7 Features to Look for in a Calculator

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7 Features to Look for in a Calculator

There are a number of different types of calculator available to buy today, and the various models have their own unique and individual features. It’s important for buyers to think about the style of mathematics the calculator will be used for, as this should be the defining factor in when choosing a particular model. Nonetheless, there a number of additional features available for most calculators, and buyers should consider searching for models that have these features.

This guide shall examine 7 of the most beneficial features found in calculators, and will explain how to find a suitable calculator on eBay. The site has an unrivalled selection of new and used devices, and are sold at lower prices than those found in stores or on specialist sites.

Types of Calculator

As mentioned above, the most important factor of choosing a particular calculator model is determining if the device is suitable for the style of mathematics the buyer will use it for. Calculators can be divided into the following groups based on their functions and capabilities:


These are the most basic of calculators and can perform the four standard arithmetic functions of addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division. Four-function calculators are suitable for use at home, those on simple budgets, and for early education.


Scientific calculators have many more functions than four-function models and are used in secondary schools to teach higher-level mathematics, like trigonometry. Different models have different features, so buyers looking for a scientific calculator should spend some time browsing through the various models on offer.


Graphing calculators are the most advanced type of calculator available to buy and are used for subjects involving advanced mathematics, such as physics or engineering. Graphing calculators come with a large number of functions and features, and are the most expensive option on this list.


Financial calculators are used from complex financial equations dealing with monetary values. These calculators have the same basic functions as the four-function models and a few unique features, such as ‘Present Value’ and ‘Future Value’ keys.

7 Features to Look for in Calculators

Calculator features vary from simple things, from a backlight to complicated functions that allow the user to create a 3D graph. Buyers need to first decide what type of calculator would be most suitable for them, and once this is done, they can start to consider additional features. The following are 7 features buyers should look for, depending on the type of calculator they need. 

1 – Power Source

Calculators can be powered by batteries or from solar energy. Buyers interested in using batteries as a power source can choose either standard alkaline batteries or rechargeable batteries. Solar powered devices use the natural energy from the sun and store excess energy, so the calculator can work at night or in areas with low light. Buyers are advised to search for devices that are solar powered, as this form of energy is better for the environment and will save the buyer money in the long run. 

2 – Available Memory   

The amount of available memory is an important factor to consider if looking for a scientific or graphing calculator that will be used for complicated equations. Calculators with larger memory will have more formulas and functions pre-programmed into the device allowing for easy access when needs be. The more high-end models allow the user to save and store specific formula, and a number of calculators sold today come equipped with SD card capabilities. Calculators that have this feature can utilise more equations that have not been programmed into the device. The more memory a calculator has, the more expensive it will be, but used devices will be less costly.

3 – Backlight

A backlight will allow the user to use the calculator even in low light conditions, and as this feature is not a standard addition, buyers will need to search for models that include it as an option.  A backlight is a very handy feature for people who work at night.  

4 – Natural Math Display

This is one of the most searched for features for people looking for calculators that can be used with advanced mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Calculators with this feature display expressions, symbols, and equations the exact same way as when they are written down. This is very handy for students who need to check over their calculations, as it reduces the risk of error. Natural math display is generally only found in graphing calculators, but buyers looking for a calculator for subjects that utilise advanced math will greatly benefit from this feature.    

5 – USB Connectivity

Some of the higher-end graphing calculators can run software problems and applications through a computer, and are able to connect to a computer via a USB cable link. This makes it easier for students to solve complicated problems in physics, chemistry, linear algebra, and calculus. USB connectivity allows the user to install programs onto the calculator, e.g. a periodic table. However, it’s important to note that programs and software are generally designed to run on specific calculators and users will find that these programs are not universal.

6 – Wi-Fi Capabilities 

This is similar in practice to the USB connectivity feature, but graphing calculators that have Wi-Fi capabilities are able to connect to the Internet and load and analyse images for things like curve fitting and regressions. Calculators with Wi-Fi capabilities can also download specific programs as well as software, and are able to transfer data to and from a computer.

7 – 3D Graphing

This is a very specific feature and will only be essential to some, and calculators that have this feature are able to create graphs of multivariable functions over a 3D x-y-z space, instead of the standard x-y plane. 3D graphing is really only a necessity to those who need the calculator for multivariable calculus or linear algebra, but it can help when studying trigonometry and basic algebra. 

Searching for Calculators on eBay

To find a suitable calculator, head to eBay.com.au and take the following steps:

· Once the eBay homepage has loaded up, click on the ‘Shop By Category tab, followed by the Electronics heading.

· Click on the Calculators link, which is found on the left hand side of the page below the search bar.

· Type the name of the desired calculator into the search bar and press enter, e.g. Scientific Calculator.

· Buyers can use the ‘Brand’ filter to list calculators from specific manufactures only. These include Canon, Casio, and Sharp.

· If searching for a Used calculator then remember to check ‘Description’ box on the item page for details regarding the device’s condition.

· A list of the features provided with the calculator can also be found in the ‘Description’ box, and if this information is missing it can be requested using the ‘Ask A Question’ feature.

· eBay Deals contains a number of electronic products for sale at reduced prices, and buyers should check here for calculators on special offer. To find the relevant section first click on the ‘Deals’ link, and then the Electronics heading.


There are four main types of calculator, and buyers need to be aware of the functions of each when starting a search. These are Four-Function, Scientific, Graphing and Financial, and while there are a number of additional features common to all four, each type has its own specific features that can be of great benefit to the user. Buyers are advised to search for calculators on eBay, as the site has a great selection to choose from at very reasonable prices.

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