Just for the record, I do not own the featured image on this page. I must need give credit whereupon credit is due and the featured image is property of Texas Instruments, inc.
For almost as long as I had been fascinated by flashlights, I too have been fascinated by calculators. Similar to my fascination with flashlights, my fascination with calculators has waxed and waned throughout my childhood and adolescence, but they are both very strong in my adult years.
My two favorite brands of calculators are Casio and Texas Instruments and I like the latter a little more than the former.
I had begun permanently carrying a calculator in the latter parts of 2012, namely a TI-12 Math Explorer (the 1997 version.) In the following months afterward, I also had begun to carry with it a TI-30XA (the current version.)
In March of 2014, my writing had started to evolve, as did my experience in repairing or souping up computers had increased. I had also begun to start doing research more extensively on calculators. Soon, I had realized there was a Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro that was put on the market some three years before that. It wasn’t long before I wanted one. In June of 2014, I had spent my spending money on a flashlight that I still carry to this day. However, a family member had gifted me $20 from a sum of money he had won at a casino. I didn’t split that money with my then-wife, now ex-wife, because after all, she has a major hang-up about gambling. So, I was free to use that money however I had pleased. We were babysitting two of her nephews that following day and I took them to ride with me to the Houma suburb of Bayou Cane, so I could secretly purchase that said calculator. They kept the secret safe with me and goofed off with me for the entire ride. I stopped at an Office Depot because I knew that was the only store that stocked it locally year-round. Sadly it was out of stock. However, after talking to the sales associate and later the manager, I had learned that I could have it shipped to my residence at no extra charge. Happily, I went with that option, paying the first $20 in cash and the remaining amount after sales tax with my debit card. A brand new TI-36 X Pro arrived on my doorstep a few days later, via UPS. And that said calculator is what this piece will be a review thereof.
As soon as it arrived on my doorstep, I opened it up, then used it to convert one unit used to measure barometric pressure into another unit used to measure barometric pressure. The weather was changing that day, as in quite frequent in Louisiana. I was amazed at the accuracy and precision with which it carried out the conversion. I began carrying it in a dedicated pouch of my EDC backpack along with the Mini Maglite I had purchased earlier that month.
Yes, I will admit that there are plenty of features on this calculator that I will probably never need, nor do I understand what they represent. While I am pretty proficient at arithmetic, I am terrible at almost all other higher level Mathematics. Still, there are certain features on this machine that I frequently use, especially when doing unit conversions or even just simply writing out my monthly budget. There are even base-n calculations such as converting between decimal, hexadecimal and octal, which come in handy with programming higher level scanner radios or if I ever needed to assist a computer programmer or coder.
And not only that, I believe this is the best looking scientific calculator that is currently on the [common] market. Change my mind!
In the days and weeks after purchasing this calculator, I went on to write some pretty wonderful stories and the one that stands out most is my “Grocer and Writer” stories. Maybe the tremendous pleasure I associated with finally owning this calculator created the ideal mental state and electrochemistry to be creative? Of course in the hours before beginning those stories, I took a trip to the New Orleans area.
I have since purchased spare units, but I keep my original TI-36 X Pro in a safe undisclosed location because it does have sentimental value. it has sentimental value because certain items of mine cause me to have a connection with someone whom I had known in my childhood (January-July of 1991) but since lost all contact with. This calculator and flashlight somehow have that connection. I now think that this girl I had briefly known in my childhood may have been an angel because I spent years searching for her but with no success. She would now be in her mid-to-late thirties, assuming she was born between 1984 and 1987. During most of the year of 2014, which was the beginning of the end of my faulty former marriage, I had begun to desire to find this now young lady again, so I strongly associate the year 2014 in general with her. Before I met my ex-wife and even after to an extent, this girl from my childhood was the inspiration for my writing and was the unknown driving force to cause me to pursue writing. In the latter parts of 2018 until December 4/5 2019, I was in a very loving relationship with a young lady, who in many ways reminded me of the girl from my childhood and was even born in the year in which she and I were, for lack of a better word, together. If you, the reader, poke around in the fiction section of this blog, you will see some of the stories where I have derived my inspiration from this girl I once knew.
