Texas Instruments’s Nspire models are among the most trusted graphing calculators in the world. TI Nspire models offer not only superior performance, but also features and capabilities useful for students and researchers of various fields. Below, we will help you choose between two of the latest model, TI Nspire CX CAS vs TI Nspire CX.
What we will discuss about these two calculators include:
- The design and dimensions of each unit
- The quality of the color display
- Whether these calculators are easy to use or not
- The distinctive features of TI Nspire CX CAS vs TI Nspire CX
- In what exams and subjects that these calculators are allowed
- Which TI Nspire model that is more recommended for the money
As the latest updates to the line up, TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS come with a distinctive design that sets them apart from the predecessors. They both are significantly thinner, with a thickness of barely 1.57 cm. It is nearly half the thickness of the also famous TI 89. Most people nowadays want their gadgets to be as slim and compact as possible, so this is a welcome improvement.
Thanks to the slim profile, TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS become very portable and space-friendly. The width and height of each model are only 191 mm and 86 mm, respectively. The weight of each unit is about 242 grams (8.5 oz). So, you can easily slip either calculator to any spare space in your bag.
The only difference between TI Nspire CX CAS vs TI Nspire CX in terms of design, besides the product name on the top of each unit, is quite obvious. It is just the colors.
The overall color scheme of TI Nspire CX CAS is darker. The whole casing is black. Most of the function buttons and alphabet buttons are black, while the numeric buttons and the X, Y, and Z buttons are gray. In addition, the border of the directional pad glows in light blue. Most people will agree that TI Nspire CX CAS looks stylish and elegant. (Read also : TI Nspire CX CAS vs HP Prime)
On the other hand, TI Nspire CX mixes lighter colors into the design. On the left and right sides, the casing has a silver color. Most of the buttons are also black, but the numeric buttons and X, Y, and Z buttons are white. The border of the directional pad is metallic. As a result, TI Nspire CX looks modern and contemporary.
Unlike traditional models, TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS do not use alkaline batteries. When they were first released in 2011, they each use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that has a capacity of 1060 mAh. However, since 2013, the productions have come up with 1200 mAh batteries. Older products can upgrade simply by replacing the batteries.
The TI Nspire CX CAS vs TI Nspire CX calculators differ significantly from the older models. The Texas Instruments company wanted to make calculators that feel familiar for users of the latest generation, so these calculators have been designed with a user interface that looks more like a personal computer rather than a regular calculator. In addition, TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS handle documents and files in a similar fashion to typical personal computers.
As a result, these calculators feel intuitive to use. For total beginners, traditional calculators often have a steep learning curve due to their complex syntaxes and procedures, but TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS do not pose such challenges. However, those who have grown accustomed to traditional calculators may find TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS confusing at first.
Still, this user interface is really suitable for the calculators, as they really have a lot of built-in functions. Grouping them into apps and documents keeps things very much organized and coherent.
Any action that you perform will be within a document. In a sense, a document is an isolated environment that is separated from the other apps of the calculator. Every document is specific to the app that is used to open it. When you want to use another app, you will be asked to create a new document. Hence, you’ll be able to access some of the calculator’s features while opening a document, but not all of them at once.
Nevertheless, the normal calculator screen is probably the document that you are going to use most often. Fortunately, you can access this document very easily at any time, simply by pressing the “Calculate” button on the unit.
Both models have a 3.2” full-color backlit display. The resolution is 320 x 240 pixels. It is capable of showing sufficiently sharp and detailed images. The company wasn’t joking when they wanted to produce high-quality calculators with full-color displays; both TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS are able to show nice and vibrant colors.
Computer Algebra System (CAS)
The biggest difference between TI Nspire CX CAS vs TI Nspire CX is already explained by the products’ names themselves. The reason why TI Nspire CX CAS is more expensive is that it comes with the computer algebra system, or simply called CAS.
The computer algebra system allows TI Nspire CX CAS to solve algebraic equations and perform algebraic operations. Included in the capabilities are factoring, expanding, simplifying a long expression, and solving an equation for a variable. It also allows the calculator to keep fractions as fractions.
This is certainly the best feature of TI Nspire CX CAS. When you want to solve an equation, you just need to type “solve” followed by parentheses. In the parentheses, you enter the equation first. After a comma, you type the variable that you want to solve.
The calculator will give you an exact answer. If it is a quadratic equation, the calculator can give you all of the multiple answers. This is certainly very convenient. In order to perform things like factoring or expanding, you just need to type “factor” or “expand” followed by the equation in parentheses.
TI Nspire CX, on the other hand, does not have the computer algebra system. This calculator is not able to perform algebraic operations like factoring and simplifying expressions. In addition, when it is told to simplify a fraction or radical, it probably will just give a decimal answer.
