.
Also, this wonderful calculator has existed for a very long time now, showing that it is tried and true. The fact it continues to retail is amazing in and of itself. I cannot think of many computing devices with the same longevity without hardware updates of consequence.
If you take into account the price is unchanged from the initial release, and that it still can be found in many stores alongside more modern competition, one can only assume it was just so ahead of the curve it remains relevant today.
This was an update to the TI 83, which itself was meant to be an upgrade of the TI 82. It added features standard in the modern mobile computing market, such as "flash memory", allowing for the operating system to be updated, and for larger programs to be stored.
Furthermore, it has a link port, allowing for software to be uploaded and downloaded conveniently, arguably the reason that these communities are able to exist. It revitalized the hobbyist scene for microcomputers, and introduced it to a new generation. The importance of this development cannot be understated.
Did other more recent calculators improve on this? Undeniably. However, the amount of literature in schools that assumes the use of this model makes it incredibly difficult to phase out entirely. It is comparable to sharks or horseshoe crabs in biology: a design so well-made, it still exists today.
To sum up, the TI 83+ is my calculator of choice, even in today's competitive and varied market. Sure, some may be faster, or have more bells and whistles, but nothing matches the simplicity and effectiveness of the original.
Edit: turns out the TI 83+ silver edition has cool sparkle thingies that make it look totally tubular. I revoke everything above, as:
This one has style, this one has grace
Its uncolored font is still monospace
More storage in flash stores games for you
It has a faster clock speed and z80 cpu
T I texas instruments (i would continue, but i think the space age case makes enough of a case already)
Send help - and grape soda.
The grape soda is what I live on.
The programming is what I live for.
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