Levenhuk LabZZ M101 microscope review

If Apple made microscopes in the 2000s, it might have looked like this. What is it and how good is it?

Levenhuk LabZZ M101 with magnified image
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Calling this a toy would be a little unfair. Certainly it feels cheap and the optics are not particularly impressive, but it achieves what it sets out to do and fills a valuable niche for inquisitive minds on a budget.


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    Very affordable

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    Easy to use

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    Fun colors


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    Low quality lenses

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    No reflective light

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Seeing the Levenhuk Labs M101 microscope for the first time, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d fallen into a Luc Besson film – with thick plastic controls and brightly coloured shell, this microscope is something straight out of a sci-fi movie. But hidden behind the thick plastic and vibrant colour is a genuine scientific instrument that could open up the microscopic world to families on a tight budget.

Founded in 2002, Levenhuk is an American manufacturer of optic devices, paying particular attention to kits for children with the LabZZ trademark. In June 2016 it released the first products in this series, including the Levenhuk LabZZ MT2 Microscope, Telescope Kit and this microscope. You’re probably wondering, how much does a product suffer when it's directly marketed towards children? Let’s find out.

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Package Length130mm
Package Width180mm
Package Height270mm
Eyepiece tube length140mm
Shipping Weight0.93kg
Magnification40X – 640X
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FeaturesThis microscope is pretty bare bones when it comes to features, but its simplicity is key to its charm★★★
DesignThe design is bright and makes you want to pick it up, but suffers from poorer quality elements★★★
PerformanceOverall this performed as well as you'd expect for the price. ★★★
ValueYou can't take anything away from the fact that a compound microscope for under £50 is impressive.★★★★★

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Matt Smith
Microscope expert

Matt is DCW's microscope expert - after completing a BSc (Hons) in Biology, Matt received a Masters in Biological Imaging, going on to work at Rothamsted Research, CABI, and the NHS. He progressed into photography and video production and now works in the publishing industry for Future Publishing.