Best Solar Powered Calculators – Top reviews of 2019

Whether you’re a student or a professional, a solar powered calculator can always come in handy. Sure, you could use your cell phone, but what about when the battery is dead? Or what about when your cell phone is engaged in doing something else; especially if it takes a generous bit of bandwidth. It’s such a handy tool to have around, it’s hard to believe it’s not already part of your desk, car, or home.

A couple of decades ago, solar calculators were overtaking the industry, but the track record has been less than perfect. They haven’t been as reliable as the applications on cell phones or the ones with batteries. But solar powered calculators have come a long way. While there are dozens of models on the market, not all live up to expectations. Some may not work properly; others might not work when there is no sun. To help you out, we selected and rated the most popular models. Read our reviews to find the best solar powered number cruncher for you.

Helect Standard Function Solar Desk Calculator

Casio Basic Folding Compact Solar Powered Calculator

EastPin Basic Solar Powered Calculator

Best Solar Powered Calculators – Top reviews of 2019

Different people may have different requirements when it comes to choosing a personal digital assistant. Professionals may want a larger, desk unit. Students could benefit more from a solar pocket calculator. Our first thought when making our selection was to address both categories, so our list includes both desk and pocket options.

Helect Standard Function Solar Desk Calculator

Editor's Pick

Ideal for accountants and finance professionals, the Helect standard function solar desk unit, brings exceptional value for money. It’s easy to understand why it’s one of the most popular models.

Perfectly sized to fit on your desk, it boasts a dual power feature designed to save the battery’s life. The solar panel powers up the circuits when exposed to bright light, while the AA battery ensures you’ll also be able to use it when it’s dark.

A large 12-digit display and big keys make it easy to use. Besides basic functions, you can also use it to calculate currency conversions, tax, and profit margins. We like that it has an on/off button, a feature many solar powered calculators miss, and also that it comes in a variety of colors.

PROS:

  • Perfect for a home office
  • Light and easy buttons
  • Includes a 30-degree angle screen for easy vision
  • Functions on a AA battery in addition to solar power

CONS:

  • Not as portable as pocket models

Casio MS-80B Standard Function Solar Powered Calculator

Casio is one of the greatest names in the gadgets industry, known to produce high-quality yet lost-cost solar calculators. The MS-80B model is one of the best choices for anyone working in the financial sector. Designed for the desktop but compact enough to fit in a drawer, this unit has a generous 8-digit display, is solar powered, and comes with a backup battery.

An excellent solar desk unit, this device has an easy-to-use keyboard arrangement and specific functions for currency exchange and tax calculations. The memory keys are another handy feature, and you can even use the unit to calculate the square root. A brushed chrome finish and sleek appearance makes this Casio MS-80B the best solar calculator for professionals.

PROS:

  • Includes advanced functions for finances and taxes
  • Includes memory keys
  • Solar powered and battery powered
  • Perfect for the desk, but fits in a drawer or briefcase for portability

CONS:

  • Some units seem to have an issue the the % key calculating incorrectly
  • Some units are wobbly and don’t sit flat on the desk

Sharp Electronics 8-Digit Twin Powered Calculator

This Sharp Electronics device is another affordable solar calculator we recommend. Pocket-sized but featuring all important functions, it’s a great choice for both students and professionals. Its twin solar power operation ensures you’ll never be out of power. Classic classroom design and high-quality plastic components make it a great choice for math, physics, or chemistry classes.

Despite its compact size, the unit has a large 8-digit display and three memory keys. The attached hardcover prevents you from accidentally starting the unit while in your pocket. Unfortunately, there’s no off key which would help to save power and extend the lifetime. Nevertheless, this solar powered option has a long battery life and only utilizes solar energy when you use it in bright sunlight or office lighting.

PROS:

  • Great for students
  • Compact unit comes with a hard case for protection
  • Includes twin solar power functionality
  • Includes memory keys, percent key, and square root key

CONS:

  • Harder to read for seniors and those with weak eyesight
  • Hinged hardcover can be a nuisance to some

EastPin Basic Solar Powered Calculator

Best Value

The next entry on our list of affordable solar number crunchers, this device from EastPin is perfect for the office. It comes in black or silver and impresses with large keys, all basic functions, and dual solar and battery power.