My first one came off the assembly line somewhere in China in February of 2014. My current unit, which I still EDC, came of the assembly line somewhere in The Philippines in April of 2017. I’m wondering if the updated units in the Philippines have corrected the software bug that plagued the earlier models?…
All in all, I will now list some of the features and specifications that the TI-36 X Pro has to offer:
By the way, I’ve obtained this information from the company website, but I also added my commentary…
Four-line display-very clear too!
One- and two-variable statistics-I would likely never use this feature, but who knows.
MultiView™ display shows multiple calculations at the same time on screen-Excellent for writing a budget or balancing a checking account!
Select degrees/radians, floating/fix, number format modes-Very useful with navigating with a GPS or several different GPS units!
Choose from three solvers: numeric equation, polynomial and system of linear equations-This would have been nice in high school, but probably would have landed me in trouble! This particular model came on the market five years after I graduated high school anyway.
Display a defined function in a tabular form-The best way to show a function without an actual graph!
Determine the numeric derivative and integral for real functions.
Perform vectors and matrices using a vector and matrix entry window.
The last two features involve high-level mathematics that goes way above my head, but maybe one day, I’ll try to learn it.
The TI-36 X Pro is recommended for the following STEM-related courses:
Algebra I and II-Probably forbidden or at least frowned upon because of its built-in equation solver.
Geometry-Overkill and again probably frowned upon.
Trigonometry-A Graphing model would be of more use.
Statistics-Never took this course, but I can imagine its usefulness.
Calculus-There are features that would come in handy for this course, though I never took it.
Chemistry-Probably is forbidden or at the very least frowned upon because of the permanently stored constants.
Physics-As with chemistry, it’s probably forbidden or frowned upon, for the same reasons, though I never took physics.
Computer science-Could be very useful, especially with those learning programming.
College math-Actually we were required a TI-84.
College science-Never took these courses, but I see where the store constants may be of great use.
College engineering-Never took any of these courses either, but I know this calculator is popular with all engineering.
According to the company website, here is a more detailed list of the functions, some of which I had already commented on:
Review and edit previous entries via a scrollable home screen
Paste inputs or outputs into new calculations
MathPrint™ feature entry and output mode for viewing calculations in math notation, including answers in terms of pi, square roots and fraction
Three solvers: numeric equation, polynomial and system of linear equations
Numeric derivative and integral for real functions
Vectors and Matrices
Symbolic notation of π
Toggle key to change the form of answers between exact and decimal approximation
Stacked Fractions and Fraction functions
Change between improper fractions and mixed numbers
Automatic simplification of fractions
Random number and random integer generator
Central MODE menu for selecting calculator mode settings
Functions accessed directly through keys or through pull-down menus
One constant operator feature
Combinations and permutations
Logs and antilogs
Convert angles from degrees to radians to grads
%, x², ¹/x, yˆx, π, x!
Fixed decimal capability
(x,y) Table feature with Auto and Ask-x options
Basic Data/List Editor with three lists
One- and two-variable statistics with permanent stat variable input storage
EOS (Equation Operating System)
Nine physical constants
Eighteen metric/English conversions
Up to eight pending operations
Up to 23 levels of parentheses
Error recovery capability
Quick/easy reset of calculator via two-key press or menu for exam purposes
Eight memory variables (x, y, z, t, a, b, c, d)
Scientific and engineering notation
And here are some of the physical characteristics:
Four-line × 16-character, easier-to-read LCD display
Battery powered with solar cell assistance to lengthen battery life
Auto Power Off
Hard plastic, color-coded keys
Non-skid rubber feet
Impact-resistant cover with quick-reference card
Snap-on protective hard case
Even though, as I had mentioned before, there are some features on this calculator that go way above my head, it is still one of my favorites if not my favorite calculators ever made.
I carry it in a dedicated compartment of my EDC backpack where I store the rest of my tool that which I use to repair or soup up computers. Like most other Texas Instruments devices, it is built very ruggedly and will last, likely way past its obsolescence where it will then be a cool collector’s item.
While I have owned one of these is some way shape or form since June of 2014 and it is December of 2020 at the time I am writing this, I still thoroughly enjoy this device and give it a 4.85 out of 5 stars, only because of the software bug concerning fractions involving Pi.
This, therefore, concludes my review of the Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro. I hope you, the reader, have been informed, entertained, and maybe even enlightened!
May God richly bless you!