TI-83 Premium CE,…: calculators to take you back to school

Texas Instruments announced last week the TI-83 Premium CE, a new educational graphing calculator descended from the TI-83 Plus that many of us have known.

Update : Members of the TI-Planet community have informed us that the TI-84 Plus CE will be restricted to the United States. A similar TI-83 Premium CE will be marketed in Spain.

This new calculator alone will make some who graduated from high school in the 2000s want to go back to high school. For starters, the new TI-83 Premium CE has a color, backlit display - which may seem trivial. today but was not 10 years ago - displaying 320 x 240 pixels and 65 colors on a 536 inch diagonal. In my day, the TI-2,8 Plus and other Casio Graphs displayed 83 to 96 x 128 pixels in monochrome, that is to say in black or white (not to say in dark green or light green), not even in shades of grey. There was the Casio Graph 64 with RGB pixels, but without nuance and without the possibility of mixing colors: it displayed either bright red, or bright green, or bright blue, not even black.

In return, the last born of Texas Instruments consumes significantly more energy, it therefore has a rechargeable battery, which gives it an undisclosed autonomy. This battery is flat, and still thinner than a battery-powered calculator. My Casio Graph 100 still works with the batteries I left there when I graduated almost 10 years ago. I still find there the inevitable Drugwars, a turn-based strategy game some of which had copied the source code by hand.

At the time, there was neither a USB port nor a slot for a (micro) SD memory card, there was only a serial port in 3,5 mm format, which was mainly used for transfer cheat sheets entered painfully with the calculator's ABC keyboard. The cable to connect it to a computer was so scarce that whoever possessed it attracted the lust of girls, for whom he could transfer entire lessons. For geeks - the term was barely emerging at the time, and had a pejorative connotation - this cable also made it possible to transfer games in assembler, which transformed the most powerful graphic calculators into imitation portable game consoles, with RPG worthy of Zelda .

Nowadays, some calculators can accommodate a GBA emulator, outright. The USB port makes it easy to transfer entire lessons, but some European countries have an exam mode available to them, with which a red diode indicates to supervisors that applications and therefore text files are blocked.

Moreover, if the amount of memory has been increased tenfold, from 160 KB on the TI-83 Plus to 3 MB on the TI-83 Premium CE, the processor power is far from having made the same leap. We have only gone from 5 MHz in the 2000s to 15 MHz today.

This Texas Instruments TI-84 Premium CE with a modern design will be available anyway in Spain in May 2015 for around 80 euros. Let us underline in conclusion that HP had launched a little earlier another modern calculator, with color touch screen, which would make the older teenagers drool even more than many of us have become (below).

Download My Calculator for Windows.

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