Best Calculator for Statistics? A Quick Rundown

Probability and Statistics > Best Calculator for Statistics

What is the Best Calculator for Statistics?

Trying to choose the best calculator for statistics? You have many models to choose from. As of now, the TI-83, TI-86 and TI-89 are the commonest models that are widely used. A few other models by HP, Canon and others have also gained good reputation as well. However, the support network for the TI-models is more substantial than for other brands; That includes discussion boards online.

Best Calculator for Statistics: Models


The TI-83 is made by Texas Instruments. In addition to the basic scientific functions, it comes with a good number of extra features such as parametric, sequence and polar coordinate graphing modes. It also has built in function graphing, including algebraic functions and trigonometric functions. You can download extra applications and programs from the TI website.

TI-83 Plus:

In 1999, the TI-83 was enhanced with the technologically upgraded TI-83 Plus. The TI-83 Plus includes flash memory which makes it update-able. In addition, it also enables larger flash applications to be manually stored on the calculators. Later in 2001, the TI-83 Plus Silver edition came onto the market. It boasted almost nine times more flash memory compared to TI-83 Plus. It also has double the processing speed of the former models.


The TI-86 is an upgraded version of the TI-85. It has a much greater memory capacity while maintaining compatibility with the TI-85 programs. Unfortunately, it never quite took off in popularity like the TI-83 and TI-89 models.


The TI-89 is one of the most technologically advanced calculator models that is available on the market. It offers several innovative features that are not present in any of the previous models. In addition to this, several new applications have been included to add to its versatility and capability. With the TI-89 model, you can create animations, graphical 3D rotations and contour plotting.

The TI-89 includes a large number of functions such as statistics and data plots, symbolic manipulation, text editor, split screen functions, programming capabilities, variable management and provisions to connect to some other computers or calculators. The models have large, color-coded keys which makes it extremely easy to read. It also has an I/O port with a cable and is allowed on the SAT/AP/NMSQT and PSAT tests.

TI-89 Plus:

This is a modified version of the TI-89 that has almost three times the memory present in the TI-89 model. It also has a flash memory three times that of previous models.
Despite its many features, the TI-89 may not be the best calculator for statistics because:

  • It’s more expensive.
  • You won’t need the bulk of the features in stats.
  • It’s programmable, so many professors will not allow it for tests (it’s easy to cheat with!).

Best Calculator for Statistics? Recommendation

As far as statistics is concerned, the best calculator for statistics is the TI-83, though the TI-89 comes close. My recommendation is because:

  1. It’s the best bang for your buck, at about half the price of a TI-89
  2. Most professors (including myself) use it in the classroom. Note: You’ll want to buy the calculator your instructor recommends, as they will tailor the class to that particular model.

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