Best Telescope Review: Meade vs Celestron vs Orion & More

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Best For…
Meade logo
Under $200

Magnify the night sky with one a telescope. You’ll find yourself awestruck by the beauty you discover through the lens. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover something unknown to man?

What To Look For In A Telescope?

We’ve chosen four of the best telescopes on the market by category as it depends on your comfort level and what you’re interested in.

Some might be looking for a new hobby to do with the kids whereas others might be more experienced stargazers who need a better tool in their arsenal.

Either way, we’ve got put a lot of thought and research into picking the best product for each category so you can be confident in your decision.

Best For Astrophotography: Meade LX70 Maksutov, 8″ Telescope Review

Meade LX70 MaksutovView on Amazon

The Meade LX70 Maksutov (6″) combined with the Dual Axis Motor Kit is the best telescope for astrophotography (as in astronomy photography). This telescope has worm-gear drives on both axes to allow for smooth tracking performance as well as a built-in leveling bubble.

This scope is designed for pinpoint star images and is great for deep sky exploration. It’s also reasonably priced for such an advanced telescope.



  • Slow motion controls
  • Comes with an accessory tray
  • None that we found

Price & Tech Specs

  • Telescope: Check on Amazon
  • 1 year warranty
  • Dimensions: 45″ x 45″ x 70″
  • Weight: 49.4 pounds
  • Focal Length: 1800mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/12
  • Resolution (Dawes): 0.760 arsec
  • Clear Aperture: 150mm (6″)
  • Optical Design: Maksutov-Cassegrain
  • Mount: German Equatorial

Best Telescope Under $200: Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope Review

Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker TelescopeView on Amazon

We’ve chosen the Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope as the best telescope under $200. This telescope is best for terrestrial and astronomical use. It’s great for kids or adults and can be used all year round. It also comes with “The Sky” level 1 planetarium software with 10,000 object database.

The biggest complaint we saw during our research was that people had unreasonable expectations for a telescope under $200. It’s important that you remember that this isn’t a $10,000 telescope.



  • No tools needed for setup
  • Slow motion controls
  • Enhanced image brightness and clarity
  • Comes with an accessory tray
  • Buyers complain that it’s not made of the highest quality material

Price & Tech Specs

  • $179.95
  • 2 year warranty
  • Dimensions: 11″H x 17″W x 33″D
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • 3x Barlow Lens
  • Mount: German Equatorial
  • Aperture: 127mm
  • Focal Length: 1000mm
  • Optical Design: Newtonian Reflector
  • Focal Ratio: 7.87
  • Limiting Stellar Magnitude: 13
  • Resolution (Rayleigh): 1.1 arsec
  • Resolution (Dawes): 0.91 arsec
  • Photographic Resolution: 254 line/mm
  • Light Gathering Power: 329 x
  • Angular Field of View: 0.8°
  • Linear Field of View (@1000 yards): 43ft
  • Secondary Mirror Obstruction: 1.6 in
  • Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Area: 10.2%
  • Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Diameter: 32%
  • Optical Tube Length: 20 in

Best For Beginner: Orion StarSeeker IV 130mm GoTo Reflector Telescope Review

Orion Starseeker 5View on Amazon

The Orion StarSeeker IV 130mm GoTo Reflector Telescope is our pick for best beginner telescope. This is a fully robotic telescope. All you have to do is punch in what you want to see on the keypad and the telescope will go to it, align and center it for you.

You don’t have to find the object yourself which you may like or dislike. Orion is a well-known telescope manufacturer and the Starseeker is a line they have continuously updated. This is the best telescope for beginners.



  • Computerized reflector
  • See planets, nebulas, star clusters and more
  • Large GoTo database
  • Pricey

Price & Tech Specs

  • Check Amazon for availability
  • 1 year warranty
  • Eyepieces: 10mm and 23mm
  • Focal Length: 650mm
  • Magnification 28x and 65x
  • Number of Objects in Database: 42,900
  • Weight: 21.5 pounds

Orion StarSeeker IV Video

Learn more about how to use this telescope by watching this video.

Best For Kids: TwinStar 60mm Compact Kids Refractor Telescope Review

Twinstar 60mm Compact Kids Refractor TelescopeView on Amazon

We’ve chosen the TwinStar 60mm Compact Kids Refractor Telescope as the best telescope for kids. The company says it’s so easy to assemble that they don’t even put instructions in it.

It ships in 4 pieces, so it’d still be nice if there were instructions just to make sure parents and guardians are installing it correctly.



  • Easy to assemble
  • Available in black, pink and silver
  • See 4 of Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s rings, binary stars and more
  • No instructions

Price & Tech Specs

  • Check Amazon for availability
  • Eyepiece: 6mm and 20mm
  • Magnifications: 15x and 50x
  • 2x Barlow Lens
  • 1.5x Erecting Eyepiece
  • Achromatic Objective Lens: 60mm
  • Focal Length: 300mm

Learn More About Telescopes

We have put together a complete list of telescope terms and definitions, so you have a better understanding of everything you need to know. Check out our How Much Does a Good Telescope Cost article to find out more. It provides background information on telescopes and what you should look for in one. Or check out this in-depth article on stars and planets.

What Can You See Through Your Telescope?

Some of these telescopes allow you to see more than others so you will want to choose wisely! The world’s largest telescope allows you to see 13.5 billion light-years away. Unfortunately, none of the telescopes in this article allow for that type of exploration, but they still allow for excellent star gazing right from your own backyard. Or if you live in the city, it’s a great excuse to go camping.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen in the planetary sky?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She is one of Exploring Life's Mysteries most experienced researchers. When reviewing products and services her natural curiosity helps her dig deep and unearth the truth behind the marketing. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly grew up camping at the nearby lake with her family when she was a young girl. It wasn't until she met her husband that she rediscovered her love for the outdoors and began taking regular vacations to the national parks. Some of Kimberly's favorite memories include camping in a tent, hiking beautiful terrains, sitting around a campfire eating s'mores and sipping on a cold craft beer.

After three years of dating and exploring different regions of the U.S., Kimberly's husband proposed to her with the help of Exploring Life's Mysteries' online engagement content that she had researched and written. Not only was he able to design her ring himself, he was able to do so at great cost savings.

Kimberly likes starting her days with a warm cup of Nespresso, and she enjoys going for walks with her family and hound mix, Sally. In the evenings, she likes indulging in a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate while cozying up by the fire pit in her backyard.

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