Review: Orion SkyScanner 100mm Table Top Reflector

The Orion SkyScanner is an affordable entry-level telescope designed for beginners to the world of astronomy. This compact, lightweight, quality telescope promises consumers a convenient and easy way to enjoy stunning views of the nighttime sky. From the moon to Saturn to even deep sky objects, the SkyScanner’s views are hard to beat for telescopes in its price range, while its variety of magnifications make it versatile and its small size makes it a portable and ideal option for anyone tight on space.

Quick navigation

• Item number: 10012
• Dimensions: 9.5in. X 9.5in. X 14in.
• Price: About $100
• Weight: 6.2 pounds
• Aperture: 100mm (2.76 in.)
• Included eyepieces: 3-Element, 10mm, 20mm
• Eyepiece magnification: 20x and 40x
• Mount: Tabletop/altazimuth
• Warranty: 1-year warranty
• Focal length: 400mm
• Optical diameter: 100mm
• Focal ratio: f/4.0
• Highest useful magnification: 200x
• Lowest useful magnification: 14x
• Materials: Steel


The Orion SkyScanner is an outstanding beginner telescope that falls within the $100 price range. This inexpensive scope is ideal for families, children, and beginners of all types because of this low price, which makes it a safe investment for anyone who is not yet sure how much they wish to invest into the stargazing hobby. The SkyScanner stands out from the competition not just because of its price, however. This telescope is also a convenient purchase because of its small size. The scope weighs in at just over 6 pounds, and a height of two feet. Its compact size makes it ideal as a tabletop telescope that is easy to carry in a backpack and easy to store anywhere, even when space is tight. The only downside to this compact design is the lack of taller tripod on which to stand the telescope for certain views. If a taller tripod is desired, the consumer will need to purchase one separately.
In addition, its small size and light weight make it extremely portable when carrying it in and out and from viewing sight to viewing sight. In addition, the SkyScanner is extremely easy to set up, with consumers reporting that the scope can be set up within about 10 minutes of being removed from the box. These features alone make the Orion SkyScanner a convenient option for beginners who do not wish to struggle with complicated setups or heavy equipment. Because of its light weight and portability, the SkyScanner is sometimes even used by more experienced stargazers who wish to enjoy a hassle-free viewing session.

The Orion SkyScanner’s small size belies power and magnification that are unusual for an entry-level telescope. For instance, the telescope possesses a 100mm aperture, which is larger than apertures on other beginner telescopes and which is especially large considering the compact nature of the SkyScanner. In addition, it comes with two eyepieces which provide 20x and 40x magnification. These eyepieces give the consumer options when enjoying the nighttime sky and allow them to obtain as much detail as they wish when viewing particular celestial objects. The only downside is the placement of the finder, which makes it difficult for the viewer to comfortably locate celestial objects.

The telescope also receives praise from consumers for its ability to handle light pollution. Even when used in light polluted areas, the SkyScanner reliably provides clear and detailed images of nighttime objects such as Saturn and the craters on the moon. When used in a very dark area, the telescope’s capabilities even allow consumers to enjoy deep sky views. The only downside to the SkyScanner’s capabilities is that many consumers find it necessary to purchase additional accessories, such as a Barlow or eyepiece filters, to create exactly the kind of stargazing experience they desire.


The Orion SkyScanner is a unique telescope in that its low price and small size conceal quality construction and powerful viewing capabilities. While designed for beginners, and therefore providing beginning views of the nighttime sky, the SkyScanner does so with strong magnification and offers fun and detailed images of classic nighttime objects such as Saturn, Jupiter, and Saturn. As a result, it is a good choice for anyone looking to delve into the nighttime sky as inexpensively and conveniently as possible.