# Top Picks

## Best Financial Calculator for CFA Exam: TI BA II Plus Professional vs. HP 12c

# TI BA II Plus Professional vs. HP 12c

The CFA Institute does not leave potential test takers many options when it comes time to choosing which financial calculator to use while taking the CFA exams. In fact there are only two models allowed(along with their variants) either the Texas Instruments BA II Plus or the Hewlett-Packard 12C.

One important tip that many recommend is to **BRING TWO IDENTICAL CALCULATORS** out of precaution. Batteries can die and buttons can jam and you will be dead in the water if you have to finish without a calculator. The examiner will not let you use a loaner calculator. Financial calculators are very cheap, there is no sense in taking an unnecessary risk.

The rivalry between HP and TI dates back decades and there are many who are sharply divided on the issue similar to the rivalry of Mac vs. PC, but the main difference comes down to something called Reverse Polish Notation or RPN, which I go into great detail in here if you are interested. But basically it comes down to what order you prefer to press the buttons on the calculator to reach the answer.

## TI BA II Plus Professional

Overtime RPN has fallen out of favor and Texas Instruments has come to be the dominant player in the calculator industry and many study guides now only include examples on how to use the TI BA II, and you will find most of your classmates use the TI BA II Plus or TI BA II Professional and it is most likely the calculator you are already most familiar with.

### Pros

- Familiarity. Widely used and easy to find established study materials.
- Capability to perform a larger number of functions such as Discounted Payback
- Affordable

### Cons

- No Reverse Polish Notation

## HP 12c

Many old school bankers prefer RPN since that was the standard while they were going through school and many were given the HP 12C which uses RPN as standard issue on their first day.

### Pros

- Uses Reverse Polish notation. This is a no brainer if you are a diehard RPN convert.
- Street Cred. If you show up with one of these everyone assumes you are a financial savant.

### Cons

- RPN again. If you have never used the HP 12c you should plan on spending a few hours getting to master the calculator. But many swear you should put in the effort due to the time saving effect of having to use fewer key strokes to get to the answer with an RPN calculator and every second counts on the exam.
- Price. Tends to be more expensive than the TI competitor but you may be able to pick up a used one HERE for far less. Be sure to buy one from a seller with near perfect feedback.

## Who wins?

It all comes down to what you feel most comfortable with. If you have never used an RPN calculator before then right before a major exam is not the best time to begin learning a whole new process and you should stick with the TI BA II Plus. However if you are already a pro with HP calculators then by all means stick with the HP 12C enjoy it, you earned the right to bask in the limelight.

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## Hp 15C Limited Edition Scientific Calculator Review

# Hp 15C Limited Edition Review

The HP 15C Limited Edition was released on the 30^{th} Anniversary of Hp-12C edition. The earlier version (HP 15C Scientific Calculator) was introduced in the market in 1982 but it was discontinued in 1989 and the price of that scientific calculator was about $100. The latest version of Hp-15C i.e. HP 15C Limited Edition was released in 2011 and its price was about $180. The Hp-15C Limited Edition is the latest version of HP 15C Scientific Calculator with the modern ARM technology which is powered by 12C hardware. This new version is very practicle for the power users, providing portability and it provides RPN mode which makes the computation easier. This version is more advantageous to engineers as it provides the complex computation operations like complex numbers, matrix operations, integration, differentiation and roots problems. The new version of the HP-15cis better than its original version in many respects i.e. the design of HP 15C Limited Edition is more simple and elegant, it provides more scientific functions, it is portable as it can be placed in the pocket of a shirt and its keyboard keys are less solid and are user friendly.

The Limited Editionis much faster than the original Hp-15C as it provides the answers of the complex problems like integration of polynomial functions and factorial of non-integers in the glimpse of an eye. HP has provided about one hundred times faster operations than the original Hp-15C edition. The palpable response of the keys of the Limited Edition is another big achievement of Hewlett Packard. The re-released version has a detailed manual about using the calculator for the desired calculations, a sleek and attractive collectible box and a CD for the instructions. The display of the Limited Edition is also better than the original one as it provides a wider display range and better contrast. The processor is much faster and the operating system starts up and shuts down instantly. To sum up the whole story, the Limited Edition is better than the original version in all respects. If you want a fast computations, a large display, palpable response of the keys, portability of the calculator, a scientific calculator with all the functions needed for the engineers and scientists then don’t wait prices are rising fast on the Limited edition as the short supply is gobbled up by die hard HP collectors itching for a chance to own the new HP 15C Limited Edition.

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## Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX CAS Review – The Best Graphing Calculator?

# TI-Nspire CX CAS Review

The TI- Nspire CX CAS Graphing Calculator looks and feels more like a smart phone than a calculator at first glance. The first thing to notice about this calculator is the color screen and distinct button organization featuring a touchpad smack dab in the top middle of the board and a full ABC keyboard at the bottom. Lagging just behind Casio with this innovation, this Nspire brings color and customization to graphing. It operates much like a computer by allowing scrolling, clicking and saving. The backlit LED display HD display’s brightness has 10 adjustable levels, the brightest being bright enough to see under daylight. The batteries included are rechargeable and will last up to two weeks on a single charge and for many years. This is quite an important power implementation, especially for such an energy-guzzling calculator like this one.

Let’s turn to the math. The TI- Nspire CX CAS is capable of all the mathematical feats of a TI-89 , plus some really sweet eccentricities that make it fun and easy to use as well as learn on. Color and animation are everything. Color code equations and graphs, and animate points on objects and graphs. Load pictures and perform mathematical operations on top of the picture for teaching and learning purposes. Use a slider to make interactive graphs and understand their nature. Jot down notes right next to your math as reminders for later. Link multiple documents to see how changing one form affects all others. Use the Vernier DataQuest™ application to create hypotheses graphically and replay data collection experiments. Don’t just calculate, analyze data with advanced statistical methods and multiple data input methods like lists and matrices.

