ti 84 calculator review

TI 84 Calculator Review

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Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Daniel Osakwe

TI 84 Calculator Review.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use.
  • Distraction-free
  • Superb graphics


  • Pricey
  • Might be complicated for first timers.

The TI-84 Calculator is a great addition to any high school or college student’s daily routine. Its Elegant design and easy to use interface make it perfect for taking exams, calculations, and projects. The built-in calculator functions include trigonometric functions (sine, cosine, and tangent), radical functions (factorial and inverse factorial), logarithms/exponentials/inverses as well as a complete set of polynomials (rational/polynomial coefficients).

The TI-84s ability to perform complex mathematical calculations with ease makes this device an excellent choice for those in STEM fields like biology, astronomy or physics who need quick calculations that can quickly be turned into graphs and charts.

In this review, I’ll explain why the calculator is regarded as one of the best graphing calculators for students.

TI-84 Calculator Review: Key features

  • Lightweight yet robust enough to sustain year-after-year use in the classroom.
  • Graph in brilliant colors to create connections more quickly and effectively.
  • powered by a TI Rechargeable Battery, which can run continuously for up to one month.
  • Distraction-free environment (no Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or internet access) helps maintain pupils’ concentration.
  • Code on the go: Thanks to portable programming, students can code whenever and wherever they want.
  • Ideal for use by students in any learning setting, whether virtual or physical.
  • Display fractions, symbols, and expressions exactly as you would in writing.

What Features Are the Same on the TI-84 Plus CE?

ti 84 calculator review

In reality, there are many similarities between the TI-84 Plus CE and earlier 84 versions. This is advantageous if you already had an older TI-84 or require assistance from a teacher, relative, or tutor who is familiar with the TI-84 family. They won’t have any trouble getting started with this model. You get the same fantastic color screen that the previous TI-84 Plus C had, and the physical button placement and menu structure are practically identical.

In all honesty, the TI-84 Plus CE’s main selling point is that it allows seasoned users to pick up a familiar calculator and start using it right away with a familiar UI, but with technology that will work in 2023 and beyond.

What’s Different About the TI-84 Plus CE?


Physical Modifications

The size is the main difference you’ll see with this model. According to Texas Instruments, the TI-84 Plus is officially 30% lighter and smaller than earlier models. I can assure you, though, that the distinction feels even more noticeable in your palm. The “TI-84 Air” is the name I’ve given it.

The CE is the ideal size and weight to slip into a handbag or book bag without feeling like you’re carrying about a heavy load. It feels great in your hands and is a welcome change from earlier, heavier graphing calculators because it weighs only 7.0 oz.

Although buttons are physically in the same places as on earlier TI-84 models, the buttons themselves are smaller and rectangular rather than rounder. This gives the CE buttons a more contemporary appearance and more of a TI-Nspire button appearance.

Software Modification

The CE has a modern operating system of its own. The fact that you can’t transfer apps from prior models to a CE, despite the fact that it is essentially identical to previous TI-84 versions, is a significant distinction. Texas Instruments has updated all of its most well-known apps on their website as a result. My CE review unit actually came with a number of well-known apps, including Finance, Conics, PlySmlt2, and Transfrm.

Furthermore, Texas Instruments has continued to update nearly all of the well-liked TI-84 programs, including Probability Simulation, Cabri Jr., and the Periodic Table app. In fact, TI has made it possible to upgrade in a “bundle” by simultaneously downloading the most recent OS and all of the newest apps.

I initially found it difficult to identify many changes in the user interface between the TI-84 Plus CE and the TI-84 Plus C (a larger version of the CE). I looked through different menus, apps, etc. and found only a few very slight variances. A few cosmetic modifications to the already fantastic PlySmlt2 app were the set of adjustments that I appreciated the most.

Students can now enter coefficients directly next to the variables in the app, as opposed to entering them in a matrix for a system or a list below the equation for a polynomial. They’ll be able to comprehend the function of the software much better, in my opinion.

One of my all-time favorite TI-84 family apps is PlySmlt2, and this modest but considerate gesture demonstrates that TI is still considering how kids will use these apps.

