Sometimes on the days I select from the Amazon Vine review program, there's nothing that really stands out as a "must have" choice. Occasionally there's a "OMG I MUST HAVE THAT!" selection, and other times there's the item that sends you down memory lane. The Tasco 120x USB-Equipped Digital Microscope falls in that last category. Mind you, I never had a USB-equipped digital microscope growing up, never mind the computer it would have taken to run it. But I did have a regular microscope, and I remember spending many an hour looking at things I couldn't see in any other way. The Tasco took me back to those more innocent days...
Priced and designed as it is, it's probably best to think of this as more of a toy than a serious research tool. But it's a toy with touches that make it pretty useful for kids and adults alike. The red viewing tube comes away from the grey stand and can operate independently from it due to the USB plug being part of the tube rather than the stand. The magnifying sources are 10x, 20x, and 120x, but I've found the 10x and 20x to be the most useful. Lighting is done well, with options to light from above the sample, below the sample, or from both sides. The viewing is one on your computer screen, as the tube contains the viewing camera, thereby saving you the hassle of squinting into the top of the viewing port. The software that comes with the USB camera is bare-bones, so nothing to get excited about there. You can take videos and still shots to load up on your computer, but don't expect to do anything of interest from within the provided software.
So far, the best use of this item for me has been as a replacement for a magnifying glass. I broke my regular glasses a short time back, and I've been waiting for the replacement pair. In the mean time, I was trying to replace a light bulb in a flashlight I own. The specs of the bulb were engraved into the base, and trying to read the specs was impossible. But with the Tasco, I popped the bulb under 10x magnification and I was off to the races. That's probably not a standard use case for a microscope, but it certainly worked for me...
The Tasco 120x USB-Equipped Digital Microscope is best described as a toy, but it's something that could be much more in the hands of someone with a little imagination. Admittedly to my surprise, I think this might actually end up getting more use over the long term than I thought it would.
Disclosure: Obtained From: Amazon Vine Review Program Payment: Free
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Thomas Duff (duffbert)
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more