DATAMATH CALCULATOR MUSEUM
Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro
|Date of introduction:||May 16, 2011||Display technology:||LCD dot matrix|
|New price:||$25.00 (SRP 2011)||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 03 year 2011 (A)|
|AC-Adapter:||Origin of manufacture:||China (K)|
|Program steps:||Courtesy of:||Joerg Woerner|
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 TI-30X Pro MultiView in October 2010 and have to admit: This scientific
calculator is the real successor of the TI-68! Even the
keyboard is similiar 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.
It's difficult to understand why the amazing TI-30X Pro MultiView was available only in a few countries in Europe but it was a wise decision. The calculator had some serious bugs in its software and was withdrawn from the market within a few weeks. In April 2011 the TI-30X Pro MultiView was re-launched and in May 2011 it hit the shelves in the United States as TI-36X Pro. And yes, the bugs are fixed.
Instead of the then novel 2-line display
of the TI-36X II, its successor TI-36X Pro 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-36X II compatible "Classic" mode.
Compared with the original TI-36X II, in the US the quasi-standard for pupils, we notice a huge variety of functions:
Classic (compatible with TI-36X II) and MathPrint Mode
Dismantling this TI-36X
Pro manufactured in March 2011 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.
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.
Cubic Equation Solver
The TI-30X Pro MV and its US twin TI-36X Pro feature 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:
[poly-solv] : 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!
The TI-30X Pro MV and TI-36X Pro store 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] :
If you have additions to the above article please email: email@example.com.
© Joerg Woerner, June 2, 2011. No reprints without written permission.