STEM Education Tools

TI Debuts Touchpad-Equipped TI-Nspire

Texas Instruments has introduced two updates to its high-end TI-Nspire line of graphing calculators, the new TI-Nspire with Touchpad and TI-Nspire CAS with Touchpad.

The updated models sport a new touchpad positioned just beneath the display, one that allows trackpad-like input along with clickpad-like directional and center clicking. It also adds an alpha keyboard positioned at the bottom of the faceplate, designed for easier text entry.

According to TI, the new models are still acceptable for use with common exams, including the SAT, AP exams, the ACT, IB, PSAT/NSMQT, and Praxis. (In fact, the reason the keyboard uses an alpha layout rather than QWERTY, according to TI, is to maintain adherence to the requirements of some testing bodies that don't allow QWERTY keyboards.)

With the new TI-Nspire Software and TI-Nspire CAS Software, now in version 2.0, the Nspire handhelds also gain an enhanced home feature with easier access to files and tools. It also adds a "scratchpad" feature that allows users to "perform quick calculations and create graphs without opening a new file."

The TI-Nspire models with touchpads are, like other TI-Nspire models, compatible with Texas Instruments' wireless student response/classroom polling system, TI-Nspire Navigator, as well as with TI-Nspire software editions for teachers and students.

The TI-Nspire with Touchpad is available now through TI's online store for $149. TI-Nspire CAS with Touchpad is also available, selling for $159. (The CAS version, "computer algebra system," allows users to see algebraic representation of their problems.) Retail versions of the new systems will ship "in time for the 2010 back- to-school season," according to TI. The retail versions will include licenses for home use of the TI-Nspire software for students. Users of the TI-Nspire with Clickpad can upgrade their hardware to the Touchpad version for $10. The software update is available free.

Further information is available here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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