Best USB Microscope Reviews 2017

(Updated )
Are you a scientist, a coin collector, a stamp collector, a student or just a fun person with an urge to venture into hobby microscopy? Are you looking for a good and affordable microscope to jumpstart your hobby or career? If you are, then there some good news for you. With the rapid changes in technology, the optics industry has developed a range of USB microscopes suitable for different ventures. Choosing from these varieties can be difficult especially if it is your first time. Even if you are a seasoned scientist, the range of choices will confuse you a little. But that’s not a problem now. We have taken time to analyze some of the best USB Microscope brands, choosing 5 great options to make your shopping easy!
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Magnification
Light
Size
Features
Our Top Choice
Opti-TekScope Digital USB Microscope
Opti-TekScope is a reputable microscope manufacturing company geared to providing quality and durable products.
True high definition macro 200x resolution camera. Allows you to take screenshots while viewing. Strong aluminum build.
It has a delicate camera that you really have to handle with care.
Digital
200x
LED
6 x 3 x 4 inches/ 12 ounces
Advanced CMOS Sensor
Best Value
Plugable Digital 2.0 USB Microscope
Plugable Technologies is among the leading companies manufacturing Bluetooth, USB and other power related devices.
250x magnification strength. A flexible arm stand that you can adjust to any height or angle.
The suction cup that holds the arm stand into place gets dirty with continuous use.
Digital
250x
LED
9 x 6 x 2 inches/ 3.2 ounces
Diffuser, Flexible Arm Stand
Omax Binocular Digital USB Microscope
Omax boasts years of experience in optical industry and thus guarantee you some of the best products, including microscopes.
Built-in 3.0 MP USB Camera. 8 levels of magnification ranging from 40x to 2000x.
It does not come with slides so you will have to buy or prepare yours.
Compound
40x-2000x
LED
2 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches/ 131.2 ounces
Double Layer Mechanical Stage
Celestron Digital USB Microscope PRO
Being among the leading brands in the optic industry, Celestron manufactures and distributes quality products designed to meet your needs.
Good magnification range of 20x to 200x. An adjustable height stand that help bring images into fine focus.
It is fragile and can easily break since its made of plastic.
Digital
20x-200x
LED
5.4 x 6.8 x 8.8 inches/ 32 ounces
5 element IR Glass Lens
Carson MM-480 ZORB USB Microscope
Carson is a tech company that utilizes differentiation strategy to create unique and quality optical products.
An internal LED lighting system for brighter and clear images. Compact design. 1600 x 1200p resolution.
The 65x magnification might not be powerful enough to get more details on specimens
Digital
65x
LED
9 x 7 x 5 inches/ 4.2 ounces
Integrated Camera, Internal LED

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How Do I Choose the Best USB Microscope?

Whenever we hear the word microscope, in most cases we think in terms of science. However, these wonderful devices have far more uses than just looking at bacteria in some laboratory. Since most of us are not scientists, then we have to decide what to buy depending on what we wish to use the microscope for. Since most of us like documenting our activities, you can go for one that you can attach a condenser microphone to and record your sound as your camera takes the footage.

Whether you are a scientist, a researcher, a student or just one interested in microscopy, you do not want to buy a product that you will not use. Since microscopes are examining devices, you will need to identify what you want to view and to what detail. The most important aspect to consider, therefore, in any microscope is its magnification. Otherwise you can simply use your naked eye. And since this is a USB microscope, it means you will have to connect it to a computer monitor to view your images. You will in this case then need a good screen with a good resolution.

Remember you are connecting your microscope to your computer. Getting a good mouse to control the images on your screen is important, so go ahead and check out our review on 5 of the best computer mice too!

Let’s now delve into some important aspects you need to consider, before going to the chosen products.
Price
So what determines the price of a microscope? Microscopes come with a range of magnification strengths, different types of illumination lights, with or without slides, varying number of eyepieces, different body design and varying compatibility with the different operating systems among other factors. The more the features and functionalities, the higher the price, generally. Though USB microscopes are fairly affordable, you need to consider what you want to use yours for before committing your money on one. One key point to note is that, the most expensive is not necessarily the best, while the least expensive does not mean it’s the worst.

It all boils down to a mixture of specifications and your own needs. Most microscopes range from as low as $10 to about $600. We recommend that you don’t go with the really cheap USB microscopes as they might not come with all the bells and whistles necessary for basic tasks.

