USB digital microscopes – Buying guide & Comparison
Finding an affordable yet high-performance digital microscope is not an easy task, even with the multitude of products available for sale today. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that students don’t easily get a product which is both good at what it’s supposed to do and comes with a reasonable price. However, if you are short on time and in the market for the best USB digital microscope, this short paragraph will hopefully clear the waters for you and help you make the best shopping decision. According to our findings, the OMAX Digital Lab is the best available option because it comes with an integrated 1.3MP camera and provides eight different levels of magnification, thus speaking to your needs and requirements. If the OMAX Digital Lab is not available for purchase, we suggest choosing the AmScope M150C-ES as it has similar features and provides the same quality.
Finding the perfect USB digital microscope to help you with your school research could prove quite a difficult endeavor. Choosing from multiple products could end up being exhausting, especially if you’re not sure which features you ought to take into consideration. We hope that our buyer’s guide will provide you with the necessary information to choose the best product for you and your future school projects.
Finding the best USB digital microscope starts with items which are rather easy to carry around all day. Being at school all day long involves plenty of bags and books, not to mention special equipment. Thus, we feel the need to stress the importance of purchasing a portable product with the minimum weight.
We do suggest opting for lightweight items which are easy to transport and assemble while not compromising their quality or durability.
There are two main types of portable microscopes which vary largely both in terms of weight and price. Full-size microscopes can weigh up to 10 pounds and are certainly the most expensive items while providing a very clear and high-quality image. These are mainly used by teachers in school or by students who work through experiments.
The other type of microscopes includes the smaller version, extremely affordable, and very easy to carry around. No matter which type you prefer, just make sure you are bringing in the right piece of equipment to school and you get to easily carry it whenever you will need it.
Consider the magnification rate
One of the most important features of a microscope is its power to magnify objects. Since we are talking about school digital microscopes, you will still get a pretty decent magnification range but you shouldn’t expect miracles from such a device, either.
Nevertheless, most USB digital microscopes must offer different levels of magnification, depending on your needs. The most common ones range from 40x to 2000x, meaning you will get to see an object magnified by up to 2000 times its original size to carefully inspect any details and interesting features.
Since we are talking about USB portable microscopes, compatibility with your tech device is a must. Make sure your product supports various types of operating systems and that it matches the computer you are going to use. We suggest opting for products which run on Windows, MAC, and Linux to avoid all unnecessary complications.
One of the distinctive traits of a digital microscope is that it comes with an attached digital camera to take pictures which you will lately store on your computer. Thus, the importance of the camera’s resolution is crucial for further data and results handling.
Last but not least, the price is also an important decision factor, especially for students with lots of additional spending on school equipment. Depending on the type of digital microscope you are looking for, the prices will vary massively. The more sophisticated items can be sold for several hundreds of dollars, while low-key items can be purchased for under one hundred dollars.
Before rushing in to purchase a certain item we suggest taking a step back and thinking your exact reasons for buying such a product. How sophisticated are your school projects? Do you require a high-quality microscope or will you be fully satisfied with the more portable devices which provide decent characteristics at affordable prices?
No matter what you choose, make sure to first look for the most convenient price on various websites and in physical stores. Comparing prices is the easiest way to make sure you are not paying extra for something you could have gotten for less. Although time-consuming, this practice will save you extra bucks which you can spend on the additional school equipment of your choice.
Top USB digital microscopes reviews in 2018
To help you easily make up your mind regarding your future microscope, we have gathered the most popular items on the market and correlated them with consumer reports, and surveys. Read below to find out more about our top choices.
OMAX Digital Lab
If your budget has little to no limitations, we definitely suggest you give this product a try. Out of the five reviewed products, this one scored the highest in the opinion of our buyers and registered customers. The product features up to a staggering 2000x magnification rate, which is a lot more than other digital microscopes offer. It also comes with eight different levels of magnification, depending on your needs.
The optical glass elements are made from high-quality materials to ensure a long-lasting design and attention to details.
A 5-year warranty is included in the purchase, so if you aren’t convinced of its features and usability, you should take this detail into account.
The built-in camera is compatible both with Windows and MAC OS versions but comes with the best USB microscope software available only for Windows users.
The item offers eight different levels of magnification, depending on your needs and school requirements.
It comes with a built-in decent digital camera to help you stock pictures on your device via a USB storage system.
It is also easy to assemble and provides plenty of great features.
What is useful to know is that this microscope is compatible both with Windows and MAC-ran operational systems, meaning you can use with any type of laptop, ultrabook or smart device.
This digital microscope comes with a 5-year warranty from the manufacturer, meaning you can easily get a full refund should you not fancy the device or find something that better suits your academic needs.
Some customers say that it’s hard to focus on a larger magnification rate than 40x, while other customers have complained about the built-in camera’s low performances.
Out of all five items reviewed this one is the least affordable so make sure it is worth the investment before rushing in and purchasing this item.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($318.99)
The product features five different magnification rates ranging from 40x to 1000x. We consider this item useful because it is lightweight and comes with a significantly lower price than other similar products with similar characteristics.
It comes with LED illumination ensured by wall-power or by batteries, depending on your choices, to make sure you always have the best visibility to what you are studying.
