Best Calculators for College Algebra 1 & 2 [2024]

You’ll need the best algebra calculator to solve complex equations. Algebra at the initial level involves complex numbers, pre-calculus, and introductory statistics. The subject requires continuous calculations which consume enough time if done manually.

In such a situation students registered in high school grade and college look for a calculator to solve complex algebra equations. Obviously one looks for the one that is able to help in other subjects also.

As the market is loaded with a number of brands, it is undoubtedly a tedious task to choose the best among them. Keeping all the possible questions that might surround a student’s mind, we have tried to make it easier for you.

To avoid any regrets we have discussed the best calculators that you need for college algebra. The article provides in detail a description of the most recommended products. Here is a complete guide to opting for the right one for you.

List of the Best Calculators for College Algebra

Here are the top recommendations from our side:

CalculatorReason to Buy
Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Ideal for Pre-Algebra and Pre-Calculus
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing CalculatorIdeal for solving algebraic equations at the college level
Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing CalculatorIdeal for advanced functions of math, algebra, calculus
Casio fx-115es plus Graphing CalculatorIdeal for high school and college-going students to solve trigonometry and algebraic functions
Texas Instruments N spire CX II CAS Ideal for solving pre and advanced-level algebra

1- Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro – Overall Best Scientific Calculator for Algebra Students

For Whom It’s Good For:

The TI-36X Pro from Texas Instruments is best for students dealing with pre-algebra, pre-calculus, engineering, and other scientific calculations. It is a four-line scientific calculator.

Moreover, it is equipped with commendable features like a multi-view display, built-in solvers, a math print view, different modes to solve simple to complex equations, and much more.

It comes with dimensions of 9.76 x 6.77 x 1.1 inches. This calculator can be powered by 4 ounces of Lithium Metal batteries which are long-lasting and lightweight.

Read the full review of Ti-36X Pro

Best Calculators for College Algebra
Image Credit: Texas Instruments

Key features TI-36X Pro

  • The multiple-view function is able to evaluate, compare, and display the results and inputs simultaneously.
  • To engage the students its math print view previews the inserted symbols as printed in the textbook.
  • The unit is able to solve various equations for up to three variables including polynomials, numeric equations, and a system of linear equations).
  • It not only provides you with a backtrack record of at least three problems you have worked on. But you can get to any point in history until you last cleared it.
  • This calculator is able to solve advanced-level statistics and maths problems. Functions like Integrals, Derivatives for real functions, and vectors and matrices can be evaluated within no time.
  • The device can also be used for different conversions such as fraction to decimal, square root to decimal, decimal to binary, and temperature conversions, etc.
  • The unit also allows you to write numerals in different formats such as radians, degrees, fixed or floating numbers, etc.


  • The function can be handled easily.
  • Comes with a comprehensive how-to-use guide.
  • Ideal for mathematical and scientific calculations.
  • Can recall the history of the calculations performed.
  • It is ideal for courses where graphing calculators are prohibited.


  • The device is too menu-driven.
  • The black colour in the background of the buttons sometimes made them difficult to read.
  • It ends up with domain error when a function is applied to the negative of complex numbers.

2- Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator – Best Value College Algebra Calculator

For Whom It’s Good For:

This calculator is counted among the most recommended calculators for Algebra 2, undergraduate studies and above. It is loaded with algebraic and various other mathematical functions like linear function, sigma notation, summation, etc.

Moreover, it can do more than you want it to do. It is more intuitive. Spending a few minutes with its how-to-use guide equips you to operate it effectively.

The TI-84 Plus comes with dimensions of 7.8 x 6.06 x 1.34 inches, powered by four AAA batteries. The unit provides enough storage of 480 KB ROM and 24 K RAM and can store and upload up to ten functions simultaneously. Ti-84 is considered more reliable for algebra as compared to the Ti-85 version.

This college algebra calculator is light to carry and weighs 10.2 ounces. The screen displays around 18 digits at a time. And also enables you to view the graph in both vertical and horizontal directions. Moreover, you can also archive programs on a TI-84 Plus calculator to access them later on.

