Reviews & Rankings of 201 telescopes

Our team of experts has reviewed, rated, and ranked around 201 telescopes they have either owned or used at least once. Price classification is based on the average cost at the time of publishing. The current rate might be slightly different from the price groups. For current pricing, please check the retailers' websites. 
Jump to telescopes in the price range of :-

Below ~$75

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 3
Celestron Cometron Firstscope Tabletop Dobsonian
Partially Recommended
Rank 4
National Park Foundation FirstScope Tabletop Dobsonian
Partially Recommended
Rank 6
Celestron FirstScope Moon Signature Tabletop Dobsonian
Partially Recommended
Rank 7
Orion SpaceProbe II 76 Reflector
Not Recommended
-
-
Rank 8
Zhumell 76 AZ Reflector
Not Recommended
-
-

Rank 9Celestron ExploraScope 70AZ Refractor3.7Not Recommended
Rank 10Celestron PowerSeeker 60 EQ
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 11Meade Infinity 60 Refractor3.6Not Recommended
Rank 12Meade Adventure Scope 603.6Not Recommended
Rank 13Celestron ExploraScope 60 AZ3.6Not Recommended
Rank 14Zhumell Z603.6Not Recommended
Rank 15Celestron AstroMaster LT 60AZ3.6Not Recommended
Rank 16Orion Observer II 70mm AZ3.5Not Recommended
Rank 17Zhumell 60 AZ3.5Not Recommended
Rank 18Orion Observer II 60mm AZ3.5Not Recommended
Rank 19Zhumell Z50
3.2Not Recommended
Rank 20Meade Infinity 50 Refractor2.9Not Recommended
Rank 21Celestron PowerSeeker 60 AZ
2.8Not Recommended
Rank 22Celestron PowerSeeker 70 AZ
2.7Not Recommended
Rank 23Celestron Travel Scope 702.5Not Recommended
Rank 24Orion GoScope III 702Not Recommended
Rank 25Celestron PowerSeeker 50 AZ2Not Recommended
Rank 26Celestron Travel Scope 502Not Recommended

Jump to telescopes in the price range of :-

~$100 range

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 3
Meade Polaris 80 Reflector
Partially Recommended
Rank 4
Orion SpaceProbe II 76 EQ Reflector
Partially Recommended
Rank 6
Celestron PowerSeeker 80AZS Refractor
Partially Recommended

Rank 7Meade Polaris 70 Reflector3.7Not Recommended
Rank 8Celestron AstroMaster 76 EQ Reflector
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 9Celestron Inspire 70AZ Refractor
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 10Celestron PowerSeeker 70 EQ Refractor
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 11Orion Observer II 70mm EQ Refractor
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 12Meade StarPro AZ 70 Refractor
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 13Celestron AstroMaster 70EQ Refractor
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 14Celestron PowerSeeker 114 EQ Reflector
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 15Explore Scientific FirstLight 90mm Doublet Refractor AZ Mount
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 16Celestron Powerseeker 114AZ3.6Not Recommended
Rank 17Meade Adventure Scope 80 Refractor
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 18Celestron Travel Scope 80 Refractor
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 19Celestron Explorascope 80AZ Refractor
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 20Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 21Explore FirstLight 70mm Refractor AZ Mount
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 22Orion Observer 80ST EQ Refractor
3.3Not Recommended
Rank 23Celestron AstroMaster LT 76AZ Reflector
3.2Not Recommended
Rank 24Celestron ExploraScope 114AZ Reflector
2.9Not Recommended
Rank 25Celestron AstroMaster LT 70AZ Refractor
2.9Not Recommended
Rank 26Zhumell Z70 Refractor
2.3Not Recommended

~$150 range

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 1
Zhumell Z114 Tabletop Dobsonian
Editor's Choice
-
Rank 5
Meade Polaris 114 EQ Reflector
Recommended Product
Rank 6
Explore One Aurora 114 Reflector
Recommended Product
-
Rank 7
Orion VersaGo E-Series 90 Refractor
Recommended Product
-
Rank 8
Meade 80mm StarPro AZ Refractor
Partially Recommended
Rank 9
Celestron Cometron 114AZ Reflector
Partially Recommended

Rank 10Celestron Inspire 80AZ Refractor
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 11AstroMaster 80AZS Reflector
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 12Celestron AstroMaster 90AZ Refractor
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 13StarSense Explorer LT 80AZ
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 14Orion GoScope 80 Refractor
3.3Not Recommended
Rank 15Meade S102 Refractor
3.2Not Recommended
Rank 16Levenhuk Skyline 120S Reflector
3Not Recommended
Rank 17StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ
2.8Not Recommended
Rank 18Meade Polaris 127 Reflector
1.5Not Recommended
Rank 19Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Reflector
1Not Recommended

