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Texas Instruments TI-30X Pro MultiView™

Date of introduction:  May 2010
 Available: Sep. 1, 2010
 Withdrawn: Oct. 2010
Display technology:  LCD dot matrix
New price:  €27.99 Display size:  4 * 16 characters
 (5 * 19 for menus)
Size:  6.8" x 3.2" x 0.6"
 172 x 83 x 15 mm³
   
Weight:  4.2 ounces, 120 grams Serial No:  
Batteries:  Solar cells + CR2032 Date of manufacture:  mth 06 year 2010
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  China (K)
Precision:  13 Integrated circuits:  
Memories:  8    
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

Texas Instruments announced in May 2007 with the TI-30XS MultiView the successor of its long lasting TI-30X IIS introduced already in 1999 and slightly redesigned in 2004. In February 2008 followed with the TI-34 MultiView and TI-Collège Plus the successors of the TI-34 II resp. TI-Collège. And another two years later, in May 2010, we heard about the TI-30X Pro MultiView and thought immediately about the TI-36X II. We received the first actual calculator in October 2010 and have to admit: This scientific calculator is the real successor of the TI-68! Even the keyboard is similar cluttered, but the new multi-tap feature avoids at least a [3rd] or even [4th] key to access the zillions of functions implemented in the single-chip calculator circuit.

Instead of the then novel 2-line display the TI-30X Pro MultiView features a dot matrix display with 31 * 96 addressable pixels allowing the calculator to display equations as they would be printed in a text book. 

In addition to this so called "MathPrint" mode the calculator sports a TI-30X IIS compatible "Classic" mode.

Compared with the original TI-30X IIS, in the US the quasi-standard for pupils, we notice a huge variety of functions:

Classic (compatible with TI-30X IIS) and MathPrint Mode 
EOS with 8 pending operations and 23 levels of parentheses
8 memory variables x, y, z, t, a, b, c, d
Data editor and list formulas:  3 lists, each up to 42 items
Function table
Toggle key fractions and decimals
Equation entries up to 80 digits
Complex numbers
HEX, BIN and OCT logic and conversions
Least common multiple, Greatest common divisor, Prime factors
Numeric derivative
Numeric integral
Matrices, Vectors
Numeric equation solver
Polynomial solver
Expression evaluation
20 physical constants and 20 conversions

 

Dismantling this TI-30X Pro MultiView manufactured in June 2010 reveals a pretty common construction with two printed circuit boards (PCB's). The main PCB hides the single-chip calculating circuit under a small protection blob of black epoxy and drives the graphing display with a heat sealed fine-pitch connector. The keyboard makes use of a much simpler second PCB and a heat sealed connector, too. The prominent SR-21 designation on the main PCB proves that this calculator was manufactured by Kinpo Electronics, Inc., a famous company located in Taiwan and doing calculator production for well established companies like Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard, Casio, Canon and Citizen.
 

Buggy Software

Texas Instruments announced the TI-30X Pro MultiView in May 2010 in some European countries and it finally hit the shelves in September 2010. Only a few weeks later, early in October 2010, the German website of Texas Instruments' calculator division announced an important information for customers of the calculator. The 2-page document describes a serious problems of the new equation solver and a minor problem with the Planck's constant. Good for the Datamath Calculator Museum - we received the featured calculator early in October with the help of a friend visiting Austria before the shelves were emptied again. Thanks, Namir!

Cubic Equation Solver

The TI-30X Pro MV features different "Solvers", a numeric equation solver and a polynomial solver for quadratic or cubic equations. Wikipedia (German division) reported already on September 24, 2010 a problem with the cubic equation solver with a very simple example:

[2nd] [poly-solv] [2]: ax³+bx²+cx+d=0 with a=2, b=1, c=-1, and d=0 reports three solutions:
x1=0.5, x2=-1, and x3=2. The correct answer is x1=0.5, x2=-1, and x3=0!

Constants

The TI-30X Pro MV stores for 20 physical constants both NAMES and UNITS. The Planck's constant, denoted h, sports two errors: The name of Max Planck, one of the founders of quantum theory, is spelled Plank in the English manual and the unit is given in Joule per second (J/s) instead of Joule seconds (Js) on the calculator.

[2nd] [constants] [3]:

Relaunch

The re-launch of the TI-30X Pro MultiView was delayed several times but in April 2011 the calculator was at least in Germany back in the shelves. A few weeks later in May 2011 an almost identical calculator was marketed in the United States as TI-36X Pro. And yes, the bugs are fixed.

 

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If you have additions to the above article please email: joerg@datamath.org.

© Joerg Woerner, October 22, 2010. No reprints without written permission.