Two and a half thousand years ago, the Babylonians made the first step forward in calculation technology: the abacus. Rows of beads would be slid along a wire to represent the ones, tens and hundreds respectively.
How far we have come... Introducing the Classpad, a colour touchscreen calculator that feels part smart phone, part calculator. This innovation matters. After all, a calculator exists to make formulas and equations as intuitive as possible. The Classpad takes the abstract concepts of equations, graphs and formulas, and presents them clearly and tangibly on the screen in front of you, allowing you to engage with maths in an entirely new way. Here are just a few ways the Classpad changes the game.
Firstly, the size of the screen opens up a whole new world in mathematics. Anyone over the age of 30 will remember how uninspiring their first calculator was with the dull green screen and pixelated numbers. The Classpad has a 4.8 inch colour LCD display. This is bigger than an average credit card, and is anywhere between eight to ten times bigger than the calculators of yesteryear. With this much space, you can view the formula equation and the graphs on the screen at the same time, helping you to understand how they relate to one another. It is simple. It is straightforward. That is exactly what you want from a calculator.
Secondly, the touch screen makes this a truly powerful and intuitive tool for calculation. Rather than having to plot everything using an obscure function key, you can trace, zoom, and rotate the graphs with the stylus. With just the touch of a button, you can switch between the vertical and the horizontal orientation of the graph and move around it however you would like so you can understand the data as it was intended to be seen. It is also deeply intuitive for a generation of digital natives. Much like you would pinch to zoom and swipe to navigate your smartphone, the Classpad uses the exact same functions. It sounds small, but it contributes to a calculator that is relentlessly usable.
Finally, the Classpad can connect to your computer via the USB port. This means that all of your work can be saved and exported rather than being lost in the ether the moment you power it down. This is invaluable. As equations, formulas and graphs become more complex, it isn’t simply a matter of ‘solving for x’ like it used to be. The Classpad’s integration with your computer allows you to work in spells, or update your models over a matter of months.
Whether you are an engineer, physicist, or a student of mathematics, the Casio ClassPad fx-CP400 is a game changer. It is intuitive, powerful and clear, which means you can focus entirely on the maths without trying to wrangle your calculator. With the right tool in your hand, who knows what you might achieve?
It is the product of thousands of years of innovation on the humble calculator.