Review of Mattel's Qx3 Intel Play Microscope

QX3 Computer Microscope


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This is a GREAT toy
. If  your child (or your inner-child) is interested in exploring the world of the small then this is needs to be on your shopping list for this holiday season. For under a $100.00 this is a microscope that your kids will love.

System Requirements:
Windows 98 (not Win 95)
200 MHz Processor (The book says "Intel Pentium")
32 MB RAM (or more)
75 MB Hard drive space (more is better)
4x CD-ROM drive (or faster)
Sound card (I turned my sound off after the first half hour)
DirectX (almost everything these days requires this)

Microscope at 10x Microscope at 60x Microscope at 200x
$20 bill at 10x 
$20 bill at 60x
$20 bill at 200x
Microscope at 10x Microscope at 60x Microscope at 200x
Raw Ruby10x
Raw Ruby 60x
Cat Hair 200x

Install the software BEFORE the FIRST time you plug in the microscope.

Follow the installation instructions. I chose "Full Install". Then the Registration Wizard comes up. You can fill it out or exit. Then it asks you to restart. If you wish to play with the microscope you MUST reboot.

Once you have rebooted, go ahead and plug in the microscope into the USB port on the back of your computer. Your computer will detect the device and build a driver database.

Next Double Click on the Intel Play(TM) QX3 Microscope™ on your Desktop to run the program.

On the right you will see a slider with a button above and one below it. These are controls for the lights. The top button shines light on the stage from above. The bottom button shines a light from the bottom of the stage.

Now look at the microscope. You will notice that the top half of the unit came off of the base. It is supposed to do that. You will notice a green button with a picture of a camera on it. This is so you can snap an image with out using your mouse.

The entire lens assembly comes out of the base unit so that the microscope can view objects that a conventional microscope could never do. Although it takes a steady hand it opens opportunity's for microscopic examination of the ordinary world never before possible in your home.

Notice on the lens assembly that there is a green thumb wheel. Turn the wheel and you will see there is a 10x 60x and 200x. 10x is the lowest magnification and 200x is the highest. You will also notice that the wheel turns easily and is textured to be easily turned by your thumb or finger. You will also notice that then the numbers are in he front it clicks into place, lining up the chosen lens with the camera at the top of assembly.

[Get picture of lens assembly separate from base unit]
QX3 Computer Microscope Diagram
For now put the lens assembly back into the base. You should probably start on 10x. Now place a slide under the microscope. The knob on the sides of the base move the stage up and down to focus. Turn the knob until the image on the screen is in focus. To zoom in turn the green thumb wheel to 60x and adjust the stage height again.

Now it's time to explore the world of the small.

Go here for the Intel Play Microscope Drivers... Intel® Play™ QX3™ Computer Microscope

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