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.