The fact that Texas Instruments has continued to support the TI-84 Plus CE OS after the calculator was released is the most important thing to know about it. Additional operating system upgrades have been released; the most recent at the time of this review was OS 5.4, which was released in the summer of 2019. You may be confident that it will be supported throughout your high school or college career thanks to these ongoing upgrades. When TI releases these upgrades, they always include bug fixes, but I’m more curious to see if they add new functionality for the users.

For me, the most intriguing feature included by a recent OS update was a better method for charting piecewise functions, which is tremendously helpful for Pre-Calculus and Calculus students. Although piecewise function graphing has always been possible on the TI-84 Plus series, the user interface was cumbersome.

Now, simply choose piecewise (from the MATH menu while graphing to graph piecewise functions. The piecewise function template to fill out looks just like what you would see in a textbook once you choose the number of pieces in your function.

TI-84 Plus CE Battery Life

If the TI-84 Plus CE is not used for several days at a time, it offers a “deep sleep” mode that enables hibernation while preserving battery life. It can run for a month on a single charge with moderate use, but in deep sleep mode, it can keep almost a full charge throughout the summer. I can attest that the CE battery can in fact achieve these figures.

Texas Instruments also borrowed a design element from another recent update to the TI-Nspire family of calculators. The TI-84 Plus C and older TI-Nspire CX calculators all have batteries with a connected connection. Instead of using this wiring, the new Nspire CX and the TI-84 Plus CE merely employ the same kinds of contacts as a cell phone with a removable battery.

As someone who has had to take the battery out of literally hundreds of older student Nspire CX devices, allow me to say that users of the TI-84 Plus CE will value this updated battery design if they ever find themselves in need of a replacement.

For those without experience, changing the old, wired battery could be a little frightening because you frequently worried that you might harm the calculator or battery in the process.


  • A rainbow of colors.

The TI-84 Plus CE is available in a range of hues, including red, pink, rose, plum, black, gray, mint, white, “golden ratio,” and blue. Texas Instruments has clearly recognized that color sells. Tangent Teal, a brand-new color from TI for the 2019–20, appears to be selling quickly on Amazon. Texas Instruments gave me a gray review unit that resembles the earlier TI-84 Plus Silver Edition quite a bit.

I find the blue model to be quite alluring, however I can appreciate the allure of any of these hues. If you try to find one of these hues during the back-to-school buying season, don’t be shocked if it’s hard to find.

What Distinguishes the TI-84 Plus from the TI-84 Plus CE?

The color display of the TI-84 Plus CE is the most noticeable distinction between it and the TI-84 Plus. Yet this isn’t the only distinction. The CE has received ongoing software updates, is smaller, and has a better rechargeable battery.

TI-84 Plus CE TI-84 Plus
Display 320 x 240, 16-bit color, backlit 96×64 monochrome.
Battery Rechargeable Li-Ion 4 AAA
Last OS Update June 2019 Jan 2011
Input Mini-USB Mini-USB
Weight 7 oz. 10 oz.
Thickness 0.75 in 1.0 in

Already, functions that the TI-84 Plus will probably never obtain have been introduced to the TI-84 Plus CE, such as the ability to graph on images, communication with the TI-Rover, enhanced piecewise function, etc. As long as the TI-84 Plus CE is the line’s top model, that trend is probably going to continue.

Can I use the TI-84 Plus CE on the ACT or SAT?

Most standardized tests accept the TI-84 Plus CE, including:

  • PreACT
  • PSAT
  • ACT
  • SAT
  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Physics

It’s critical to be able to use your graphing calculator on the tests that matter the most. You will do OK on all the major exams if you get a TI-84 Plus CE with the high school standardized testing in mind.

Is the TI-84 Plus CE a Good Buy?

The TI-84 Plus CE is a calculator that is quite remarkable. It builds on all the outstanding features of recent TI-84 models while keeping those features, such as a better screen, a thinner design, and longer battery life. Since it’s still the most popular and widely acknowledged graphing calculator in use today in classrooms, it’s probable that your instructor will be able to use it alongside you.

Get a TI-84 Plus CE from Amazon if you can, and don’t look back. This model is worth the additional few dollars because it is the greatest TI-84 ever in a family of calculators that has long been cherished and utilized by both students and teachers. Picking up a used TI-84 Plus on eBay is an option if you absolutely can’t afford this better model; while they don’t have the newest features, they are constructed like tanks and last a very long time.