Comparing TI 84 Plus CE vs TI 84 Plus [Full Review Guide]

This article we’ll be going over the difference between two popular TI 84 calculators used by many students throughout their high school and college years, for their math and science courses, the TI 84 Plus CE and the TI 84 Plus.

These two products have been the number one choice for a lot of students, and have helped them get through tough classes such as trigonometry and calculus. The TI 84 Plus was introduced in 2004, and still without a doubt the choice for helping kids get through their class.

Eventually, in 2015, a newer TI 84 Plus was introduced, which has gained a lot of traction since then, giving a little more power than its predecessor.

TI-84 CE Graphing Calculator

ti 84 ce graphing calculator

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Newer and improved TI-84 Plus

Price: $135
Amazon Star Ratings: 4.5 stars
Amazon Reviews: 2,200+

The new and improved lighter and thinner graphing calculator. Built with higher memory, faster processing, and color for graphing visuals. Mostly for students who wants the extra bells and whistles, and math oriented.

TI-84 Plus Calculator

ti84 plus graphincal calculator

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More affordable and very durable

Price: $110
Amazon Star Ratings: 4 stars
Amazon Reviews: 3,700+ (new)

Classic TI-84 graphing calculator that is very durable and still used amongst many students. The more affordable option, perfect for students looking to getting through basic math. Bulkier and a little heavier.

Comparison table

An overview comparison table of the two graphing calculators that you can quickly view the differences. The newer one is on the left, while the older version is on the right.

You may also click on the title to view the product.

TI-84 Plus CE (updated) TI-84 Plus
Display 320 x 240, 16-bit color, backlit 96×64 monochrome
Battery Rechargeable Li-Ion 4 AAA
Memory 3.0MB ROM / 154K RAM 480KB ROM / 24K RAM
Last OS Update June 2019 Jan 2011
Input Mini-USB Mini-USB
Weight 5.6 oz. 7 oz.
Thickness 0.6 inches 2 inches

Texas Instruments and Its Customer Service Review

Texas Instruments has been around for many years now and without a doubt, they’ve been making some of the best calculators on the market. They have excellent customer service, and if there’s anything wrong with your devices, they provide a one-year limited warranty for the calculators.

Fortunately, they sell on Amazon, and if you purchase their calculators from there, Amazon can provide 30-day returns if there’s anything wrong with it. This gives you the ability to try the calculators for 30-days and if it doesn’t meet your expectations, you can return it through Amazon’s services.

TI 84 Plus CE Review

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE Graphing Calculator

The newer and improved calculator within the TI-84 family. Upgraded body, software, and hardware, perfect for complex functions.

The TI 84 Plus CE is a newer version of the popular TI 84 Plus graphing calculator. The CE has a lot of cool new features like the new addition of applications. The TI 84 Plus CE applications allow the student to extend the functionally of the calculator, allowing you to perform specific match and science functions and deepen the understanding of concepts.

Since the TI 84 Plus CE has only been around since 2015, the calculator is already approved for exams such as the PSAT, SAT and ACT college entrance exams. You’re able to use this for AP and IB exams too. However, it is still a good idea to be cautious about this calculator because not all exams may allow graphing calculators.

Notable Features

  • Vibrant and enhanced screen readability with a backlit display, giving you the ability to visualize concept clearly and make faster, stronger connections between equations, data, and graphs.
  • You can choose different fun colors of the actual calculators.
  • 30% lighter and thinner.
  • Rechargeable batteries using a USB.
  • Available memory: 3.0MB ROM, 154K RAM.

TI 84 Plus CE Customer Reviews

The Good:

  • Better and nicer looking, thinner too.
  • Ability to transfer files from the calculator to the computer easily.
  • The response rate when calculating is faster.
  • Multi-colored graphs are great to differentiate equations.

The Bad:

  • Not as durable as the TI 84 Plus, can break easily if dropped.
  • Back-lit colors drains the batteries faster.
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Want the upgraded CE? Click here for pricing


TI 84 Plus Review

Texas Instruments Ti-84 plus Graphing calculator

The older version that’s been out since 2004. More affordable than the CE, and can get you through your high school and early level college courses.

This is the predecessor of the TI 84 Plus CE graphing calculator. While this is an older model of the CE, it definitely is still useful today as the day it was released, which was back in 2004.

Notable Features

  • The resolution is 96×64.
  • Uses four AAA batteries.
  • Durable and longer-lasting.

TI 84 Plus Customer Reviews

The Good:

  • The TI 84 Plus is durable.
  • The graphing calculator is good for high school and early college-level math.
  • Long battery life.

