Meade ETX 125 Review: MAK Computerized Telescope

Meade ETX 125 Review
  • 92%
    Performance - 92%
  • 84%
    Ease of Use - 84%
  • 76%
    Value for Money - 76%


If you have the budget, the Meade Instruments ETX125 is an excellent choice for observing the night sky. It is a step up from basic beginner telescopes, providing easy tracking, powerful magnification and great views of different celestial objects.

The Meade ETX series consists of three models: the ETX90, the ETX80 and the ETX125. The ETX125 has the largest aperture of the bunch, thus offers the highest magnification.

The highest useful magnification is 254x, making the ETX125 perfect for observing galaxies, star clusters and nebulae as well as planets and moons. Attach one of the two included eyepieces to vary magnification and field of view for different observations.

The ETX125 is a Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope with a GoTo equatorial mount. An integrated computer makes it easy to track objects. You can also enjoy a hands-free guided celestial tour plus four hours of audio presentation.

Read on for my full review of the Meade Instruments ETX125 telescope.

Meade ETX 125 review

What are you buying?

1. 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope

Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes are pricey but they have several advantages over reflector and refractor telescopes, the biggest being better optics.

The ETX125 Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope combines the advantages of mirrors and lenses to provide excellent optics for both nearby (lunar and planetary) and deep space (stars, nebulae etc.) observations.

The ETX125 has a large 127mm aperture that collects plenty of light. This ensures that even distant objects appear sharp and bright in the eyepiece. Combined with the Ultra-High Transmission Coatings, the ETX125 delivers images with higher than average contrast and detail.

Another reason the ETX125 has such good magnification is the extra-long 1900mm focal length. It produces high magnification power when paired with any eyepiece.

Of course, you’ll need to select your eyepieces carefully depending on what you want to observe.

For lunar and planetary observations, look for an eyepiece with a long focal length. This will produce large and bright images of the moon and planets like Jupiter. To see stars and galaxies, pair the ETX125 with a short focal length eyepiece to increase magnification and field of view.

2. Computerised Controller

The computerised controller makes tracking objects in the night sky easy especially for beginners who are not sure where to start.

The controller also makes it easy to align the telescope. A red dot viewfinder is included to help you centre the star you are using for alignment.

Once alignment is successful, you can manually track objects in the sky using the arrow keys on the controller. An electric motor controls the equatorial mount.

You can also select an object and let the control automatically track it for you.

3. Large Objects Database with Audio Commentary

The AudioStar software that is the brain of the ETX125 gives you access to a large database with more than 30,000 objects. These include objects in the solar systems as well as stars, constellations, galaxies, satellites and comets.

In addition to the database, there are four hours of educational audio commentary that tells you more about the objects you are observing.

Essentially, you get a full guided tour of the night sky complete with commentary. If you have kids, this is a great feature for them.

4. Flip Mirror for Astrophotography

If you plan to attach a camera to the telescope, you’ll find this feature highly useful. The flip mirror allows you to focus the object on the camera using the telescope’s eyepiece.

When you flip the mirror down, it deflects light to the eyepiece so you can see the image the camera is about to take. You can then focus the image on the eyepiece and it’ll be automatically cantered on the camera as well.

You can then flip the mirror up to allow light to pass straight to the back onto the camera sensor.

5. Compact and Portable

One advantage of Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes is their compact design. The combination of mirrors and lenses increases focal length without increasing the length of the tube.

So you get a long focal length in a relatively small and easily portable telescope. That’s why Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes are the best for travelling.

The Meade ETX125 weighs just 11.7kg and this includes all the accessories such as the tripod and the eyepieces. The telescope comes with a case for easy portability.

With its compact shape, the EYX125 telescope can easily fit in the trunk or back seat of most cars.

How easy is it to use?

Computerised telescopes can be a bit intimidating for beginners but they are actually much easier to use.

The most important thing to do is align the telescope, and the AudioStar controller and red dot viewfinder that come with the ETX125 will help you with that.

Once you align the telescope, use the controller and equatorial mount to seamlessly track objects in the sky. And if you have no idea what to look for or where, you can get a hands free guided tour. You just sit back and enjoy the views.

The tripod that holds the telescope and mount is also easy to set up. You just need to find a level and steady ground. The tripod is height-adjustable so you can set it to the most comfortable viewing position.

What accessories are included?

  • Equatorial mount with motorised control.
  • AudioStar computerised controller with AutoStar Suite software.
  • Adjustable-height steel tripod.
  • Red dot viewfinder.
  • A pair of 1.25” eyepieces – 9.7mm and 26mm.
  • Carry case.

Meade ETX 125: Pros + Cons


  • Easy to set up and use, even for beginners.
  • Large database provides easy tracking of numerous night sky objects.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Includes multiple accessories.
  • Astrophotography ready.


  • Quite expensive.

Anything else you should know?

The Meade ETX125 is expensive, especially for a telescope made for beginner and amateur astronomers. But we think it is worth it.

Optical quality is great. The 127mm aperture, 1900mm focal length and multi-coated optics deliver excellent views both from afar (stars, nebulae etc.) as well as from close by (planets and moons).

The computerised controller is also a big deal. It makes observations and tracking easier and more fun for amateur astronomers.

Once you factor in the accessories – tripod, two eyepieces, flip mirror and others – the price doesn’t look too bad.


If you have the budget, the Meade Instruments ETX125 is an excellent choice for observing the night sky. It is a step up from basic beginner telescopes, providing easy tracking, powerful magnification and great views of different celestial objects.

Where to buy?

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