The present technologies available to amateur astronomers, from beginners to serious amateurs, are unquestionably becoming more capable and complex. However, with so many brands and products to choose from, finding the correct telescope can be difficult.
We’ll concentrate on the best-computerized telescopes in our buying guide. But, before we go into the details, let’s define a computerized telescope:
Top 7: Best computerized telescopes reviews
1. Celestron CPC Deluxe 1100 HD
- Aperture: 280mm
- Focal length: 2800mm
- Motorized: Yes
- Mount type: Alt-Azimuth
The CPC Deluxe 1100HD, a computerized beast created by Celestron, one of the most recognized telescope makers, is the first on our list of reviews. This stunning telescope is ideal for people who want top-notch optical quality and the greatest Astronomy experience without breaking the bank.
When combined with the HD pro accessory, it’s also an excellent alternative for people interested in Astrophotography. The motors on this telescope were constructed with deep sky astronomy in mind, and they can track accurately for lengthy exposures, resulting in amazing photos with great clarity. That’s why it’s ranked first in our list of the best telescopes for astrophotography.
The late astrophysicist Stephen Hawking chose this telescope for his Cambridge residence.
- Aperture: With a large aperture of 280mm or 11 inches (increased with the Edge HD upgrade), it can gather a lot of light, making it a strong telescope for observing nebulas and galaxies.
- Focal length: The CPC Deluxe 1100 has a 2800mm focal length and an F/10 aperture.
This large focal length allows you to see the brightest objects in our Solar System in great detail. There’s no need for complicated eyepieces.
- Mount: This telescope comes with a Goto motorized dual-arm fork and a heavy-duty stainless steel tripod. For such a large telescope, you’d expect a sturdy tripod ad mount.
Once everything is in place, you’ll have a good, robust platform that can easily support all of that weight.
- Computer: The accompanying computer comes with a database of over 40000 celestial objects and provides a list of all the best things now visible, and the telescope uses Skyline software technology for speedy alignment. We’ll assist you in finding anything you can think of.
The hand controller is quite easy to use. It’s ideal to concentrate solely on the observational experience.
Portability: This scope’s Achilles heel may be its portability. This is a substantial tool, weighing in at 30kg. Of course, it’s ergonomically built to be handled by one person, but if you’re looking for something that’ll make traveling easier, this isn’t it.
Apertures of 9.25” and 8” inches are also available for the Celestron CPC Deluxe. Keeping the fundamental features while lowering the costs and weights.
- A fantastic 11-inch aperture
- Optics of exceptional grade
- Excellent mount
- 40,000 celestial object database
- Perfect for distant nebulas and galaxies
- It’s quite heavy
- Not budget-friendly
2. Sky-Watcher S11830 14” GoTo Collapsible
- Aperture: 356mm
- Focal length: 1650mm
- Motorized: Yes
- Mount type: Alt-Azimuth
The S11830 14” GoTo Computerized Dobsonian Telescope from SkyWatcher is immediately behind the CPC Deluxe 1100.
This superb telescope has the largest aperture on the list, with a gigantic 14” aperture and high-quality optics.
They put a lot of care into the design. The scope can be collapsed, making it easier to travel and maintain. When you consider the aperture size, this is a rather portable alternative for a telescope with these attributes.
Another excellent feature is the simple alignment setup. This allows you to quickly track items.
2’ eyepieces and accessories are compatible with the focuser.
- Aperture: This telescope collects a lot of light thanks to its massive 14’ aperture. Its ability to reach distant deep-sky objects makes it suitable for comprehensive views of the Moon and planets.
- Focal length: The Sky-Watcher Collapsible is a 1650mm focal length or F/4.9 focal ratio is available from Dobsonian.
- Mount: This is a GoTo mount that uses DC Servo Motors. It has a dual encoder mechanism that allows you to move the telescope manually without having to re-align it. So you can choose whether to use it manually or automatically.
