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The best graphing calculators you can buy

We found the best graphing calculators with features like rechargeable batteries, color displays, and more.
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE | Best graphing calculator overall
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE on white background
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE
Best graphing calculator overall
View now View at Amazon
Catiga CS-121 | Best budget graphing calculator
Catiga CS-121 graphing calculator on white background
Catiga CS-121
Best budget graphing calculator
View now View at Amazon
Casio Prizm FX-CG50 | Best graphing calculator with 3D color display
Casio Prizm FX-CG50 graphing calculator
Casio Prizm FX-CG50
Best graphing calculator with 3D color display
View now View at Amazon
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS | Best graphing calculator for college students
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS graphing calculator on white background
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS
Best graphing calculator for college students
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HP Prime Graphing Calculator | Best touchscreen graphing calculator
HP Prime Graphing Calculator on white background
HP Prime Graphing Calculator
Best touchscreen graphing calculator
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Whether you're taking algebra, geometry, calculus, or anything in between, a graphing calculator is a must-have. Not to mention, if you are currently in high school (or soon to be in college), you will need a calculator for standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. 

Also: The best iPads for college students

While many schools have the option to borrow a graphing calculator to use in class, having your own at home to practice with can result in higher test scores. If you are also planning to take advanced math classes in high school or move on to math- or science-based degree programs in college, a graphing calculator is an investment towards your future. 

What is the best graphing calculator right now? 

Our top pick is the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE due to its rechargeable battery, fully backlit color display, and lightweight design, allows students to carry it in their backpacks easily. These high-quality calculators have everything from touchscreens to 3D color displays. If you are or have a student who needs a graphing calculator, here are some of the best options currently available.

The best graphing calculators of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Full-color display
  • It comes in a variety of colors
  • Approved for PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams
  • It's on the pricey side
More Details

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE tech specs: RAM: 149KB | Size: 7.59 inchesScreen Size: 3.2 inches |  Weight: 7 oz | Power Source: Rechargeable lithium battery 

Texas Instruments has been making the graphing calculator for decades, and they're still the best of the best. The TI-84 Plus CE, which is the latest version of what millennials probably used in high school, has a fully backlit color display, comes in a variety of colors to choose from, and is lightweight enough to fit into a backpack or purse easily. 

This calculator has everything students need for class: It's fully loaded with several applications and functions for a variety of math classes and levels. One Amazon reviewer said, "This calculator is great for my grandson that is taking calculus and trig as a freshman in college. Easy to use, understand and easy to graph on."

Plus, the battery is rechargeable, so not only are you saving money on constantly replacing batteries, but it's easy enough for students to remember to charge it at the same time as their phones and smartwatches. Best of all, it's PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exam-approved.

Also: Everything you need for college: Tech gadgets you will love and use

Pros & Cons
  • Approved for PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams
  • Variety of colors available
  • 280 functions available
  • Primitive display
More Details

Catiga CS-121 tech specs: Size: 7 inches | Weight: 4.8 oz | Power Source: LR44 battery required 

If you're on a tighter budget but still need a graphing calculator, the Catiga CS-121 gets the job done. This calculator is under $50 but still has 280 functions available for various math classes in high school and college. An Amazon reviewer stated "The calculator works for what I need at a decent price. Its buttons are able to be read clearly etc and it gives the correct answers." It's also available in a few different colors if basic black doesn't suit. 

Though the display isn't in color, it will still give you the functionality of building graphics and crunching numbers. It's also approved for standardized testing, as it's a non-CAS calculator. Though it's classified as a scientific calculator, it has graphing capabilities, which means it doubles as both options. 

Pros & Cons
  • Approved for PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams
  • Simple to use
  • 3D color display
  • Requires 4 AA batteries, which can get expensive to replace often
More Details

Casio Prizm FX-CG50 tech specs: Size: 7.2 inches | Screen Size: 3.17 inches |  Weight: 13 oz | Power Source: 4 AA batteries required

The Casio Prizm FX-CG50 is small but mighty (and actually a bit on the hefty size for how small it is). This graphing calculator has a precise and stunning color display, so you can really see your graphs in 3D as you're building them. The button display, however, is on the simple side, making this a great entry-level graphing calculator for students who haven't spent a lot of time working with them before. 

One Amazon reviewer said "I am extremely pleased with this calculator. It was absolutely worth the sale price, and definitely worth its normal price."

The price tag puts it in the middle of the pack, making this a good all-around choice, especially for younger students. The battery life on this one, though, isn't great, and it does require four AA batteries that may need to be replaced often. It's not a bad idea to use rechargeable AA batteries to cut down on the cost of replacing them so often.

Pros & Cons
  • CAS functions
  • 3D color display
  • Rechargeable battery option
  • Pricey
  • More advanced than most younger students need
  • Not approved for standardized tests
More Details

Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS tech specs: Size: 7.5 inches | Screen size: 3.2 inches | Weight: 9.12 oz | Power Source: Lithium Ion battery required 

The Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS is one of the most advanced graphing calculators you'll find, so if your student doesn't have a need for advanced functions and geometric animations, go ahead and opt for something simpler. 

For college students who have those higher-level classes, though, this calculator can handle it all. You'll find six graph styles on here, as well as a full-color screen that you can coordinate with your equations and functions. One Amazon reviewer stated, "I'm a math major in college and if you're planning on going into any math-based field, this is the only calculator that's a reasonable price and does EVERYTHING." The display is also 3D, so your graphs and animations will come to life in front of your eyes while you're doing your homework. 

