The Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT 4.5 is a telescope designed for those who are looking for a model that’s ready to travel. Excellent value for money, this telescope is simple enough for beginners to use without issue but can perform well enough to suit the needs of intermediate and advanced stargazers who want to be able to view the night sky easily while on the go.
Selling for between $250 and $300 at most retailers, the Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT 4.5 is a step up from the entry-level models in the Orion collection, but it is still far more affordable than the top-of-the-line models. Even though it’s made for traveling, the telescope provides a truly impressive viewing experience because it is capable of collecting 2.6 times the amount of light of a conventional entry-level 60-millimeter refractor telescope. No other telescope as small as this model can boast the same quality optics, and it offers an impressive level of magnification for a Dobsonian reflector model of its proportions.
Another nice feature of the Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT 4.5 is its helpful Sky X astronomy software. This program is geared primarily toward students, but many adults who are new to astronomy find it to be useful, too. The software provides information about what’s visible in the night sky, as well as giving insights into the various celestial bodies that can be viewed with the telescope. For families, this takes stargazing to a whole new level and adds to the educational enrichment possible from a telescope. When you consider the fact that some standalone programs that provide similar features are priced almost as much as the full selling price of the Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT 4.5, the value of the telescope really becomes evident.
Really, the biggest downside of the Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT 4.5 is that it doesn’t come pre-assembled. It is necessary to build it out of the box before use, but the instruction manual greatly simplifies the process. Even with no previous telescope experience, it should be easy to put the entire thing together in well under an hour. The only other issues with the model is that the finder is fashioned out of plastic and the eyepiece is on the small side, meaning adults may have a hard time using the telescope comfortably for very long periods of time.
Overall, the Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT 4.5 is a perfect small starter telescope for beginners. It’s easy enough for children to use and sized for their height. For the price, it’s also a great travel telescope for more experienced astronomy enthusiasts who want to start viewing the night sky in places beyond their own backyards. Keep in mind, though, that it doesn’t come with a carrying case, so you will want to purchase one separately before you hit the road.