- Computer: The Sky-computer Watcher uses SyncScan software technology to provide an easy-to-use computer with 42900 celestial objects to track at the touch of a button. It’s a great way to make use of the stunning aperture, and it also comes with a short guided tour for easy observation.
- Portability: This is a large telescope, but because of the ingenious Collapsible OTA Design, it’s manageable to travel with. If you’re traveling by car, you can split the base, or if you’re traveling by SUV, you can simply collapse it.
- Exceptional optical quality
- Collapsible design
- Manual movements without re-alignment
- It’s not cost-effective
3. Orion 10135 SkyQuest XT10G
- Aperture: 254mm
- Focal length: 1200mm
- Motorized: Yes
- Mount type: Dobsonian
Orion’s time has come. As we progress through the reviews, we select more economical and budget-friendly solutions. The Orion 10135 SKyQuest model is a fantastic mid-priced reflector telescope.
This fully motorized GoTo Dobsonian reflector telescope includes two eyepieces (28mm 2” DeepView eyepiece, 12.5mm 1.25” lighted crosshair Plossl eyepiece) and an easy finder tube to aid with two-star alignment.
If you’re looking for a less expensive Dobsonian telescope, the Orion 10019 SkyQuest XT10i IntelliScope is a good option.
- Aperture: The Orion Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy are visible with this reflector telescope, which has an excellent aperture of 10’ (very good for its price point).
- Focal length: The Orion 10135 SkyQuest XT10g has a focal length of 1200mm and an F/4.7 focal ratio.
- Mount: A Dobsonian GoTo mounts with precision optical encoders and drive motors on both the altitude and azimuth axes.
- Computer: The computer is an illuminated push-button hand controller that allows you to choose from a number of straightforward menus to select one of the 42,000 things available. Making it simple to find what you’re looking for.
- Portability: This Dobsonian Telescope does not collapse, in contrast to the SkyWaycher SI1830. As a result, it is an inconvenient mode of transportation.
- Highest quality optics
- Autotracking system is excellent
- The assembly instructions are a little complicated
- It is not very portable
4. Celestron Nexstar 8 SE Schmidt-Cassegrain
- Aperture: 203mm
- Focal length: 2032mm
- Motorized: Yes
- Mount type: Alt-Azimuth
The NextStar 8 SE is a Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope, a classic design first released in the 1970s and now updated with current capabilities like Star SkyAlign, similar to Celestron’s CPC Deluxe 11000.
This telescope was created with ease of use in mind, and this kit includes a pair of quite useful eyepieces.
If you want to shoot some Astrophotos, this is a well-rounded device that is appropriate for beginners to intermediate users. It is also well-suited for Astrophotography.
- Aperture: The aperture is 8” inches in diameter, which is a fantastic size for gathering a lot of light. This is the series’ largest aperture, allowing you to look further into space.
- Focal length: The NexStar 8SE has a focal length of 2032mm and an f/10 focal ratio.
- Mount: The GoTo mount consists of a single fork arm with dual servo motors. Its accuracy tracking makes it an ideal choice for Astrophotography with shorter exposures.
- Computer: The distinctive NexStar+ hand-controlled computer serves as the telescope’s brain. This includes a database of over 40000 celestial objects, allowing you to track and find anything you require.
- Portability: This telescope is the ideal blend of a strong tool and a portable design that makes it simple to use on a regular basis.
- Portable and powerful
- Optics are exceptional grade
- The scope of the spotter is modest at best
5. Meade Instruments ETX125 Observer
- Aperture: 127mm
- Focal length: 1900mm
- Motorized: Yes
- Mount Type: Alt-Azimuth
If you’re just getting started in astronomy, Meade INstruments’ ETX125 model is an excellent place to start. Not only does the AudioStarcontroller computer include a celestial object database, but it also has 4 hours of educational audio content.
The best-computerized telescope for mobile astronomy, this popular scope has been updated with the latest technology. It is incredibly portable and simple to set up due to its design.
