Meade ETX90EC Telescope Review

If you’re in search for a compact all-in-one telescope, the Meade ETX90EC might be the right device for you. The ETX90EC brings to the table a variety of helpful and innovative features. Buyers will be not disappointed! The optical clarity and power easily stand up against competitors. With optical power reaching up to x32 magnification, most celestial objects can be seen. Yes, this includes the rings of Jupiter and even the craters of the moon. New to the skies? Not sure what to look for? No problem! The automatic finder and remote make tracking stars and planets hassle-free and straightforward. The most notable feature of the ETX90EC is the size. The scope practically fits in one hand! The immense portability and visual capability make the Meade ETX90EC the perfect addition to any stargazing kit.


The Meade ETX90EC offers a good amount of value to any amateur astronomer. The optical power and portability qualify the ETX90EC for serious consideration. Many telescopes fall short in their optical capability. The same does not apply to the ETX90EC. In fact, the optics would say otherwise. The included eyepieces offer up to an x32 magnification. Very few celestial objects get past the ETX90EC. Finer details including the rings of Saturn are no exception. Additional lenses further increase the optics of the ETX90EC. The optical power is also suitable for terrestrial viewing. The automatic finder and remote only add to the visual capabilities. Beginners new to the night skies will find this feature very helpful. Whatever star or planet it may be, the finder will do precisely that, find it! The small and compact size of this scope is also worth mentioning. The ETX90EC weighs a total of 11.55 lbs, going wherever you go without any hassle. Portability is a spec to keep in mind, especially with the increasing amounts of light pollution. Areas with excess ambient light force stargazers to travel further distances away. The sleek and lightweight design of the Meade ETX90EC makes it perfect for travel. Transportation has never been more simple. Everything together fits together in one bag. In short, the ETX90EC provides all the greatness of a larger telescope made to fit in the palm of your hand.


While the Meade ETX90EC provides users with some handy features, the scope does have several limitations. The first issue is the size of the objective lens. Due to the small size, viewing celestial objects further away becomes difficult. Another problem lies in the optical power of the ETX90EC. The optical power does a decent job of observing stars and planets. However, for the price, many other scopes on the market have stronger optics. The cost for the ETX90EC is on the higher end. Several beginner telescopes on the market are significantly cheaper. Although not necessary, several additional purchases come recommended. Stargazers wanting more optical power will have to purchase different sizes lenses. The eyepieces provided only support a maximum of an x32 magnification. A sturdy and durable tripod will make stargazing sessions much more comfortable. The calibration process of the ETX90EC is somewhat tricky and even more so for inexperienced users. While calibrating, a bright star must be used as a reference. Individuals residing in the city or brightly lit areas may encounter problems. The durability of the ETX90EC is lackluster when compared to other models available on the market. The plastic gears used wear out quickly, especially when compared to those made of metal. Replacement parts are hard to find.

Key Features

  • Size – the Meade ETX90EC sits as one of the smallest and compact telescopes on the market.
  • Weight – The light weight model of the ETX90EC makes it the perfect scope to take along for an adventure. With the telescope being on the lighter side, the possible viewing locations are endless.
  • Design – Small and compact. The ETX90EC offers the same performance as a larger, full-sized telescope.
  • Automatic Finder – An excellent tool for both beginners and advanced users. Makes locating specific celestial objects quick and stress-free.
  • Set-up – Aside from calibrating each lens, the scope is ready to use. No assembly required.

Main Issues

  • Limited optical power – Lower optical power compared to telescopes within a similar price range.
  • Price – Expensive. Other beginner telescopes on the market are much cheaper.
  • Objective Lens – The small size of the objective lens causes visual problems. At times, celestial objects further away are difficult to see clearly.
  • Extra Expenses – A tripod comes highly recommended.
  • Limited Optics – Individuals seeking stronger optics will need to buy additional eyepieces.
  • Calibration – Beginners may have issues calibrating the Meade ETX90EC. Proper calibration requires a bright star for reference. Excess ambient light in some areas may also pose a problem for some.
  • Durability – The gears on the inside of the telescope are made of plastic. Tend to wear out much faster than parts made of metal.
  • Repairs – Replacement parts are difficult to find.


In conclusion, the Meade ETX90EC provides value to the vast majority of stargazers. Despite being marketed as a beginner scope, many features are useful for all levels. The optical clarity, ease of use and compact size alone make the ETX90EC worth the purchase. Newbies needing an extra bit of help will find the electronic finder most useful. The optics provide more than enough power to view most celestial objects. Combined with the electronic viewfinder, the ETX90EC allows for a simple and straightforward viewing experience. The compact size and design of the ETX90EC is another aspect to consider. Many telescopes on the market are large, bulky and heavy. These factors make it difficult to travel long distances. Meade has solved this issue. The lightweight model makes it easy to take on both long and short distances. Everything together weighs less than 15 lbs. making it a breeze to travel to those light pollution free locations. All of these beginner-friendly features make the Meade ETX90EC a scope to consider.

Apart from these pros, there are several things to keep in mind. The fragile nature of the ETX90EC is worth noting. Many of the gears used inside the scope consist of plastic. Extra caution should be taken when handling to avoid unnecessary damage. Replacement parts are also difficult to find. As a result of these issues, the Meade ETX90EC has a potentially shorter lifespan than other telescopes. Price is also an important factor. Unfortunately, the ETX90EC sits towards the higher end. While offering decent optics, other devices within a similar price range offer stronger optical ability. The calibration process can be confusing to beginners. First-time scope owners should use a field guide for reference. Users wanting stronger optics will have to invest in additional sized eyepieces. Although not mandatory, it is suggested to use a tripod ETX90EC while stargazing. The small size of the objective lens may also cause problems. Objects a further distance away are sometimes difficult to see.

While many other telescopes exist that are lower in price, the small and compact design are features you will not find anywhere else. For those seeking a smaller telescope capable of everything a larger scope can do (with a pretty large budget), the Meade ETX90EC is the right choice for you.