To view clear objects, you will need sufficient light. There are those that use natural light and there are those that come with integrated illumination. The better the quality of illumination the higher the price of the device. In this case, you also need to consider the objects you want to view. You do not use the same light you use on fungi to view coins.

Some microscopes come with slides while some come without. The most basic of them in most cases don’t have slides so you have to buy or prepare your own. Those slides can be a little bit more expensive but it’s not that much of an issue since the margin is relatively low.

In addition to these aspects, the body design also determines the price. Microscopes are fragile devices that require extra careful handling. You will find some with very sturdy bodies that can sustain minor falls while some are very brittle and will break at the first fall. But don’t go dropping them to see whether they will break.
Features
As we have seen already, different features and functionalities determine the quality of a good USB microscope. We have gone through these aspects to help you determine what to check for according to your needs. Here are some of the specifications you need to check and then make your decision:
  • Magnification - USB Microscopes magnification range from 20x to 2000x. The higher the magnification strength, the finer the details.
  • Camera - In-built cameras will enable you take still images and video footage. Check the camera’s resolution for clearer images and videos
  • Flexibility - Microscopes with flexible arm stands are easy to adjust to different heights and angles. Check also if the knobs are easy to adjust since you keep moving the slides to view your specimen at different angles and adjust magnification
  • Illumination - Check if it has in-built illumination since you will need to shine some light on the specimen to get brighter images. Some have a diffuser that prevents glare enabling you to view shiny objects like coins
  • Compatibility - It’s important that your microscope be compatible with as many operating systems as possible since you might need to use different computers
  • Durability - The material and design of the microscope determines its lifespan
Construction and Design
To view the finest details of your specimen, you need a USB microscope that can enable you to bring your object to the finest focus. This requires a device with smooth operating mechanisms so you can easily adjust height and angle of view. While some have flexible arm stands, there are those whose arms are firmly fixed but have movable knobs that you can still adjust up and down.

When viewing your specimen, the slightest shake will move your object from focus. A microscope with a firm base and a sturdy structure is ideal to prevent such from happening. A strong and sturdy structure is an important consideration. You do not want to have your microscope shaking all over when focusing on an object. It can be very frustrating especially when you are viewing very small specimens. Save yourself the stress with a microscope with a sturdy body. Look out for suction cups and wide bases.

The USB cable length is another important consideration, especially if you are working on a wide surface. You do not want to keep on carrying your computer from one location to another especially if it is a desktop. Make sure you check the slide position. This is where you will place your specimen. While you don’t expect a microscope to come without one, it might be misaligned and thus need some readjustment.

Considering your budget, you do not want to keep going back to the shop to buy a new microscope. Though our top picks are all quality products, you might want to choose the strongest. This all depends on how careful you are. But note that all microscopes are fragile, so handle them with care.
Performance and Ease of Use
A device that performs to your specifications and is easy to use allows you to have an easy time when working. A good USB microscope should be one with functionalities that are easy to use and perform to their optimum best.

So what is so important in a microscope? While all the parts have their function, there are those that require extra consideration. The strength of the lens magnification is one such feature. A strong magnification enables you to bring images into fine focus hence viewing its finest details.

Since the lens has to work hand in hand with the adjustment knobs, it is important to ensure that they are functional and easy to move. You will appreciate this functionality when focusing your lens on the specimen and when positioning your slides.

What about the illumination lights? You need light to see anywhere or anything. Since you want to see the nifty grittiest of your specimens, then you need these lights to illuminate your objects.

What is the Best USB Microscope?

The best microscope is one that meets your purpose which is to view microscopic objects and does not dent your pocket. We help you narrow down to some of the best in the market with a mix of good features that will enable your view the finest details of your specimen and get the best images and videos. If in case you fail to find one that will suit your needs, these reputable brands have more.
Our Top Choice
The Opti-TekScope USB Microscope has a smooth operating mechanism for easy adjustment when magnifying, allowing you to easily bring images into fine focus You may want a microscope with stronger magnifying lens? If that’s so, then you can go for Opti-TekScope OT-M HDMI Microscope that has a 300x Optical Zoom.
Opti-TekScope Digital USB Microscope Camera True High Definition 200x Zoom Imaging with Advanced CMOS Sensor

Opti-TekScope UBS Microscope OT-V1


Features
Opti-TekScope is a leading microscope manufacturing company that focuses on bringing convenience to your working desk. Whether at home or in the office, this company guarantees you wonderful products for both home and technical use. Their microscopes can be used by different professionals including electricians, biological scientists, coin collectors and physicians among others as well as just for fun at home.

