USB microscopes – Buying guide & Comparison


If you’re short on time and you just want to find the best USB digital microscope, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our findings, the AmScope M150C-E5 is the best because it is a full-size monocular unit that has been outfitted with a 5-megapixel camera. The magnification range allowed by this option is 40x to 1000x and it seems to be more than enough for beginners, students, and eager science learners who’d like to find out more about the world around them. This product comes with a proprietary illumination system which consists of a LED system that can be powered by a typical AC outlet or batteries. Therefore, the AmScope M150C-E5 can be a portable friend in need whenever you have to examine specimens on the field. If the AmScope M150C-E5 is unavailable, your second option should be the AmScope M160C-2L-PB10-E2.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



What is the best USB microscope? If this question has been bothering you for a while because you haven’t found the right answer, you have come to the perfect place. We’ve put together a simple step-by-step buyer’s guide that can take you through the entirety of the factors you should bear in mind. We’d like to begin by giving you a piece of advice, in that you have to look at your requirements and preferences to be able to select the model you’re after.


Monocular, binocular, or handheld

These days, the market is oversaturated with alternatives, and so it’s difficult to choose the right unit right off the bat. The first detail you must give some thought to is whether you’d prefer using a full-size microscope or a small, compact handheld one. It goes without saying that the optics employed in the development of a compound microscope will always exceed the quality of the ones belonging to a handheld model.

Nonetheless, the smaller option might be a good choice if you’re looking for a product that you can take with you everywhere you go, without having to pack up multiple pieces and carry a heavy case.

The next topic you ought to address is whether you’d prefer a monocular or a binocular microscope. There aren’t significant differences between one or the other, except the fact that a monocular choice comes with a single eyepiece, whereas the other is equipped with two. The only feasible reason to get a model outfitted with just one eyepiece is if you’re buying it for your kids. Children may find it hard to adjust the distance between the two eyepieces and customize it to their liking or their physical attributes.


Magnification capabilities

If you aren’t well-acquainted with the terminology of the parts in a microscope, the least thing you can do is look at the magnification range allowed by the product you might be prospecting. Professional units can magnify the image up to 2500 times, but budget-friendly choices usually have a maximum magnification of up to 1000x.

This particular feature is crucial if you plan to get the most of your future microscope, in that you’ll be able to look at a variety of samples, whether they are inanimate objects, hair strands, external parasites, or any biological tissue. Handheld alternatives usually come with a magnification range of 20x to 220x, which is why they can strictly be used to look at larger specimens.


Usability and camera resolution

One of the many reasons you’re probably interested in buying such a product is that it can allow you to look at the pictures using the display of your laptop or computer monitor. This is not the sole consideration to bear in mind, however. The design of the unit also needs to be analyzed.

For instance, trinocular models come with two eyepieces as well as a separate one to which a camera has been mounted. With monocular choices, you’ll have to use the single eyepiece and replace the optics with an individual camera. By contrast, handheld microscopes cannot be used to view the sample without being connected to a mobile device or laptop.


Read as many user reviews as possible

Last, but not least, you ought to take some time to go through the best USB microscope reviews. This process shouldn’t be too time-consuming as many online retailers categorize their products depending on the feedback they’ve received. Many customers tackle the matter of convenience and ease of use, and they make sure to include a lot of information in their reviews regarding the performance of the device.



Top USB microscope reviews in 2019


Some of the best microscopes with USB connection have been showcased below. You’ll find that most of these choices have been highly spoken of due to their versatility and the many capabilities they have. If you haven’t decided on a particular option by now, perhaps you might like to consider the following units.



AmScope M150C-E5


This model appears to be one of the popular choices available for sale these days, and that should count for something given the vast array of products available in the line.

Also, AmScope is one of the most reputable companies in the industry of manufacturing top-notch microscopes, and it’s reassuring to know that the brand treats customers with respect.

The magnification range permitted by this unit is 40x to 1000x, and this feature seems to be more than satisfactory if you’re looking for a dependable and convenient student microscope.

This model is a monocular option to which a LED illumination system has been added, which is why you won’t have to go through too much trouble to see your samples in great detail.

The 5-megapixel camera can be used for capturing stills and video of any specimens, and the neat thing about it is that it’s compatible both with Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.



This is great as a starter microscope. Kids have been receiving them as gifts or using them for school projects and they although they will need some support, the rewards are worth it.  will

It has a good LED light source and quality objectives so that the user can get the desired results. For a favorable price, this is a nice acquisition.

The coarse and fine focus control is essential for getting a clear image and also a big step in teaching young explorers how to use a professional microscope.

Equipped with a swivel mount for the eyepiece, it allows users to share their view. The video camera is important in the learning process because seeing objects on screen makes identification and confirming much easier.

It is easy to use, mostly a plug and play device. It works well on Windows and Mac OSX, and the software offers customers cool features.  



The microscope doesn’t include a calibration slide. It’s not a deal breaker, but since it is recommended for starters, it could use this addition.  

Some customers note that instructions are not precise.


Buy from for ($176.99)





AmScope M160C-2L-PB10-E2


If you’ve been trying to find a good-quality compound monocular microscope, perhaps you might benefit from checking out the specs of this one.

As is the case with the previously mentioned option, this one has a magnification range of 40x to 1000x which is made possible by the 4x, 10x, and 40x DIN achromatic full-glass objectives and WF10x and WF25x eyepieces.

