Texas Instruments BA II Plus Financial Calculator
 Performs common math as well as various financial functions
 Worksheet mode includes tables for amortization, bond, depreciation, and compound interest
 Builtin memory for storage of previous worksheets
 Can perform cashflow analysis and advanced listbased statistics
 Slidecase included to protect screen
Texas Instruments BA II plus Financial Calculator for business professionals and students features are that it performs common math as well as various financial functions; the Worksheet mode includes tables for amortization, bond, depreciation, and compound interest, Builtin memory for storage of previous worksheets, Can perform cashflow analysis and advanced listbased statistics and a Slidecase included to protect screen.We’re definitely taking this along with us the next time we shop for a house. Though it takes a little effort to master the collection of financial worksheets available on the Texas Instruments BA II Plus, you’ll be glad you invested the time and money in this fine financial calculator.
The BA II Plus operates in standard calculator and worksheet modes. The standard mode lets you perform common math as well as operations involving the time value of money–that is, applications such as mortgages or annuities in which payments are equal and evenly spaced. You can also perform trigonometric functions in standard mode.
The more hardcore worksheet mode includes tables for amortization, bond, depreciation, and compound interest. If you’re not familiar with such calculations, the very helpful user’s manual will guide you through the process. All previous worksheet values are stored in memory, so you don’t have to retype all the bond maturity or cash flow analysis figures.
The average user who wants to calculate a basic loan payment will be more comfortable working in the standard calculator mode. We were using the BA II Plus tools for calculating basic interest and payment periods within minutes. Still, it’s good to know that the more advanced features are available for those who require heavyduty financial computing.
Finance students and average users alike will find much to like in the Texas Instruments BA II Plus. –John Frederick Moore
List Price: $ 32.99
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Not the Best in the Category,
The HP 10B is a directly positioned competitor to the TIBAII+, but HP’s entry is superior. The keys feel more solid, the machine itself “seems” better made. Having worn out more than one of each, my experience has been that the HP has more staying power. And, the TIBAII+ often requires more keystrokes to accomplish the same tasks (i.e., NPV calculations). Oddly enough, when there is a difference in price, the HP often sells for around $1 less; though I would gladly pay more.
The Like the HP 10B, the TIBAII+ has a well written manual, including examples on using the functions. TI has the manual available online on their website for the inevitable time that the user needs it and has lost the original.
While there are cheaper financial calculators, it seems that this particular level is the minimum I would recommend to professionals or students. Less expensive versions, while saving a few dollars, miss important features. As a general rule of thumb, if the calculator can perform the “IRR” function, as this one can, it will be able to handle pretty much any calculation into which the finance student, professonal, or banker will run. Lesser machines do not have this function. So, skip the cheaper TI, HP, or other financial calculators.
Ironically, even larger fancier calculators, such as the venerable HP12C, are in my estimation inferior as well. The 12C uses RPN logic which, while saving even more keystrokes, is simply foreign to most students. More importantly, some functions, such as the Time Value of Money functions, on the 12C require interpretation. On the 12C, for example, solving for the number of periods in an annuity, the value gets rounded UP to the next integer. Not so in the TIBAII+ or HP 10B.
While I can recommend the TIBAII+, it is second only to the HP 10B as the best value in inexpensive financial calculators.
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A Good Calculator but not a Great Calculator,
Pros:
It’s a nice conservative brown color and not a day glo blue or some other candy color.
The button feel (button feel a critical factor in buying a calculator) is much better than most TIs but it still could be improved. (It is not as good as the HP 12c). One shouldn’t have to keep looking at the display to see if the number was keyed correctly.
The different colored keys make it easy to find the various functions.
The display is uncluttered and easy to read.
The alpha characters on the left side of the display make it easy to know what data you are entering and what the resulting number from a calculation refers to.
It has a backspace key.
The manual is well written and very complete.
Cons:
The number of key strokes that you need to do the simplest things is unbelievable. For example, to change the decimal format you have to press 2nd, format, [the number referring to the number of places], enter, 2nd, quit. Compare this to the HP 12c where you just press F and the number referring to the number of places. Six steps on the TI verses 2 on the HP.
The calculator has no weight to it. It seems flimsy. I would be very afraid of dropping it. The HP 12c is a tank by comparison.
The hard plastic slip “case” doesn’t fit securely.
There is no way to change the contrast of the display.
Extra steps are required to do TVM calculations as compared to the HP 12c since with the TI you have to press the CPT key to get an answer. If you forget to do that then the display number becomes a new, unintended variable.
It doesn’t retain the display when you shut the calculator off.
The arrow on the backspace key points the wrong way. Compare it to the backspace key on your computer.
It’s easier to change the battery in your watch than it is in this calculator.
The “cheat sheet” in the plastic cover is only paper and very easy to loose. The HP has it printed on the back of the calculator.
No rubber feet! How much can these cost? That means you have to use two hands with this calculator; one to hold it so it doesn’t slide around the table and one to enter data. You can’t enter data with one hand and keep track of your place on a list of numbers with the other.
Not noticeably faster than the HP 12c which was designed over 20 years ago.
Conclusion: This calculator is better than most on the TIs in this price range mostly because of the improved button feel and the quality of the display but it would do well to take some lessons from the 80’s and incorporate some of the features of the HP 12c. It’s the little things that make a good calculator a great calculator. A calculator should be like an extension of you and not something that you have to constantly think about in addition to the business/math problems that you are working on. My first choice for a business calculator is the HP 12c but, if you are short on money, this is a good second choice.
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Comparison of TI BAII Plus, HP 12C and HP 17BII,
Sadly there is one serious problem with the machine. Strictly speaking it is not year 2000 compliant. Your date range is 1950 – 1949 and can only be entered as two digit years. TI have no work around for this either.
If you just want to number crunch all day long, this calculator gets my vote. Everything is in front of you on the keypad, you don’t have to navigate around registers or menus. The keyboard is light and sensitive and easy to use. And the way the functions work together is very flexible.
The HP 12C. What can I say about this beautiful piece of craftsmanship. This not just a calculator, but an example of fine engineering. Sort of in the same league as a vintage car. You can almost here the engine purring gently when you turn it on. In comparison with the BAII Plus and the 17BII it lacks functionality. You will also see criticisms of its speed. But in reality this is untrue. What the 12C lacks in processing speed (and the difference is so slight that your calculations won’t be affected) it makes up for in form factor and ruggedness. Don’t underestimate this. The keyboard is industrial strength and so is the case. You can sit there banging away in RPN with one hand without even looking whilst you follow columns of figures with the other. You gain the best of both worlds between a heavy duty desk top calc and a neat pocket calculator. There is one other big advantage, which is the wealth of tutorials guides and papers about using it available for free on the internet.
But for uncompromising power, the HP 17BII is, for me, the ultimate financial calculator. It isn’t as cumbersome as the 19BII but has everything I need from that calculator. The functionality is comprehensive, and where you might find limitations it gives you accurate workarounds. The solver is indispensible. You can enter a formula and set up variables to enter as if you were using built in functionality. And it will solve for which ever variable is missing. Did you get that? – it actually does the algebra for you!!!
The 17BII is fast and rugged and I haven’t yet found something I can’t solve either through the built in functions or by programming it.
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