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A calculator is a device that performs mathematical calculations. Calculators come in many different forms, including handheld devices, desktop computers, and smartphones. Basic calculators can perform basic mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Scientific calculators can perform advanced mathematical operations such as logarithms, trigonometry, and statistics.

Calculators can be either analog or digital. Analog calculators use mechanical gears and levers to perform calculations, while digital calculators use electronic circuitry and a digital display. Digital calculators can be operated using buttons, touchscreens or even virtual buttons on the computer.

Calculators have many different use cases, they can be used by students in school, professionals in different fields, as well as by everyday individuals for a wide range of tasks such as balancing a checkbook, determining a mortgage payment, or calculating the total cost of a purchase with sales tax.

There are several different types of calculators, each designed for specific uses and tasks. Here are some of the main types of calculators:

**Basic calculator**: This type of calculator is designed for simple mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They may also have some basic functions like square root and percentage.

**Scientific calculator**: This type of calculator is designed for more advanced mathematical operations such as logarithms, trigonometry, and statistics. They typically have a larger number of buttons and functions than basic calculators.

**Financial calculator**: This type of calculator is designed specifically for financial calculations, such as determining interest, loan payments, and amortization schedules. The HP 12C is an example of a calculator widely used in the financial environment.

**Graphing calculator**: This type of calculator is capable of plotting mathematical functions and graphs. They are typically used by students in advanced mathematics and science classes. Examples of graphing calculators are Casio fx-CG50, Texas Instruments TI-84, HP 50g, etc.

**Programmable calculator**: This type of calculator allows users to write and store programs, which can be used to automate complex calculations and perform advanced functions.

**Handheld calculators and Desktop calculators**: Handheld are portable and smaller to carry while desktop are larger and mostly used on desk at offices or schools.

**Smartphone calculator**: With the advent of smartphones, many of them come with a built-in calculator that can perform basic and some advanced calculations, most of the time, these are enough for daily use, but for more advanced and specific calculation, using a specialized calculator is still recommended.

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