The Evolving TI-84 Plus Platform

By Tech Powered Dad | April 27, 2015

TI-84 Plus CE Red With a platform that’s been around as long as the TI-84, which is in and of itself the evolution of the TI-83 (launched in 1996), we’re bound to see models come and go. On Texas Instruments’ official website, I’ve noticed that certain models related to the TI-84 Plus were no longer featured. It also appears that some are starting to become less plentiful for purchase online. I hadn’t noticed anything about this officially announced, so when I spoke with Dale Philbrick, Director of Professional Development, Content and Systemic Programs for Texas Instruments last week, I asked what he could tell me about that.

TI-84 Plus Silver Edition Models Discontinued

Philbrick confirmed that going forward, there will only be two TI-84 models, the TI-84 Plus (black edition), and the new TI-84 Plus CE (review). This does mean that the iconic TI-84 Plus Silver Edition as well as the barely one-year-old TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition have officially been discontinued. At the present time, you can still find both models for sale in certain locations online and possibly in stores, but Texas Instruments is no longer manufacturing them. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

TI-84 Navigator Discontinued

TI-84 Navigator

Additionally, the TI-84 Navigator is also no longer being manufactured. If you are not familiar with TI Navigator systems, these are terrific products for classroom use that let teachers interact with an entire classroom set of TI calculators via their computer. The results of what students are doing on their calculators can be shared via a Smart Board.

When the TI-84 Plus C was first announced, Texas Instruments made the decision to not include Navigator support at that time. I wondered if perhaps they might reintroduce the Navigator for the TI-84 Plus CE, but they have decided not to.

Phibrick said that the Navigator will be a TI-Nspire exclusive product going forward for a couple of reasons.

  1. The legacy hardware and operating system of the TI-84 family wasn’t designed with a WIFI system like the Navigator in mind, so the Navigator was difficult to develop for the 84.
  2. The majority of the teachers who were active TI-84 Navigator users have already migrated to the TI-Nspire Navigator.

If you already own one of these products, keep in mind that both the older TI-84 Plus models and the TI-84 Navigator will continue to receive product support from Texas Instruments.

Simplified Product Line

From firsthand experience, I can say that the Navigator is an amazing product for the classroom. I’m a bit disappointed to hear that the TI-84 Plus CE won’t get Navigator support, but I can’t say that I’m surprised given that the 84 Plus C never got it. In terms of the calculators in the 84 product line, I think this is a good thing for consumers, especially parents. From all of my years as a teacher and speaking with parents about calculators, I think they get confused pretty quickly when there are too many choices from a single manufacturer. The TI-84 Plus CE will undoubtedly be a hit for TI, but there are still going to be parents who prefer the cheaper option of the black and white TI-84 Plus, and keeping it to a higher end/lower end TI-84 option for these parents is still enough choice, particularly when they still have to consider options such as the TI-Nspire and competing manufacturers’ devices.

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