Went shopping for school today and got some cool stuff. Wireless printer! Didn't know they made that. Anyway, I got a TI- Nspire. Got this because that's the best they had, and because my current calculator is Casio, was just like $50 when I got it, and EVERYONE seems to use TI so whenever I ask how to enter something in, their answer is totally not for my calculator.

Anyway, I get home and find out it's not the latest and greatest from TI. It's big brother is. The TI-Nspire CAS. Apparently it uses symbols or something, I dunno. It says "plus a built-in Computer Algebra System. CAS adds an interactive dimension to exploring symbolic algebra and symbolic calculus, in addition to standard numeric calculations.".

"

TI-Nspire™ CAS Technology

TI-Nspire functionality with a Computer Algebra System (CAS) built in.

TI-Nspire™ CAS technology makes it possible to recognize, simplify and calculate math expressions, preserving the symbols including variables and terms such as e and π

This ability to enter and view equations and expressions on screen as they appear in textbooks may be especially useful for step-by-step, arithmetic, algebraic and calculus calculations.

Educators have the option to incorporate CAS into their instruction, using TI-Nspire CAS technology that is designed to help students:

* Learn to solve equations step-by-step while avoiding common arithmetic errors.

* Spend more time on specific math topics, from algebra through calculus.

* Factor and expand expressions and solve common denominators.

* See patterns and grasp the math behind the formulas.

* Find common denominators

"

Now. Could someone tell me if it's worth the hassle returning it and getting the TI-Nspire CAS? Are the benefits apparent? Does anyone use it and like it? I got the TI-Nspire for like $144 tonight at Wal-Mart, and Amazon has the TI-Nspire for like... ten bucks more or so. Maybe 15-20 with free shipping. I didn't know if it was worth the hassle or now since I'm technologically illiterate. Using symbols seems like a time saver, but if I'm going to have to go in and change the value of the symbols constantly, it'll seem to negate the purpose of entering in lots of symbols in the first place. I should say I'm average in math. I've only done alg I, II, Geo and Trig thus far. My intention was to get a calculator now that I'd never have to replace because it couldn't do something I needed it to do. Not expecting quantum mechanics If I did replace it, I'd like it to be because a newer calculator came out that's easier to use and time saving, but does the same things as the one I'm about to buy .

for the money these things cost, you'd think they'd put color screens in them.