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on March 2, 2014
I had been looking at USB powered digital microscopes to inspect old coins and to show my grandson all the cool small things we could find around the house and the yard. Then, I bumped into this Zoomy. It fit the purpose to a tee.

Zoomy is a perfect toy for kids and adults. It keeps us busy, and I find that a boy of 5 can have a decent span of attention, while we explore and learn about the things around us.

Collectors of coins and stamps, or any kind of miniatures will appreciate this as a useful tool as well.

Operation is simple and easy, even for younger kids. We found it easy to capture images and videos. I’ve added some untouched images taken with Zoomy for reference.

Setting up was quick and painless. I just plugged it into my USB port and downloaded the software (rather than using the provided disk) from the Learning Resources website. Just google “zoomy” to find the learningresources.com page and click on the “Downloadable Samples” link, further down the page. If you prefer not to use their software, I found that my webcam software will recognize and use the device (using W7pro).

Although Zoomy appears rugged enough, I did tether the cord to our desktop with an elastic to avoid any hard crashes or pulls on the USB port, as kids can be tough on devices.

For the price, you can’t go wrong. I installed the software into my laptop and showed some friends, may have to order more…
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22 helpful votes
23 helpful votes
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on September 5, 2011
The Zoomy microscope is easy to load software for and starts up with no problem. My ten-year-old uses it as part of home school, to look at, identify & record all sorts of cool bugs. I think it well worth the $50 we spent. The USB connection is convenient and the pictures can be saved in .jpg format, the same as photos.
29 helpful votes
30 helpful votes
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on March 15, 2013
This product does what is says. It takes very clear, detailed pictures and videos. It has a preview setting. This means it has a "live view" screen to focus your picture, and allow for hours (!?!) of entertainment. If I thought this would be so much fun for my kids, I would have bought one sooner!

We bought it to correctly identify insects and spiders in the gardens, which it allows me to do wonderfully, but we have found so many other uses for it! My two children (2yo and 4yo) are in love with this little machine. They are exploring a whole new world! The first day we received it the kids looked at everything from their toe nails (ew!), lined paper, a house fly, a pencil tip, the dog's fur, the cat's ear, and we even located and pulled out a sliver in mommy's finger! They have more fun just watching the preview screen, and don't take alot of pictures with it. They are usually too involved, and move on to the next item without taking any.

For my purposes, I use it to correctly identify insects and spiders in the house and garden. It is essential to know what pest (or beneficial) you are dealing with to know if, when, and how to kill. Many nymphs, and instars of insects look similar if not identical to the naked eye. I now know that the brown beetle I thought was a common stink bug, it actually the fourth instar of the marmolated stink bug. This is an invasive, foreign species that is just now spreading to my area. It's the first time I've seen one, and he got the flush instead of being carried outside to freedom. I also know to look for more of them. It will also help me identify lacewing, ladybug, and parasitic wasp larvae. These are all beneficial insects that should NOT be destroyed, and will help, or completely control a pest insect in the garden. Bugs like thrips, gnats, and ants are no longer difficult to identify!

It has few options. For example the focus is not labeled like a standard microscope, so you can't tell what magnification setting is being used. But it's because of the low options that make it so kid friendly. It's easy to hold (smaller than a standard computer mouse), operate (single button push for picture taking), and the focus is easy to manipulate (turn left and right). Once I get it plugged into the computer and pull up the program, they can use the zoomy without any input from me, all I do is watch them wonder at the picture they see on the screen. This is going to be lots of fun this summer when we get pond water and garden worms to look at!

It does need to be connected to the computer to work, but for the tiny area focused, that's not a big deal. I use it with a laptop, and it has no problem. The program used with it loads fast, and the zoomy itself is quickly and easily recognized by any computer I've plugged it into. We have used it with Windows 7, vista, and XP with no problems. This little machine is durable (dropped by my kids several times), easy to use, and dependably works. Well worth the money I spent on it.
17 helpful votes
18 helpful votes
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on January 25, 2014
I actually purchased this for my four year old son after seeing these presented a while back at a science conference. They are much less expensive on Amazon.

