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The Casio FX-7400G is a programmable graphics calculator. The Casio CFX-9850G is a programmable color graphics calculator. Casio introduced these calculators in 1996. Six years later, in mid-2002, the calculators are obsolete, or very close to it. This means these calculators are now very inexpensive. Retail prices of the most advanced versions of these calculators, the CFX-9850GB-Plus and FX-7400G-Plus, have fallen to about $60 and $40, respectively. With patient shopping on eBay, however, you can get these calculators, new in retail packaging, for 20 to 30 percent of the retail price. Yes, that means you can get a new programmable graphics calculator for under $10.

The top of the line TI and HP calculators are far more powerful than are these calculators. TI calculators, particularly, seem designed for professional engineers. Generally, the FX-7400G seems designed for middle school students, and the CFX-9850G seems designed for high school and non-science college students. The Casio calculators are entirely reasonable choices for many students at the high school and college level, and for many professionals. In addition to their built-in capabilities, the calculators are programmable — which essentially means “user expandable at no expense.” These calculators can be adapted to a wide variety of uses. The low price of these calculators on the secondary market makes them very attractive indeed, particularly as a first calculator or for those on a budget.

Both of these calculators are programmable graphics calculators, with a large number of built-in functions for one- and two-variable statistics, data analysis, plotting, regression, and so forth. All variations of the CFX-9850G, and the -Plus variation of the FX-7400G, can have programs downloaded to them from a PC.

The following table gives an overall comparison of the calculators:

Capability

7400

9850

Graphics size

79x47

127x63

Display colors

Black, white

Blue, green, orange, white

Memory size

8K

32K

Number of programs

36

36

Number of variables

26

28

Number of 255-element lists

36

36

Number of arrays

0

26

Fractions

Yes

Yes

Complex numbers

No

Yes

Roots and powers

Yes

Yes

Logs and exponentials

Yes

Yes

Trigonometric functions

Yes

Yes

Hyperbolic functions

No

Yes

Differentiation

Yes

Yes

Integration

No

Yes

The CFX-9850G also has a number of calculus and probability functions, and additional features in the areas of animated graphing, difference equations, multiple variable equation solving, screen handling, and so forth. The FX-7400G does not have these additional functions. The FX-7400G, in turn, has a number of statistical graph types, and some integer operators, the CFX-9850G does not.

The -Plus variations on the calculators have some additional capabilities. For example, the FX-7400G-Plus has 32K of memory (about 20K usable), while the CFX-9850GB-Plus contains a library of useful programs.

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Copyright © 2001 Brian Hetrick
Page last updated 8 March 2003.

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