Note! This review was written for a previous version of this file!
"Emu8x" is a terrific program for those who've always wanted the functions of their 85/86 on their 83/84+(SE) - "at their fingertips". It is incredibly stable for a beta version - I've had it on my calculator ever since its initial release and it has not crashed once. Although there are minor improvements that can be made, they are not absolutely necessary to the operation of the emulator, and all in all, this is a great program to to download and install on your calculator.
The process of loading a ROM into the emulator on your PC, signing it, and transferring it to your calc (it took ~30 minutes for me with my TI-86 ROM) is time-consuming and may be daunting for some people.
It took a while for me to get used to the keys to operate the emulator, as the online manual (yes, you should read it before doing anything else) is a bit vague on some points. However, it's not too hard to figure out what to do. "Emu8x" loaded my 86 ROM very quickly on my 83+SE and displayed the home screen in no time at all. The reason why 1 point has been deducted here is because the key press detection was horribly slow at the original setting and I had to really fiddle with it to get a decent rate - although nowhere near the actual detection rate of the 86.
Memory Consumption/Other: 9.5/10
If you plan to load anything other than a 82/85 ROM, you should have a 83/84SE, as the memory requirements are steep. The streaming of the 86 memory from flash, saving states, and loading was cool, though. The screen became a bit garbled after saving a state, although it cleared in a few seconds.
Overall Speed/Ease of Use: 8.5/10
In some cases it took forever to get programs loaded, but since it's an emulator, I guess it's expected. One suggestion might be to automatically remap the keys once a ROM is loaded if aesthetically and technically feasible.
I successfully ran assembly shells on the emulator, and even played a few rounds of Tetris, though I am warning you it will be slow. Running programs that utilize grayscale will give you interesting, although not very useful, results.
Overall score: 8.9/10 Download and try it.