Why Are Graphing Calculators So Expensive? (Top 6 Reasons)

A few years ago, my mother needed to purchase a graphing calculator for my brother, who was in high school. Being the frugal woman she is, she did some research and found that the most affordable graphing calculators were around $50.

However, when she went to purchase one, she found that the cheapest models were still around $100. She was shocked and wondered why graphing calculators were so expensive.

As it turns out, there are a few reasons why graphing calculators cost more than your average scientific calculator. In this article, we’ll explore the top 6 reasons why graphing calculators are so expensive.

Why Are Graphing Calculators So Expensive?

Let’s take a look at the top 6 reasons:

Versatile Features 

Versatile & multiple Features

Top of the line, it is the versatile features of graphing calculators that impact the price to be necessarily expensive.

A graphing calculator is different from a typical one.

As a result, it has different characteristics.

For example, Texas Instruments briefly TI has released several graphing calculators that are affluent with striking features.

Its TI-83 calculator is a wonderful one that comes with a 6 MHz processor, no rechargeable battery, a huge screen, etc. 

TI-84 is the best-selling graphing calculator of the brand that comprises 24 kb RAM, 480 Kb ROM, a 96×64 pixel screen, a power system, and move on. 

Besides, a Casio FX-9860GII calculator is a massive one that features a high-resolution display, backlit display, 15 preloaded icon menus, and a high-speed CPU. 

Thus, graphing calculators with versatile features are much more expensive because of excellence. 

Different Functions 

Different, multiple Functions

Graphing calculators have not only several features but also provide a huge area of use.

They can accomplish a lot of work due to different functions.

A standard graphing calculator is more advanced in completing simultaneous equations.

It can do basic function graphing, quadratics, polynomials, and inequalities.

Then, Geometry is another area where some concepts like types of angles and hyperbolic functions are wonderfully cemented by a graphing calculator.

It can also solve polar graphing and parametric graphing which are difficult to do with paper and pencil.

Besides, a graphing calculator is used in Trigonometry in solving some concepts like amplitude, phase, and periods.

Moreover, a graphing calculator has a wide area of uses in computer programming, specifically creating code, completing math problems, transferring spreadsheets and data sets, etc. 

What is more, a graphing calculator is also necessary for Statistics as well as in Engineering, Finance, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, etc to execute different problems.

Hence, it is quite clear that a graphing calculator has different functions in different fields.

On account of these uses, its price is fairly exorbitant. 

Build Quality 

High quality

The next reason that influences the price of a graphing calculator is its build quality.

Expensive graphing calculators come with exclusive features and strong components that are technologically advanced.

Eventually, they are built to last a long period.

In terms of hardware and software aspects, design, battery, and other fundamental components, graphing calculators ensure the best quality that is a necessity.

They are solid and dense, and the buttons are made of a sort of hard rubber. 

Some graphing calculators having touch screens are quite impressive and easy to use and control.

The battery life is pretty good with a different lifespan.

After all, they are powerful enough to function adequately. 

High Demand


Probably, it is the most valid reason that makes graphing calculators ridiculously expensive.

Although technology is improving in creating more and more exclusive innovations, the demand for graphing calculators is still high.

Necessarily, graphing calculators are still a requisite part of schools along with other fields like engineering, statistics, computational programming, etc.

Certain issues of classrooms are related to graphing calculators. 

For this reason, graphing calculators have worldwide demand for their multipurpose.

As a result, their price is overwhelmingly increasing.



There are different types of graphing calculators.

Since their functions are distinctive and one is different from another, it should be remembered that all of them are not allowed to be used in the academic case. 

Many teachers recommend students to solve problems by themselves, but some also make them mandatory.

In various schools, graphing calculators are disapproved of during examinations.

According to SAT and AGT, some graphing calculators are allowed for students to use.

For instance, From Texas Instruments, TI-73, TI-80, TI- 81, TI-82, TI-83 line, TI-84 line, TI-Nspire line, etc are permitted to use.