The Bad:

  • For an older model, the price of the calculator may be a little expensive compared to newer models.
  • When graphing, it may take a little long to load.
  • The calculator is a bit bulky.
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Want affordable Plus? Click here for pricing


Major changes of TI-84 Plus vs TI-84 Plus CE

Screen Color and Resolution

There’s a major upgrade to the newer CE version, with a resolution of 320×240 pixels, compared to the 96×64 older model, this allows the calculator to have a more defined image with sharper details. In addition to an upgrade resolution, the screen upgraded to color as well. makes it easier on the eyes. One big feature to note is the ability to graph multiple functions and finally color code each one.

pixel and screen resolution for ti 84 plus ce vs ti 84 plus calculator

Left: Ti-84 Plus CE; Right: TI-84 Plus

Body Changes

At first glance, you’ll be able to see some interesting changes that were made. To compete with current markets, Texas Instruments decided to give the CE a “smartphone” type of look and feel while holding it. In addition to the beautiful design of the body, the calculator is much thinner and lighter than the older Plus. This allows you to easily slip into a bag or backpack.

In addition to being thinner, you get to choose 11 different colors that matches your style. The older calculators are typically black and boring, but now there are fun colors to choose from!


Another major upgrade which I think you’ll appreciate is their batteries. They’ve switched from using AAA batteries to a rechargeable one. This is great for the environment, especially for those that are always using new batteries all the time. Even though these calculators don’t use up too much of the battery, it is still nice to know that you can just easily recharge them back.

One thing to note is that because of the new and vibrant color screen for the new CE, it can easily drain the battery life. Therefore, it’ll probably be a good idea to always pack a power pack just so you can be prepared to charge your calculator when it’s low on batteries.


The operating system on the new TI-84 Plus CE is much faster than the older Plus. You’ll be able to graph very complex functions without waiting for a long time, compared to the older models. Texas Instruments have been really good with new released of the OS, fixing any bugs and continues to improve with new releases each time.


What does the CE stand for?

Some might think that the CE stands for Clear Entry, which is correct on regular calculators. However, the CE on the Texas Instrument 84 is the abbreviation of Color Enhancement. This is great for those who are more visual person and would love to see colors for various graphing.

What tests can I use the TI 84 Plus CE and Plus on?

We’ve listed some of the tests these calculators are approved for. But just to get a better visual display, we’ve compiled a table of the different tests that you’ll be able to use the TI-84 Plus and CE on.

TI-84 Plus CE TI-84 Plus
PSAT Yes Yes
SAT Yes Yes
ACT Yes Yes
IB Yes Yes
AP Yes Yes

As you can see, both graphing calculators are accepted on all the tests you’ll need to get through and ace it!

What courses are the calculators best for?

Although, these TI-84 calculators are able to be used in any of the tests listed above, here is a table of the courses where the Plus and CE can help you as well.

TI-84 Plus CE TI-84 Plus
Pre-Algebra Yes Yes
Algebra 1 & 2 Yes Yes
Trigonometry Yes Yes
Geometry Yes Yes
Precalculus Yes Yes
Calculus/AP Calculus Yes Yes
Statistics/AP Statistics Yes Yes
Business & Finance Yes Yes
College Math Yes Yes
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Differential Equations
Linear Algebra Yes Yes
Life Science
Earth Science
Physical Science
Biology/AP Biology Yes Yes
Chemistry/AP Chemistry Yes Yes
Physics/AP Physics Yes Yes

As you can see from the table, the regular and the upgraded 84 can be used in any of the math courses you’ll typically find in your school’s curriculum. However, you might be able to get away using these calculators on the engineering courses as well.

Should I get the regular 84 Plus or the upgraded 84 CE?

If you’re on a budget and you don’t care about the newest technology and you just need a basic graphing calculator that is very durable to get through regular math schooling, then we suggest getting the TI-84 Plus.

However, if you like the newest gadgets, want to have different colors, a slimmer look, and more memory, then its a no brainer, the Plus CE is the one you’ll want to get.

Lately, we’ve seen more and more people have gravitated towards the new Plus CE because of its newer technology and color graphics, not to mention the updated memory and processor.

Quick Summary:

Get the classic TI-84 Plus if you:

  • Are currently on a budget.
  • Only need to do regular graphing calculations.
  • Are too worried about durability.
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Want the classic 84 Plus? Click for more info


Get the upgraded Plus CE if you:

  • Don’t mind spending a little extra.
  • Like to have colors on your graph for better viewing.
  • Need extra memory and faster processor to compute your graphing needs.
  • Are on a path towards a more math focused career.
  • Don’t want to constantly change out batteries.
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Want the upgraded 84 Plus CE? Click for more info


Final Thoughts

If you’re on the market for a new graphing calculator, we suggest you pick up the new TI 84 Plus CE. It has all the bells and whistles. Although, it will cost you a bit more, and here at Desk Advisor, we believe that the features outweighs the price. The older Plus model can definitely get you by, but the new CE is really easy to operate and the extra speed that it comes with will get you to finish your problems a lot faster and prevent frustration.

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Desk Advisor

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