|First impressions of new TI-NSpire CAS|
Message #1 Posted by Don Shepherd on 2 Apr 2010, 11:50 p.m.
This isn't an in-depth review, just some first impressions after playing with it for a few days.
back of keyboard
The display is comparable to the original NSpire display. It is still hard to see without a strong bright external light source. A backlight, like on the Casio fx-9860g Slim, would be a most welcome addition.
The touchpad does make navigating easier, but it is tedious to move the cursor with the touchpad. A real touchscreen would be another welcome addition.
The home screen concept is better than the original NSpire. It encourages experimentation and makes documents easier to find.
The removeable keyboard (on the CAS model) is something new, although the TI-84 keyboard apparently will not work with the CAS model. That's unfortunate.
There are two new instructions in the BASIC-like programming language; Request to input a number and RequestStr to input a string. Both are very welcome. There is also a Text instruction to output a text box.
The NSpire is primarily a tool for students. It has many features that allow for experimentation; for example, to see how the formula of an equation changes in real-time as you change the shape of the curve. Some kids will learn from that.
It is not an engineers calculator. It is rather big and heavy and the trig functions are accessible via a menu rather than dedicated keys.
All in all, a worthy calculator for experimentation and number theory work.