Overall, it’s the best college algebra 1 and 2 calculators you can have right now. It has all the basic and advanced functions you need for solving complex algebraic equations.

Best value algebra calculator for school and college students
Image Credit: Texas Instruments

Key features of TI- 84 plus

  • The device is enough to meet the requirements of basic as well as advanced mathematical, scientific, calculus, and geometrical calculations.
  •  It is equipped with pre-loaded apps including math print, algebra, calculus, trigonometry, and statistics.
  • The unit has 12 pre-installed apps including the CABRI JR app that allows you to use interactive geometrical functions, and Conic Graphing, Inequality Graphing, and Probability Simulation are among the most useful preloaded apps for college students while dealing with real and complex numbers.
  • It comes with six different graph styles.
  • Special command to solve matrices using functions such as determinant, Ad joint, and row-column makes it easier to evaluate matrices.
  • Able to do statistical analysis. Functions like mean median and mode, logarithms, cubic polynomials, and quadratic polynomials can be better analyzed.
  • It has a specific command to solve negative numbers which in previous versions led to a syntax error.
  • The unit is backed by a USB port which makes it easier to communicate with other devices if needed.
  •  It can do more than you want it to do. It is more intuitive. Spending a few minutes with its how-to-use guide equips you to operate it effectively.


  • Impact cover prevents it from any damage.
  • It is handy to use.
  • With such an economical price it is loaded with basic to advanced-level STEM functions.
  • Durable.
  • Maximum storage capacity.
  • Best problem solver for negative real and complex numbers.


  • Although the unit is programmable, expertise is required to make one’s own program.

3- Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator – Highly Rated Maths & Algebra Calculator

For Whom It’s Good For:

This is one of the best scientific algebra calculators for students of STEM (majors). It is an accumulation of basic and advanced functions of math, algebra, calculus, trigonometry, statistics, and science.

The unit comes with dimensions of 7.3 x 1 x 3.5 inches. It offers a readable display of  64 x 96 pixels, the device has  24KB  RAM and 160KB Flash ROM memory, and it is supported by 4 AAA batteries and a lithium metal battery to support ROM memory. The unit is handy and weighs 8 ounces.

reliable college math and algebra calculator
Image Credit: Texas Instruments

Key features of TI-83 Plus

  • The unit is capable of displaying 12 characters and 8 lines on its well-readable LCD.
  • The I/O cable and USB port allow you to transfer the data to a computer for printing and storage.
  • It is able to solve the problems of basic and advanced-level algebra, math, science, statistics, chemistry, and physics.
  • The unit  has pre-loaded apps like  Science Tools, Study Cards™, Probability Simulation, Venire Easy Data®
  • It can calculate real and complex numbers with up to ten-digit accuracy.
  • The unit evaluates and stores up to ten matrices simultaneously.
  • With its special graphing functions it exhibits equations, graphs, and coordinates at the same time.
  • To differentiate the graphs this device offers 6 different styles including histogram, scatter, XY-line etc.
  • Flash ROM memory helps you to upgrade the software.
  • It also provides advanced tools for statistics, graphic data analysis, engineering, finance, logarithm, trigonometry, and hyperbolic functions.
  • The equipment is compatible with TI 84 plus and TI 84 silver edition models.
  • Software CD is included in the package.
  • It has almost 15 probability distribution functions including Normal, Student-t, Chi-square, Binomial, and Poisson.
  • Some business functions like Time Value Money and cash flows are also included in this version.


  • It has easy to use interface.
  • It is ideal for college algebra and many other basic and advanced-level courses that require calculations.
  • The split-screen function allows you to view graphs in both vertical and horizontal directions.
  • The unit comes with an upgraded operating system and software.


  • Programming capability is based on the available storage memory.
  • Battery timing is limited.

4- Casio fx-115es plus Graphing Calculator – Reliable Calculator for High-School & College Algebra

For Whom It’s Good For:

This excellent device is recommended and ideal for high school and college-going students. It accurately solves general math, trigonometry, algebra, calculus, physics, and engineering. It comes with dimensions of 6.25 x 3.25 x 0.75 inches. It is lighter in weight and weighs 6.1 ounces.

