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109 Reviews
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good little scope for the money (Video shows scope in use @ 3 min)
Customer Video Review     Length:: 9:41 Mins
I have a bit of experience with several different little microscopes now (check my reviews for others). I would rank this one pretty high for a low level hobbyist or a kid's beginner scope option. This is not scientific grade, but it certainly is a useful little scope. I do a lot with science education and younger children, so most of my...
Published 19 months ago by Ernest S Sanchez

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An awkward & mediocre toy
Product: Carson Microbrite 20X-40X Zoom LED Lighted Pocket Microscope
Rating: 2/5 (below average)

I purchased this item to monitor edges before, during and after sharpening, so I was looking for a strong magnifier that's easy to use freehand. Unfortunately, upon arrival, this item clearly didn't fit the bill.

Likes:
* It's...
Published 21 months ago by Darby


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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good little scope for the money (Video shows scope in use @ 3 min), July 9, 2013
Length:: 9:41 Mins

I have a bit of experience with several different little microscopes now (check my reviews for others). I would rank this one pretty high for a low level hobbyist or a kid's beginner scope option. This is not scientific grade, but it certainly is a useful little scope. I do a lot with science education and younger children, so most of my outlook is towards that goal. A brief run down of the pros and cons from my experience:

Pros:
Inexpensive
Decent magnification (able to read micro printing and see half tone of inks)
Fairly rough and tumble (not incredibly fragile as most better scopes would be)
Requires nothing but the scope itself to use and can be put on just about anything (no stand limitations: kids can look at stuff like TVs and concrete without having to break a piece to put on a stand based scope)

Cons:
No easy means of getting pictures or video (I like the ones with CCDs, especially if they can swap to use CCDs or lenses: Celestron 44306 Handheld Digital Microscope lets you use both which is really great, but a lot more expensive).
No dimmer on light (mostly only needed for CCD imaging so not really a big deal, the human eye is good at adjusting)
Watch battery powered so replacing batteries will be a bit tougher

Notes:
It might be best to grab this product for a child you think might enjoy a microscope. If they get a lot of use out of it and really want to get pictures and video, then get another with CCDs or a more dedicated microscope like the Vividia 2.0MP Handheld USB Digital Endoscope/Microscope with 12.0mm Tube Diameter. If they do not enjoy microscopes afterall then you only lost about $10.

The field of view seems comparable for most scopes in this category. The higher the mag the smaller the field of view is. This one is about the size of the O in "Twenty Dollars" on the back of a $20 bill. These are inexpensive and give a usable magnification for a broad age group. I picked up several to have on hand so I can use them with a class sized group.

tl;dr: Good starter scope, inexpensive to take a chance on and is pretty comparable to most hand held scopes of this variety.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, easy, educational, November 6, 2009
By 
Jonathon Pile (Foster City, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Got this based on the blurb on CoolTools. The 20-40x magnification lets you see a surprising amount of detail; more useful and interesting than I expected. LED is well-positioned, plenty bright enough, and nicer white color than the old incandescents that cheap microscopes were always saddled with.

Cheap, unfussy, and very easy to use; enough so that my five-year-old has used it to examine every flat surface and textile in the house, plus hair, paper, her own fingerprints...it's been a stream of "Oh! That's amazing! Look at that!"

No idea on battery life; the momentary light switch (you have to hold it on) is a little frustrating when you're trying to focus on something tricky, but on the other hand it won't be left on either.

Oh! Make sure to look at a "white" pixel on your LCD or iPhone.

Highly recommended. If this breaks, we'll buy another.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works as described., June 18, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It is well built. Bright illumination. The magnification works well. Perfect to view your howmegrown herb for ripeness. Enjoy and have fun.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool Pocket Microscope, August 9, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this pocket microscope for viewing gold ore samples in the field and general viewing of small objects.

It works great. It is a bit awkward to handle as the light needs to be held on continuously while viewing and adjusting the focus, but this prevents prematurely killing the batteries by forgetting and leaving the light on. I can't say this is not a good feature as I have killed the batteries on my other one and they run as much as $5 each.

Cheaper hearing aid batteries may work in place of the more expensive electronics batteries. They did on my other one. They will need to be the same physical size.

The LED illumination is important to me as the battery life is much longer than with conventional lights.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great tool for a budding scientist!, February 6, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought this for my 7yo daughter, who has asked for a microscope for the past two years. I didn't want to invest in a "real" microscope at this point, and I love the portability of this one. It fits nicely in her small hands, she can look at just about anything, and easily carry it with her. Great features: small portable size, bright LED light makes it easy to see the specimen, the zoom & focus adjustments are simple, comes off it's base to look at non-slide specimens. Bonus - the light button has to be held on, so users won't leave it on by accident and kill batteries!