If you wish to travel with your telescope, this is the instrument for you.
Two 1.25” Super Ploss (9.7mm and 26mm) eyepieces are included.
If you’re looking for a Meaderefractor telescope, the StarNavigator NG 102MM is a good option.
- Aperture: The optics’ aperture is 5” inches. Close-up views of the moon and planets are possible, as well as breathtaking views of star clusters and nebulae. However, you will be restricted in what the more advanced scopes can provide.
- Focal length: The ETX125 has a focal length of 1900mm and an f/15 focal ratio.
- Mount: An excellent dual-fork arm design with a motorized Alt-Az GoTo Mount. A robust Stainless Steel Tripod is included
- Computer: The AudioStarcontroller is a fantastic computer to start with for educational purposed, as it comes with 4 hours of audio. It features a database of 30000 celestial objects and is quite simple to use.
- Portability: Because this is a smaller telescope, the benefit of portability is obvious. However, Meade outdid themselves with the design, making it quite simple to set up. If you plan to travel with your telescope a lot and require a compact and lightweight device, this is by far the best option.
- Extremely portable
- Easy to setup
- Quality optics by Meade
- Smaller celestial objects database
6. Celestron Nexstar 130SLT Computerized
- Aperture: 130mm
- Focal length: 650mm
- Motorized: Yes
- Mount type: Alt-Azimuth
To sum it up, we chose the best-computerized telescope for a newbie astronomer at a reasonable price. For those who are just getting started, the combination of price and ease of use makes it a very appealing option. The design of this GoTo scope is a Newtonian telescope.
- Aperture: With a 5” aperture, you may expect to view some distant deep-sky objects, and it’s more than capable of observing the Moon and planets.
- Focal length: The Nexstar 130SLT model has a 650mm focal length, f/5 focal ratio.
- Mount: It comes with a single-arm GoTo mount with a solid enough tripod for a telescope of this size. The ETX125, like the Meade, is quite simple to set up.
- Computer: The NexStar hand controller computer has a smaller 4000 Celestial Objects database with expanded information for 100 of them. It comes with a beginner-friendly guided tour mode.
- Portability: Because this is one of the smaller telescopes on the list, the limits in terms of light gathering power are compensated for by the compact construction. This is the most portable and lightest telescope in this buying guide.
- Beginners will love it
- Tour mode that is friendly
- Excellent value for money
- 4000 celestial objects data-base
7. Orion StarSeeker IV 130mm GoTo Reflector Telescope
- Aperture: 130mm
- Focal length: 650mm
- Motorized: Yes
- Mount type: Alt-Azimuth
The Orion StarSeeker IV 130mm GoTo Reflector Telescope is a great starting telescope kit with a lot of features. It’s yet another great Orion telescope for beginning to intermediate amateur astronomers. The StarSeeker IV has a moderate 650mm focal length and an f/5.0 focal ratio, allowing it to catch a lot of light. As a result, it can produce some spectacularly dazzling, widefield night sky views.
The Orion StarSeeker IV comes with a fantastic collection of accessories as well. An altazimuth mount, tripod, accessory tray, Orion AZ/EQ Computerized GoTo Hand Controller (syncscan), a 10mm, 23mm wide-field 60° AFOV eyepiece, shorty 2x Barlow lens, moon filter, 12V DC power cord, AC-to-DC adapter, MoonMap 260 and DeepMap 600, and other items are included. The value Orion bundles into these kits always impress us, and the StarSeeker IV is no exception.
Additionally, the Orion StarSeeker IV’s automatic GoTo functions may direct you to over 42,000 objects, including stars, double stars, galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters. You can even put the telescope on “tour” mode to show you what’s visible on a given clear night.
Finally, the StarSeeker IV is less expensive than the two higher-ranking options on our list, making it our best value option. This telescope is difficult to resist due to its dazzling optics, large field of view, and abundance of accessories.
