Back in November, shortly after we revealed the existence of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition graphing calculator (which we have now reviewed and used thoroughly), we discovered that Casio was also unveiling a new calculator. Our article mentioned features like a large color touchscreen, portrait and vertical orientation options, and plenty of RAM and Flash for files and programs. It appeared to have software based on the CAS in the Casio Classpad 330 from the available screenshots. I am pleased to reveal that we have acquired more information about the device.
Speaking on condition of anonymity,sources discussed their initial experiences using a pre-production model of the calculator with us. As the device is still in development, they stressed that it will likely change substantially before hitting retail stores. Our sources particularly praised the screen, calling it crisp and colorful, and complimenting the accuracy and responsiveness of the touch. They felt that the calculator as a whole felt sleek and modern, and from the available photos of the new device compared with the Classpad 330, this editor is inclined to agree. On the negative side, the current pre-production model lacks a 3D graphing application, and at this point, it offers similar mathematical features to the Classpad 330. Finally, the US is likely not the core market for this device, as CAS calculators are far more widely used in (for example) Europe and Australia.
We look forward to learning more about the Casio fx-CP400 as it gets closer to production, and I look forward to eventually getting a hands-on look at it. With the evolution of this device and rumored touchscreen devices from HP and possibly even TI, we may be at the cusp of a more rapid convergence of calculators towards looking and feeling like educationally-oriented smartphones with more elaborate keyboards.