We are entering the world of high-technology and advanced gadgets.
In such a world, old calculators by Texas Instruments still retain their price.
You would think that these calculators would be outdated by now, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
As a student or even a teacher, you might want to understand the reason graphing calculators are so expensive.
Here are ten of them.
Why Are Graphing Calculators So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
There are many reasons these calculators are so expensive.
This is because they are in high demand, the competition is limited, high-quality build, is designed for a specific purpose, have endless features, are produced in small batches, and much more.
The calculator is one of the best investments if you plan to use it for advanced math functions.
Here are all the reasons in detail to help you understand why graphing calculators are so expensive:
1. High Demand
The law of demand and supply applies to all products in a free market economy.
Even a graphing calculator can’t escape this, as this is what determines the price.
There are many reasons graphing calculators are in high demand at all times.
Here are some important reasons for its high demand:
A. Part Of The Public Education System
If you are in the education system, you can’t escape using the graphing calculator.
That is because many curriculums in American math classes require students to use the T-84 or TI-83 graphing calculator.
There are many lesson plans which revolve around the use of such calculators.
Such a system has been in place for a very long time to boost the learning of students.
Teachers even help students understand how they can make the best use of such calculators.
Even if the use in different industries lessens, the graphing calculator will still be in high demand in public education.
B. Standardized Tests And Rules
Standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT have specific rules about what devices you can use for the test.
The rules are limiting, and students don’t have many options.
In such scenarios, the graphing calculator is always a savior as it allows the students to solve math problems with advanced functions.
Students are also not allowed other devices in the testing rooms, such as smartphones, smartwatches, laptops, and more.
They have to depend on old technology to help them out during the tests.
As long as these tests are part of the education system, graphing calculators will always be in demand.
2. Limited Competition
Texas Instruments maintains a monopoly in the market for graphing calculators.
This enables them to charge a high price because they know that the customer can’t go anywhere else.
This is not always a good thing, as the lack of competition also means that the manufacturer doesn’t have much incentive to improve the product.
That is why you receive an overpriced graphing calculator that has many outdated features that are unnecessary.
There are also many tactics that Texas Instruments uses to maintain its monopoly.
For example, they offer workshops and training to teachers.
These workshops teach the professionals how to use the devices and make the most out of them.
Teachers implement what they learn in school and transfer their knowledge to students.
The company works hard at ensuring that its graphing calculator becomes the norm in each school.
Such tactics have allowed them to stay ahead of the competition over advanced technology, such as smartphones.
After all, these gadgets don’t belong in an environment where students are being tested.
As of now, this lack of competition is going to stay and parents will also continue to spend money on graphing calculators for their children’s education.
3. High-Quality Build
Never underestimate the power of a Texas Instruments graphing calculator, as the build is still incredibly solid and high-quality.
The hardware material is highly durable, and it can stand all the wear and tear you can throw at it.
Students can purchase it and use it for a long time to come as it will not stop working anytime soon.
The strong build also ensures that the graphing calculator is reliable and it will give the students what they need in a school and testing environment.
Even teachers prefer to use these in the classroom because of this reliability, and they encourage the students to do so well.
Offering such solid hardware is not easy for the company.
It requires them to invest in the best materials and create a piece that will withstand harsh wear and tear.
Sourcing the materials and including them in the design increases the cost for the company.
Texas Instruments transfers the costs to its consumer because they are running a business.
If you want to invest in a high-quality calculator with advanced math functions, then the graphing calculator is the ideal choice.
The calculator will be useful for a long time to come.
4. Designed For A Specific Purpose
You can’t just use graphing calculators for everything, as they have been designed for a specific purpose.
The primary aim of graphing calculators is to graph and analyze complex mathematical equations.
That results in a high price.
Solving such complex mathematical equations requires the best features, accuracy, and precision.
The Texas Instruments graphing calculator delivers on these requirements, which is why you will see this calculator in the hands of every student.
No matter what level they are at, be it high school or college, students need this calculator.
