Orion StarBlast 6i – Review

Astronomy Telescope
Image Credit: Florencia Viadana

Using the same optics and compact design as non-computerized scopes, the StarBlast 6i is a great first telescope for those just getting involved in the hobby, or as an easily transportable secondary telescope for those who are more experienced. It has a 150 millimeter diameter parabolic primary mirror that brings in more than enough light to show off the planets and other celestial bodies in detail. Looking at the moon will reveal its craters, valleys and mountains, while further a field you will be able to see many deep-sky objects including galaxies, glowing nebulae, and star clusters.

IntelliScope Computerized Object Locator

The Orion StarBlast 6i IntelliScope Reflector Telescope is a tabletop reflector scope that gives both novice and experienced telescope users alike access to over 14,000 celestial objects. This is due to its IntelliScope Computerized Object Locator which works in harmony with two high-resolution digital encoders found on the base of the StarBlast 6i’s mount that assists you in locating objects in the sky. All you have to do is manually move the telescope as you are directed to by the arrows on the locator’s display, which features a black light. This frees up time normally spent looking over star maps, planisphere wheels or using astronomy software when figuring out what to look at, while also saving you power and energy compared to more costly motorized systems.

Intuitive Design

There are illuminated menu buttons on the included IntelliScope controller that let you select objects by type, such as galaxy, cluster, nebula or planet, or you can choose to look them up by catalog number. If you aren’t sure what to look for in the night sky, let the Tour mode do it for you by selecting one of 12 tours to see the best available viewing objects during any given month. If you find something that you don’t recognize, the IntelliScope will tell you just by pressing the ID button. This Computerized Object Locator gives detailed information about anything you see, such as what it is, its common name if it has one, the constellation it belongs to, and a short visual description.


Portable and Compact

Weighing less than most others telescopes, the Orion StarBlast 6i telescope comes fully assembled and weighs only 23.5 pounds. The trade-off to having so much aperture, however, means that it has no tripod provided, but still its compact design is ideal for those astronomers using a sturdy tabletop configuration. It also includes adjustable altitude tension on its base, and non-stick PTFE bearings for smooth maneuvering.

Final Thoughts

The Orion StarBlast 6i IntelliScope Reflector telescope is great for both seasoned and new users, although its push-to display may be complicated to use for beginners. It is portable enough to be taken just about anywhere that you like to stargaze, and it features an intuitive design that not only helps you to view objects in the night sky more clearly, but will teach you about them as you go. All in all, this is a decent family telescope.

Main Features

– Easy to use push-to IntelliScope Computerized Object Locator with more than 14,000 celestial objects
– 6″ aperture reflector optics
– 750mm focal length (f/5.0) optics
– Includes 25mm and 10mm Sirius Plossl 1.25″ telescope eyepieces, EZ Finder II aiming device, eyepiece rack, Starry Night software, and more
– Weighs just 23.5 lbs for great portability
– Pre-assembled base


Compact beginner’s tabletop reflector

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1 Comment

  1. Orion Starblast 6i “review”

    This “review” is a good jumping off point, but there are couple of basic issues that could lead people astray. While it may come with the base assembled, to use the Intelliscope function requires disassembling the mount, installing the encoders and wires, and reassembling everything!

    “Smart tabletop design” is one thing, but finding the right table or stand to put this on is another. Any old table will not work– either from lack of stability or from not permitting access to the scope from other sides of the table!

    Many of those 14,000 objects will not be viewable or will make little impression, especially from light polluted skies. You’d need a much bigger telescope to take advantage of the full catalog,

    “Gorgeous images” of planets is a stretch, too! To the uninitiated, the novice, or beginner, that will suggest Hubble type photos and view, which is hardly the case.

    Strongly recommend that readers look further for even more details on the scope and reports from users in the field.

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