Since being founded in 1972, Meade Instruments have become one of the most trusted and sought-after manufacturer of telescopes. Over the years, we’ve seen huge advancements in technology that helped change the shape, size, and power of scopes to bring you an up-close look at one of our favorite past-times. Astronomy itself hasn’t changed much over the years, but what we see while looking down the long narrow tubes has.
Telescopes come in all different shapes and sizes, and being one of the pioneers of home astronomy, Meade telescopes are continually regarded as some of the best. Whether you’re looking for a catadioptric, reflector or refractor, considering a Meade is always a great place to start.
The following review details the best Meade telescopes this year while breaking down all the reasons why.
|Image||Product||Aperture||Max Focal Length||Rating||See Best Price|
|Meade Instruments 1205-05-03 LightBridge 12-Inch Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope||12-inch||1524mm||9.8|
|Meade Instruments (0810-90-03) 8-Inch LX90-ACF (f/10) Advanced Coma-Free Telescope||8-inch||2000mm||9.0|
|Meade Instruments LX90-ACF 10-Inch (f/10) 30K object Database Advanced Coma-Free Telescope||10-inch||2500mm||8.5|
|Meade Instruments (205004) ETX90 Observer Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope with Tripod, Eyepieces, and Hand Carry Case||90mm||1250mm||8.3|
|Meade Instruments Infinity 102mm AZ Refractor Telescope||102mm||600mm||8.2|
- Wide single eyepiece
- Simple mounting
- Portable, can be stored in small spaces
- Highly recommended for intermediates and pro users
- Could use more than one eyepiece
- Does not include a light shroud tool
The 1st Meade Instruments telescope in this review is an impressive Dobsonian that scores a 9.8 out of 10. Getting rave reviews by consumers for its large 12-inch aperture which has a 1524-mm focal length. This gives you amazing clarity for deep space viewing with crystal-clear images which you just don’t see in other telescopes in its class.
The 12-inch Meade Instruments Lightbridge features a laminated base and roller bearings which sit atop the azimuth axis. The high-quality open truss design boasts an anti-reflection coating on the trusses and castings which improves the visuals that much more.
Other aspects that make this Meade Telescope standout include its lightweight design, wide eyepiece, and it comes in highly recommended for beginners and intermediates.
- Compact, stylish design
- Portable and easy to move from location to location
- Automatic alignment simple to use
- GPS sensors makes tracking simple
- Standard field tripod included
- Batteries not included
This 8-inch Meade Instruments telescope is an advanced coma-free model which claims the 2nd spot in this review. Built specifically for professionals, but worthy enough for intermediates seriously into astronomy which uses cutting edge technology making any astrological experience better than ever. The LX90-ACF has become one of the best-selling in its class and boasts a near perfect 5-star consumer rating on Amazon.
The LX90—ACF is available in three different sizes including 8, 10, and 12-inches. Each outperforms the competition, and all feature an 8'' f/10 Advanced Coma-Free Optics, field standard tripod, 2000mm focal length, Ultra-High Transmission Coatings, and an AudioStar™ handbox which includes a speaker. At this price, this Meade telescope is best suited for more experienced astronomers as beginners will find it’s too difficult to appreciate.
- Includes durable tripod stand
- Great GPS sensor makes tracking and location simple
- Illuminated, wide field of view
- Auto alignment with AutoAlign technology
- Simple to operate, assemble and disassemble
The 10-inch LX90-ACF scores an impressive 8.5 out of 10 and is highlighted by a huge database which makes it simple to find over 30,000 celestial objects. This model takes full-advantage of Meade’s own Advanced Coma-Free optical system which integrates the best features of the SC models and improves it significantly. Thanks to the unique, superior optical design, users can expect to get the best clarity and optical imagery from anywhere in the sky.
Highlight features of the 10-inch model include a f/10 aperture, Sony GPS, Auto Align, Easy Align, 10-inch primary mirror, tripod, and much more. The Sony GPS is a stand-out feature which does much more than provide precise direction, but also date and time. The LX90 series integrates Meade’s use of larger mirrors then stated as the 10-inch primary mirror is more like 10.25 giving you a full-illuminated field of view.
- Intuitive automatic alignment
- Easy to operate, even for beginners
- Simple no-tool setup
- Suitable for beginners and amateurs
- High quality imagery
- Low quality gear construction, made of plastic
Coming in with a very affordable price tag, the Meade Instruments ETX90 is a Maksutov-Cassegrain model which includes a tripod, eyepieces, and carrying case. Scoring an 8.3 out of 10, Meade proves once again that high-performance astronomy doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Highlighted by a 90mm aperture, but is also available with an 80mm model which is about $100 cheaper.
The Meade ETX90 Observer is the perfect telescope for beginners and is highly portable complete with a hard-shell carrying case and weighs under 35 pounds. Other features include 2 Super Plods Eyepieces, F/13.8 ratio, ultra-high-transmission coatings, and a 1250 focal length. At this price you won’t go wrong, it is available in 80 and 90mm aperture.
- Red dot finder makes it simple to locate and track objects
- Includes an accessory tray large enough to hold everything you need
- Slow motion control simple to use
- Perfect focus with great clarity
- Wide aperture allows for wider viewing then most
- Too difficult for beginners
- Red dot alignment has a learning curve
The 5th model in this review isn’t only one of the best Meade telescopes this year, but it’s hands-down one of the best options for beginners. The 102mm AZ refractor telescope comes in with a very budget friendly price coming in well below the MSRP. The versatility of this refractor gives users the ability to choose their aperture size including 50, 60, 70, 80. 90, and 102mm.
The Infinity 102mm AZ refractor telescope comes in with a very affordable price tag making it perfect for beginners, but grows with you making it a formidable option for intermediates. Highlight features include a Altazimuth mount along with slow-motion controls and a panhandle, 600mm focal length, f5/9, rack and pinion focuser, three eyepieces for low, medium, and high, and a red dot viewfinder which makes it easier to track objects during night or day.
Meade Instruments is one of the oldest manufacturers of telescopes and over the years they’ve continued to lead the industry with their lineup of refractor, reflector and dobsonian models. If you’re looking for an upgrade or new to astronomy all-together, you will never go wrong with any of the Meade telescopes above.