Then, a number of graphing calculators from Casio including FX-6000 series, FX-6200 series, FX-7000 series, and FX-8000 series are allowed for use. 

Thus, several editions of them are prohibited to prevent cheating.

Therefore, when students do not have any alternatives without purchasing thus limited graphing calculators, the price is significantly increased by the brands to profit a substantial amount. 



Since graphing calculators are in high demand for worldwide use, various companies have emerged in the world market that produce and manufacture graphing calculators.

As a result, there seems to be a worldwide competition among the companies for securing positions.

Consequently, they increase the price to overcome one another.

The report shows that Texas Instruments is the most renowned brand for innovating graphing calculators.

According to a study, this company now enjoys nearly %80 market share of the global graphing calculators market.

Their TI-83 and TI-84 series are among the best creations so far. 

Besides this leading one, there are some competitors like Casio, Sharp, Hewlett-Packard, Radio Shack, etc.

They are engaged in overcoming one another in terms of demand and popularity.

That is why an expensive price is seen in the world market of graphing calculators. 

How Expensive Is a Graphing Calculator?

How much do cost per year, expense

Some graphing calculators are so expensive that their price may overwhelm us.

While typical graphing calculators can cost $30 to $50, some expensive calculators cost $50 to $100.

But surprisingly, some more expensive graphing calculators go between $100 to $200 depending on the models.

TI-83 is one of the most popular and best-selling graphing calculators that now costs nearly $100.

Another excellent creation of Texas Instruments, TI-84 is now accessible at more than $100 and reaches around $130.

Among the most expensive ones, TI Nspire CX CAS is sold at $200 and TI-84 Plus CE Plum is $250.

One of the best touch screen graphing calculators is HP Prime that costs about $140 fairly. 

Are Graphing Calculators Worth It?

Are the kitchen aid mixers worth the higher prices

Having a graphing calculator is really advantageous.

It is an indispensable part of solving several math problems in educational functions as well as with a wide range of uses in different sectors.

It provides versatile features that are noteworthy.

It saves time and helps solve a problem within a short time.

Besides, having graphing calculators also helps know various things that are not taught in the classrooms.

Therefore, it is pretty sure that a graphing calculator is worth the money. 

What Is so Special About a Graphing Calculator?

so special

The most special fact of a graphing calculator is its manifold uses.

It is capable of doing not only a certain work but also accomplishing a wide area of work.

It is widely used in algebraic equations, Trigonometry, engineering, computer programming, higher math, statistics, finance, biology, chemistry, physics, etc.

Thus, it has become an essential part of the classroom.

How Long Do Graphing Calculators Last?

How long do expensive thing last

A graphing calculator can last a certain period if it is well-maintained.

Depending on the capacity of the batteries, it also can last a long time.

Since graphing calculators contain lithium-ion batteries, they are expected to last 3 years.

To get a lasting period, one must save them from heat and humidity as they can damage the durability of a calculator.

However, when batteries are partially damaged, you can replace them with a new one if the calculator batteries are rechargeable.

By this, you can prolong the life of your graphing calculator. 

How to Save Money on Graphing Calculators?

save money on something

It seems pretty difficult for some students to buy a graphing calculator at a hefty price.

Nevertheless, it is an inevitable device for solving mathematical problems.

By the way, if you have to buy a graphing calculator, there are a few tips for you so that you can save money.

  1. Some online sites provide TI calculators at a cheap price in favor of students. These sites are Chegg, Graphtor, and RentCalculators.org. If you need a graphing calculator during your courses, you can rent it from these sites.
  1. It is not mandatory that your graphing calculator must be a new and fresh one. Rather, a new device always takes an exorbitant price. Therefore, it is recommended to buy a used graphing calculator to save money. 
  1. Sometimes there are many alternatives to such mathematics that can not be solved without a graphing calculator. If there has any alternative option, you can skip these problems. As a result, you won’t need to have a graphing calculator. 
  1. It is pretty good to say that nowadays there are so many online free graphing calculators that are easy to install. These apps work like the original device. Some of these free graphing calculators are Handyman Calculator, Desmos, Free Graphing Calculator, Photomath, AlmostTI, Tydiig, WolframAlpha, and so on. If you install one of them, you can completely avoid the cost of buying a graphing calculator. 

