[...] Originally I got it for myself, and once it came I proceeded to open it up and put it through it's paces.
It came with a few different lens atachments with varying degrees of magnification. I used the first lens to look down a long street and could clearly read the street sign and people's licenses plates over on the next street.
I used the next lens atachment, and I could see even further down that street and pick up details in the grout of their brickwork.
Once nightfall hit, I used the 3rd and most powerful lens in combination with the 3x barlow lens, and was lucky enough to have a full moon that night. The detail available in the moon was really incredible. I could see many craters and holes and different peaks and vallys, it really made me form a closer connection with our moon. Yes you can look at pictures, and some take with far more powerful zoom... but actually beholding it with your own eyes personally is a completely different experience, it's a little tough to understand unless you've actually done that yourself.
Anyways, I live in the city and there's not much to look at other than other people's houses, and since I'm not a peeping tom / voyeur, or some kind of spy, I decided to pack this up and send it to my mother as a gift. She lives in Florida on a lakefront, and she has a very nice view across a very large lake. So she can watch wildlife, and there is much less city lights in her area so even celestial viewing I'm sure would be better.
She called me and was very excited to receive this out of the blue, she didn't mind that I had already used it. I figured she would get much more use out of this than I could.
The included tripod isn't anything fantastic, but it gets the job done. Since it's lightweight and inexpensive, it does tend to move around, so you have to be careful when useing the really powerful lens because a small shake or shift will cause you to lose your target. At least it comes with a tripod at all.
It also comes with a 3x barlow lens that I mentioned, which will triple the magnification power of each individual lens, which can make for some pretty powerful magnification.
The included software seems powerful, I installed it, but didn't have much of a chance to mess around with it much, but it contains a mind boggling amount of information about celestial objects. The learning curve of the software seemed somewhat steep for newbies, but with some studious application of wit, I'm sure almost any novice could conquer it.
Overall, I would recommend this telescope to a beginner, as it can open up a world of astronomy for them, and if nothing else, they will have a nice little toy to do some casual moon gazing or wildlife viewing.