Orion SkyQuest XX12i Telescope from Dobsonian
Orion SkyQuest XX12i Telescope Review
Lisa Mason rates this 4/5
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Orion SkyQuest XX12i Telescope detailed information
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FULL REVIEW: Orion SkyQuest XX12i Telescope (Dobsonian)

The Orion SkyQuest XX12i Telescope is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a strong, classic telescope in a portable option. This telescope is small enough that you can travel with it, store it with ease and keep it at home without taking up a lot of space. But is it powerful enough? Thatís a great question because what you probably already know is that smaller telescopes are often not as powerful. This one is an exception.

It has a jumbo 12" Pyrex optics (f/4.9); a stylish, reduced-weight base outfitted with IntelliScope object location technology; and a sturdy truss tube design that disassembles quickly and easily into compact, easily portable components. It will fit right into your compact car so you can take it with you to your favorite observing area.

Made strong: Itís made tough with EbonyStar laminate and Virgin Teflon azimuth bearing surfaces. It has made-tough 8" altitude bearings, dual-speed (11:1) 2" Crayford focuser, awesome accessories that you would often have to purchase separately. It comes with a one-year limited warranty so you can feel confident it is made to last.

Price and Value

At $1500, this is a real steal for this item. While that is a high price tag, itís great for what you get. Itís well packaged, it has great, easy to understand instructions on how to use it and assemble the parts and it even has an LCD display.

Product Features

  • A complete portable big-aperture telescope set - includes our innovative XX12i Truss Tube Dobsonian, view optimizing Light Shroud, and custom Case Set to hold and transport the optical tube components safely
  • Traditional 8-truss reflector optical tube design offers superior optical tube rigidity compared to other designs in this category
  • IntelliScope computerized object locating technology pinpoints any of 14,000 objects in seconds
  • Included custom-designed light shroud for the SkyQuest XX12i telescope to block stray light to improve image contrast
  • Included three case set designed to protect the optical tube sections of the SkyQuest XX12i Truss Tube Dobsonian reflector during transport

When you purchase something large like this telescope that is up there in price, itís important that you do some research first and really put the time into making sure this is what you want. Letís do a breakdown of the different elements of this telescope to help you decide if itís right for you.

The Mount

When it comes to a telescope, the mount is going to be very important. This one has a nice smooth mount with bearings that work well and roll smoothly. It has a good balance of friction allowing you to get good elevation motion as well. It has a variable tension elevation knob for further customization to your needs.


What is another important part of a telescope purchase? Well the optics, of course. This is one of the most important parts of the telescope. So how does this one measure up? The scopes are mass-produced so there is always that chance that youíre going to get lower quality but all in all, this telescope really measures up. It has great sharpness and the objects you look at will come in with good detail. Itís a real bargain for the price range.

More about the Telescope

Collimating (aligning the optics) is straightforward and easy. If youíre highly experienced, you might want to replace and upgrade certain parts but for your average user, this is a very use-as-it-is type of item.

It comes with a 10 mm eyepiece that is acceptable but that many users find they want to upgrade, especially more experienced users. Replacement is very easy to do. Cooling and heating is all in proper place and works as it should be.

Itís a pretty large instrument so you need to be aware of what youíre getting and also aware of the fact that it will look different if youíre not used to looking at the constellations and the planets through this high powered type of instrument.

What Others are Saying

So thatís all well and good but are you wondering what other people have to say about this telescope? Here are some user reviews to ponder while you make your decision.

Sky & Telescope ó July 2009
"I was struck by the attention to little details, all based on time-tested Dobsonian principles, that demonstrated that this scope was designed by someone who understood how it would be used in the field."

"If the SkyQuest XX12i IntelliScope were a car, it would be the model that dealers keep in the showroom to impress prospective buyers."

"The XX12i comes with the most effective altitude friction adjustment Iíve seen on a commercial Dob... The motions of the SkyQuest are among the best Iíve experienced..."

"If good optics in an easy-to-aim, well-built scope were the end of the story, the 12-inch SkyQuest would be a winner. But thereís much more."

"I had fun using the computerized locator. I really got a kick out of choosing objects at random just to see what would greet me in the eyepiece. It was fun ó and isnít that what telescopes are all about?"

Astronomy Magazine ó August 2009
"...I swung the [XX12i] toward the Orion Nebula (M42), which lies in the Hunterís sword. The view through the 35mm eyepiece was that eveningís "wow" moment. Faint tendrils of nebulosity filled the field. It was striking."

"Returning to the Trapezium with a 5mm eyepiece (300x), I noted that the image remained sharp and clear. Even boosting to a ridiculous magnification of 700x didnít compromise the view, a testament to the XX12iís optical excellence."


Overall, itís well worth the price for what you get. This is an amazing instrument- not a childís play toy. Itís heavy, durable and powerful. You will get your moneyís worth if you invest in this telescope.
Date Reviewed: April 19, 2012, 8:57 am
Reviewed by Lisa Mason
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