Pros & Cons
  • Touchscreen technology
  • Rechargeable battery option
  • Approved for IB, SAT, AP, ACT, and AP exams
  • Pricey
More Details

HP Prime Graphing Calculator tech specs: Size: 7.3 inches | Screen size: 3.5 inches | Weight: 8 oz | Power Source: Lithium battery required

What makes the HP Prime Graphing Calculator stand out is its touchscreen. HP is known for its touchscreen electronics; naturally, the brand extended that into the calculator space. This advanced calculator can get students through all their advanced math and science classes (including those that require Computer Algebra Systems). 

The touchscreen also allows for even more functionality while crunching numbers and watching the shapes unfold on the screen. One Amazon reviewer stated, "It's nice that the screen is a touch screen and the processor keeps up when you pan and pinch to zoom in and out of the graph view. This is a really powerful tool. It's like basically having a baby version of Matlab or Wolfram Mathmatica on you at all times." 

The HP Prime Graphing Calculator should suit pretty much any student and is a solid investment for high schoolers who will take more advanced college classes. 

What is the best graphing calculator?

The best graphing calculator is the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE based on price, reviews, skill level, and features. 

Graphing CalculatorPriceSizePower Source
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE$1177.59 inchesRechargeable lithium battery
Catiga CS-121$407 inchesLR44 battery required
Casio Prizm FX-CG50$957.2 inches4 AA batteries required
TI-Nspire CX II CAS$1517.5 inchesLithium Ion battery required
HP Prime Graphing Calculator$1377.3 inchesLithium battery required

 *Lowest price at the time of writing. Please note that prices may vary based on retailer and available promotions, sales, or discounts.

Which graphing calculator is right for you?

Graphing calculators, for the most part, are an expensive part of school supply shopping. Because it's a high-priced item, making the right selection for the school year is important. For younger students who may not continue on with advanced math and science classes, a more budget-friendly graphing calculator that gets the job done (with no extra bells and whistles) will do just fine. 

However, if you're shopping for your high school student who will likely go into college to study a math- or science-based major, investing in a high-quality graphing calculator that can handle advanced math functions is your best option. Since different calculators work best for varying needs, here is a list to help you narrow down your choices.  

Choose this graphing calculator...If you want...
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CEThe best overall option.
Catiga CS-121A budget-friendly graphing calculator for school.
Casio Prizm FX-CG50A graphing calculator with a 3D color display.
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CASA graphing calculator for college students.
HP Prime Graphing CalculatorA graphing calculator with a touchscreen.

Factors to consider when choosing a graphing calculator:

The calculators chosen provide a variety of price points and needs for parents and students to choose from. Ultimately, we weighed the following aspects when curating this list: 

  • Performance: We evaluated how well these graphing calculators accomplished usual tasks in math- or science-based courses. 
  • Functionality: When researching calculators, we looked at the different features and uses each one of these calculators offers. Do they plot graphics in color, or black and white? Do they save your work? Are they SAT or ACT-approved? 
  • Battery: Graphing calculators are tools for students to get their work done more efficiently, that's why we considered battery and battery life for these calculators. We asked ourselves: How often do you need to change the batteries? Do you need to plug it in every night? How many hours does a battery or a full charge last? 
  • Value: Graphing calculators can be pricey. Depending on your needs you may opt for a more advanced version. We evaluated which calculators are your buck based on their different use cases and functionalities. 

How did we choose these graphing calculators?

We considered several factors during our search to find the best graphing calculators. We looked at top brands, customer reviews (good and bad), and considered our own experience in using some of these graphing calculators to select our top picks. When we go hands-on with an graphing calculator, we consider ease of setup and use, performance quality, functionality quality, and value for the price.

What is a graphing calculator?

A graphing calculator is exactly what it sounds like -- it's a calculator that has the functionality to build graphs, which is what many advanced math or science classes will require. These are commonplace in high school and college math classes that require students to understand equations, geometry, and plotting points on a graph. Unlike a basic calculator, these machines have a larger display so users can see the equations and numbers in picture form as they're solving problems.

What's the best graphing calculator brand?

Texas Instruments is often viewed as the top brand for graphing calculators, but other brands are competitive. Casio has several top-notch graphic calculators. HP is also competitive. 

How do I know which graphing calculator to get?

The most important factor in choosing a graphing calculator is knowing what classes you'll be using it for. High school students taking algebra and geometry may not need a calculator as advanced as a college student taking calculus and physics. When in doubt, check with the teachers or professors for their recommendations and then take a look at your budget.

Is a color display important in a graphic calculator?

The color display certainly makes it easier to see the graphs you're building in the calculator, but less-advanced calculators with black-and-white screens will still get the job done. If you're comparing two calculators that are the same price and only one has color, it's probably the better option simply for ease of use.

What's the difference between a CAS calculator and a non-CAS calculator?

CAS stands for computer algebra systems. The CAS-enabled calculators are more advanced and are good for algebra-based classes because they're designed for variables and equations. Non-CAS calculators, on the other hand, are lower-level calculators that don't quite have the functionality but are still just as useful.

Are all graphing calculators approved for standardized tests?

No, not all graphing calculators can be used on the SAT, ACT, or other standardized tests. Your best bet is to check the guidelines before testing to see what calculators are OK to use, but in general, CAS calculators are not always approved, and calculators with stored memory are usually not approved.

Are there alternative graphing calculators worth considering?

Texas Instruments and Casio both have several graphing calculators to choose from, and you can't go wrong with any of them. Some of them are more advanced than others (as evidenced by the higher price tag), while some are a little more basic. Any of these are still great options for a variety of students.

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