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TI Nspire CX CAS vs HP Prime vs Casio FX-CP400

  1. Apr 11, 2015 #1
    Hello everyone. I am going to be purchasing a good graphing calculator soon. That being said, I will hopefully be going to college to get a degree in aeronautical engineering. So what do you all think is the best of those calculators? I have been leaning towards the Casio CP400 because of the large screen. Thank You in advance!
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  3. Apr 12, 2015 #2
    I use the Nspire CAS and I absolutely love it. It's expensive, but in my opinion, since you can't bring a computer with Mathematica on it to exams or quizzes, it's worth it. It also allows you to check things you have to do by hand on tests, but if it's obvious you're not supposed to in a certain exam, don't do it.
  4. Apr 14, 2015 #3


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    The Casio CP400 does look good. Casio's always have good hardware. I don't have a CP400, but the screen looks great and the stylus looks to make screen manipulation very precise. I suspect it may be the nicest to use of the three. I can't provide any actual review though.

    The Hp Prime has adopted the Casio type dedicated applications similar to the earlier (and present) Casio's. It is a touch screen (without a stylus, but a stylus should work). Screen resolution and color are very good. Keyboard click and feel are excellent. Keyboard color sux as one shift color is orange on a silver back plate, difficult to impossible for some to see. Fairly good battery life, 2-3 weeks on a charge, probably about 1 under extensive use. Charger is micro-usb, easy to find if you lose furnished charger. Pretty good calculator, I wouldn't say great. It is still getting firmware updates every few months, indicating there are a few bugs yet to find. It is a tool for education, keep in mind this evolved from the Hp 39/40G product line and not Hp's higher end Hp 48/50G line (This should put a lot of observations in perspective).
    Has a 1 second boot up time from a cold start (barely noticeable).

    The Ti-Nspire CAS color has been out for several years and is the oldest (most mature??) product of the three. I don't believe you can get one with a touch screen. The fonts are small (the screen is good, but not as bright as my Prime). It was marketed to replace the Ti-89. However it feels like a dedicated math computer vs calculator. Some would argue that makes it better. Maybe so, but with close to a ten second boot up time, physics problems and thinking can become distracted. (Boot up time is very apparent). Keyboard feels tight and cramped, but this impression might change under use. Uses a mouse like pad for screen navigation, again tough to use initially compared to touch screens or stylus. I would rank this unit last of the three (though it probably outsells all its direct competition, and will continue that trend).

    Both the Hp Prime and Ti-Nspire provide enough horsepower for the typical undergraduate. But Computer packages are also available and definitely a step up in capabilities. For Hp, I would prefer the Hp 50G over their Prime for my own use. For Ti, I would prefer the Ti-89 over their Ti-Nspire. But those are my opinions only, you may want to do some other reviews. The Casio looks very good for a Casio. You should be able to review the CP300 (aside from color touch screen) to get an idea of how good its math capabilities are.

    Let us know what you get and why.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  5. Apr 14, 2015 #4
    Thank you for your detailed response. The one thing that is holding me back from the Casio CP400 is that it is a bit slower. But I don't really expect to be able to use any of these on exams, so I don't think it will be a problem doing my homework. There also isn't that much out there on the CP400. I am also leaning towards it because of the 3d graphing, the Nspire has it(I believe) but the prime doesn't (I think I could download a third party app though).

    I have heard really good things on all three of them (mainly Amazon reviews for the CP400 since there isn't much out there). The other thing I'm not sure of, is that the hard keyboard on the Casio has the buttons we would expect a $0.99 Walmart calculator to have and that's it, that's all good because it has the stylus, but if I want to do some quick calculations it might become a nuisance. But I guess if they are just quick calculations I would be fine using my ti-30.

    Thank you again for the response.
  6. Apr 15, 2015 #5
    I did some more research and have more questions, go figure. I was researching the ti 89 and it seems like a really nice calculator. But it is about the same price as the Casio class pad. So, why would I buy it instead of a newer calculator with a big color touchscreen? Is it really powerful? Or just somewhat of a gimmick? Thank you in advance.
  7. Apr 15, 2015 #6


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    Casio's as a rule do not equal Ti or Hp in actual computational features or abilities. This new CP400 uses the same applets type interface. You do statistics, you enter a statistics app, none of the apps are actually integrated seamlessly ie you move from one to another. The CP400 looks to be along the same lines, but I cannot say with any authority that this is true.