Overall, it’s a cheaper calculator that you can use for solving pre-algebra or college-level algebra equations.

durable Math Calculator for College Students from Casio
Image Credit: Casio

Key features of Casio fx-115es

  • Its wide LCD displays up to 14 digits.
  • It is powered by solar energy. But the battery ensures its durability.
  • Its natural textbook displays function previews, expressions, and symbols as printed in a book.
  • This unit is equipped with around 280 built-in functions at such an affordable price.
  • It is able to solve fractions, statistics, complex number calculations, basic arithmetic, linear regression, standard deviation, computer science, polar-rectangular conversions, matrix and vector calculations, numeric integration, and differentiation.
  • The device is also equipped with 40 scientific constants and 40 metric conversions.
  • It is heat resistant.
  • It previews the problem and solution on the same screen.


  • Meets the requirements of basic and advanced level STEM subjects.
  • Price friendly.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Allows the user to review and modify the values, while in process.
  • Comes with a comprehensive guide.


  • The device ends up with domain error or syntax error and has a limited capacity to solve complex numbers.
  • The keyboard has a wobbly touch.

5- Texas Instruments N spire CX II CAS – Advanced Math Calculator for Algebra 1 & 2

For Whom It’s Good For:

This mighty unit is ideal for solving pre and advanced-level algebra swiftly and accurately. It comes with the dimensions of 0.62 x 3.42 x 7.5 inches. It has a resolution of 125 DPI; and 16-bit of 320 x 240 pixels.

The problem solver is the thinnest and lighter among other Ti versions. It weighs 12.6 pounds. It is rechargeable and is supported by a lithium-ion battery.

advanced algebra calculator for students
Image Credit: Texas Instruments

Key features of Texas Instruments N spire CX II

  • The unit is equipped with a fast processor which can compute complex equations within no time.
  • It has a specially designed touchpad that allows its user to navigate through the screen easily.
  • Its improved math template has the capability to preview expressions, formulae, and equations in proper math notation.
  • The device accepts algebraic expressions along with variables for evaluation.
  • The built-in CAS technology makes it easy to analyze both algebraic and numeric values at a time.
  • It previews graphs in six different styles.
  • Its 3D capability allows you to construct geometric animations.
  • Its dynamic coefficient values allow you to find a relation between equations and graphs.
  • It can also store notes.
  • It is allowed in SAT and ACT testing.


  • It has an easy user interface.
  • It comes with a durable battery.
  • The USB port helps you to communicate with other devices and also in data transfer.
  • Its well-designed keyboard has colour-coded tabs creating ease for the users.


  • It needs a computer or USB hub to charge the device,
  • It is expensive.


So these were the best calculators for solving Algebra. The article provides a brief description of products reflecting light on their positive and negative aspects. We hope it will assist you in choosing the one that fulfills your requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of calculator do I need to solve algebra?

To solve algebra one needs a scientific calculator. In order to find out whether the calculator is scientific or not, one must check out the key labeled SIN in the calculator.

What type of calculator is not allowed in college algebra tests?

Usually, a graphing calculator is prohibited in most exams. However, few versions of TI calculators are allowed in the ACT and SAT exams.

When shall I buy a graphing calculator?

It is a must-have device when you are entering your advanced studies. It not only helps you in the area where you need to plot graphs but also in various other subjects that require simple to complex calculations.

We can say investing your money once in a graphing calculator would prove to be a wise decision taken ever.

What is the difference between the functionality of graphing and a non-graphing calculator?

A graphing calculator can perform almost all the functions of a non-graphic or scientific calculator.

However the former has more defined functions, so it can even handle complex equations and can draw. While the latter is capable of solving basic-level arithmetic and scientific calculations only.

What’s the difference between college and high school algebra?

Well, this depends upon the syllabus that is taught at a high school or college algebra. However, high school algebra revolves around Algebra 1 and 2 which includes geometry, the relationship between quantities, trigonometry, and graphing functions.

Similarly, college-level algebra involves complex tasks like solving linear equations, quadratic functions, complex numbers, exponents, and radicals.

For both college and high school algebra, you’ll always need a calculator from day one.

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