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Product Review: 400x USB Microscope


Your world around you becomes infinitely more interesting at a 400x magnification, well at least 400 times more interesting. Detail, textures and colours pop off the screen and command admiration. Our USB microscope is just the gadget to discover this fascinating world that awaits beyond the range of the human eye.

Straight out the box you will have everything you need to get your “desktop laboratory” on the go – pen protectors, clipboard and bifocals are sold seperately though. Your usb microscope package will contain the following: 400x microscope (which is cleverly powered by it’s own usb cable, so a spare plug and adding to your existing bird nest of wires and cables won’t be necessary), metal stand, user manual, cd drivers and micro capture software. All you need is a pc and a spare usb port. (drivers are compatible with all versions of windows.)

While the manufacturers claim that the magnification is 20x – 400x (it’s 20x or 400x) it is not a true 400x magnification as far as medical use digital microscopes go. So for those looking for a microscope with industrial application it would not be ideal. But if you’re after a nifty usb gadget to magnify (and capture at a max resolution of 1600 x 1200) the world around you, then this is the gadget for you, and it has a whole range of uses: from inspecting small computer parts to being a reading aid or research tool. In addition to still photo captures, you are also able to record video at this magnification which makes things super interesting. Take a look at some images (see below) taken with this USB microscope

The technical bits:

  • Image sensor: 1.3 mega pixels (interpolated to 2 mega pixels)
  • Capture resolution: 1600 x 1200; 1280 x 960; 1024 x 768; 800 x 600; 640 x 480 … 160 x 120
  • Color: 24 bit RGB
  • Focuse range: manual focus from 10mm to infinite
  • Magnification ratio: 20x OR 400x
  • Flicker frequency: 50hz/60hz
  • Frame rate: max 30fps under 600 lus brightness
  • Shutter speed: 1 sec to 1/1000 sec
  • Video format: AVI
  • Still image format: JPG/BMP
  • White balance: Auto
  • Exposure: Auto
  • Light source: 4 LED white light
  • PC interface: Mini USB 20
  • Operating system: 98/2000/XP/Vista
  • OSD Language: English
  • Power supply: 5V DC from USB port
  • Bundled Software: MicroCapture
  • Size: 110mm(L) x 33mm(R)


Although it’s not suited for industrial or medical use, it does bring a whole new fascinating world to your desktop and can be an extremely fun, creative and educational way to view all sorts of objects.


About Author

Lover of gadgets, men's culture, cool stuff, Earl Grey tea and all things manly. An optimist in his prime. When he's not keeping the wheels turning at Mantality HQ you'll find him trawling the web, and visiting trade shows to find the newest and coolest gadgets. During his down time he's usually with his 2 dogs, on the golf course, cycling or basking in the literary company of Oscar Wilde, Bret Easton Ellis or Martin Amis whilst drinking espresso strong enough to strip paint.

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