If you plan on occasionally using the graphing calculator, then the price point might not be worth it to you.
Instead, you can opt for other solutions that will not put such a dent in your pocket.
If you are a professional in fields such as finance, engineering, or computer programming, then you will also benefit from the graphing calculator.
It has also been designed with keeping the needs of professionals in mind.
Because of this, it is not only useful for the education sector, but also other industries.
5. Endless Features
One of the best parts about a graphing calculator is that it has many features which will be of use to you.
Such features come with a high price tag because the company has to put in a lot of time and resources to offer such features to you.
For example, the sole purpose of the graphing calculator is not to just graph equations.
These calculators can also perform scientific and mathematical calculations for you.
If you are a student, these features will come in handy for many subjects.
Apart from solving equations, the graphing calculator comes with other abilities.
These include solving challenging equations, storing a large amount of data, and performing a statistical analysis.
You must be ready to pay the price if you want to benefit from these features.
Once you invest in this calculator, it will give you use for a long time.
Over time, the cost will spread, which is why it won’t seem expensive in the long run.
It is just a one-time cost that you have to incur, and the calculator will offer you durability and reliability.
6. Small-Batch Production
Despite the high demand, graphing calculators are not produced in big batches by many manufacturers.
Such calculators require a high level of precision and they are challenging to produce.
They also come with various features, which means that they cater to different needs and users.
If manufacturers want to deliver quality, then they need to keep production low.
Doing this ensures that each calculator is made with extreme accuracy and precision.
Of course, that also means that it costs the manufacturers more to produce these calculators.
As a consumer, you have to pay a higher price for this.
It also takes money, time, and effort to gather the materials for small-batch production.
All these factors are considered when setting the price of the graphing calculator.
The costs rise even higher when the supply chain is affected.
That is why you can expect the price to rise if there are supply chain issues.
Thankfully, that doesn’t happen much, but the price of graphing calculators remains higher than other calculators in the market.
7. Advanced Technology
When you look at the graphing calculator, you might think that it is outdated technology, but you couldn’t be further from the truth.
These calculators are made with the best technology that will allow you to graph equations and solve complex math problems.
It is not affordable to produce such technology, as everything is expensive.
That is why technology is also one of the top factors that raise the price of graphing calculators.
The manufacturers also have to ensure that they regularly update the technology and keep up with changing times.
They focus on offering you an effective and accurate experience for a long time.
All the technology that goes into the creation of this calculator is getting expensive each day.
Manufacturers have to keep up with this, as they have to make profits.
If you want to own a graphing calculator, you will have to pay a high price.
8. Advanced Mathematical Functions
A graphing calculator has many functions, and one of the most important ones is that it can handle advanced and complex mathematical functions.
Such an ability is not present in standard calculators, which is why their price is not too high.
If you want to benefit from these advanced functions, you will have to be willing to pay a high price for them.
If you are a student taking advanced math courses, you will benefit the most from this.
Of course, if you also want to perform scientific or business calculations, then the graphing calculator will be of use to you then as well.
Such functions are not easy to offer, as technology and materials are needed to create the calculator.
For example, graphing calculators can visualize data sets and graph mathematical equations.
If you are a visual learner, then this is one of the best ways to gain more interest in advanced math courses.
Standard calculators don’t offer such visualization, which is why they can get boring.
Such advanced capabilities add to the cost of the graphing calculator.
If you want to use this calculator in the classroom or at work, then the cost will not be much over a long period.
9. Easing The Hard Work
Students are already stressed in the classrooms, and they need more devices that make them feel less burdened.
The graphing calculator is a savior for students in math courses.
It allows them to solve complex equations in no time, which makes learning easier for them.
Technology has evolved incredibly, but the functions of the calculator remain the same because of this.
Students love the graphing calculator and it makes their long nights of hard work much easier.
It helps them save time in the long run.
Manufacturers understand the importance of graphing calculators for students and the education sector.
