User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Lots of built-in functions, Easy-to-use, Data-entry, Solar/battery power
Cons:It can't graph
The Bottom Line: Even if you don’t need all the features, I think the Casio FX-300W is well worth having
The Casio FX-300W has been my calculator since my college days. I had gotten it for my math and science classes and since then, its traveled with me through a number of jobs.
Recommend this product?
Its kind of funny, even at the height of my mathematical calculations in math and science classes, I barely scratched the surface of the various built-in functions and abilities of this calculator and nowadays, I dont do much more than simple arithmetic with it, but regardless, Ive always liked its layout, its straightforward use and the fact that should I really need to do some more involved math, this calculator can handle it.
What can the FX-300W do?
What cant it do is the better question. In that case, this scientific calculator is really only lacking a graphing function. It has 229 built-in functions that include statistics, standard deviations, and linear regressions. You can guess how often I use that
however, for some people, especially those in school, these are all things that they will probably be working on fairly frequently.
The screen offers two different lines of numbers. The upper, small number shows what you are entering. You can edit this line before you go ahead and calculate it via arrow keys and a delete button. That comes in handy when you double-check what you are entering and notice a mistake. I also like it because after you have let the calculator calculate if you think something is wrong, you can go back and scroll through your arithmetic and make changes and then re-calculate to see if that helps.
Another handy feature is the way that the FX-300W handles fractions. You have a fraction key and it lets you enter the fractions pretty much as you see them and then perform various calculations on them. It also makes it easy to convert fractions to their decimal equivalents and vice-versa.
What powers the FX-300W?
This is one thing that amazes me about this calculator. Its powered by both a small photo-voltaic panel and a battery. Ive been using mine since college, which is now at least 10 years ago and Ive never had to change the battery. Im guessing that the vast majority of the power comes from the PV panel with the battery only providing a bit of backup power from time to time.
While theres an on button for the FX-300W, theres no off button. It automatically powers down after about 5 minutes of not using it.
How long does it work for?
Like I said with the battery life, Ive had my FX-300W for over 10 years and its still going strong. I dont use it quite as often as I did in school or in some of my previous jobs, but I still have it in my desk and I still pull it out and use it quite regularly. In all that time Ive never had a problem with it. The FX-300W has always turned on, always calculated correctly and hasnt run its battery down.
What comes with it?
The FX-300W comes with a hard case that slips over the front of the calculator and a quick-reference card. The cover, when you arent using it can slide along the back of the calculator, thus keeping it safe and helping you to not lose it. The quick reference card fits inside the cover and provides a quick guide to trigonometric calculations, coordinate transformation, fractions, standard deviation and regression.
Even though I dont really need the advanced functions of the FX-300W nowadays, I still think of it as my favorite calculator. Maybe its all the years of having it, but I find it easy to use and I like the functionality that all of its features provide for me. I love the way you can use it to enter calculations and should I need to tackle something a bit more involved, I know the FX-300W can handle it.
Not only that, but its lasted me over 10 years, how can I kick out a calculator like that!
Plus its fairly inexpensive when compared to other scientific calculators.
If you are looking for a handy, easy to use calculator that can also handle some serious calculations, then the Casio FX-300W might be just what you need. It offers a ton of built in functions with some serious calculating power. Not only that, but it does this in a fairly compact package that is intuitive to use and offers some nifty features that help you out.
Even if you dont need all the features, I think the Casio FX-300W is well worth having. I know Ive had mine for quite some time now and am quite happy with it.
Purchase Price: 20