The Bottom Line: The TI-83 Plus is a high functioning calculator that can quench any need to graph especially in algebra or calculus based classes along with performing functions and equations.
Personally, what do you look for in a calculator? One that can just perform basic algebra or elementary arithmetic? Hopefully not. The TI-83 Plus calculator will satisfy your mathematical needs in any level of mathematics, including college level. The outstanding battery life was one of the first outstanding characteristics of the calculator that I noticed. The TI-83 Plus requires 4 AA batteries and they seem to last me an entire semester of mathematics and physics. The internet cable, which is included in the package, is also an attribute of the package that shouldn't be overlooked. If you connect to the internet and go to the website provided by TI (attach the internet cable), applications can be downloaded which can be of use to you. Some applications that are available to you are the Polynomial Root Finder and Simultaneous Equation Solver, Puzzle Pack, Rational Number Rampage and Quadratic Equation Solver, to name a few. Another characteristic that is important in any math class is the graph on the calculator. The graph is simple to activate, the steps to constructing a graph are: 1) Check the format tab to change the range of data 2) Type in the equation you wish to graph in the Y= tab 3) Press the Graph tab and there's your graph. There truly are so many commands that a TI 83 Plus can perform that I can preach forever. However, especially if you are taking an advanced math class, I highly recommend this calculator. However, the downsides of having this calculator are few in number but range from having difficulty in tracking what X equals when Y equals a number and vice versa and programming. A great feature of this calculator is the ability to create any program you wish but it is difficult to develop a program if you have no programming experience. I also researched online to find programs and the code isn't included in the program links. Also, the calculator is a little expensive ranging from $80-$110. The one attribute of this calculator that makes it different from an average calculator is it's graphing ability, its memory and program storage and it's ability to format the graphs you construct. This product satisfies all of my needs for physics and calculus classes while having great battery life. Overall, if you have a math or science class that requires a graphing calculator look for a TI-83 Plus.