~$200 range

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 1
Zhumell Z130 Tabletop Dobsonian
Editor's Choice
-
Rank 2
Sky-Watcher Heritage 130p Tabletop Dobsonian
Recommended Product
Rank 7
Meade Polaris 90 Refractor
Partially Recommended
Rank 8
Celestron Inspire 100AZ Refractor
Partially Recommended
Rank 9
Explore Scientific FirstLight 114 EQ3 Reflector
Not Recommended
-
-

Rank 10Celestron AstroMaster 90EQ Refractor
3.8Not Recommended
Rank 11Explore Scientific FirstLight 114 Twilight Nano Reflector3.7Not Recommended
Rank 12Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ MD Reflector
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 13Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 14Orion StarBlast 90 Refractor
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 15Celestron Ambassador 50 Table Top Refractor
3Not Recommended
Rank 16Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector2.7Not Recommended

~$250 range

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 2
Sky-Watcher Virtuoso 90 Catadioptric
Recommended Product
Rank 3
Orion StarBlast 114mm Reflector
Recommended Product
Rank 4
Orion SpaceProbe 130 EQ Reflector
Partially Recommended
Rank 5
Meade 102mm StarPro AZ Refractor
Partially Recommended
Rank 7
Levenhuk Skyline Plus 130S Reflector
Partially Recommended
-
Rank 8
Explore Scientific FirstLight AR102 Twilight Nano Refractor
Not Recommended
-
-
Rank 9
Celestron AstroMaster 102AZ Refractor
Not Recommended
-
-
Rank 10
Not Recommended
-
-

~$300 range

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 1
Orion Skyline 6" Dobsonian
Editor's Choice
-
Rank 3
Orion SkyQuest XT6 Plus Dobsonian
Recommended Product
Rank 4
Apertura DT6 Dobsonian
Recommended Product
Rank 9
Explore FirstLight 100mm Mak EQ3
Recommended Product
Rank 10
Explore FirstLight 80mm EQ3 Refractor
Partially Recommended
-
Rank 11
Celestron Astro Fi 90 Refractor GoTo
Partially Recommended
Rank 12
Celestron Astro Fi 102 Reflector GoTo
Partially Recommended
Rank 13
Solomark Polaris 130EQ Reflector
Partially Recommended
-
Rank 14
Celestron Nexstar 90SLT Mak GoTo
Partially Recommended

Rank 15Sky-Watcher StarTravel 80 AZ-GTe Refractor3.7Not Recommended
Rank 16Sky-Watcher StarTravel 102 AZ3 Refractor
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 17Meade Starnavigator NG 90 GoTo Mak
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 18Meade Starnavigator NG 90 GoTo Refractor
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 19Celestron 114 LCM GoTo Reflector
3Not Recommended
Rank 20Meade StarNavigator NG 114 GoTo Reflector
3Not Recommended

~$350 - $550 range

8″ Dobsonian is the best balance of aperture, portability, affordability, and simplicity for a beginner. Below 8″, you start to lose enough light-gathering ability to resolve much (though 6″ isn’t a horrible start, if that’s all you can do, the 8″ is definitely a better way to go).

Rank 1
Apertura AD8 Dobsonian
GSO made 'best bang for your buck' offering from HighPointScientific, the US's largest telescope retailer. It's optically and functionally the same as Zhumell Z8/Orion Skyline 8", but mostly priced lower with awesome accessories thrown in and has better customer service.
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Rank 2
Zhumell Z8 Dobsonian
Produced by the same company, GSO, the Zhumell Z8 is identical to Apertura AD8/Orion Skyline 8", except for the provided accessories. If you can't get hold of Apertura AD8 for some reason, Zhumell Z8 is the clear 8" Dobsonian choice.
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Rank 3
Orion Skyline 8" Dobsonian
Other than the paint, branding, and accessories, Skyline 8" is the same scope as AD8/Z8. But Orion's extreme price markup because of their brand name makes it the best pick only if Apertura AD8 or Zhumell Z8 is not available.
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Rank 4
The skywatcher's collapsable tube is nice if you have a limited vehicle, for example, but that comes at the cost of a higher weight.
Rank 6
Skywatcher's 200P is usually the cheapest 8" Dobsonian available in the US, a good deal, but lacks the accessories, of course.
Rank 8
The optics and mounts are about identical to Apertura AD8. The accessories with XT8 are not bad, but AD8 has a laser collimator, a much nicer focuser, RACI magnified finder, comes with a nicer eyepiece and an extra 9mm one too. And Apertura AD8's base is a bit better built. In addition, the Apertura/Skyline dobs come with several "quality of life" features like a really nice bearing and balancing setup, and a mirror cooling fan.
Rank 9
Apertura DT8 Dobsonian
Recommended Product
-
Rank 16
Orion StarSeeker IV 130mm Reflector GoTo
Partially Recommended
Rank 18
Explore FirstLight 127mm Mak-Cassegrain EQ3
Partially Recommended
-
Rank 21
Orion StarSeeker IV 114mm Reflector GoTo
Partially Recommended
Rank 22
Explore FirstLight 130mm Newtonian Twilight I Mount
Partially Recommended
-
Rank 23
Celestron Omni XLT 102 Refractor
Partially Recommended

