Login [Register]
Don't have an account? Register now to chat, post, use our tools, and much more.
First Impressions of the Casio ClassPad 330
Published by KermMartian on June 19, 2012 at 8:44:00 PM CST | Discuss this article (78)

I recently completed Casio's ClassPad training program, and throughout the program, got a good feel for the ClassPad 330 graphing calculator via the company's emulator. Now that I have a physical ClassPad in my hand, I'd like to share a few thoughts about this calculator, CAS calculators in general, and how it fares compared to the TI-Nspire and the TI-89.

If (like me) you are or were not that familiar with Casio's offerings, having been brainwashed by decades of Texas Instruments' PR, the ClassPad is a touchscreen CAS graphing calculator. This means it can perform symbolic math, taking equations and simplifying them without needing numeric values for variables. It has a stylus for its vertically-oriented (portrait) monochrome LCD, although you can also use your finger. It can do symbolic integration and differentiation, just like the TI-89 and the TI-Nspire CX CAS, and as befits a graphing calculator, can breeze through 2D and 3D graphing. Casio Education is particularly proud of their eActivity feature, which lets you combine notes, math, geometry, graphs, and other pieces together in a single document. I suspect, in fact, that their eActivity format might easily have been the inspiration for Texas Instruments' document-centric design for the TI-Nspire. As far as the ClassPad's features, the single feature that blew me away the most was the 3D graphing application. It clearly has a huge amount of work put into it, and can graph cartesian, spherical, cylindrical, and even parametric 3D equations with ease. As I mentioned, the ClassPad has a touchscreen and a stylus, so you can full-screen a 3D graph and drag it with your finger or the stylus to rotate it. I'm a bit surprised that it needs to spend a few seconds calculating the points of the graph before displaying it, but I'll chalk that up to the complexity of their CAS.

From a teacher point of view, I like that I could put together eActivities to match up to lessons I was teaching; from a student point of view, I believe the ClassPad at least equals the TI-89 in symbolic CAS capabilities. For an "underdog" device, I find it to be surprisingly polished. If I had to come up with some criticisms, I might say that the abbreviated physical keypad with lack of QWERTY keys is unfortunate, especially since the touchscreen already disqualifies it from standardized testing and a QWERTY keyboard therefore wouldn't be a big deal. Of course, if there was a keyboard, it would have to be tiny, or the excellently massive screen would have to be cut down a bit. As a programmer, I find the built-in BASIC language very easy to learn, and it certainly doesn't start out as a crippled device. It takes two too many clicks to run a program from the editor, but that's a minor complaint. Since the calculator I received had been pre-loaded with two extra Add-Ins, one of which is a game, I can only assume that given enough programmers looking to work with the ClassPad, a C/C++ toolchain could easily be written, if it hasn't already. The bottom line is that I am quite impressed with the ClassPad as a general-purpose calculator and teaching tool, despite a few scattered flaws, and am frankly surprised that it hasn't gained more inroads into classrooms. I suppose a combination of TI marketing and market presence and a lot of focus on using calculators for standardized testing explains much of that.

2012 Articles
January 2012 January 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Happy New Year; Cemetech's 2011 In Review published January 5, 2012 by KermMartian
» Defeat SOPA/PIPA; Contest 8 End Looms published January 18, 2012 by KermMartian
» 900K Downloads; Contest 8 Ends Today published January 22, 2012 by KermMartian
» [InDev] jsTIfied, a Javascript TI-83+ Emulator published January 24, 2012 by KermMartian

February 2012 February 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» [Prizm] Tetrizm v1.0 published February 2, 2012 by KermMartian
» Public jsTIfied Beta: a TI-83+ in Your Browser published February 6, 2012 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Contest #8 Results published February 22, 2012 by KermMartian
» State of the Prizm: February 2012 published February 24, 2012 by KermMartian
» Introducing "Programming the TI-83+/84+" published February 28, 2012 by KermMartian

March 2012 March 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Cemetech to Bring Full-Color Prizm 3D Graphing published March 3, 2012 by KermMartian
» Graph3DP Video Demo; Prizm OS 1.04 published March 15, 2012 by KermMartian

