Two years ago, in February 2013, Cemetech got its hands on an early sample of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition thanks to TI Education's generosity, and I quickly wrote a hands-on review of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. Now, I have my very own Radical Red TI-84 Plus CE, as previously announced via photograph, and I'm excited to share my hands-on experiences with the TI-84 Plus CE with you. The TI-84 Plus CE largely brings the existing math features of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition to a thinner, faster, lighter calculator, so I'll be focusing on the new calculator's physical characteristics, hardware, and speed. Of course, I'll reiterate my observations about the math features of the TI-84 Plus CSE and TI-84 Plus CE from my TI-84 Plus CSE review for our readers more accustomed to the monochrome TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus family. In short, the TI-84 Plus CE addresses complaints about the speed of the two-year-old TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition and is a thin, light, easy-to-use device with familiar math and science features.
The Big Picture The TI-84 Plus CE combines all of the math, science, engineering, and programming tools of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition with a thin, light case, a fast processor with plenty of RAM, and a better battery. The software features of the calculator have been proven over the past several decades, and millions of students and teachers are already familiar with how to use the calculator. The novelty of this new calculator is the modern design, the pleasing size and weight, and the better technical specifications that add up to a more pleasant user experience. While you won't be computing the determinant of a matrix or graphing a sinusoid more than 50% faster than before, the day-to-day math features feel faster, more responsive, and less frustrating. If you're a power user who explores TI-BASIC or Assembly programming, the new calculator's features will mean a world of difference for you, both simply in the responsiveness of the calculator and in the many new possibilities the large RAM, memory-mapped LCD and I/O, and ez80 processor provide.
The TI-84 Plus CE will be available in eight colors for $129 in retailers early this summer, the same price point as its older, thicker, heavier sibling, the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition. We recommend it as the best option in the TI-84 Plus family to anyone looking for a math and science tool or a programming tool. The OS feels fast and remains full-featured, the battery, processor, memory, and LCD have been improved in the past two years, and the thin, light, colorful case will no doubt excite students and their parents.