Moreover, this student microscope comes with a powerful 5MP digital camera for photos and videos which you can directly upload on numerous OSes, from Windows XP to Windows 10 and everything in between. The camera and microscope are operational for Mac OSX, as well, but you should install a third party software support.
Also, thanks to the user-friendly software, all Windows users will get to process, edit, and apply specific measurements with the help of this student microscope.
It features a 5MP camera for photos and videos.
This particular device comes with USB 2.0 support to easily connect to your laptop or personal computer.
The microscope comes with an user-friendly software for Windows users.
You can choose from five different magnification rates; 40x, 100x, 250x, 400x, and 1000x.
The framework of this product is made from sturdy metal. The product comes with coaxial coarse and easy focusing.
Also, the monocular head can be rotated to 360 degrees for easy learning and viewing.
Some of the users claim the camera isn’t fully functional, meaning they have problems getting a colored image. However, most of the customers were satisfied with this product and consider it a useful tool for all those who go to school.
Although it doesn’t strictly relate to the product, some buyers have complained about the shipping weight declared was bigger than the package they received, meaning they had to pay extra for shipping, especially in states like Alaska or Hawaii.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($167.99)
This USB digital microscope is the perfect purchase for students who have school projects or are in need of a high performance, yet portable, and cost-efficient microscope. It features a wide and colored LCD display of 3.5 inches, enough to clearly see pictures before transferring them to another device of your choice. The product comes with a magnification rate between 20x and 300x, more than enough for all school projects and scientific researches.
It is also equipped with a 5MP digital camera to take high-precision photos and videos which you can later download and retouch on your computer.
We recommend this product because you don’t necessarily have to download all pictures and videos to your computer before seeing them, but you can work with them and observe what you are looking for directly on the 3.5-inch LCD color display. This makes the product truly portable and independent, as well as easy to use.
It features a useful LCD color display measuring 3.5 inches that can allow you to see pictures in real-time without downloading them.
The 5MP digital camera takes high-precision photos to later process and edit on your computer.
The microscope features built-in LEDs with brightening adjustment so you can preset the desired brightness on the sample you are studying.
Whenever it is not plugged into your computer, this microscope uses a Li-Ion rechargeable battery with a life autonomy of 2 hours. The images are later transferred to a microSD card.
It works on Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and on Mac OS versions 10.6 – 10.10.
Although the advertised maximum zooming-in feature is of 400x, you will only get the 4x zoom without actually taking a picture. In other words, you will get to zoom-in only on the picture which you already took and downloaded on your computer.. If you’re not looking for scientific breakthroughs, this is a fun and useful microscope for children and school purposes.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($123.99)
Plugable USB 2.0
The Plugable USB2-Micro-250X digital microscope is a fun and budget-friendly accessory you will enjoy owning and using. Specifically designed for children and common classroom exploration, this microscope allows you to work quickly and effectively on a microscopic level, seeing exactly what you want from the explored item.
It is useful for a wide variety of categories of prospective buyers, from students to testers, collectors, kids, and virtually anyone interested in exploring a microscopic world.
This Plugable item features an integrated 2.0MP digital camera and a magnification rate of up to 250x, depending on your own requirements. By using a webcam chipset and sensor, this microscope will connect to almost all operating systems using a standard webcam software. We like that it also comes with a LED halo light to adjust the brightness of the analyzed specimen, while the flexible arm stand with an observation pad includes graduated marks for easy measurements.
It comes with an integrated 2.0MP digital camera, which is decent enough to support good-quality pictures and videos that you can later visualize and edit on your own laptop.
It supports a wide variety of operating systems from Windows and Mac but you can also purchase an optional software, suitable both for Windows and OS X, in order to add additional features.
The 250x magnification rate is big enough to conduct your school researches, projects, and initial scientific measurements.
Out of all the products reviewed, this one is definitely a good choice for those who don’t want to spend too much money on school tools.
According to the feedback provided by some users, the device is prone to overheating and doesn’t come with an LCD display to see magnified pictures without first downloading them to your computer.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.95)
This product is highly rated and reviewed by customers who are pleased with their purchase. One of the most important aspects of this microscope is the affordable price, which makes it a great birthday gift for all those who want to explore a microscopic world.
The Colemeter microscope features a Super Hi-Vision 2MP HD camera allowing you to capture good quality pictures and videos, and later study them on your device. Our team appreciates that it offers a magnification rate between 20x and 500x, meaning it will easily fulfill its academic purposes and even more.
Due to the high-quality incorporated camera, you can record high-quality videos and transfer the images to your computer, or easily share them with anyone interested. We encourage you to use this tool as a preliminary school device for your scientific researches and projects.
Out of the five reviewed products, this one has the best price-quality ratio, Buyers have given this product some of the best usb microscope reviews so we encourage you to at least test this microscope.
It comes with a very affordable price, which makes it the perfect birthday gift for your children or students.
The fixed base is universally made from high-quality metals, resistant to corrosion and durable in time.
It comes with a CD containing necessary installation drivers, measuring software, and a user manual for easy set-up.
The microscope also features an illumination rate adjustable by wire for customized researches.
It only supports versions of Windows, including Windows XP/Vista/7 or 10, and is not suitable for Mac OS users.
The supported language is only provided for Chinese and English, making it an extremely limited device for international users.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($57.12)
Other interesting articles that might be helpful:
2) A list of the best microscope for beginners
3) Models for microscopes with camera