I bought this telescope after playing around with a cheap Tasco telescope trying to view stars and planets. Let's just say the Tasco scope is now used to watch a hawk's nest because it was so difficult to find anything in the night sky and, once I did, I had no idea what I was looking at. Overall this is a great telescope. It has a stable tripod and helps you find objects easily. The motorized movement makes centering objects in the scope a snap. Plus is can track a object automatically so you're not spending all your time trying to keep an object in view. This is especially important when multiple people use it at a time. The optics are clear although it only comes with one lens which fits a little loose. The Celestron scope is great for beginner star gazers like me who are just learning where to find stars and planets. Once you align it, you can have it automagically point to any object it knows is above the horizon from its database of celestial objects. The hand control unit took a little time to get used to but once I figured out which buttons do what it was easy to use. For example, the main left, right, up, down buttons always move the telescope and they are not used to select from options. One thing I don't like is the tripod because it doesn't have quick releases on the legs and can't easily be folded up. You have to take off the tray to fold in the legs and loosen wing nuts on the legs to extend or shorten them. I guess it's designed for stability but you'd think they could have done so with ease of use in mind too. Another big minus for this scope is that it comes with a serial cable for plugging it into a laptop to update firmware and/or control movement with the remote control software that comes with it. Since nobody makes computers with serial ports anymore you have to purchase an adapter to convert the serial cable so it can be use on a USB port. Too bad Celestron still thinks people use outdated technology like this. I haven't installed the remote control software yet but I'm wondering if it's compatable with the latest versions of Windows since they still think people use serial ports. If they can't make it use a USB port directly they should at least include the adapter. I also purchased a Power Tank to plug it into after reading about how quickly it uses the AA batteries. I'm glad I did so because the new AA batteries I put in were wearing down after just a couple hours of use.
Had some problems with the mount not having been connected/completed properly before shipping but eventually able to re-attach pieces with a few extra hands to help. Celestron service is still sending me a new mount at no charge. The mount itself is not engineered the best but the telescope works just fine.
I bought this telescope for my 10 year old granddaughter who is a science geek. She loves it and is more interested in astronomy. It is very well constructed and feels substantial, not plastic like a toy. Great buy and well worth the money.
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