    The Hp Prime copied this philosophy as well as built their Prime upon the earlier Hp 49/40G platform. This makes it a somewhat less powerful number crunching tool than the earlier Hp 50G unless you use the Hp 50G in algebraic mode, then the Hp Prime is probably better (this is due to the fact that the Hp 50G is an RPN calculator by nature that was converted into an algebraic too calculator). The Hp Prime supposedly has a better CAS.

    The Ti-89 is far older than the Ti-Nspire and has an excellent CAS as well. No, it doesn't have color, nor anything more than a functional calculator interface. It is a high end graphing calculator, not an educational tool.

    My summary:
    ClassPad 400: Educational math tool (pocket math computer with color screen)
    Hp Prime: Educational math tool (pocket math computer with color screen)
    Ti-Nspire: Educational math tool (pocket math computer with color screen)

    Ti-89: High end button pushing graphing calculator with CAS.

    If you are learning math in a classroom where you explore with a math tool, the first three definitely provide a nice demonstration.

    If you are just interested in crunching numbers ie for physics or engineering, you may be better off with a graphing calculator.
  8. Apr 15, 2015 #7
    Ok, that clears things up a bit. Thank you.
  9. Apr 15, 2015 #8
    Hi, I thibk I'm going to get a TI 89 Titanium. I researched it and it seems like a really good calculator. I think I'm going to buy it because: I can get one for $128 (not including tax), it seems like it will be easy to find information on using it because of its popularity, and I thibk if I want to get another calculator down the road I can.

    Please tell me if you think that it is a good or bad decision. Also, is $128 US a good deal. It will be more like $138 with tax. Thank you.
  10. Apr 16, 2015 #9


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    That's not a bad price. If you look on ebay or amazon, you might find a used one in like new condition for less. But there is always a gamble with used.

    I suspect you will be happier with the Ti-89 for general calculator use than the newer math teaching tools. If you have a tablet, you can download different graphing calculator applets that will provide you with a similar experience.
  11. Apr 16, 2015 #10
    Ok, thank you. I think I will get it. Again, thank you for all your help.
  12. May 6, 2015 #11


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    Correction to reply #6. The Hp Prime is evolved from the Hp 39/40G line of calculators, NOT the Hp 49/40G as this would imply it was on par with the Hp 48/49/50G line of calculators in every way. It is as powerful or more powerful in many areas, especially math and CAS. But it is lacking in Units conversions, variable allocation and math implementation of functions (keep in mind, I am comparing a new product to a mature product, the Hp Prime is certainly adding features and addressing bugs, the Hp 50G is not being updated any longer).
  13. Jun 29, 2015 #12
    Yes but the Ti VOYAGE 200 is a ti-89 titanium With a LARGE SCREEN and an ALPHA KEYBOARD
    LARGE SCREEN is BETTER nice using Than a calculatorĀ“ screen with size of a postage stamp like Ti-89 Titanium
  14. Jul 7, 2015 #13
    Oh! I had a TI-Nspire CAS (not the CX color model) and liked it very much! Sorry that I don't have experience with the Casio, but if I can tell you something:

    Be VERY careful with the TI-Nspire CAS models! While it's a great calculator, the fact that it has a computer algebraic system (CAS) installed in it makes it ineligible for standardized testing, as well as most, if not all university classrooms. I don't know if anyone told you that prior (apologies, but I'm not reading every reply to know whether it has been stated) but it was explicitly mentioned in my college, and my college wasn't even a good college.

    I can tell you for certain that as far as most "banned" calculators are concerned in academia, the TI-89, the TI-Nspire CAS (including CX version, obviously,) and one other calculator, I think it's an HP model, are most certainly restricted. Also, if it has a QWERTY keyboard, one of the standardized tests (ACT or SAT, forget which) will also ban it.

    I'm just providing that from personal experience. The TI-Nspire CX or regular model is fine! You can use that without issue, as it doesn't have a CAS system nor a QWERTY keyboard, but the CAS is definitely a no-go, assuming your instructor is aware. They may not even care, but you should definitely check with them prior.
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