Although calculators are the cheapest of all educational gadgets, occasionally you may come across a model with an exorbitant price tag. Fortunately, the latest scientific and graphing calculators are less expensive and loaded with more features than the early calculators that were priced more than $1000 when they were first launched. Most of these expensive calculators are rarely available nowadays, and hence are popular collectors’ items.
From the simple to the most complex, these calculators are capable of handling all types of calculations. The prices of the most expensive calculators nowadays are rarely above $200. Given below is a list of the most expensive calculators in the world.
Grillet Portable Calculator – $155,000
The most expensive calculator in the world is a 17th century vintage – the world’s first portable calculator. The calculating device, measuring 32cm x 15cm, made out of wood, was created by a Parisian named Rene Grillet de Roven in 1763. Designed according to the Napier’s logarithm, the calculator is one of the four historic pocket-sized mechanical calculators that exist till date.
Of the four surviving 17th century wooden calculators, one is in the possession of IBM, New York, and two are on display in an industrial design museum in Paris. The fourth was auctioned at the Christie’s auction house, where it was bought by a collector for $155,000.
Hewlett-Packard 9100A – $4900
The first calculator developed by Hewlett-Packard (HP) was a desktop calculator. Although HP considered it as the first example of a HP personal computer, the company preferred calling it a desktop calculator to increase its acceptability. When the programmable calculator was first launched by HP in 1968, it was priced at around $4900.
The price of a desktop calculator at that time was more than the price of a car that would cost between $2000 and $3000. HP 9100A was one of the best quality early scientific calculators capable of solving a wide range of engineering and scientific problems.
Wolfram Mathematica 9 – $2500
Although touted to be the world’s most expensive calculator, Mathematica is not a standalone calculator. It is a computational software program that can be downloaded and used as a virtual calculator. The standard version of the latest edition of Mathematica is priced at $2,495 and the Enterprise edition costs $6,995. The first version of Mathematica was released by Wolfram Research in 1988. Since then millions of users from around the world have been using it for solving their mathematical, engineering and scientific calculations.
Mathematica is considered more powerful than the best quality standalone graphing calculators. The latest version of Wolfram Mathematica features powerful computation tools that can be used for processing data in almost every area of statistics and data analysis, image processing and analysis, design analysis, financial engineering, GPU programming, geographical information system, computational biology, parallel computing, social network analysis and more.
HP 32Sii Scientific Calculator – $700
Launched by HP in 1991 and discontinued in 2002, HP 32Sii is currently a rare scientific calculator model. At the Amazon store, the price of this calculator is $699.99. With over 100 science and mathematical functions integrated in the calculator and 384-byte memory, it is the most advanced of the HP-32S series RPN scientific calculator model. Just as any other scientific calculator, HP-32Sii can solve complex calculations including fractions, algebra, statistics, probability, trigonometry, arithmetic, conversions and more.
HP 19BII Financial Calculator – $299
This is a simplified financial calculator launched by Hewlett Packard in 1990. Priced at $289.99, the calculator comes with 450 scientific, statistical and business functions. The calculator screen can display four lines, each with twenty-three characters. In addition to the built-in equations, the calculator can be easily programmed with custom functions. HP 19BII can be used for all types of business applications. The HP Solve application is integrated in the financial calculator.
Texas Instruments TI-86 – $299
Launched in 1997, TI-86 is a standalone calculator with high-contrast LCD screen for easy viewing, 128KB RAM and 256KB ROM. It is a powerful graphing calculator designed for students of mathematics, science and engineering. It supports Greek and lower case letters. It can be programmed for easily accessing common mathematical operations.
It is one of the best graphing calculators for viewing and editing two-dimension matrices. It also supports complex numbers and vectors. However, the production of this advanced programmable graphing calculator has been discontinued since 2004, thereby boosting the price of the small number of TI-86 calculators that are still available in the stores.
Victor 1460-3 – $294
Victor 1460-3 is the third generation 12-digit heavy duty commercial printing calculator from Victor. The production of this scientific calculator was discontinued after the introduction of the latest Victor 1460-4 printing calculator, making the third-generation calculator a rare model. In the Amazon store, Victor 1460-3 is currently priced at around $294. This is a desktop calculator featuring a large fluorescent display.
Texas Instruments Voyage 200 – $279
Voyage 200, the latest and most advanced of the TI-92 series calculator from Texas Instruments costs around $279. However, several stores offer the calculator at discounted priced. Although Voyager 200 is sold as a calculator, because of its QWERTY keyboard, it is often categorized as a computer.
Hence, the calculator is banned from the American testing facilities. TI Voyage 200 is an outstanding graphing calculator. It supports 3D graphing, plotting of several functions on a single graph, differential equation graphing and more. It features 4MB flash memory and 256KB RAM. The calculator is easily programmable with appropriate software application.
Casio Fx-cg20 Limited Edition – $249
This is one of the most expensive graphing calculators from Casio. Priced at $249, the calculator is noted for its high-resolution color screen that supports over 65,000 colors and displays up to 20 digits. It comes with PC link software to ease data exchange between your calculator and PC.
With support for 55 kinds of color images, it is also one of the finest graphic calculators from Casio. It features essential graphic tools and more than 2900 scientific and mathematical functions.
Texas Instruments TI-92 Plus – $210
Launched in 1998, TI-92 Plus from Texas Instrument is the advanced version of the TI-92 series calculator. The production of the calculator was stopped in 2002. Hence only a few models of TI-92 plus are currently available. These Texas Instrument calculators are currently overvalued, priced at around $210.
Only few stand-alone TI-92 Plus calculators are currently available. TI-92 was the first Texas Instruments calculator with 3D graphing. TI-92 Plus features QWERTY keyboard, 384KB flash memory and 188KB RAM.