The sum is greater than the parts | Download Product Review - CNET

The sum is greater than the parts

Add this package of first-rate scientific calculators to your math toolbox.

For some of us, calculus was a long time ago, but it sure would have been easier if Math Center Level 2 been around. It's a package of precalculus and calculus tools from Tvalx, a tongue-twisting name for a company that specializes in math software. It's mostly designed for math students, but it's also useful to teachers and anyone who wants to brush up on their calculus skills or who just needs a good scientific calculator.

Math Center Level 2 combines several tools in one download. The small main interface has nothing more than Program and Help menus. The Program menu integrates the developer's Graphing Calculator 2D Numeric, Graphing Calculator 2D Parametric, Graphing Calculator 2D Polar, Scientific Calculator, Integer Calculator, and Rational Calculator; clicking on any one calls up the individual tool's interface. Each tool's interface shares a family resemblance, taking their design cues from the ergonomic layout of handheld scientific calculators. The customizable interfaces possess some of the cleanest and best-configured layouts we've ever seen, with clearly legible markings and an excellent balance between features and clutter. The buttons' subtle, Vista-style shading enhances contrast without distracting the eye, and the default fonts are well chosen. Each tool performed exactly as you'd expect a first-class programmable scientific calculator to perform: virtually instantaneous, completely accurate, highly flexible.

Math Center Level 2 is compact and runs in recent editions of Windows, which makes it a good choice for laptops and tablets. It costs a lot less than a standalone scientific calculator, too, which is a recommendation in itself.

Editor's note: This is a review of the full version of Math Center Level 2 The trial version is limited to 30 days trial only.
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