There are those times when you need to view the fine details of some things at home like jewelry, coins, and technical items like circuit boards and other items that require magnification. Scientists also need to magnify their specimens in the laboratory during their experiments. Using the traditional lenses to magnify images or specimens is not as effective as using microscopes. To solve this problem, you can simply use the Opti-Tekscope Microscope Camera. You can connect it to your PC using a USB cable to view the images on your computer monitor, so stop struggling trying to use an old school magnifying lens.

Here are some other aspects about this wonderful product.
  • Its advanced CMOS sensor has a 1600 x 1200 resolution that allows you to view high definition crystal clear images
  • Adjustable lighting system has 8 LED lights that allows you to adjust the brightness to your preferred conditions
  • You can take screenshots of your images while viewing them
  • If you need to view your work later, simply use the take a video function while working. You can take live AVI videos or capture images in BMP format
  • The microscope has an extra smooth mechanism allowing you to easily adjust the knobs up and down enabling you to magnify specimens to the finest details
  • It is made of aluminum making it light to carry around and very durable
  • Its base made of rubber is sturdy and firm. It avoids shaking while in use and can withstand rough surfaces
Best Value
With a 250x magnification strength, the Plugable Digital USB Microscope allows you to view the microscopic details of your specimens. If you need to create videos with voice overs, you can go for a Plugable USB Microphone Cardioid Condenser, but at an extra cost.
Plugable Digital 250x Magnification USB 2.0 Microscope with Flexible Arm Observation Stand

Plugable USB Microscope USB2-MICRO-250X


Features
Plugable Technologies is among the leading companies manufacturing Bluetooth, USB and other power related devices. The company focusses on quality and continuous innovation relying on consistent clients’ feedback. Led by its founder Bernie Thompson, the tech savvy team at Plugable strives to give you some of the best microscopes you will find anywhere online or otherwise. They cater for a diverse group of people including testers, collectors, students, scientists and others interested in observing microscopic objects.

This company has gone an extra mile to develop the Plugable Digital USB Microscope. With its webcam chipset and a sensor, this microscope allows you to work directly from your computer monitor. You can adjust the brightness and the resolution of your images with just a few mouse clicks. In addition, the software is compatible with a diverse range of operating systems. If you ask us, this microscope offers great value for money.

Let’s look at some extra features that come with this device:
  • It has a 2.0 megapixels camera that can magnify images up to 250x and which corresponds to your monitor size. This allows you to view clear images of your specimens and avoids image stretching
  • With a flexible arm stand and an observation pad that has graduated marks, you can easily measure the dimensions of your specimens
  • It has LED halo lights that adjust their brightness to illuminate your subject. The light passes through a diffuser that prevents glare thus allowing you to observe objects such as shiny coins to their finest details
  • The device comes with a capacitive touch button that makes capturing images even when they shake an easy task
The LED USB Microscope has a built-in 3.0 MP USB camera that sets it above the rest as it allows you to take both videos and still images. If you want a microscope with a higher magnification but with the same features, you can go for the Omax Digital Trinocular Microscope that also has a 14MP USB Camera but its magnification is 40x – 2500x.
Omax 40x - 2000x Digital Lab Binocular Compound LED Microscope with Built-in 1.3MP & Double Layer Mechanical Stage

Omax USB Microscope MD82ES10


Features
Omax is an online technology company that deals with microscopes devices and accessories. Established by reputable engineers, the company works directly with manufacturers dealing with different types of high quality microscopes and their accessories. They have years of experience in the optical industry and thus guarantee to provide some of the best quality microscopes out there.

Omax has products for both professional and personal use. Their Omax LED USB Microscope is one such product. This microscope comes with 8 levels of magnification ranging from 40 to 2000x that enable you to see the minutest of details of your specimen. You can easily connect it to your computer to view still images and moving specimens in their finest details with such a strong magnification.

