www.casioeducation.com■ Price: $19.99
CLASSWIZ fx-991EX is a scientific calculator with spreadsheet functionality. It also features 274 functions and high-resolution LCD technology.
Quality and Effectiveness: The Casio CLASSWIZ fx-991EX has a sturdy build, with a dark textured face that is accompanied by well-designed buttons of both plastic and metal. The unit is thin, lightweight, and comes with a protective cover that stores on the calculator when in use. Even with this kind of build, it does not feel cheap or flimsy. It runs on both battery and solar power. The user’s guide states that the battery will last about two years based on one hour a day of use. When it is time to replace the watch-style battery, it can be done easily by removing one small screw in the back.
Ease of Use: Even though it has many functions (274), including an industry-first spreadsheet function, this calculator is designed to be straightforward to use. The buttons are not too small and are categorized by color to make it easy to find both basic and advanced functions. The on, navigation, shift, and alpha buttons are well set apart in silver at the top of the unit. Students can set the calculation mode to any variety of mathematical calculations, from statistics to vectors, distribution to matrix, and more, by using the menu and navigation buttons. Advanced and extra functions can be activated by using the shift and alpha buttons. These extra functions allow students to solve equations that are found in the newest of math textbooks. The generous screen size includes a high-resolution, black LCD display with adjustable contrast, to make sure user can see it well in a variety of lighting conditions.
Creative Use of Technology: Overall, this calculator is a big step up in scientific calculators. The ability to create and edit spreadsheets allows students to do more complex calculations and study statistics more effectively. The CLASSWIZ fx-991EX allows the user to display graphs on a smartphone or tablet using a QR code reader app so they can be displayed in a larger format.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: The CLASSWIZ fx-991EX is extremely suitable for upper grade school through college environments. It has all of the necessary functions to satisfy a variety of user needs. Plus, the screen size allows students to better match the way the formulas look in their texts, which facilitates better understanding.
Overall, the Casio CLASSWIZ fx-991EX is an excellent calculator that is well suited for a variety of mathematical uses. The setup, navigation, and functionality are intuitive and easy to use. The addition of the spreadsheet and QR code generator put it in a class by itself. Plus, the price of $19.99 makes it extremely affordable. This product would be a welcome addition for any student or teacher.
• An industry-first spreadsheet function.
• An impressive build for only $19.99.
• The large, high-resolution display allows students to better match the way the formulas look in their texts.
• Lightweight and has nice-sized, clearly defined buttons and function keys.
• Easy-to-use menu to set up for a variety of calculations.
• Spreadsheet feature for more advanced statistical calculations.