Education Technology

# Knowledge Base

## Solution 10587: Differences Between the TI-86 and the TI-89 Family Graphing Calculators.

### What are the main differences between the TI-86 and the TI-89 family graphing calculators?

The TI-86, being a discontinued calculator, has a number of different recommended replacements.  For engineering and AP courses, the TI-89 Titanium and TI-Nspire CX II CAS are the recommended substitutes.  For general math and science courses, we recommend the TI-84 Plus Family or the TI-Nspire CX II.  The main differences in the functionality of these calculators are listed below.

Some of the TI-86 functions are not built in the TI-89 family. These functions include:

Polynomial Root Finder.
Simultaneous Equations Solver.

Please Note: These features can be added to a TI-89 family calculator with the Polynomial Root Finder and Simultaneous Equation Solver Apps.

On the other hand, the TI-89 family has includes important functions that the TI-86 does not have:

Flash technology for Electronic upgradeability and Software Applications (Apps).
A USB Port for up to date connectivity with a computer.
3D graphing.
Computer Algebra System (CAS) allowing symbolic manipulations.

Additionally, the only major things that the TI-86 can currently handle and the TI-Nspire CX II CAS can not are:

Differential Equations and Slope Fields Graphing
RK, Euler and Initial Conditions

On the other hand, the TI-Nspire CX II CAS includes these features which are not present on the TI-86:

The Computer Algebra System, which enables the computation of both numeric and symbolic answers in various studies of mathematics (Calculus, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry etc.).
A USB Port for up to date connectivity with a computer.
The ability to save and edit problems and work.
The ability to grab and move graphs within your Graphs and Geometry application.

Also, the TI-Nspire CX II has all of the features of the TI-Nspire CX II CAS, with the exception of the Computer Algebra System, the ability to do metric conversions and an interactive equation solver.

The TI-86, when compared to it's final substitute, can handle the following operations when compared to the TI-84 Plus Family:

Sequence Graphing
Differential Equations and Slope Fields
RK, Euler and Initial Conditions

Alternatively, the TI-84 Plus Family has the following features when compared to the TI-86:

Flash Technology which enables the unit to accept updates to it's operating system. Flash Technology also enables the unit to have applications sent to it from other TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus Family units or a computer.
Applications for download that enable the unit to increase it's graphing capabilities.

The TI-86, when compared to it's final substitute, can handle the following operations when compared to the TI-84 Plus Family:

Sequence Graphing
Differential Equations and Slope Fields
RK, Euler and Initial Conditions

Alternatively, the TI-84 Plus Family has the following features when compared to the TI-86:

Flash Technology which enables the unit to accept updates to it's operating system. Flash Technology also enables the unit to have applications sent to it from other TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus Family units or a computer.
Applications for download that enable the unit to increase it's graphing capabilities.

For more information about the various models mentioned here, please see the TI-84 Plus Family, TI-86, and TI-89 Family guidebooks or the TI-Nspire CX II and TI-NSpire CX II CAS guidebooks.