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What You Need To Know to Pick Your Best: HP Prime vs TI Nspire

Antonio Evans March 13, 2019

Graphing calculatorHaving a graphing calculator that is both easy to use and quick to read can make or break a classroom experience.

It is important to choose the right one in order to do your best work – both as a teacher and as a student.

As teachers, it is important to choose the right one in order to best present your materials and easily maneuver the device. As a student, it is important to look for a calculator that is easy to use and understand.

HP Prime vs TI Nspire

When it comes to these two graphing calculators, both the HP Prime and the TI Nspire are excellent choices.

There are many things that are shared between both of these models, but some of the key differences are the teacher features and the leading computer algebra system (CAS) that the HP Prime model has as part of the standard purchase.

Depending on what you are looking to do with your calculator, the ‘best’ option may be different. For teachers, the HP Prime calculator will most likely be the best one.

HP Prime vs TI Nspire

There is a wealth of features that are excellent aids for teachers and students that come included in the HP Prime. For students who are looking for an easier interface and less-complex equations, the TI Nspire is going to be the best choice.

These are loose generalizations, as teachers can find the TI Nspire a better one for their needs and vice versa. To get you started, here are some of the main differences and similarities.

Main Differences:

  • Teacher features
  • Additional apps
  • CAS feature(s)

Main Similarities:

  • Mathematic functions
  • Colored display with manipulative graphs
  • Ability to store and share work to computers
  • Testing compatible
  • Storage of worksheets and excel sheets
  • Ability to multi-sync with other calculators
DeviceDisplay:CAS Enabled:Extra Apps:Computer Storage & Syncing:Stores worksheets and more:Testing Compatible:Touch Screen:Multi-Sync Devices:
HP PrimeColored Screen with 3D DisplayNo, requires an advanced versionNoYesYesYesNoYes
TI NspireColored Screen with 3D DisplayYesYesYesYesYesYesYes

PRODUCT COMPARISON

The HP Prime and the TI Npsire are excellent graphing calculators, both produced by leading brands in the industry. There are many features that are shared by both models and some that are unique to only one.

Here, the top features are reviewed and compared across both models in order to determine the best graphing calculator of the two.

User Experience

The HP Prime and TI Nspire both pave the way for users when it comes to graphics, display and usability. Both have colored, 3D graphs that can be rotated and manipulated by the user.

Additionally, both models have the ability to connect to the computer and save homework, notes, and more.

The basics are shared by both models, but the HP Prime model has a few extra features that enhance the user experience and set it as the better of the two calculators.

One of the main differences is that the HP Prime comes with an interactive touch screen that takes data manipulation to the next level.

It is true that the TI Nspire, which is only responsive to a standard keyboard, has a backlit keyboard which is a great advantage, but the touchscreen feature of the HP Prime is by far the better feature when it comes to user experience.

Collaboration

As previously stated, both the HP Prime and the TI Nspire are able to share data to computers. They can also connect with other calculators of the same type and share notes and work across devices.

This is an excellent feature for classmates and class projects which can be utilized by teachers and students alike.

HP Prime vs TI Nspire

The HP Prime has an extra edge when it comes to collaboration because it comes with the ability to connect to a projector. The TI Nspire requires extra features that must be purchased in order to have the enhancement.

With the HP Prime model however, this is included in the initial purchase. This makes it the better option – especially for teachers who are looking to demonstrate concepts and functions.

Mathematical Ability

As far as graphing calculators go, the HP Prime and the TI Nspire are powerhouses when it comes to a myriad of mathematical equations. Examples of math that is handled across both models includes: Basic and advanced Algebra, Geometry, Calculus and Statistics.

Additionally, they are both approved for use on tests such as the SAT, PSAT, ACT, AP exams, and for IB testing.

If you are looking for a calculator that can handle mechanical engineering, then the better model is going to be the TI Npsire; in addition to mathematic calculations, it can also handle scientific equations.

If you are looking for a calculator that can handle a little bit of everything in the mathematical realm however, the HP Prime is going to be what you want to invest in.

It comes with the following pre-loaded apps: 5 graphing apps, 2 special apps (Geometry & Spreadsheets), 4 statistical apps, 4 solver apps, 3 explorer apps (investigating a functions equation & graph).

Additional Bonus Features

In all of the shared features of both the HP Prime and TI Nspire, there are some features that are unique to each model. These can be what elevate either of the models depending on what you are looking for.

The HP Prime has an advanced computer algebra system (CAS) built into the calculator. This allows for better graphics, manipulate, and a seamless integration with computers, projectors, and more.

For teachers, this comes with great benefits for the classroom, allowing teachers to send exams directly to the students’ calculators and even limit what features of the student calculators are accessible during exam times.

Additionally, the HP Prime comes with a mobile app, increasing the usability of the calculator by allowing students to calculate, graph, and work across multiple devices.

The TI Nspire has its own set of features including a unique ‘Chem Box’ design that makes setting up equations and functions easier.

Additionally, users can upload images to their calculators in order to graph and lay out functions on top of the images. This allows for a seamless integration of calculations with real-world designs in live time.

Final Verdict

For students who are beginning their mathematical journey and for those who are working on intermediate mathematics, the TI Nspire is an excellent choice. It does the job without too many bells and whistles, allowing users to get things done quickly and efficiently.

HP Prime vs TI Nspire

The Chem Box design goes a long way to help reinforce functions and the grammar of math which can be something difficult to master.

For teachers, or students looking for advanced features for intermediate or advanced mathematics, there is no comparison to the HP Prime calculator.

The features that come with this model are sleek and cutting edge, allowing the user immediate access to apps and features that other models require as add-ons. It is truly an advanced model and one that pays itself off multiple times over.

FAQs

In order to choose the best model for your needs, it is important to have an idea of what you are looking for initially. Sometimes, before you can narrow down your needs, you will need some answers to questions of your own.

Here are some of the more common questions related to these two popular graphing calculators.

How do I get my saved work off of the calculator?

Both of these models allow for files to be shared to a computer, or another calculator. Simply connect your calculator to the computer of your choice and you can transfer files, notes, exams, work, and more!

HP Prime vs TI Nspire

You can also download apps to enhance your calculator’s performance and with the HP Prime, you can load homework and upcoming work onto your calculator (if your professor has set it up in advance).

Can I manipulate the graphs once I have entered in an equation?

Yes! Once you have set up an equation, both calculators allow you to manipulate the graphs to see it from different angles and with different data points. This is especially helpful with graphs related to graphs and statistics.

Both models have a 3D display which makes manipulation even more clear. When it comes to how easy it is to manipulate the graphs, the HP Prime is going to be the better option because it comes with a touchscreen.

Can I recharge my calculator?

The TI Nspire comes with rechargeable batteries and can last about 2 weeks of consistent use before needing to be recharged. The HP Prime can also be recharged by connecting it to a computer via the USB or by connecting it to a USB wall charger.

Note: A completely dead HP Prime will take about 4 hours to fully charge.

What is CAS?

Computer algebra system (CAS) is a software that automates mathematical equations. It automates equations and cuts down on the need to write out full equations.

While CAS is not permitted for the ACT test, it is rapidly being accepted for mathematical instruction as it provides a better ‘real world’ experience and allows students to focus on the process, rather than requiring them to spend time writing out long equations.

CAS has paved the way for algorithms and can, in many ways, make math faster.

HP Prime vs TI Nspire

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