The Sky-Watcher Virtuoso GTi 130P is a fantastic beginner or “Grab n’ go” telescope, though we do recommend the larger 150P which only costs a bit more too. Those looking for a simpler or cheaper setup should consider the Heritage 130P or 150P which are identical to their Virtuoso GTi counterparts apart from the lack of GoTo.

Orion’s SkyScanner BL102 takes advantage of brand and product line name confusion, poor availability of alternatives, and the assumption that most Dobsonians are good telescopes to sell a shoddy, generic telescope with low-quality optics, poor accessories, poor design, and a rather high price for what you get.

The Sky-Watcher Heritage Heritage 150P is a stellar choice for both beginner and experienced astronomers.

Celestron Cometron FirstScope is one of the lowest-power telescopes you can get. But it is so well-built and cheap, I strongly recommend it.

Orion SkyScanner 100mm is one of the cheapest, well-made telescopes you can get.

Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro is a classic beginner’s model. This is no surprise since it is well-built, convenient and easy-to-use.

Orion FunScope 76 is one of the best telescopes you can buy that is under 100$.

Celestron FirstScope is one of the most popular beginner scopes. It has a good build quality and its optics are powerful enough to amaze first-timers.

SkyWatcher Heritage 76 Mini is the smallest “serious” telescope model you can get. It is a great way for getting kids interested in astronomy.

SkyWatcher Heritage 130P still remains as one of the best starter telescopes because of its solid collapsible design and powerful optics.