Shopping for a New Telescope: Meade vs. Celestron

It's not uncommon for new astronomy enthusiasts searching for their first telescope to ask us, Which telescope brand is better, Celestron or Meade? Both Meade and Celestron dominate the telescope market and are highly respected brands. I often refer to them like Ford and Chevy - there are drivers on both sides of that fence who are pretty passionate about their opinion. Both companies produce excellent trucks, each with their own group of dedicated followers.

So why purchase a Meade over a Celestron or a Celestron over a Meade? Much of this topic will include some opinions of the author, an owner of both Meade and Celestron telescopes. We hope we can help point you in the right direction whether this is your first new telescope or your next upgrade as you grow deeper into the hobby of astronomy.

Let's assume you have spent some time reading the basics of selecting a telescope. You know the difference between a reflector telescope and a refractor telescope. Words like Schmidt-Cassegrain and Dobsonian do not sound like a foreign language to you. This will not be a lesson on selecting a telescope, rather trying to compare Meade Telescopes and Celestron Telescopes.

Both Meade and Celestron offer telescopes from the most entry level to the ultra-sophisticated. Both Meade and Celestron make telescopes that feature Go-To technology and GPS. Both companies offer entry level telescopes under $200. Both companies have a long history in the business and are highly competitive. Both have provided this hobby with innovative new features that have made evenings under the stars even more fascinating.

Meade and Celestron both share a prominent place in our assortment of astronomy gear at TelescopesPlus.

Some highlights of the Celestron and Meade line-up.
One of my favorite series of telescopes to be offered in the last decade is the Celestron NexStar SE Series Telescopes. Available in 4-inch, 5-inch, 6-inch, and 8-inch models, this series has a perfect telescope for such a wide range of users. A NexStar 4SE are available for less than $500, and the largest aperture NexStar 8SE telescope is priced under $1200. Every telescope in this lineup is quite portable - and surprisingly, the largest, 8-inch model is easily carried out to the backyard or transported to a dark-sky location. Fully go-to enabled with automatic tracking, these telescopes are a perfect choice for any first-time serious telescope buyer.

On the Meade side, some amazing telescopes to consider are the Meade ETX Series Telescopes. The Meade ETX has a long history and has come in so many models over the years. One of the most popular and best-selling telescopes of all time is the famous Meade ETX-80 Telescope. Priced under $300, this telescope is a great entry-level telescope that features Go-To technology with automatic tracking. It's an excellent Lunar and Planetary telescope, and when under dark skies, this telescope is very capable of viewing even deep-sky objects like star clusters, galaxies and brighter planetary nebulae.

Jumping back to Celestron, another series of must-consider telescopes for the telescope enthusiast is the Celestron CPC series telescopes. Available in 8-inch, 9.25-inch, and 11-inch models, the Celestron CPC telescopes are a window into deep space. These large-aperture models are capable of viewing just about any object in the night sky and are excellent choices for both visual and astrophotography use.

Another highlight of the Meade line-up is the Meade LX200 ACF Telescopes. The ACF (Advanced Coma-Free) optical design produces refractor-like sharpness from a catadioptric design. Images appear flatter, crisper and are sharper across the entire visual field. An amazing choice for deep-space astrophotography, the Meade LX200 ACF telescopes come in 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, 14 Inch and even 16-inch models.

Is Meade better than Celestron? Celestron have the upper hand on Meade? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? There isn't an answer to this question. Nor are Meade and Celestron are the only telescope manufacturers to consider. At, we offer great telescopes in all price ranges from manufacturers like Zhumell, Sky-Watcher, Vixen Optics and Levenhuk. If you have any questions about your telescope purchase, feel free to call and speak with a Telescope Expert at 800-303-5873.

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Have questions about an item or need advice on selecting the right astronomy gear? Our team of telescope experts is here to help! Avid amateur astronomers themselves, they've tested products in the field and can provide personalized recommendations.

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