We Review The Best Telescopes For Beginners 2018

Beginner telescopes have a few details in common. They’re easy for an amateur astronomer to use. They work in a way that makes them intuitive and easy to learn. You don’t want to buy a telescope that is hard to learn.

Some beginner telescopes have a hybrid system of lenses and mirrors while others have one or the other. The one you choose will depend on how much maintenance you’ll want to invite into your life.

Here we present our review of the best telescopes for beginners, starting with a handy chart and followed by more detailed reviews.

NameTypeRatingPriceLowest Price
Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5
Reflector4.75 STARS*Click here
Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright
Cassegrain4.5 STARS*Click here
Orion SkyQuest XT10
Dobsonian4.5 STARS**Click here
Astroscan Millennium
Dobsonian4 STARS*Click here
Vixen Optics R130Sf
Newtonian4 STARS**Click here

Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope

The Orion StarBlast has some great features for those who are just starting their stargazing journey. One of the best parts of the telescope is its EZ Finder red dot sight. It’ll help you find objects in the night sky without spending hours searching.

Features for Beginners

  • Easy setup
  • EZ Finder for viewing
  • 4.5 inch aperture
  • Stable base
  • Pre-assembled
  • Alt-azimuth tracking

The Orion StarBlast comes with Starry Night software that will help you plan your stargazing sessions. This is a compact, portable option that is perfect for times you want to spend with your children in the backyard. It’s great to take camping, too.

Check out our full review of the Orion StarBlast

Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT Telescope

This is a computerized telescope that is perfect for beginners. It has NexStar control as well as a dual fork arm. The GPS available with this telescope means that you can easily see planets and stars with your children. They won’t get bored waiting for you to find a star for viewing.

Features for Beginners

  • Dual fork arm
  • Alt-azimuth mount
  • Computerized
  • 11-inch hybrid telescope
  • SkyAlign feature

This is a hybrid telescope with the best of refracting and reflecting capabilities. It’s calibrated with NexStar technology, so you can easily find the objects you want to view. It’s meant to see deep into space for objects that others can’t readily view.

Check out our full review of the Celestron CPC 1100

Orion SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

The aperture of a telescope is what allows in the light that makes images viewable. It’s not all about magnification. This is a 10-inch aperture telescope that’s reasonably priced. That’s vital for beginners who aren’t sure if they will love stargazing, but want their own equipment to give it a try.

Features for Beginners

  • Easy to use
  • 10-inch aperture
  • Sturdy Dobsonian base
  • Focal length 1200 mm
  • Magnification 48x
  • EZ Finder II
  • Collimation cap

While this isn’t a telescope we’d call portable, it’s tall enough that everyone in the family can use the viewfinder quite easily. You don’t have to crouch down low to see through it, and children can simply stand on a small stool to see. It’s a heavy base that’s sturdy and won’t topple easily. That’s good news when you want to have star parties with the kids and their friends.

Check out our full review of the Orion SkyQuest ST10

Astroscan Millennium Dobsonian Reflector Telescope

This is a tabletop Dobsonian telescope with a friendly price tag. It’s meant to be used in the backyard or other places like a picnic table at a campground. The telescope is great for beginners while being easy to use.

Features for Beginners

  • Two eyepieces
  • Highest magnification 269x
  • Parabolic mirror
  • Red-dot finderscope
  • Scientifics Exclusive Star & Planet Locator
  • Alt-azimuth movement

With this large aperture telescope, you’ll be able to see plenty of stars and planets. If you want to spend your time looking at the Moon, you’ll be able to see many details in a crisp, clear image. The telescope is already assembled, so you don’t have to worry about tools or screws for assembly.

Check out our full review of the Astroscan Millennium

Vixen Optics R130Sf Newtonian and Porta II Mount Telescope

The light gathered with this telescope means that you’re able to view deep sky objects with ease. It’s a great telescope for taking pictures, too. Beginner astronomers will find that this is a great option for stargazing parties with their children and friends.

Features for Beginners

  • Alt-azimuth mount
  • Compact and portable
  • Focal length 650 mm
  • Scope mount
  • Camera compatibility

This is a portable option for those who want to enjoy the view of the stars outside the city. You can take this camping quite easily since it has a mount with telescoping legs. Whether it’s camping, a friend’s house, local fields, or out in the wilderness, this is a lightweight option for your stargazing.

Check out our full review of the Vixen Optics R130Sf


The beginner telescope options we’ve covered here have a few things in common including their price tag.

As an amateur astronomer or a person who wants to view stars occasionally in the backyard, these are all solid options that will fit beautifully with your skill and knowledge level.

The options are portable, easy to use, and have enough aperture to get a clear image of objects in the sky.


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