This snazzy calculator is recommended for anyone who needs a graphing calculator, from the high school student beginning to learn about derivatives, to the college student struggling to solve a physics problem set, to the Engineer building a bridge. This calculator doesn’t leave behind any essential functions or facilitative extras. It features textbook-like display of the text (for example, stacked fractions and math symbols) for easy viewing and inputting and includes integrated templates that facilitate input of more unfamiliar problems. Chemists will love a feature called Chem Box which allows for easy input of chemical formulas and equations.

The high tech feel and colorful nature of this incredibly user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing calculator will certainly attract younger generations as well as older ones who want to add some spice and dynamics to their graphing experience with the TI- Nspire CX CAS .

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## Texas Instruments TI-36x Pro Review – Best Calculator For FE Exam 2014

# Texas Instruments TI-36X PRO Review

The TI-36X Pro Scientific Calculator is a calculation powerhouse and a perfect companion to the aspiring and the accomplished engineer. Its functions are advanced in nature but its interface is simple and user-friendly. The input and data manipulation styles of this calculator are comparable to that of graphing calculators; it allows for scrolling through entries, making edits to previous entries and pasting inputs or outputs into new calculations. Its four-line display makes it easy to visualize up to four calculations at a time and allows for mathprint view of equations – input equations into the calculator in the same way that you would write them out by hand on a sheet of paper. Unlike other scientific calculators, the TI-36x Pro performs vectors and matrices with simple input.

The Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Calculator is approved and recommended as the number one choice as the best calculator for the FE exam. In terms of the available mathematical calculation capacity, this calculator introduces several facilitating functions. One of the main perks of this calculator is that it solves equations! This calculator will actually solve most numeric and polynomial equations, as well as up to 3×3 systems of linear equations within seconds. During exams like the NCEES series, this will save a lot of time because it will eliminate the need for certain tables, and step-wise calculations. The TI-36X Pro also offers a very helpful unit conversion function. For those taking the Electrical FE or PE, you’ll enjoy the “Power, Energy” conversions. Civil Engineers can take advantage of the “Speed, Length” conversions. The other conversions include “Temperature”, “Pressure” and “English-Metric”. Unfortunately, this calculator has left out automated metric units, which means you won’t be able to simply press a button to indicate that you are working in the, say, Mega range. However, it did store some constants – speed of light, proton mass, Faraday constant, and many etc.’s – in its memory along with each one’s units so you don’t have to fumble around your own memory searching for these.

This machine of mathematical wonder holds a few time-saving advantages in its design that propels it to the number one spot. First, there’s no need to switch between modes exclusively, which in some other scientific calculators is not only necessary but may result in complete devastating loss of all calculations done in previous modes; there’s no time for that during an important test. Another feature, which is introduced by this model, is the multitouch function. Switch between functions like sine, inverse sine, hyperbolic sine and inverse hyperbolic sin all with consecutive touches of the same button. This applies to several other frequently used functions as well, like *pi*, *e* and *i*. With all of the capacity built-in to this quasi-graphing calculator, it’s no wonder they had to implement a multitouch function.

Although the TI-36x Pro is a handy tool for engineers, it’s also recommended for physicists, statisticians, computer scientists, biologists and all other professionals who need to perform complicated calculations but can forgo graphing power.

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## Best Graphing Calculator For College – Based on Major

# Best Graphing Calculator For College

We have compared the worlds top graphing calculators and come up with of what we believe to be the best graph calculator for college students based on their field of study. To come up with this list we evaluated functionality, design, ease of use, and cost.

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## Texas Instruments Full Keyboard Review

The Texas Instruments Full Keyboard is a great accessory for Texas Instruments graphing calculators. Many did not even know that such a keyboard even existed but once you start using the keyboard you will wonder how you got by without it. It is compatible with the TI-83, TI-84, TI-89, TI-92, and Voyager 200 graphing calculators.

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## TI-30X IIs Scientific Calculator Review

The TI-30X IIS 2-Line Scientific Calculator is a very good scientific calculator which is preferred and recommended by both students and teachers alike. The Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS is one of the best selling scientific calculator for good reason and is the one I personally

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## TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator Review

The Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus is the most reliable and familiar graphing calculator on the market. The TI-83 plus is widely used in middle school, junior high, and high school math and science classes and is the best graphing calculator for students on a budget who are in math, physics, finance and science classes. While the Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus graphing calculator does not have the memory storage space or computing power of other newer more expensive models it is a good calculator for every day students and there is no reason to spend the extra money as the Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus is a good cheap graphing calculator that performs very good in the classroom and while working on homework. In fact many textbooks use the TI-83 as the textbook example making homework easy.

**FEATURES**

- Calculator operating system and software is upgradeable with built in FLASH ROM
- Easy to use graphing calculator
- Data plotting, analysis and the capability to compare and graph functions
- Calculator with square root function, graphing, plotting, and mathematical calculator abilities

## BENEFITS

- This scientific calculator comes with a one year factory warranty.
- Approved for use on the SAT, PSAT, ACT, AP and IB test

## SPECIFICATIONS

- One year warranty
- Very good instruction manual explains all functions in detail
- Engineering and scientific notation
- Protective case

## PROS

- Great learning tool, many textbooks use the Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus as examples in the text
- The Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus is an easy to use calculator
- Cheap graphing calculator, low cost but good value
- Best entry level calculator

## CONS

- Basic model with fewer features and less memory and computing power as more advanced models
- No color display

## BEST FOR

The Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus is the best scientific calculator for algebra, geometry, statistics, finance, general math, or science.

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