Let’s see extra features that make this device an ideal value for your money:
  • Its built-in 1.3MP USB camera allows you to take crystal clear snapshots of your specimen and to view images and videos on your computer monitor
  • It has focusing knobs on either side, an ocular diopter and an interpupillary adjuster that slides to allow you to move the eye piece as close as possible to the specimen for shaper magnification
  • You can choose to use either of the two eyepieces: WF10X and WF20X with each giving a variation in magnification
  • The LED illumination allows you to properly focus enough light onto the object you are viewing
  • It comes with a USB digital imaging system that has 1280 x 1024 pixels that will enable you to get clear live videos and fine still images
  • Its body frame is strong and sturdy and of the highest quality. It is very durable
  • Its digital binocular head swivels at 360 degrees while its viewing head is inclined at 45 degrees allowing you to easily view your specimen at a comfortable position. You do not have to arch your neck at awkward angles
  • It comes with a fluid 3D mechanical stage that enables you to move your slide as to your specifications
The Handheld Digital USB Microscope boasts of a 5MP camera that allows you to capture quality still images and live videos. You can as well opt to go for the Celestron Micro 360 Dual Purpose Microscope with or without an imager if you want a simple compound microscope.
Celestron 5MP Handheld Digital USB Microscope PRO with 20x – 200x Magnification

Celestron USB Microscope 44308


Features
Celestron is a United States company that manufactures and distributes optics, binoculars, telescope parts, spotting scopes as well as digital microscopes. It is among the leading brands in the optics industry across the globe. It prides itself to having more than 50 years of experience.

Have you have been looking for a quality and professional microscope without success? Look no further; the Celestron USB Microscope PRO gives you quality and at a budget. At a pocket friendly price, this microscope comes with a true 5MP USB Camera that allows you to capture clear images on your computer screen and quality live videos while working. It is ideal for students and biological scientists as well as just for simple home use.

Let’s look at some more features that sets this device from the rest:
  • It comes with 20x to 200x magnification strength that allows you to examine different specimens in fine details
  • It has a 4 foot USB 2.0 cable that enables you to maneuver easily especially when working with large surfaces
  • The adjustable height stand enables you to vary the distance of the magnifying lens based on the specimen you are viewing and can also be handheld
  • It is USB powered, thus you do not need batteries and can work with it outdoors
  • It has bright LED lights to help illuminate the specimen
  • Its 5-element IR glass lens ensures very fine and sharp images
  • It is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Its intuitive software and measuring features allows one to measure different specimens
The Carson ZORB Digital USB microscope features a 1600 x 1200p screen resolution that allows you to view the fine details of your images. Want an even smaller microscope that you can easily carry around? We suggest that you get the Carson MicroBrite Plus.
Carson ZORB USB Digital Computer Microscope with 65x Magnification – Available in 2 Colors

Carson USB Microscope MM-480 - Surf Blue


Features
Carson Technology Company offers value engineered LED lighting products. The company focusses on improving the LED lighting industry with consistent research. It focusses on product differentiation to create unique products that effectively meet your needs, just like their microscope.

With the rapid changes in technology, you need products that will enable you keep up with changes. There are many companies manufacturing microscopes but not all have designed this product to its optimum. Carson promises to give you a quality device at an affordable price. The Carson ZORB USB Digital Computer Microscope comes with an integrated camera that enables you to view the magnified image on your computer screen. The magnification depends on your monitor size. There is more to this product.

Let’s see the extra features that make this microscope a good choice:
  • Its 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution ensures clear images
  • It has an internal LED illumination system that helps shed extra light on specimens hence the crisp clear images
  • It is compatible with Windows, 10, 8, 8.1, 7, Vista, XP SP2 and all Mac OS
  • Its 65x magnification based on a 21-inch monitor enables you to view fine details of your objects
This microscope is available in blue and safari green colors, so you can pick whichever you prefer!

Get the Best USB Microscope of 2017!

Its high time you kick start that science and research career or that microscopy hobby you have always wanted. We are glad to have been part of the journey and are happy to have assisted you choose the right microscope. If in case you haven’t found one yet, check out for more on our reviews.

Our Top Choice
Opti-TekScope Digital USB Microscope
Best Value
Plugable Digital 2.0 USB Microscope
Omax Binocular Digital USB Microscope
Celestron Digital USB Microscope PRO
Carson MM-480 ZORB USB Microscope