Rank 22Sky-Watcher StarTravel 102 AZ-GTe Refractor
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 23Celestron Nexstar 102SLT Refractor GoTo
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 24Meade ETX90 Observer Mak GoTo
3.7Not Recommended
Rank 25Orion StarSeeker IV 150mm Reflector3.6Not Recommended
Rank 26Orion SkyView Pro 8 EQ Reflector
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 27Sky-Watcher StarTravel 120 AZ3 Refractor
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 28Meade StarNavigator NG 125 Maksutov GoTo
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 29Meade Starnavigator NG 102 Refractor GoTo
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 30Meade Starnavigator NG 130 Reflector GoTo
3.5Not Recommended

~$550 - $850 range

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 1
Apertura AD10 Dobsonian
Editor's Choice
-
Rank 2
Zhumell Z10 Dobsonian
Editor's Choice
-
Rank 3
Orion Skyline 10" Dobsonian
Editor's Choice
-
Rank 4
Meade 10" LightBridge Plus Dobsonian
Recommended Product
Rank 6
Sky-Watcher 10" Flextube Collapsible Dobsonian
Recommended Product
Rank 7
Apertura DT10 Dobsonian
Recommended Product
-
Rank 8
Sky-Watcher 10" Classic Dobsonian
Editor's Choice (Cheapest)
Rank 9
Orion SkyQuest XT10 Plus Dobsonian
Recommended Product
Rank 11
Explore Scientific FirstLight 10" Dobsonian
Recommended Product
Rank 15
Explore FirstLight 102mm Doublet Refractor with Twilight I Mount
Recommended Product
Rank 16
Orion StarMax 127 EQ Mak
Partially Recommended
Rank 16
Meade 5" LX65 Maksutov
Partially Recommended
Rank 19
Orion StarSeeker IV 127mm Mak GoTo
Partially Recommended
Rank 20
Orion StarSeeker IV 102mm Mak GoTo
Partially Recommended
Rank 21
Explore FirstLight 127mm Doublet Refractor with Twilight I
Partially Recommended
-

Rank 20Meade ETX125 Observer Mak GoTo
3.9Not Recommended
Rank 21Celestron SkyProdigy 130 Reflector GoTo
3.6Not Recommended
Rank 22Celestron Ambassador 80 Refractor
3.5Not Recommended

~$850 - $1200 range

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 1
Meade 12" LightBridge Plus Dobsonian
Editor's Choice
Rank 2
Sky-Watcher 12" Flextube Collapsible Dobsonian
Recommended Product
Rank 3
Apertura AD12 Dobsonian
-
Rank 4
Editor's Choice
-
Rank 5
Orion SkyQuest XT10i Dobsonian PushTo
Recommended Product
Rank 6
Orion Skyline 12" Dobsonian
Recommended Product
-
Rank 7
Orion SkyQuest XT8g Dobsonian GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 8
Sky-Watcher 8" Flextube SynScan Collapsible Dobsonian GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 9
Apertura DT12 Dobsonian
Recommended Product
-
Rank 10
Meade 6" Lx65 ACF Catadioptric GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 12
Celestron Advanced VX Series 8" Newtonian
Recommended Product
Rank 13
Celestron Advanced VX Series 6" Newtonian
Recommended Product
Rank 14
Meade 6" LX65 Maksutov GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 15
Not Recommended
-
-
Rank 16
Not Recommended
-
-

~$1200 - $1500 range

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 1
Explore Scientific 12" Truss Tube Dobsonian
Editor's Choice
Rank 2
Orion SkyQuest XT12i Dobsonian PushTo
Recommended Product
Rank 3
Sky-Watcher 10" Collapsible Dobsonian GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 4
Orion SkyQuest XT10g Dobsonain GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 5
Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 Schmidt-Cassegrain GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 6
Celestron Advanced VX Series 6" Refractor GoTo
Recommended Product

~$1500 - $2000 range

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 3
Orion Atlas 8 EQ-G Reflector GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 5
Orion Sirius ED80 EQ-G Refractor GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 6
Celestron CPC 800 GPS SCT GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 7
Orion SkyView Pro 180 EQ Mak
Not Recommended
-
-

~$2000 range

We’d highly recommend both Orion’s Telescope.com and OPTCorp.com for your telescope purchase. Why?

Rank 1
Sky-Watcher 12" Flextube Dobsonian GoTo
Editor's Choice
Rank 2
Orion SkyQuest XX12g Dobsonian GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 3
Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo 180mm Maksutov GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 5
Orion Atlas 10 EQ-G Reflector GoTo
Recommended Product
NA at Amazon
Rank 6
Celestron 9.25" NexStar Evolution Schmidt Cassegrain GoTo
Recommended Product
Rank 7
Orion SkyView Pro 180 EQ Mak GoTo
Not Recommended
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