The SE Mini Illuminated Pocket Microscope

The SE Mini illuminated pocket microscope makes a useful toy or tool for the hobbyist. It's a compact, portable, low cost model that puts the microscopic world in hand anytime. At under $10, it's a lot of fun for not very much money!

The SE Mini 45x microscope is very easy to use as well, making it a great gift for the budding scientist. Besides being popular with parents of smaller children, this model is legitimately useful for adults as well. People have used their SE Mini in many different ways:

  • To take a closer look at gemstones and rocks

  • Examining circuit boards

  • Exploring plant parts, bugs, or leaves

  • Metallurgic work

  • To look at old coins, stamps, and other collectibles

  • Fine jewelry work

As an added bonus, you can also use the SE Mini in the following ways:

  • As an emergency flashlight

  • Attached to an Iphone case to take microscopic pictures (this really works!)

The SE Mini Illuminated Pocket Microscope Review:

illuminated pocket scope

The SE Mini microscope's list of features is almost as tiny as the unit itself:

  • Powered by three LR927 batteries

  • Storage case

  • LED light source

  • Compact unit

  • 45x magnification

One nice thing about the SE Mini is that it comes with everything you need to get started exploring. It's powered by three LR927 batteries that come with the unit, and has two small LED lights that light up the specimen. If needed, it can be separated from the light source.

This feature lets the user operate this illuminated pocket microscope if the batteries are dead or the sunlight is bright. It also allows you to view outside specimens in a more natural light, if that's something you want or need.

The SE Mini was built to be portable, and it's certainly a small pocket model. It measures 1 7/16 by 1 3/8 by 9/16 inches, and weighs about an ounce. It also comes with a carrying case that makes it easy to slip into a pocket or purse, allowing it to share space with keys, wallets, and cell phones.

This illuminated pocket microscope is pretty cheaply priced, usually found for under $10. Despite its diminutive size, it produces a clear picture for the money the user dishes out.

In terms of images, the SE Mini works well to magnify specimens of interest. It reveals details in coins, stamps, and plants that are hard to see with the naked eye. The ability to tote it around makes it easy to check out items no matter where you are.

Most users like the magnification power of this illuminated pocket microscope, although many don't think it ever reached the promised 45x. At the most, users report they thought it was closer to 20x or 30X.

This model is made from a silver colored plastic, so the lack of metal makes it less durable. There are some reported structural issues as well, and some found that the battery cap would not stay screwed in.

Apparently the lighting can be a little tricky to use for some. Certain users had to wiggle the switch in order to get it to light up. A better switch would make it a little more user-friendly.

Pros and Cons of the Illuminated Pocket Microscope (Based on Our Experiences and Consumer Reviews)


  • Small, portable, and easy to carry

  • Powerful LED light source

  • Very affordable

  • Great image quality for the price


  • All-plastic body is not very durable

  • Some users had problems with the light switch

  • Magnification may not reach the promised 45x

  • Reports of difficulty getting the battery cap to stay screwed in (although we had no problems)

Other Illuminated Pocket Microscopes

There are others less than $20 that might work for you, too.

One example is the Carson Microflip MP-250, shown here. It comes with a clip for capturing images with a camera or cellphone.

illuminated pocket microscopeCarson Microflip MP-250 shown with a camera attached for recording specimens


The SE Mini illuminated pocket microscope is tiny yet functional. At the price, it's hard to beat and easy to replace in case of an accident.

Of course it doesn't provide the amazing features of some other more expensive pocket microscopes. Yet considering the price tag, the SE Mini is a great toy or tool.


Recommended for: This model is best in the hands of young scientists and hobbyists. It can be used to get a closer glimpse of the world. However, more advanced users will want to save their money for something with more pizzazz (like the Carson Micromax).

The SE Microscope 45x Illuminated Pocket Microscope is available for under $9 from Amazon.

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