Back in November 2012, Cemetech was the first to announce the existence of TI's first color-screen non-Nspire calculator, the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. Now, two years later, we are thrilled to bring you a first look at TI's new TI-84 Plus CE calculator. A natural evolution of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition towards the thinner, lighter feel of the TI-Nspire CX and the HP Prime calculators, this new model appears to answer many of the complaints about the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. However, there is much we still don't know about the calculator (see the More Information links at the bottom of this article). Here's what we do know so far, based on TI's and Vernier's released info:
The TI-84 Plus CE has the same key layout (but with squarer keys) and the same keystrokes to navigate the OS as the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition
The operating system will start at OS 5.0 (as proven by the existence of EasyData 5.0 - thanks to critor for spotting this).
The calculator drops the 20-year-old 2.5mm I/O port and moves the USB port and charging LED to the right side of the device.
The TI-84 Plus CE has 150KB of user RAM and 3.0MB of user Archive (source: Vernier).
The calculator is qualitatively "very fast", based on a deleted Reddit comment. Perhaps most striking, this is likely the first TI-8x calculator since the TI-80 to not use a z80 CPU. Speculation abounds whether this device uses an ez80 or is an ARM emulating a z80. Current evidence points to the latter: the calculator appears to be nearly identical in dimensions to the TI-Nspire CX, and the likelihood of TI re-using existing hardware rather than re-tooling an entire ASIC is high.
The TI-84 Plus CE has either a charging port on the bottom, like the TI-Nspire CX, or metal contacts for charging on the side, like the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition
Unless Vernier made a copy-and-paste error, the calculator will retail for $129, the same retail price as the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition.
What do you think about this new calculator? Is it the answer to bringing the TI-83+/TI-84+ line into the 21st century, or is it a misguided attempt to refresh a disappointing calculator? We on the Cemetech administration team are very excited at TI's continued commitment to the TI-84+CSE series, hope we'll be able to update our books, documentation, and tools to support the new calculator soon, and can't wait to get our hands on the device!