TECH GADGETS | There are times when you find some quite peculiar items for sale on the net. What's fine about these Chinese items is that they're sold very cheaply. So even if they don't fully deliver what you might have hoped, it's really not a big deal.

Along with loads small pieces of electronics like LED flash lights and light bulbs, USB devices, little handy screwdriver sets and other tools, I fell for this little fella. For just a dollar, I got this 45x microscope measuring merely one inch in size!

Massive 45x magnification & 2 LED lights

According to its specs, this neat little 99 cent microscope has a staggering 45x magnification lens, which ought to let you see all your dear and beloved germs living on and/or inside, your keyboard!

The micro microscope is also equipped with dual LED lights that can be switched on and off. The LEDs themselves deliver their usual very spotted, bright white light and should despite their small size be sufficient for this device. The light is powered by three LR927 button cell batteries.

And perhaps coolest of all; the microscope measures only about 3 centimetres, or a little over an inch, along its long side.

Is this anything, then?
- Test results and verdict

Here's the interesting part; does the thing actually work?
I would say its performance could be summed up as "meh". Looking from a distance into the lens shows a clear image of the surface you have the 'scope pointed at. But ironically, looking close into the lens as intended, I find it very hard to see anything at all, unfortunately. On top of that, the image you see in the microscope is constantly turned upside down, no matter how you hold it.

Turn that frown upside down, it's merely $.99 spent!
There is a black plastic wheel at the viewing end of the unit that can be turned. It doesn't appear to change focus the slightest bit, however. If you hold it at a perfect distance and and viewing conditions, you might get lucky and see just a little bit of particles close up. The magnification is fixed at 45x, however. This makes it a huge overkill for reading the small print on your shady phone service agreement. This device can ultimately be only used like other microscopes - scientifically. But, then again, if serious science work is your thing, this would clearly not be the tool for you. To do your work justice, a proper, higher-end microscope should be more suitable and appealing.

For us purblind regular Johns, a good old magnifying glass or a loupe is still recommended over this microscope.


More pictures...

Headlights. Even tiny LED's like these
could blind you for a moment, looking
right into them.
Your regular cold white LED spotlight.

The batteries used to power the LED's within this ridiculously
small 'scope are 3 button cells that go by the name LR927.
As delivered, in its soft little leather pouch.