Calculators have shrunk in size and increased in price as consumers have sought out devices that do much more than simple arithmetic. Texas Instruments has their TI-83 Plus model which helps students with their Physics, Biology, Algebra, and Pre-Calculus classes. We'll examine why this model is so popular with today's classroom students.
Back in the 1970s, the slide rule gave way to calculators in many classrooms across the nation. Texas Instruments led the way as almost every student owned one of their models. Today, Texas Instruments [or, TI] continues to produce calculators and their TI-83 Plus calculator leads the way.
So, what sets this particular model apart from others? Well, it is pocket-sized, comes with 12MB of memory, does tons of math problems including statistical tests, has a complete alphabetical keyboard, and it can run programs to name a few. Still, if you are a Calculus student it doesn't do Calculus. However, you can bring the TI-83 Plus along for standardized tests and college admission exams.
The device runs with 4AAA batteries, so you need to make sure you are fully charged before you start your tests or at least carry spare batteries with you.
The TI-83 is not cheap as you will have to pay about $100. for a new one. Expect to pay a lot more if you purchase one through your university's bookstore; shop online to compare prices too.
The TI-89 may be a better option, especially if Calculus is in your future. Shop and compare and make sure that the model you want provides the calculations you need.
In all, the TI-83 carries on a long tradition of excellence for Texas Instruments. Sharp, Casio, and Canon are chief competitors to T.I., but judging by the TI-83 you will find what you need from the people of Texas Instruments.