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HP 10bII vs TI BA II+: What You Need to Know for Choosing the Best

Antonio Evans November 12, 2019

Financial calculatorsFinancial calculations can be complex and long; it is important to be precise with your equations and factor multiple things into your assessments.

Financial calculators are designed to take care of your equations and help you prepare for school, personal financing and investments, work and more.

Here, two of the leading financial calculators are reviewed and assessed on their overall performance, usability, and standout features.

Both the HP 10bII and the TI BA II+ are excellent choices, but each cater to a slightly different audience. Knowing what you will need the financial calculator for is a strong start to choosing the best one for the job.

Top Pick for financial use
Texas Instruments BA II+
Texas Instruments BA II+
Best choice for financial use!

  • 10-Digit LCD Display
  • Calculate IRR and NPV
  • Time-Value-of-Money Function
  • Depreciation Schedules
  • Interest Rate Conversions
  • Auto Power Down Feature

In a hurry? Top Pick is your choice!

HP 10bII vs TI BA II+

Both the HP 10II and the TI BA II+ are well respected tools in both financial and business sections. This isn’t a surprise to anyone who has used one of these tools either, as both offer top-of-the-line performance and quality.

While there are many similarities between the two models, one of the key differences is the type of equations and functions that they are best suited for.

The HP 10II is an excellent starter calculator if you are looking at investing in one because it has all of the basics and no real bells and whistles. The TI BA II+ has more advanced features, setting itself apart by performance and range.

In addition to this key difference, there are a number of other, subsidiary features that are both shared and unique to each model. In order of significance they are.

Main Similarities:

  • Calculation capability
  • Algebraic functionality
  • Size
  • Warranty

Main Differences:

  • Alphanumeric display
  • Memory
  • Maximum string length
  • Buttons/Aesthetics
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When it comes to calculating and displaying complex finance formulas it is important to choose the calculator that best fits your needs.

Both the HP 10B II and the TI BAII+ are excellent choices, but they both have some differences that you should be aware of when looking to purchase one of them – depending on what you need your financial calculator to do, one of the two will be better for you than the other.


As both types are financial calculators, there is a lot of crossover when it comes to available formulas, calculations, and mathematic equations.

Both calculators have the option for algebraic data entry and can handle general statistics, basic finance, and general business-related calculations. Additionally, they both have amortization functions.

Beyond generics, the TI BA II+ is capable of handling more business-related math and projections than its counterpart.

It comes with profitability calculations, interest rate conversions, depreciation calculations (up to 4 different ways), and this calculator also has the ability to calculate time value for money.

The HP 10B II has more strengths when it comes to statistics and comes with over 100 built-in functions. It is the better option to choose when you are looking for single and double digit functions and basic interest calculations.

Overall, the HP 10B II is a great calculator for students and those looking for less-complex calculations. It has fewer bells and whistles when it comes to formulas which makes it more user-friendly.

However, if you are looking for a more advanced calculator that can handle more aggressive projections and business math, the TI BA II+ may be the better option.


Both financial calculators have similar features when it comes to how many characters can be displayed and what the memory capacity is for storing data. HP 10B II is the one to go with if you are looking for longer equations.

It can hold up to 12 characters on the LCD, contract adjustable screen. TI BA II+ only has a 10 character display, but when it comes to storing it holds up to 24, 4-digit strings. This is 2 more than its counterpart.

HP 10bII vs TI BA II Plus

Depending on what your user preferences are, either of these models could be the best. Looking at this in light of how long the strings can be, the HP 10B II is going to be the better one to pick.

However, if you are looking to store sets of numbers to calculate multiple things, or to reference later, the TI BA II+ is going to suite you better.

User Satisfaction & Aesthetics

Being able to navigate the business calculator and ensure that the numeric output is correct and saved (when necessary) can make or break the desire to use calculator repeatedly.

Likewise, if the overall aesthetic is good, it is more likely that you will incorporate it into more of your work or studies. When it comes to user satisfaction and overall aesthetic, both the HP and the TI models has some successes and shortcomings.

The HP 10BII is a half inch wider than its counterpart and slightly thicker, which accounts for the extra 2 digits that it can display.

Overall, this is a well-received model, but the keys are fairly stiff; even after it has been ‘worn in’ they don’t always register the touch and it will not display or calculate the number.

The LCD screen is quite nice and the contract can be adjusted to your viewing preference. Additionally, it comes with a case in order to make traveling with it easy and it has an ‘auto power off’ feature to conserve your batteries.

As was previously pointed out, the TI BAII+ is the smaller calculator of the two. For those looking to put this into a briefcase, schoolbag, or binder, it is easy to do so. It too comes with a case and as a bonus it is certified to use on tests such as the CFA exam.

It has an alphanumeric display, which expands the functionality and in order to conserve battery power it powers off after a certain time when not being used.

One of the few things to keep in mind that is more or less a design flaw, is that there are no rubber bits on the back of this to ‘hold’ it in place while on a desk, table, or other flat surface.

For students, this can be quite frustrating as it will slip out of place and onto the floor unless it is against something.

Final Verdict

An assessment of these two financial calculators generates a situation where both are equally good, but at different things. As you compare the two, the HP 10BII handles the basics with more ease, while the TI BAII+ has significantly more advanced operations available to the user.

While it is true that both are fairly on par with each other across most things, the better one for financial calculations is the TI BAII+ model.

HP 10bII vs TI BA II Plus

Because of its wide range of functions and overall usability, it edges out over the HP 10BII which could often be replaced by a simple graphing calculator. This sets the TI BAII+ apart as the better one for financial calculations in general.


Since there can be a lot riding on choosing the right financial calculator for your work or studies, it is important to educate yourself about your options and choose wisely.

Here are the answers to some of the key questions you may have when it comes to choosing which one to purchase or how they are used.

How do I know which financial calculator is better?

When you go to purchase your first calculator, there are two things that you can do a little research on beforehand. First, ask someone you know who has one what they like about it or what they would recommend.

This can be especially helpful for students as many professors only teach using a certain model.

Students risk purchasing a different one if they do so without asking and may set themselves up for struggles because of it. In the business world, ask colleagues or your boss which model(s) they use and assess if that is the same one that you would like or will most likely need.

The second thing you can do to help you figure out which calculator is better is to know in advance what kinds of equations you are going to be solving.

Both the HP and the TI models are an excellent example of how important this is – if you don’t know what type of math you’re going to be doing, you run the risk of picking a calculator that is weakest in that area.

What is the difference between BASIC notation and Algebraic notation?

Basic notation requires you to put the formula ‘grammar’ in which includes parenthesis, brackets, etc. This requires a greater attention to detail as a single missed parenthesis could change the entire formula string.

On the other hand, Algebraic notation doesn’t require everything; as long as the numbers are in the order that they would be if they were entered on paper, the system will know what process to follow.

For financial calculators, algebraic notation tends to be the default for number entry. If it is not, it can always be updated in the settings. If you do ever find yourself in a situation where you cannot find the information before you make a purchase, make an effort to reach out to the seller directly.

Do I lose my saved data if the calculator shuts off?

No, both the HP and the TI calculator reviewed above will keep any and all saved strings until you manually remove them under settings. Even if the calculator falls asleep due to inactivity, your data will still be stored.

HP 10bII vs TI BA II Plus

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