It comes with two blank slides, and I added Learning Resources Prepared Slides Combination Set, 48 Specimens as part of the gift so she would have plenty of things to examine. She has repeatedly run into the room exclaiming "Mommy! Look at this ____!" What more could I ask for in a gift!?!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun for kids, useful for adults (and fun too!), August 8, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought this for our five-year-old, which he uses to look at coins and insect wings and the like. the optics are adequate, the LED light really works. then, when I need to look at something, like the tips of my carbide blades, I use it too. a lot of bang for the buck!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MIcrobriite is bright, August 25, 2009
By 
Kerry Lynch (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For the price, this thing is great. I'm not super worried about damaging it, it's light, and the LED puts enough light on the subject to see things well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun with the kids, January 17, 2010
By 
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My kids love this little microscope to look at bugs and stuff. Its cheap, light, battery included and inspires scientific interest. Wish I had one as a kid.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An awkward & mediocre toy, May 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Product: Carson Microbrite 20X-40X Zoom LED Lighted Pocket Microscope
Rating: 2/5 (below average)

I purchased this item to monitor edges before, during and after sharpening, so I was looking for a strong magnifier that's easy to use freehand. Unfortunately, upon arrival, this item clearly didn't fit the bill.

Likes:
* It's inexpensive.

Dislikes:
* THREE HANDS: Maddeningly, the LED only remains on while actively being depressed, and since it's difficult to see anything without it (especially freehand), doing so ties up one hand, leaving only one hand left to hold the item AND adjust the focus. In other words, if you're not using the slides, the lack of a continuous ON button for the LED renders the tool awkward to use freehand, and the holder wishing they had a third hand. Instead of a temporary hold-on button, it would have been helpful if they'd designed this item with a simple on/off dipole slider switch.

* INVERTED IMAGE: Because it lacks an internal reflector, this microscope yields an upside-down image, which makes freehand use even more awkward. Jewelers loops don't have this problem (re: shorter distance between lenses), and better microscopes are all designed to rectify the inversion, so there's no reason to tolerate this sort of obsolete design anymore.

* LENS-CAPS: This unit lacks end-caps to help keep the eyepiece and scope lenses clean, or a protective case to keep the somewhat loose base (and the product instructions and receipt) together with the scope when not in use.

* CLARITY: The focusing ability is decidedly mediocre. Also, the 40x mag is too strong for such a mediocre design, and results in a too narrow of a field of view, and a lack of depth, especially when used freehand.

* PACKAGING: This unit came in an annoying clear plastic clam-shell that must be destroyed in order to open.

Bottom line: This unit works best with the attached base and slide, rather than freehand, because that way you only need 2 hands (instead of 3) to operate it ... but even at its best, I found this unit to be an awkward, mediocre and overrated toy, suitable more for curious children rather than serious adults. If you require a decent freehand tool, you'll be happier with a good lighted jeweler's loop (about the same price too), and if you need a precision digital image (and can afford one) you'll be much MUCH happier with a modern USB microscope that can zoom and take HD screen captures and video. You get what you pay for. Not recommended. As soon as I get something better, I'll promptly regift it to one of my nephews/nieces.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little pocket scope, November 21, 2013
By 
Killoran (Chinle, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
I was looking for something in the 20x range for my hikes, and this fits the bill nicely. A jeweler's loupe is usually around 4 or 5x to 10x (10 x loupes are rare, but nice) and my Radio Shack microscopes are 30x to100x, alternately too low and too high for many things.

I would encourage a kid to use it mostly at 20x and forget about the zoom and the light. Magnification is way overrated! If you use it outside during daylight you probably don't even need the led light. (The one "con" I have is the light needs to be held on to use it. This is probably a good thing for a smaller child who may forget to turn it off.) But I find I rarely need it. Even inside I just make sure I'm near a window or lamp.

As for focusing, the depth of field is high enough at 20x that you can focus easily by moving the specimen rather than the focus knob. Just put the (rock, leaf, bug....) in your palm, get the focus close, and then fine focus by cupping or flattening your palm to move the specimen. (Obviously I'm using it without the base attached) If you're squeamish about holding specimens in your hand, wear a glove or use a little plastic lid (clear or white works best.)

Some people complain the image is upside down. Well, turn the specimen around if this bothers you. I can easily read fine print simply by turning the paper upside down. "Real" microscopes have an inverted image, so why teach a child (or adult, for that matter) otherwise? Besides, adding a lens to invert the image to right-side-up would reduce the overall optical image clarity and brightness.

It's a little disturbing to read some people trashing this microscope as if it cost hundreds of dollars. It's a nice little "toy" in the $10-13 range, folks, not a precision lab instrument, although I would have loved a class set.
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