Top-Rated Graphing Calculators for 2023

Whether you’re taking algebra, geometry, calculus, or anything in between, a graphing calculator is a must-have. Not to mention, if you are currently in high school (or soon to be in college), you will need a calculator for standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. While many schools have the option to borrow a graphing calculator to use in class, having your own at home to practice with can result in higher test scores. If you are also planning to take advanced math classes in high school or move on to math- or science-based degree programs in college, a graphing calculator is an investment towards your future. Based on the level of difficulty in your high school or college courses, you may require a more advanced model. These high-quality calculators have everything from touchscreens to 3D color displays. Our top pick is the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE, due to its rechargeable battery, fully backlit color display, and lightweight design, allows students to carry it in their backpacks easily. If you are or have a student who needs a graphing calculator, here are some of the best options currently available.

The best graphing calculators of 2023
Full-color display
It comes in a variety of colors
Approved for PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE tech specs:
RAM: 149KB
Size: 7.59 inches
Screen Size: 3.2 inches
Weight: 7 oz
Power Source: Rechargeable lithium battery
Texas Instruments has been making the graphing calculator for decades, and they’re still the best of the best. The TI-84 Plus CE, which is the latest version of what millennials probably used in high school, has a fully backlit color display, comes in a variety of colors to choose from, and is lightweight enough to fit into a backpack or purse easily. This calculator has everything students need for class: It’s fully loaded with several applications and functions for a variety of math classes and levels. Plus, the battery is rechargeable, so not only are you saving money on constantly replacing batteries, but it’s easy enough for students to remember to charge it at the same time as their phones and smartwatches. Best of all, it’s PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exam-approved.

Also: Everything you need for college: Tech gadgets you will love and use
Approved for PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams
Variety of colors available
280 functions available
Catiga CS-121 tech specs:
Size: 7 inches
Weight: 4.8 oz
Power Source: LR44 battery required
If you’re on a tighter budget but still need a graphing calculator, the Catiga CS-121 gets the job done. This calculator is under $50 but still has 280 functions available for various math classes in high school and college. It’s also available in a few different colors if basic black doesn’t suit. Though the display isn’t in color, it will still give you the functionality of building graphics and crunching numbers. It’s also approved for standardized testing, as it’s a non-CAS calculator. Though it’s classified as a scientific calculator, it has graphing capabilities, which means it doubles as both options.

Approved for PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams
Simple to use
3D color display
Requires 4 AA batteries, which can get expensive to replace often
Casio Prizm FX-CG50 tech specs:
Size: 7.2 inches
Screen Size: 3.17 inches
Weight: 13 oz
Power Source: 4 AA batteries required
The Casio Prizm FX-CG50 is small but mighty (and actually a bit on the hefty size for how small it is). This graphing calculator has a precise and stunning color display, so you can really see your graphs in 3D as you’re building them. The button display, however, is on the simple side, making this a great entry-level graphing calculator for students who haven’t spent a lot of time working with them before. The price tag puts it in the middle of the pack, making this a good all-around choice, especially for younger students. The battery life on this one, though, isn’t great, and it does require four AA batteries that may need to be replaced often. It’s not a bad idea to use rechargeable AA batteries to cut down on the cost of replacing them so often.

CAS functions
3D color display
Rechargeable battery option
More advanced than most younger students need
Not approved for standardized tests
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS tech specs:
Size: 7.5 inches
Screen size: 3.2 inches
Weight: 9.12 oz
Power Source: Lithium Ion battery required
The Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS is one of the most advanced graphing calculators you’ll find, so if your student doesn’t have a need for advanced functions and geometric animations, go ahead and opt for something simpler. For college students who have those higher-level classes, though, this calculator can handle it all. You’ll find six graph styles on here, as well as a full-color screen that you can coordinate with your equations and functions. The display is also 3D, so your graphs and animations will come to life in front of your eyes while you’re doing your homework.

Touchscreen technology
Rechargeable battery option
Approved for IB, SAT, AP, ACT, and AP exams
HP Prime Graphing Calculator tech specs:
Size: 7.3 inches
Screen size: 3.5 inches
Weight: 8 oz
Power Source: Lithium battery required
What makes the HP Prime Graphing Calculator stand out is its touchscreen. HP is known for its touchscreen electronics; naturally, the brand extended that into the calculator space. This advanced calculator can get students through all their advanced math and science classes (including those that require Computer Algebra Systems). The touchscreen also allows for even more functionality while crunching numbers and watching the shapes unfold on the screen. The HP Prime Graphing Calculator should suit pretty much any student and is a solid investment for high schoolers who will take more advanced college classes.

The best graphing calculator is the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE based on price, reviews, skill level, and features. Graphing calculators, for the most part, are an expensive part of school supply shopping. Because it’s a high-priced item, making the right selection for the school year is important. For younger students who may not continue on with advanced math and science classes, a more budget-friendly graphing calculator that gets the job done (with no extra bells and whistles) will do just fine. However, if you’re shopping for your high school student who will likely go into college to study a math- or science-based major, investing in a high-quality graphing calculator that can handle advanced math functions is your best option. Owing to varying needs and price points, here is a list to help you narrow down your choices.

Choose this graphing calculator…
If you want…
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE
The best overall option.
Catiga CS-121
A budget-friendly graphing calculator for school.
Casio Prizm FX-CG50
A graphing calculator with a 3D color display.
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS
A graphing calculator for college students.
HP Prime Graphing Calculator
A graphing calculator with a touchscreen.

The calculators chosen provide a variety of price points and needs for parents and students to choose from. Ultimately, we weighed the following aspects when curating this list:
Performance: We evaluated how well these graphing calculators accomplished usual tasks in math- or science-based courses.
Functionality: When researching calculators, we looked at the different features and uses each one of these calculators offers. Do they plot graphics in color, or black and white? Do they save your work? Are they SAT or ACT-approved?
Battery: Graphing calculators are tools for students to get their work done more efficiently, that’s why we considered battery and battery life for these calculators. We asked ourselves: How often do you need to change the batteries? Do you need to plug it in every night? How many hours does a battery or a full charge last?
Value: Graphing calculators can be pricey. Depending on your needs you may opt for a more advanced version. We evaluated which calculators are your buck based on their different use cases and functionalities.

A graphing calculator is exactly what it sounds like — it’s a calculator that has the functionality to build graphs, which is what many advanced math or science classes will require. These are commonplace in high school and college math classes that may require complex graphing and statistical analysis. For a student who is considering pursuing a degree in a math- or science-based major in the future, investing in a high-quality graphing calculator is crucial.