- Good accessories collection
- Views that are bright and expansive
- Excellent GoTo capability
- With a weight of 21 pounds, it’s not as portable as some other solutions.
What is a computerized telescope?
A computerized telescope has a mount and software that allows you to enter coordinates or choose an object from a database. After that, the telescope will locate the object for you. You won’t have to search for it manually.
A computerized telescope is a classical telescope that has been combined with a computer and a GPS
system to track things without the use of a star navigation map or manually tracking celestial objects.
Types of computerized telescopes
There are two types of computerized telescopes: motorized, also known as “GoTo”, and non-motorized.
Motorized (GoTo) telescopes
GoTo telescopes include an electronic motor that is connected to a computer that allows the user to enter destinations and the telescope will automatically go to them.
They’re simple to use, sleek, and you don’t have to do anything by hand.
Beginners will benefit greatly from GoTo telescopes, but seasoned enthusiasts who want to save time while scanning the galaxy will benefit as well.
The main disadvantage of a computerized telescope is that it makes things “too simple,” which we don’t believe is a significant disadvantage.
Non-motorized versions are similar to motorized versions in that they include a computer, but you must manually move and adjust the telescope to the correct position (the computer provides instructions).
This could be seen as a disadvantage of non-motorized versions, although many people say that they are preferable for novices.
They facilitate scanning for things while obviating the need for a motorized “crutch.”
Overall, they’re both good for beginners, but non-motorized telescopes provide you the chance to learn the ropes of manual adjusting by following through with the instructions.
What are the advantages of computerized telescopes?
- The main advantage of GoTo telescopes is that they are significantly faster and easier to use than a traditional manual telescopes. If you’re a beginner, a computerized telescope will allow you to find much more objects much faster than you could with a manual telescope on your own. They’re easy to use, and you don’t need to be an expert astronomer to use them.
- If you live in a city or under a light-polluted sky, they can also be a good solution. This is because manually identifying things requires utilizing stars as reference points, which is difficult when there are few stars visible.
What about the disadvantages of computerized telescopes?
- The primary downside is the greater cost. Computer-controlled telescopes are more expensive than conventional telescopes. If you have a specific budget in mind, purchasing a computerized option may mean purchasing a less powerful telescope, as the more powerful a telescope is, the more expensive it is, and adding the GoTo aspect increases the cost even more.
- Another potential downside is that one of the greatest methods to learn astronomy is to learn how to use a manual telescope and locate objects in the sky on you own. However, there’s no reason why you couldn’t learn just as much with a computerized telescope; it’ll simply be a little easier, and there are some cellar benefits and drawbacks.
- GoTo telescopes, unlike manual telescopes, must be plugged in or powered by batteries.
- Although a GoTo telescope will find objects for you, it is far easier to take a manual telescope out and use it yourself. You should also think about how comfortable you are with technology and computers. There may be software concerns, and as a result, some users may prefer manual solutions.
Computerized telescope price timeline
The price ranges for computerized telescopes are easier to explore than those for traditional reflector and refractor telescopes. Motorized telescopes are generally inexpensive, and a decent quality one may may be had for around or around $500.
- Under $100 – An inexpensive computerized telescope is one that costs less than $100. While these telescopes are affordable, they are usually not worth purchasing; it is preferable to pay a little more and obtain something of greater quality.
- Budget: $100 – $300 – Telescopes in the $100 to $300 range are usually of good quality and are a good choice if you’re on a budget. However, if you can, we recommend obtaining something about $300.
- Mid-range: $300-$600 – This is an excellent price range for someone new to astronomy or an experienced astronomer wishing to upgrade their old gear.
- Upscale: $600 – $1,000 – A computerized telescope of greater quality will set you back around $600 or more. At this point, the optics and general viewing quality start to improve.
- Seasoned Astronomer: $1,000+ – This price range is designed for seasoned astronomers who wish to improve their viewing experience without breaking the bank. This series of telescopes provides a stunning viewing experience, but they are also more expensive.