They know that no matter what price they are sold at, students will buy the calculators because of the ease.
Taking such an advantage is not okay, but Texas Instruments is monopolizing the market, and they can dictate what happens.
As a result, you end up paying a high price because you get a lot of ease and convenience out of the graphing calculator.
If you want to make your life easier and less stressful, then you will have to pay a high price.
10. Stands The Test Of Time
Finally, the graphing calculator has been around for a long time now and it has stood the test of time.
This goes to show that people need these calculators, and they are willing to pay a high price for them.
The functions of the calculator have also guaranteed the place of this device in the classrooms.
They will remain a part of the American curriculum for the foreseeable future, and the company will keep rolling them out for students.
If you are taking any math courses, then this is one of the most important investments in your studies.
You will get a lot of use out of this calculator in high school, college, and even further.
Texas Instruments understands the importance of their graphing calculators and how they have stood the test of time.
That is why the price will not be going down anytime soon.
What Is The Role Of Graphing Calculators In Standardized Testing?
Standardized tests have a mathematical portion that you must ace if you want to pass the test.
Younger students will not face this, but students gaining higher education will.
It allows students to save time and solve mathematical equations without much of a hassle.
Here are some of the top tips you must know before you take your graphing calculator to a standardized test:
1. College Entrance Test
Most of the college entrance standardized tests require a calculator that you can use.
For example, the ACT, PSAT, and SAT will allow you to use this calculator so that you can complete the test on time.
Besides that, some AP course tests will also allow us to use this device for the best results.
2. Understand The Rules
The next thing you must familiarize yourself with is the rules of the test.
You must review them before you enter to check if the graphing calculator is allowed.
Taking such things into account will help you acquaint yourself with the calculator so that you can easily use it during the test.
3. Is Your Graphing Calculator Permitted?
The rules might allow a graphing calculator, but do they allow the one that you have?
That is because some graphing calculators with many advanced features might not be allowed.
Standardized tests require a certain environment, and such advanced technology might not fit in with that environment.
We recommend that you opt for an entry-level graphing calculator as you begin.
Then, you can switch to a graphing calculator with more features if you want one for daily use.
When the time comes for the exam, you can switch to the simple model.
What To Look For In A Graphing Calculator
Graphing calculators are expensive, which is why you must buy the right one on the first try.
To do this, it is important to know what to look for.
Here are some of the top factors to consider before investing in a graphing calculator:
The buttons are one of the most important features of the calculator.
If they are not easy to use, that will impact the entire experience of your classroom and tests.
The buttons should be large and easy to use no matter where you are.
The writing on the buttons must also be easy to read.
If these buttons are illuminated, then that is even better.
It will enable you to use your calculator without a hassle in low lighting conditions.
2. Battery Life
A reliable graphing calculator is one of the best investments you can make.
The top indicator of reliability is the battery life of the calculator.
Most graphing calculators come with a battery, but some of them also offer an additional solar power feature that you can utilize.
Such calculators will use little power, and it is one of the best options to have in your calculator.
The additional feature will guarantee that you don’t have to worry about the battery as you are taking an important exam.
You can take it with you knowing that you can rely on the battery to power through.
Finally, you must understand how durable is your graphing calculator.
One of the top indicators of durability is the material from which the calculator is manufactured.
You must check if the build is solid as it will give you use for a long time to come.
You can also check for one that has a removable cover, as it will offer additional protection to your graphing calculator.
Durable graphing calculators can easily withstand any wear and tear, drops, and much more.
You can look for one that will last you throughout your high school and college days or even further.
These are the top reasons graphing calculators are so expensive.
Their price will not come down anytime soon, and parents will have to find a way to ensure that their children get one of these calculators.
Teachers also have to invest in them and learn how to utilize the calculators to impart knowledge to students.
Graphing calculators have stood the test of time and they will remain an important part of the American curriculum.
Whether you are a professional, student, or teacher, you can invest in the graphing calculator.
Once you do, it will give you incredible use for a long time to come.
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