Microscopes under $100 – Buying guide & Comparison
If time isn’t on your side, but you still want to find the best affordable microscope out there, this short paragraph will let you know just what model you might have to consider. According to our findings, the AmScope M150C-I is the unit you ought to bear in mind. This budget-friendly choice comes with a magnification range of 40x to 1000x, which means that it is perfectly capable of serving you under most circumstances and for many specimens. As it has been outfitted with a LED illumination system, you’ll get plenty of light on your sample so that you can examine it conveniently. Because it boasts glass optical components and a sturdy frame made out of metal, it has a high chance of withstanding the test of time. In case the AmScope M150C-I is unavailable, be sure to give the AmScope M162C-2L-PB10 a shot.
If you want to get your hands on a cheap digital microscope that allows you to benefit from excellent performance, you are in the perfect place. After having carefully analyzed the current market and since we have taken the time to look at many resources to perform an extensive research process, we might be able to help.
Our buyer’s guide is composed of some of the crucial factors that you may need to consider if you’re in the market for a budget-friendly device in this line. Should you have the time, maybe you might want to read it.
What’s the right design for you?
First thing’s first. Whether you’re looking for one of the cheap microscopes for students available for sale out there or just one that can be used under any circumstances and speaks to the needs of various users, you need to take its design into account. What this means is that you have the choice to select a cheap compound microscope or just a handheld portable alternative.
It’s very likely that you will find it nearly impossible to get a stereomicroscope for less than one hundred dollars, and that’s because they’re usually priced above this point. So, if you want to purchase the model for SMD soldering or jewelry making, you might have to be patient, save some money, and get a reasonable dissecting microscope.
USB microscopes are convenient and easy to use, but they rarely come with the same cutting-edge functionalities of full-size models. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to sacrifice a bit of quality for a compact design.
If there is one feature you should focus on when you’re starting to prospect the market for such a device, it’s the magnification power. It’s quite an adventure to try and get a microscope with a maximum magnification capability of over 1000x for less than one hundred dollars. Those units that go well beyond this mark and can even magnify the image by up to 2500 times can cost up to three hundred dollars.
As previously mentioned, handheld models typically come with maximum magnification settings such as 250x or 500x. This largely varies from one choice to the next. Superior magnification translates to a higher price point.
Even a cheap compound microscope should boast a sturdy build that can enable you to use it for several years to come. A worst-case scenario would be that you grow tired with the functionalities of the model and decide to sell it to someone else in order to upgrade to a better unit.
It’s preferable that the frame is made out of metal. This will ensure reasonable durability especially if the person using the product is a child and might pay less attention when working with the microscope. Also, the optical components should be made out of glass, despite the fact that those that compact USB units have been outfitted with are often times made out of plastic.
The fact of the matter is that plastic has little to no resistance to higher temperatures, so if you accidentally forget your handheld microscope on your desk, but under the sun, you might find it hardly usable. Plastic melts easily. If you have concerns in this sense, we suggest you take the time to read some of the best microscope under 100 reviews.
Top affordable microscopes reviews in 2018
Some of the critically acclaimed options we have come across have been showcased below. Check out the selection if you want to save some minutes that you would otherwise have to waste trying to discover which models are worth every penny and which ones you can do without.
As one of the most affordable alternatives out there, you may need to consider this AmScope model. It can offer you the benefit of four magnification settings ranging from 40x to 1000x.
What this means for you is that you can even take a peek at bacteria and other germs that normally require a magnification power of above 400x.
Because the unit has been equipped with a proprietary lighting system consisting of LED illumination, you have nothing to worry about in this sense.
The 360-degree monocular rotatable head can allow you to use the device for educational purposes and homeschooling as it will enable you to first find the area of interest on the slide and then show it to your pupil.
Given that most of the feedback received by the M150C-I is favorable, we say that it is worth considering. If you have the availability, you may need to analyze its specs.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($84.98)
Just when we thought that we would be unable to find an even more budget-friendly choice, we came across this AmScope model.
It’s just as versatile as the M150C-I and shares many of its features with this model. The magnification range is one of them as is the fact that the product boasts a built-in illumination system.
Having been equipped with a frame made out of metal, it’s rather obvious that the unit will withstand the test of time.
Unlike other choices in the same line, this particular unit comes with a series of slides. It can be used with batteries, so you’re free to carry it everywhere.
While some buyers argue that they would have appreciated the microscope more if it had come with a case, the fact is that it’s too reasonably priced to include anything other than a dust cover.
This is not a USB model, so you can’t connect it to a computer or laptop.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.98)
Plugable USB 2.0
This digital microscope has been outfitted with a camera of which the resolution is 2 megapixels.
Its design is unique in that it doesn’t come with an eyepiece to speak of, so you will require a storing device or a laptop or computer at all times in order to visualize what’s going on. The maximum magnification allowed by this alternative is 250x.
The neat thing about the Plugable model is that it works with a variety of operating systems.
So, if you use a Windows computer as most people do because of its price and maybe you also own a Mac OS X laptop, you don’t have to worry about anything as the device will be a good fit for both. The software is part of the deal.
It’s also worth noting that the Plugable choice is equipped with a LED halo light of which the brightness can be customized depending on your needs.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.95)
Yet another model that fits the bill quite nicely is the Teslong Digital as we’ve found it priced just under sixty dollars at a variety of online retailers.
The difference between this kind of magnifier and others we’ve seen is that it also works with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
The model can magnify the image by up to 200 times, so it’s rather limited in this respect. Nonetheless, it does prove its worth for areas such as SMD soldering, watchmaking, and jewelry repair.
Plus, the camera that this unit has been equipped with is waterproof so you can use the magnifier in virtually any environment.
Thanks to its user-friendly design, this model can prove to be a good choice for parents who want to check whether or not their children are suffering from some sort of ear condition before going to the doctor’s office for an appointment.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($49.99)
Celestron 5 MP
As one of the world-known brands in the industry of manufacturing telescopes and microscopes, Celestron makes a real effort when it comes to designing high-quality devices.
This handheld alternative is slightly less affordable than others. However, it does seem to be worthy of the investment as it comes with a 5-megapixel camera.
This resolution can rarely be found in such small devices. As for adjustability, the height of the stand that comes with the main unit can be customized in accordance with the requirements of the user.
The USB cable that you’ll be required to utilize to connect the magnifier to a laptop or computer measures 4 feet, so it’s long enough.
The driver that the microscope is accompanied by has been found to be compatible with Windows and Mac OS X computers. As such, it might be a rather versatile option to consider if you haven’t made up your mind just yet.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99)