Can you build your own computer-controlled telescope package?
When we talk about computerized vs. manual telescopes, what we’re really talking about is the telescope’s mount system.
The telescope can be used with either manual or GoTo mounts and is sometimes referred to as an OTA (Optical Tube Assembly).
The mount is the piece of equipment that stands between the tripod and the optical tube (OTA), allowing it to move around and point where it wants.
The following are the two basic types of mounts that can both be computerized:
- Alt-Azimuth: These are generally preferable for astronomy (night sky observation) since they have a handle that allows you to adjust it up and down, left and right.
- Equatorial: These are better for capturing images (astrophotography) since they allow for a full range of motion when monitoring objects in space and are not limited by up/down and left/right motions. They are, however, more difficult to operate and are also bigger and heavier.
Both the Celestron Nexstar 90SLT and Nexstar 6SE have Alt-Az mounts, making them simple to use for newcomers (or anyone who wants it easier).
An extra component (called a wedge) can be added to the 6SE to basically make it into an equatorial mount for photographing the night sky.
The Stellina is a one-of-a-kind, all-in-one intelligent bundle.
Taking this into consideration, you may certainly purchase a telescope and mount separately to create your own system. If you want to learn more, check out the Best Telescope Mounts for Astrophotography.
But first, let’s define what a computerized telescope is for, what makes one useful, and why you should choose a computerized telescope over a regular telescope:
The aperture of your future telescope, rather than its magnification, will define its quality. The greater the aperture, the more sharp and high-definition the image.
This has something to do with the eyepieces that come with computer telescopes. Some models come with multiple eyepieces, allowing you to choose between different magnifications. Power magnifications range from 25x to 125x and beyond. Higher magnification does not automatically impy a clearer image, as extremely big images can be distorted.
Keep in mind that the focal length will affect your angle of view, making it wider or narrower.
Following that is the mount, which is an important component of the kit. Even if you buy the most expensive telescope with the largest aperture, it will be useless unless it is supported by a robust base that can keep the image stable. As previously stated in this tutorial, we will concentrate on telescopes with a GoTo mount, which are motorized mounts that use a GPS system to track all of the items available on each computer.
Remember the most powerful telescopes with large apertures are typically large and hefty. So you’ll gave to figure out where your sweet spot is.
Using a good telescope to travel the night sky is a fantastic experience, but it also needs to be portable and light enough to be used on a regular basis.
Size and weight
The first question is whether you want to travel with your scope or whether you have a fixed location at home where you can set it up. You’ll need a light and portable scope if you wish to take it on vacations to darker observation spots. Weights can range from 20 to 80 pounds. For simple transportation, look for a top digital telescope that weighs between 25 and 40 pounds.
The alignment technique is substantially easier with a GPS-powered telescope. Dates, hours, and place are not require. The GPS automatically gathers data from satellites and determines your exact location on the planet. A GPS receiver can be connected to several computer telescopes. A GPS system is included in some of the more expensive models.
When you choose a computerized option, you do it for the ease with which you can track objects. As a result, the database’s size is crucial. It’s pointless to spend money on a scope that won’t track the objects you’re interested in. Most acceptable scopes, on the other hand, will have all of the necessary objects, such as prominent stars, planets, and nebulae. Others will have a greater number of deep space objects. At the same time, having a scope with a database that is simple to use and access is beneficial. It’s not much fun to spend an entire evening flipping through menus.
Before using a computerized scope, it must be aligned. The most frequent method needs you to level the mount and then locate two bright stars in the sky. From here, selecting stars from a list is simple, and you can then center them in the scope.
It gives your scope all the data it needs when paired with date and time. The other method of alignment is to use a GPS or WiFi connection, both of which are convenient and simple to use.