April 2012 April 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Graph3DP v1.0 Beta 1; Prizm Hacking Continues published April 1, 2012 by KermMartian
» Prizm Successfully Overclocked, Underclocked published April 4, 2012 by KermMartian
» United-TI To Merge Into Cemetech published April 15, 2012 by KermMartian
» United-TI Forum Archives Open at Cemetech published April 21, 2012 by KermMartian

May 2012 May 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» More Prizm Gaming: 3D and OverClui published May 2, 2012 by KermMartian
» New Moderators: Tari, Weregoose, Xeda112358 published May 9, 2012 by KermMartian
» Kernel Hacking: Connect an SSD1289 LCD to a Beaglebone published May 17, 2012 by KermMartian
» SourceCoder: A TI-83+ Emulator in your TI-BASIC Editor published May 28, 2012 by KermMartian

June 2012 June 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» First Impressions of the Casio ClassPad 330 published June 19, 2012 by KermMartian
» "Programming the TI-83+/84+" Heads to Production published June 21, 2012 by KermMartian
» Doom, 3D Graphing Advance on Casio Prizm published June 25, 2012 by KermMartian

July 2012 July 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Doors CS 7 Ornament, IRC Stats, Updates published July 12, 2012 by KermMartian
» A Formal Unveiling of WikiPrizm published July 20, 2012 by KermMartian

August 2012 August 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» TI-89 Titanium Disassembly and Backlighting published August 9, 2012 by KermMartian
» [Prizm] Introducing LuaZM published August 17, 2012 by KermMartian
» Back-To-School Guide 2012 Part 1: Buying a Graphing Calc published August 27, 2012 by KermMartian

September 2012 September 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Graph3DP 1.0 Release Candidate 1 published September 2, 2012 by KermMartian
» Back-To-School Guide 2012 Part 2: Put Games on Your Calc published September 4, 2012 by KermMartian
» [Prizm] Graph3DP 1.0 Released published September 6, 2012 by KermMartian
» LuaZM v0.1 Beta: Lua for the Casio Prizm published September 8, 2012 by KermMartian
» Back-To-School Guide 2012 Part 3: Learn to Program published September 12, 2012 by KermMartian
» Calculator Hacking at Maker Faire 2012 published September 13, 2012 by KermMartian
» jsTIfied Online Emulator Adds Beta TI-84+/SE Support published September 18, 2012 by KermMartian
» "Programming the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus" Published published September 28, 2012 by KermMartian
» Maker Faire 12 Day 1: Educators' Choice; Hackaday Interview published September 29, 2012 by KermMartian

October 2012 October 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Cemetech at World Maker Faire 2012 Recap published October 3, 2012 by KermMartian
» Games: Alien Breed 5 and Bloxorz published October 6, 2012 by KermMartian
» jsTIfied 1.0 Release Candidate 1 published October 9, 2012 by KermMartian
» Play @ Cemetech: MC and UT2004 published October 14, 2012 by KermMartian
» "Programming the TI-83+/84+" for Kindle/eBook published October 20, 2012 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Gets a Fresh Look published October 25, 2012 by KermMartian

November 2012 November 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» TI-84 Plus C Color-Screen Calculator Discovered published November 8, 2012 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Founder to Speak at Texas Instruments T3 Conference published November 9, 2012 by KermMartian
» Official Updates About TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition Software published November 12, 2012 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Contest #9 Announced published November 14, 2012 by KermMartian
» Nspire Ribbon Repair And Miscellany published November 18, 2012 by KermMartian
» 200K Posts, Other Stats published November 18, 2012 by KermMartian
» Exploring Options for Expansion published November 19, 2012 by Alex
» Casio Announces ClassPad fx-CP400 Color Touch Calculator published November 29, 2012 by KermMartian

December 2012 December 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Official TI-84+CSE Updates: Specs, FAQs, More published December 12, 2012 by KermMartian
» "Self-Teaching a Love of STEM: A Personal Tale" published December 27, 2012 by KermMartian
» Announcing jsTIfied 1.0, an Online Graphing Calculator published December 31, 2012 by KermMartian