It has an on/off key as well as automatic power off in case you forget and leave it on. The 12-digit display design also makes it more useful than other solar desk calculators on the market. We also like its LCD screen that displays the numbers clearly and accurately. Another nice thing is the ergonomic design that has a fast rebound and requires zero pressure for tapping the keys.

PROS:

  • Perfect for home use or compact enough for on the go
  • 12-digit display is better than typical 8-digit displays
  • Large screen display
  • Large and easy-touch buttons

CONS:

  • Some units have trouble displaying digits to the far right

Casio Basic Folding Compact Solar Powered Calculator

Most Popular

If you’re looking for the functionality of a desk calculator and the convenience of a pocket calculator, this model from Casio Basic will satisfy your needs. This folding option has larger-than-average keys and a large 8-digit display.

It’s easy to use and easy to read. Incorporating all basic functions of a solar desk unit, it comes with independent memory, 3-digit coma marker, square root key, and even percentage key.

Although it doesn’t have an off key, it’s particularly energy efficient, and the battery will last for years. Small yet mighty, it’s a great solar powered option to keep in your bag or pocket.

PROS:

  • Foldable design makes it compact and durable
  • Large display screen for easy reading
  • Easily portable

CONS:

  • No on/off function key

Features to Look For in Solar Powered Calculators

Features to Look For in Solar Powered Calculators

When you’re looking for a personal digital assistant (PDA) for school, home, or work, it may seem like it’s easy to find. As long as it completes calculations it will be acceptable. All calculators are pretty much the same, right? Wrong. Just like with our favorite solar watches, you should investigate what you need in a solar powered PDA and find one that meets all of your requirements. Here’s a list of key features and functions you should check out before you buy. It’s similar to our solar radio buying guide, insofar as it helps you avoid getting a new unit only to find that it doesn’t do everything you need it to.

Math Functionality

Be careful that you’re getting a calculator that will perform all the mathematical functions you’ll need for school or work. Consider whether your purchase comes with all the keys you need, like memory function, percentages, square roots, currency exchange, and tax calculation options. If you’re looking for an advanced PDA for school, you may need to look for a solar scientific calculator, which includes a greater number of math functions.

Portability

It’s important to take into account whether this calculator will stay sitting on a desk in an office or at home, or if it needs to be portable and come with you from class to class (perhaps in your new solar backpack.) If it’s going to be sitting on a desk primarily, you’ll want to make sure you get one that sits flat and doesn’t wobble. An unbalanced unit can drive you crazy. If you’ll be taking it with you, consider getting one that will fit in your pocket or bag. Another great feature for portable number crunchers is the hard case or folding case that they sometimes include.

Power Options

You’ll definitely want a solar calculator over a battery-only option because of the simple reason that it extends the lifetime of the unit and you’ll never need to worry about dead batteries and all the toxic waste that will be generated by tossing out disposable batteries year after year. However, like with solar laptops and their chargers, it’s very common for solar options to include a twin-solar power option, or even a battery option as well. This will give you the most flexibility. A battery can be used when the calculator isn’t able to be powered by light. The battery’s life will be saved when solar power is available.

Power On/OFF Keys

It might seem like a simple feature, but having the ability to turn your PDA on and off with the stroke of a key is very helpful. In many cases, a solar calculator will turn off automatically when not in use, but having the power button ensures you’re saving the battery and unit life as much as possible. The OFF key can also help to ensure your unit doesn’t accidentally turn on while in transit in your bag or pocket.

Conclusion

Now that you’re familiar with the critical features to watch for, you can certainly find a calculator that works well for your needs. You’ve gained perspective on the functions and designs of some of the most popular products to choose from in 2019. There are a great deal of points to consider even with something as seemingly simple as a math calculator. But one point is obvious, a solar calculator will last you longer and serve you better for years to come. (For more cool solar-themed devices, check out our favorite solar dancing toys!)

4.5 rating
Based on 29 reviews

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