First, it is important to understand that its magnifying abilities are limited. You aren't going to see cells with this, for example. However, for elementary age---the abilities of the Zoomy are incredible. Putting it on a T shirt (to see the fibers), near the scalp (to see the hairs magnifying), or looking at an insect is just phenomenal. Its shape is easy for little hands to maneuver and it's durable! You can get the software online for free in case your computer doesn't have a CD drive, which is becoming more common with those lightweight laptops.

My son loves to go outside and collect items to use the Zoomy with. It is guaranteed to bring a love for science among the elementary age! Great money spent.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on May 30, 2014
STEM=Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. This little electronic digital microscope hooks up to a USB port and shows the picture on the screen. So very easy to use and gives a clear picture (you do need to focus). Kids need no explanation on how to use it, give it to them and they are off!

The instructions specifically say don't examine eyeballs because the plastic cone on the Zoomy can scratch the eye. Of course the very first thing kids will do is look at their eyes so beware and catch them before they do that (I saw this happen immediately). The plastic shield is not detachable for obvious reasons.

The price is right--buy it and have fun. Oh, you can also take pictures with it that appear on the desktop of the laptop hooked up to the Zoomy. Will not work with IPads because they have no USB port, send your complaints to Apple.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on June 15, 2014
More like a magnifying tool than a microscope. You can't see closer surfaces for germs, etc. But it was fun for what it offered. The downside is that it comes with a mini disc to connect to usb. The problem with that is a lot of computers no longer use discs and it was a pain finding the download link from the site.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on November 25, 2012
My 5 year old is intrigued by microscopes, binoculars, etc. but has difficulty getting a good view through the eye pieces. As a general rule I avoid too much technology as even the slightest malfunction leaves me (and my son) frustrated. The set-up was quick and intuitive. The software running the viewing program can not be directly downloaded to the computer from the disc, but can be downloaded from online. So for the non-technical type (such as myself), every time you want to use the Zoomy, you must use the disc, too (unless the software is download from the website).

The Zoomy is kid friendly, too, the perfect size for little hands. Focus can easily be adjusted by the younger user. Taking pictures is as easy as pushing a button and the interchangeable "viewfinders" are also easy for my kiddo to install.

The digital images are real-time and there is no delay between any movement or focus of the microscope and what you're viewing. However, I do wish the images were more crisp at times. The individual fibers of my sheets show up more clearly than skin, for example. Given the price point and target consumer group this is hardly a gripe at all.

I greatly recommend the Zoomy.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on January 23, 2015
This thing is great for young children to explore their world with. I have 3 year old twins, and we can easily play with it for an hour at a time looking at things. They figured out the picture button quickly, and are starting to even understand the focus (you twist the top - it's easy, but they're 3).

The magnification isn't nearly enough to see on a cellular level, but it's plenty to examine things like salt, sugar, hair, bugs, leaves, thread, feathers, color printing, etc. Their favorites are looking at their hair and front teeth (which it's survived so far). I expect this is one "toy" that we'll be coming back to for many years.

I've used it on an Intel Mac (OSX 10.6) and on a Windows machine (Win7) without issues.

I was not able to get it to work on my Raspberry Pi, although it is recognized as a camera. Also had trouble on my old G5-based iMac, although it *should* work there.
1 helpful vote
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on December 26, 2014
This is wonderful! We got it for our 6 year old for Christmas, and he spent all evening yesterday looking at various stuff (different textures of furniture, dog hair vs Mommy's hair, plants, bubble wrap, a dead fly, snow, etc etc.) But the real fun started when he discovered body parts: Toe nails, finger print lines, scrapes and cuts were interesting, and things like the insides of ears, noses and belly buttons provided both a "eeeeewwwwww" effect and hilarious laughter on all sides.

We homeschool, so I'm sure we'll use this gadget often in the future (until we switch to a "real" aka better microscope when he's older). But the fun we had on that first evening of owning it already made it worth the purchase price :-)
1 helpful vote
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on September 24, 2016
This is very cool. It's not all that "high-powered", but for basic magnification of things "above the microscopic level", it's a neat toy and works quite well. Easy to install with Windows too. I'd recommend it to anyone, especially if there's young inquisitive minds in mind. ;o)
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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