The only factor that makes the difference between this option and the one we have mentioned earlier on is that this one has been outfitted with a 2-megapixel camera, and so the quality of the rendered images might be less impressive, in a sense.

Aside from this detail, there’s really no drawback to ordering and using this product as we have seen that it even comes with a double illumination system consisting of both upper and lower LEDs.

The camera drivers that you will require for connecting the device to a computer, laptop, or projector, are all provided in the box.



The equipment is lightweight, although it has a sturdy base. If you feel like moving it around according to your needs, you don’t have to make a toil out of it.

The camera works well and comes with a color sensor. You can display live images on a computer screen or projector.

The microscope has very good lighting. Using brightfield illumination for the usual slides and white LED lights for the temperature sensitive samples, the lighting options on this tool are efficient and impressive.

Plug and play



Using the high power lenses takes away some of the clearness and brightness of the image, but that’s to be expected in most cases.

The base is stationary, so you have to move the slides by hand instead of handling a knob. It’s a disadvantage when it comes to lab samples, and it interferes with a precise examination.


Click to see the price on Amazon!





AmScope B120C-E1


The B120C-E1 has virtually all of the features you might be looking for in a high-end microscope.

The only cringeworthy detail about it is that it might take a toll on your budget, but if you are willing to make an investment and get a unit that lasts a lifetime and has all the capabilities you may have ever wished for, it’s one of the most remarkable choices to consider.

On the one hand, the 40x to 2500x magnification is what makes it stand aside from many of its competitors. On the other hand, this product has a plethora of features that enable it to offer crisp and clear images every time, with no exception.

As such, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that this unit comes with LED illumination, an Abbe condenser, a 360-degree swiveling binocular head, as well as a sturdy frame.

The camera resolution is just 1.3 megapixels, but this isn’t necessarily a disadvantage.



This model provides higher magnification that any similar microscopes. It enlarges the image up to 2500x, which means you can even analyze DNA if you can prepare the slide properly.

It has a clear focus. There is no blurring, and you can see with the same clarity edge to edge. Most other microscopes have problems when it comes to this.

The light is adjustable, which is easier for the eyes and improves a lot the quality of the image.

Easy to setup and you won’t have any problems when learning how to use it. In just a few minutes, you can get to work.

The microscope has professional gear pieces that make it stand out. The condenser, iris diaphragm, and color filter are components you’ll usually find in a researcher’s microscope.



Some customers need more directions, especially when mounting the USB camera.

The camera is only 1.3 MP and doesn’t match the quality of the microscope.


Buy from for ($274.99)





AmScope M158C-E


Unlike some of the other units we have mentioned above, this one addresses the requirements of prospective buyers who feel like they don’t want to ruin their entire budget over getting a microscope.

The M158C-E is perfectly capable of doing its job, in that it has a magnification range of 40x to 1000x and has been outfitted with a LED illumination system and a 0.3-megapixel camera.

The software that you will need in order to visualize and transfer the images and video files onto your laptop or computer is part of the deal.

Another detail that makes the M158C-E stand out from the crowd is that it’s both cordless and rechargeable, which means that you’ll be able to take it with you everywhere you go, without having to worry about finding a power source.

Many of the individuals who have bought this product seem to have nothing but good things to say about its performance.



The optics are great on this microscope. You will be able to see very clear images of your slides.

It’s a good instrument for schools and labs. It has more than standard image quality and all the basic features you would expect from such a tool.

The instrument has a solid metal frame. Cheap plastic microscopes filled the market, but this one is stout and worth to hold on to.

You can use AC power for the LED lighting or simply appeal to batteries. This is a convenience when you need to move from class to class.



Changing the eyepiece is a bit tricky. You’ll have to show some handiness and use the Allen wrench they supplied. Search for a video that shows you how to do it.

The camera doesn’t offer high-quality images. Since it only has 0.3 MP, you’ll only have a vague idea of what you’re looking at.


Buy from for ($130.99)





Celestron 44302


Celestron is yet another world-known name in the industry of manufacturing telescopes, microscopes, and optics equipment such as binoculars and scopes.

With such a withstanding reputation behind it, the company is resolute on creating user-friendly devices that speak to the needs of new technology early adopters and less tech-savvy people, as well.

This product is a USB-powered handheld digital unit of which the magnification capabilities go up to 40x. Having been equipped with a 2-megapixel camera, it goes without saying that you’ll have no problem seeing and transferring the stills and video on your laptop or personal computer. A lighting system consisting of a 6-LED ring illuminator has been built in the device.

Despite its magnifying limitations, this product is a notable choice as it usually costs less than fifty dollars and will inevitably help you when you need it the most. Besides, it’s garnered the appreciation of over 300 satisfied buyers.



One hand use convenience. You can manipulate the unit with only one hand, while the other is free to work with the computer software.

It comes with a stand. You don’t have to hold it with your hand if it’s tiresome or needs more inspection time. It’s simpler to just place it on the stand and make the adjustments.

It’s easy to focus. Using a barrel focus wheel, you can fine tune your image focus efficiently.

The illumination is good. With a 6 LED ring illuminator you’ll have no problem lighting up the scene of your investigation.

It has good magnification power due to the camera sensor, which works great and it’s quite impressive for the price.



People have reported various problems they had because of the software. It works slowly, and it has had various compatibility issues on Windows.

The stand is only provided for support, it doesn’t work as a microscope stage. It’s not very sturdy either.


Buy from for ($72.49)




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