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Texas Instruments' TI-84 Calculator In Color?

Texas Instruments' response has been added to this story.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Texas Instruments (TXN - Get Report) has been making the most popular, highly regarded, high-end calculators for decades. Not the little pocket models you get for free with subscriptions, but the real machines. Business calculators. Scientific calculators. Graphical calculators.

For nearly twenty years, the TI-84 line (and its predecessors) have been the standard for calculators that can also provide graphical results. Want to know how popular they are? Do a quick search to find they're sold nearly everywhere - from Staples (SPLS - Get Report), Office Depot (ODP - Get Report) and Office Max (OMX) to Walmart (WMT - Get Report).

And since the beginning of time those graphical results have been displayed on little monochrome (black and white) screens. That may be changing, though.

According to a number of online reports, Texas Instruments is currently working on a new TI-84 model with a color screen. It might even have a proper name - the TI-84+ C.

That's about all we know, at this point. No official announcement has been made. No details leaked to reporters. Just a possible photo of a new calculator with a color screen. It could be a Photoshopped photo. We just don't know.

What gives a bit of credence to the rumor is the fact that TI makes a line of graphing calculators named Nspire, some of which already sport color screens. Then again, if they make color ones why not continue with the popular monochrome line as well?

For the record, the current models are still hot commodities. The best price we've seen for the current TI-84+ is $115. And, even the original TI-84 goes for $85 in refurbished form.

Late on Monday, Texas Instruments confirmed the TI-84 rumor. "TI has begun previewing the soon to be released TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition graphing calculator," wrote a spokeswoman, in an email to TheStreet, adding that this will be available in Spring 2013. "The TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition has all the functionality of the best-selling TI-84 Plus family of graphing calculators - now in color and with TI Rechargeable Battery."

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:
Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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