Next time you need to do some trivial math, pull out your netbook, boot it up, launch your calculator app of choice, and then hunt and peck on the trackpad to enter in your equations, and voila, the answer! Not to mention that most if not all standardized tests have strict rules about calculators, and usually any device with a QWERTY keypad is insta-banned.
The calculator you need depends on your area of study. For engineering students, a TI 83 is not adequate, unless you love pain, you need an 89. My worries about this new color calculator is that it is too simple. The color screen allows for pretty graphing, but does the calculator actually have a decent feature set, including things like basic calculus functions, symbolic equation handling, matrix math, etc? Judging by the very limited number of buttons, I would worry that this calculator either doesn't support a large variety of mathematical functions, or that using it will be very slow and inconvenient (going through several menus to get to commonly used mathematical functions). The need for a graphing calculator doesn't necessarily end with school. Again, in the engineering business, you can count on many people keeping their trusty 89's in their desk drawer, to pull out whenever some non-trivial math comes calling. There are much more powerful ways of doing math, but paying for a license and training with MATLAB is not in the budget for most companies. I also doubt that these calculators will dethrone TI, even if they are better than the 83 or 89. TI rules the market not because their products are particularly compelling (they aren't), but because of standardization. No one wants to be the only kid in class using an HP or Casio, because you have to figure out how to use your non-standard calculator to do things taught towards the 83 or 89.
They were designed to work for 3 months with a HUGE margin of safety. NASA over engineers the heck out of everything. So in reality, the parts were probably designed to last for 3-6 years, to guarantee they would work for 3-6 months.