DATAMATH CALCULATOR MUSEUM 
Casio introduced with the fx115ES already in 2005 an advanced scientific calculator with a 2line Natural Textbook Display showing formulas and results exactly as they appear in the textbook. Texas Instruments followed mid2007 with the TI30XS MultiView and Sharp joined the group with its ELW531 series introduced late2007.
Comparing calculators seems to be pretty easy but aside from technical features there are a lot of subjective aspects like ergonomics or font of the display. For this overview we acquired in February 2008 three popular scientific calculators:
$16.79 @ Staples  
$15.95 @ Circuit City  
$18.99 @ Staples 
The TI30XS MultiView gave the best impression with its easy readable, bound manual instead of the common smallprinted and folded manuals of the competitors.
Both the fx300ES and the ELW535 sport a similar, nice designed housing. They fit easily into the palm, feel comfortable light and have a very good plastics surface finish. The TI30XS MultiView is significant larger and heavier but sits better on the table.
Both the fx300ES and the ELW535 continue the traditional Casio and Sharp design line and look rather oldfashioned compared with the radical design of the Texas Instruments TI30XS MultiView.
Despite the fact that all three calculators were manufactured in
The chromatics of the ELW535 is rather flashy but we like the strong orange on the black background with the large font. Next comes the fx300ES with less contrast for the 2nd and 3rd functions and a smaller font. The lettering of the TI30XS MultiView is borderline because of the weak contrast between the green 2nd functions and the blue background. Nevertheless are the keys best arranged and miss any 3rd functions.
Power Supply
The three selected calculators are available with batteries only or additional solar cells. Both the fx300ES and ELW535 make use of a small, easy accessible LR44 alkali battery, while the TI30XS MultiView makes use of a large CR2032 lithium coin cell which is difficult to replace.
Disassembly of all three calculators is very easy. The back is held on with 6 or 7 screws and could be lifted out easily. The internal construction is fairly similar and state of the art with a singlechip calculator circuit attached directly to the printed circuit board (PCB) and protected with a small blob of black epoxy. The display is connected to the PCB with a heat seal conductor. The TI30XS MultiView purchased for this road test was manufactured by Kinpo using a second, lowtech PCB for the keyboard. The PCB’s of the different calculators are hold in place by either screws or fastened by heat stakes.
Overall the TI30XS MultiView demonstrates tank built quality while the two competitors are rather average engineered.
Please refer to table below.
The embedded algorithm of the calculators and the internal representation of the numbers specify the precision of the calculations. The three competitors use for the internal calculations 13 digits (TI30XS MultiView), 14 digits (ELW535), or even 15 digits (fx300ES).
The famous "Calculator Forensics" algorithm developed by Mike Sebastian evaluates on the three calculators for the arcsin(arccos(arctan(tan(cos(sin(9)))))) problem the following results:
• TI30XS MultiView 
9.000001077372 
• Sharp ELW531 
9.000000098906 
• Casio fx300ES 
9.00000000733338 
The algorithm of the Casio fx300ES are superior while the TI30XS MultiView is rather disappointing.
Both the Sharp ELW535 and TI30XS MultiView outperform the Casio fx300ES easily.
+++ UPDATE  March 7, 2011 +++ Four new players joined between 2008 and 2010 the battlegrounds: Ativa AT30X, Canon F718SG, Citizen SR270X, and Hewlett Packard SmartCalc 300S. *** 
TI30XS
MultiView 
Casio
fx300ES 
Sharp
ELW535 

Power 
Solar
cells + 
Solar
cells + 
LR
44 
Display 
4line
* 16 
3line
* 15 
4line
* 16 
Display
contrast 
[2^{nd}]
[+], [] 
[SETUP]
[5] [+], [] 
[SETUP]
[3] [+], [] 
Edit
& review 
80
characters 
99
characters 
340
characters 
Display
mode 
MATHPRINT 
MATH
FORMAT 
WRITEVIEW 
Internal
calculations 
13
digits 
15
digits 
14
digits 
Scientific
notation 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
Engineers
mode 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
Stacked
fractions 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
Fraction/decimal
conversions 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
Simplification
of fractions 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
Random
numbers 
Real
(01) 
Real
(0.0000.999) 
Real
(01) 
Combinations
& Permutations 
nPr,
nCr, ! 
nPr,
nCr, ! 
nPr,
nCr, ! 
Symbolic
notation of pi 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
Trigonometry
& Hyperbolics 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
Deg
/ Rad / Grad 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
DMS
calculations 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
Coordinate
conversions 
R
<> P 
R
<> P 
R
<> P 
Logarithm
& Exponential functions 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
(x,y)
Table 
Yes 

Yes 
List
editor 
3
lists 


Function
table 
Yes 
Yes 

Stat
editor 
42/42lines
1var 
80/40lines
1var 
100/50lines
1var 
Onevariable
Statistics 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
Twovariable
Statistics 
Yes 
Yes 
Yes 
Regression 
Linear 
Linear,
Quadratic, Euler Exp, Log, Power, Inverse, General Exp 
Linear,
Quadratic, Euler Exp, Log, Power, Inverse, General Exp 
Operating
system 
EOS 
SVPAM 
Advanced
D.A.L. 
Parentheses 
23
levels 
24
levels 
64
levels 
Memories 
7 
7 
9 
Constant
operators 
1 

4 
Conversions
and constants 



Nbase
numbers 
10 
10 
2,5,8,10,16 
Bool'ean
algebra 


Yes 
Math
Drill 


25,
500, 100 questions 
Multiplication
Table 


1..12
questions 
Exam
reset 
2
keys 

RESET
switch 
If you have additions to the above article please email: joerg@datamath.org.
© Joerg Woerner, March 4, 2008. No reprints without written permission.