15 October 2019

Calculatober Day 15: Texas Instruments 30XA (2004 Revision)

Nearly a year ago, I purchased a TI-30XA with every intention of reviewing it. It wasn't working, but I got it cheap, so I was willing to take the risk. It turned out it just needed new batteries and some cleaning.
Texas Instruments makes excellent calculators. I haven't said many negative things about them because they know what they're doing. But today's review is going to focus on the negative aspects of the TI-30XA. This isn't to suggest it's a bad calculator at all- it isn't. I want to make it clear that I do recommend this calculator as it's a solid budget scientific calculator.

With the word "budget" in its descriptor, there are bound to be some drawbacks. Functionally, there's nothing wrong with the TI-30XA. It's undergone multiple revisions since its first release in 1996, and I'd assume it keeps getting better with each one. However, until 2013, this calculator had a small bug that resulted in slightly inaccurate calculations. Rather than explain it and take credit for someone else's work, I'm linking to another calculator website that's much better than mine if you're interested in learning about it: http://www.datamath.org/Story/LogarithmBug.htm
See the 8? It's tilted.
The buttons work fine, but the plastic molding of the main chassis leaves just a little too much room for each. This allows nearly every button to be turned ever so slightly. With all of the keys in perfectly straight rows, this becomes especially notable.
Six screws is too many.
There is a solar version of the TI-30XA, but without it, you'll need to remove six screws and the back of the chassis to access the battery compartment. Fortunately the interior components are held in with plastic rivets, so you won't have to worry about everything falling apart. I would have preferred screws so I could get more pictures of the interior, but I try not to factor in my desire for a complete review into my reviews.

Again, the TI-30XA is a good calculator. You can get the latest revision for about $9 on Amazon or the solar version for $14. I see them at Goodwill all the time, and people send me pictures of theirs more often than any other device. I don't know how many times people have asked if I have one, but maybe this review will put that question to rest once and for all.

Here's the clean and "repair" video on my YouTube channel:

1 comment:

  1. Great calculator (for the money)...excellent review!