Cheap Graphing Calculators


The reasonable price of a graphing calculator can range between $20 to $70 concerning the different models.

Among the cheap graphing calculators, Catiga Electronics 1596819 School Smart Graphic Calculator is a common one.

It features a 10 Plus 2 Dot Matrix and is capable of delivering sufficient functions.

It costs more than $20 fairly.

Another cheap one is Casio FX-9750GII Graphing Calculator that is available at $40. 

Is There a Free Graphing Calculator?


As graphing calculators are comparatively expensive, some free graphing calculator apps can be used by iPad, iPhone, and Android users.

Among various of them, the best one is Desmos.

It has prolific options like function transformations, plot data points via tables, parabolas, derivatives, Fourier series, disabling the grid lines, labeling the x and y axis, etc.

Photomath is another free graphing calculator that can do multiple functions and is completely effective. 

Best Graphing Calculators


With the increase in popularity and wide demand, multiple companies are involved in manufacturing innovative graphing calculators internationally.

Among them, some of the best graphic calculators are mentioned here. 

  1. Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus is perhaps the most recognized graphing calculator in the world that is a new edition of the TI-84 lineup. It features a good number of technological functions and has a wide range of working areas. It costs more than $130 due to its versatile characteristics. 
  1. When it comes to talking about the touch screen graphing calculators, it is the HP Prime that stands unmatched. This CAS-style graphing calculator can do a lot of functions. It features a high-resolution, color touchscreen, intuitive design, and a powerful screen. Because of excellent landmarks, it is sold at $150.
  1. With an easy-to-navigate operating system and a solid entry-level, TI-83 Plus is one of the greatest graphing calculators for beginners. Its price is more than $100. 
  1. One of the most versatile and innovative graphing calculators is Casio PRIZM FX-CG50. It has a large and high-resolution backlit display exceptional for color. It is available at $100. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Ti-84 So Expensive?

Why expensive, how to save money

I’ve already marked that TI-84 is possibly the best and most popular graphing calculator series of Texa Instruments.

Among different lines-up of the company, this particular one has gotten the most response from the consumers.

With a number of wonderful features including sufficient RAM and ROM, color screen, rechargeable battery, and significantly more memory, a powerful processor, and a mini-USB port, TI-84 is really a praiseworthy graphing calculator.

That is why its price is outrageously expensive. 

Why Are Texas Instrument Calculators so Expensive?

Why is powerful

Texas Instruments (TI) is the most prominent name in the graphing calculators’ world.

It manufactured its first graphing calculator in the 1990s and since then, it has ranked for the supremest brands in this industry.

Some of its most popular calculators are the TI-83 and TI-84 series.

These two lines-up have uplifted the value of the company and brought it to another position.

Besides worldwide popularity and recognition, TI also ensures the best quality with standard materials.

Their calculators are technologically advanced and provide a wide range of functional areas.

Thus, their price is inevitably increased. 

Are Graphing Calculators Still a Thing?

what are the reson you need it

Everything is advanced due to technology and science.

Modern devices like laptops, computers, and mobile have reached within everyone’s hands.

As a result, every problem seems quite easy and mostly feasible.

But, notably, a graphing calculator is still an essential device in the educational field.

It has a massive area of functions including computer programming, statistics, algebraic equations, higher math, Trigonometry, laboratory, engineering, etc.

Therefore, it is significant to mention that a graphing calculator is still a thing of worth. 


In the long run, it is now quite perceptible that a graphing calculator is really an expensive device that may not be affordable for everyone.

On account of its fertile uses with remarkable features, a graphing calculator is a widely popular and sought-after device.

Used in the various fields of educational and non-educational spheres, they are being extravagant day by day.

However, whatever their price is, they are worth it since they have a great necessity in accomplishing difficult problems.

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