Ease of use
Some telescopes are more difficult to use than others, which is something you should keep in mind right away. Make sure the scope you choose is appropriate for your skill level. If you’ve never used a telescope before, for example, you should get a simpler model that won’t frustrate you. We recommend that you take your time when selecting a scope and select the one that is the most user-friendly for you, based on your skill level.
Don’t forget the power source
Before purchasing a computerized telescope, you must first choose where you would use it the most. What extra accessories you need depend on where you plan to use it, especially when it comes to power.
- Because these telescopes require electricity to work (obviously), you’ll need a reliable power supply if you want to enjoy uninterrupted viewing of the night sky. You may simply connect your telescope into an outlet inside or outside your home if you’re using it at home.
- If you’re going to use it in a distant location, you’ll need a portable power supply.
Both alternatives can have an impact on the telescope’s overall price and portability. Most portable power sources for telescopes come with an adapter that you can connect into your car, but if you’ve ever tried it, it ruins the experience (you’ll be worried your car battery will die the entire time). Adding a portable power source increases the overall weight of your telescope, which is important to keep in mind if you want to hike with it.
What is the best telescope to buy for home use?
The Celestron NexStar 8SE is an excellent home telescope. Combining strength with a user-friendly design.
Which telescope is the best for deep space viewing?
Apertures are important to consider if you want to follow distant deep sky objects. The Celestron 1100 HD and the Sky-Watcher S11830 are both excellent light collectors.
Is a computerized telescope worth it?
Yes, it is a simple and quick approach for novices to begin stargazing. Beginner amateur astronomers may grow irritated when attempting to discover sky objects. This issue is no longer a problem with computerized telescopes.
What’s the best computerized telescope for viewing the planets and moon?
A telescope with a larger focal length is recommended for observing the moon and planets of our solar system. The 90SLT and 127SLT from the Celestron SLT line, for example, offer substantially larger focal lengths than the other two models – for a complete analysis, see Celestron Nexstar: which model to buy?
A greater focal length means it will zoom in closer to a narrower field of view. This is ideal for viewing the moon and planets because they are closer to Earth than far away galaxies, nebulae, and other deep space objects, which require a larger aperture for effective viewing.
Are computerized telescopes good for children?
Yes, but probably only for youngsters who are old enough to look after themselves. Other options for different age groups can beb found in our article on the Best Telescopes for Kids.
Can you connect a telescope to a computer?
Yes, you can use software like Stellarium to control these telescopes instead of using the hand controller. All you’ll need is the proper cable to connect it.
Things to consider
Keep in mind that the GoTo mount must be properly aligned with at least two bright objects in the night sky. Even though this is an automatic system, you will need to know the names of two or three brilliant stars in the sky to serve as a reference point.
When you first switch on the telescope, it will do a little dance to identify the north, level, and depending on the information it receives from the GPS, it will know where it is on the planet and will choose a star for us to fine-tune it to. The computer will ask us to center that star in the eyepiece, at which point we shall manually align the bright star with the finder telescope.
While the majority of computerized telescopes only require a two-star alignment, some will demand a third.
We concentrated on computerized telescopes with a GoTo (motorized) mount in this buying guide. This will keep track of all the objects in their computer database automatically. However, there are computerized telescopes with non-motorized mounts available, which will not automatically track objects for you.
Despite the fact that these telescopes are meant for easy and simple use, this buying advice is not for children. Models of Smith-Cassegrain, Dobsonian, and Newtonian telescopes were the subject of this buying guide. We recommend Meade’s StarNavigator NG 102mm Achromatic Refractor Telescope with AudioStar Controller if you’re looking for a nice and economical computerized GoTo refractor.
Hopefully, by now, you’ve gained a better knowledge of what a computerized telescope with GoTo capabilities is, what makes one useful, and why it’s a fun way to learn about astronomy and the night sky. There are a lot of options on the market today, but our top picks for the finest computerized telescopes cover options for everyone from beginners to experts. We hope the reviews and buying advice were helpful, and don’t forget to check out our tips on the best telescopes tips.
Last update on 2022-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API