Both TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS offer similar programming capabilities. According to the manufacturer, these calculators support two programming languages: TI Nspire BASIC and Lua. Unfortunately, these calculators don’t come with the same programming capabilities as the predecessors.
Creating a program in TI Nspire CX or TI Nspire CX CAS is quite a tedious process. You start by creating a new document and then typing the program. Once a program is created, you can edit it later through the menu. Unfortunately, some important features have been removed from the menu, so the programming feels very limited.
In addition, since you can’t access a document from any other app besides the one you made it in, the programs that you have created will not be readily accessible across the apps. This is a little problematic. For example, when you are doing some calculations and then you need to run a program, you actually have to exit the calculator screen in order to open the document of the program.
As a result, the programming capabilities of TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS are only useful for just a few purposes, such as calculus. It still allows you to create and combine functions efficiently. But, for other purposes, it isn’t practical.
Operation and Performance
Before you choose either TI Nspire CX CAS or TI Nspire CX, you should know that these calculators are very different from the other Texas Instruments calculators. If you are already used to the ways of traditional calculators, you probably will feel confused and a bit overwhelmed at first. However, just invest a few hours to learn the whole thing, and you will be able to operate effectively and efficiently.
Now, if you think that learning to use these calculators is too much of a hassle, think again. It is true that both TI Nspire CX CAS vs TI Nspire CX do not feel like most other TI calculators, but they definitely aren’t most other TI calculators. These models come with unique capabilities that aren’t available in any other graphing calculator, such as drafting shapes and importing digital images to overlay graphs and equations from the real world.
Under the numeric keypad, you can find a full keyboard of individual letter keys. Well, the manufacturer is so thoughtful that they give you a separate keyboard for typing text instead of using the “Alpha” or “2nd” button. One apparent downside is that the keyboard is not QWERTY – the letters are sorted from A to Z.
Most of us may be a little surprised with this revelation. Why would they make a keyboard that isn’t QWERTY? It is actually for a good reason. TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS have to comply to the rules from the college boards. One of the rules says that calculators with QWERTY keyboards aren’t allowed. So, by coming with non-QWERTY keyboards, TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS become usable for college.
TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX also hasa trackpad on the directional keys. The track pad is truly helpful in some apps, such as the geometry app. By using the track pad, you can pinpoint the cursor with great precision. You can even drag and drop points, lines, and measurements. Of course, you may just use the buttons, but the track pad and cursor make things a lot more easier.
TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS have similar performance. This is not surprising because they actually have the same hardware features.The manufacturer does not mention anything about the processing unit, but the memory register is 64 MB and the user memory is 100 MB. There is a plenty of space to store your data and files.
They are rather fast. Performing lengthy calculations or iterations doesn’t take more than a few seconds. Both calculators are also able to draw color-coded curves fairly quickly. Overlaying curves on an image is a slightly heavier task, but this can also be done smoothly.
Suitable Subjects and Exams
In general, TI Nspire CX is allowed in more standardized tests than TI Nspire CX CAS. This is because of the special feature of TI Nspire CX CAS. Using the computer algebra system may be considered as cheating in some tests.
For sure, both TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS are allowed on SAT, PSAT, and Math AP. So, if you are preparing for one of these tests, you may want to simply choose TI Nspire CX CAS for the computer algebra system.
However, keep in mind that TI Nspire CX is allowed on ACT and PreACT, while TI Nspire CX CAS is prohibited. So, if you are preparing for the ACT or PreACT, you should choose the TI Nspire CX version, which doesn’t come with the computer algebra system.
Due to rich features and capabilities, both TI Nspire CX and TI Nspire CX CAS are suitable for a wide range of subjects. According to the manufacturer, these calculators are suitable for Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and II, Trigonometry, Geometry, Statistics, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Linear Algebra, Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, and Business & Finance.
If you are a teacher, you probably don’t want to let your students solve most equations simply by punching a few buttons into their calculators. After all, the lesson is more about learning the theories and workflow, not just about getting the results. So, if necessary, you may allow the TI Nspire CX but not the TI Nspire CX CAS in your class, so that the students still have to solve the equations by themselves.
CX CAS vs TI Nspire CX
|Name||TI Nspire CX CAS||TI Nspire CX|
|Key Features||- The sleek TI-Nspire CX handheld is the thinnest and lightest TI graphing calculator model to date - Overlay and color-code math and science concepts on digital images or your own photos||- Color Screen - Rechargeable battery included.Lasts up to two weeks on a single charge - Thin Design and lightweight with easy touchpad navigation|
|Best Offer||Save Money Please click here||Save Money Please click here|
The biggest difference between these two models is the computer algebra system. In general, TI Nspire CX CASis more recommended. The CAS feature can help you solve algebraic equations quickly. However, don’t forget to check the rules of the test or class that you are about to take. For ACT or PreACT, you should choose TI Nspire CX, as the CAS version is not allowed.