Picking the 13 Best Video Magnifiers for 2020
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With age come many physical changes; these physical changes may push us to amend our lifestyle and improve our functionality with the help of technology and various tools.
One such tool is the video magnifier; this device is excellent for people who have trouble reading smaller texts or looking at the details in small images. When reading glasses just don’t cut it, video magnifiers swoop into the rescue.
In this article, we will help you understand what video magnifiers are and the difference between desktop and portable versions.
Then, we will show you our top picks for each category and offer you a brilliant catalog of video magnifiers to choose from, all while evaluating their pros, cons, and general features.
What Are Video Magnifiers?
A video magnifier is a special tool that assists the visually impaired; it is an electronic gadget that digitally magnifies text or small prints and displays them on a screen, hence making the subject easier to read or look at.
Video magnifiers are excellent tools for people who have trouble reading small texts; for this reason, these gadgets are widely used by senior citizens.
Desktop vs. Portable Video Magnifier
There are two fundamental types of video magnifiers; desktop and portable versions. Each has its own unique set of benefits and is better suited to a certain purpose.
Desktop Video Magnifiers
A desktop video magnifier is a special device that enlarges an image or text; desktop versions are generally placed in one fixed location and not moved about often.
They come with a built-in reading table, upon which the text or image is placed. This text or image, usually in the form of a book, newspaper, or photograph, is magnified and displayed upon the screen above.
Desktop magnifiers have large screens; these are much larger than those found in portable versions. The screen is similar to that of a computer and is generally attached to the rest of the system, including the processor and reading table.
Portable Video Magnifiers
Portable video magnifiers are the perfect alternative to desktop video magnifiers; they are portable, unlike their fixed counterpart, and can be taken and used on-the-go. They have many benefits, including features that the desktop version does not offer.
However, as with every product, portable video magnifiers have their cons, too.
For example, their screens are much smaller than those of desktop versions. Hence, they are better suited to people who want a quick read, like checking the back of a medicine box, as opposed to a longer read, like a recipe or news article.
Desktop or Portable: Which One is Best for Me?
If you’re wondering which version is better for you, read on.
Both desktop and portable video magnifiers are extremely powerful devices; each of them offers top-notch magnification and high-definition images. However, certain important differences should be taken into consideration before you settle for either device:
Desktop video magnifiers are better for those individuals who need a fixed screen to be placed in a fixed location within their home. Desktop versions also do well in educational settings; a library or study-room for older people is a good example.
They are ideal for reading longer texts, like a baking recipe, or for specific activities that do not require the user to move around, for example, letter writing.
Portable video magnifiers are better for on-the-go people. For example, if the user is someone who travels a lot or needs help reading everyday outdoor things, like maps or bus tickets, a portable version is much better and more practical.
Also, if you require a cheaper product to make-do with, go for a portable video magnifier. However, this might give you some trouble when reading longer texts, and you will have to move the device manually to read each new line, which can get tiring.
Furthermore, the desktop options offer higher magnification than portable options, so keep that in mind before choosing a product. A desktop version can offer around 70x maximum magnification, but a portable version will offer an average maximum of 13x.
When choosing between a desktop video magnifier and a portable one, make sure you know what you need it for. Then, select a device that is better suited to your purpose.
5 Best Desktop Video Magnifiers
The market is brimming with desktop video magnifiers, but not all are worth investing in. These products are quite costly, which is why you should go over all their features and see if they’re worth the price before you confirm the transaction.
A desktop video magnifier can last you years, so make sure you buy one that you are fully satisfied with.
To make the selection process easier for you, we have compiled a list of our top favorite desktop video magnifiers below:
1. LookStation HD Desktop Video Magnifier
- HD Camera
- 24-inch high-resolution screen
- 8 high-contrast color modes
- Up to 75x magnification
- Line marking feature
- Freeze frame feature for closer viewing
- Anti-blur technology
the LookStation HD desktop video magnifier is a brilliant device; it sports a 24-inch widescreen color monitor which allows for magnification from 2.5x to 79x, which is more than what the average video magnifier offers.
It also offers eight different high-contrast color combinations, which the user can decide upon by themselves.
The device also comes with a line market to help with adjustment and focusing. In addition to this, the Lookstation HD desktop video magnifier sports anti-blur technology to guarantee a crisp image.Get it on Amazon
2. Magnisight – Explorer HD 24 Inch Widescreen Video Magnifier
- 24 inch LCD screen
- Up to 70x magnification
- Wide Screen Viewing
- Simplified controls
- Easy-to-use zoom controls
- Variable brightness controls
The Magnisight Explorer HD is a fantastic product designed to assist all people with visual impairment; it is one of the best products available in the market and is certainly worth the investment.
This device boasts a flexible desktop screen that is fully adjustable, complete with a pivotal ability. This allows the user to rotate and adjust the screen to make viewing comfortable.
The screen pivots both vertically and horizontally. It can also be positioned in any direction at all, hence allowing for viewing from multiple angles.
The LCD screen spans 24 inches and flaunts high definition imagery. The magnification range is between 4x and 70x, making it the ideal product for people with compromised vision.
The product itself comes fully assembled and ready to use. It also comes with a three-year-long warranty.Get it on Amazon
3. Visio 22 Desktop Magnifier
- Up to 60x magnification
- 22 inch TFT widescreen monitor
- LED illuminated screen
- 7 high-contrast color combinations
- 4 control buttons
- Dimensions: 20.2 x 22.0 x 22.8 inches
The Visio 22 features advanced European technology and guarantees a crisp and clear image every time you use it. The device also sports the option to choose between 7 hi-contrast alternative color combinations, which allows for a comfortable and fully customizable viewing experience.
This device has an LED illuminated viewing screen as well as an XY table. Users can control the brightness and contrast to suit their needs, as well as thicken handwritten lines without disrupting the text, image, or background.
This device provides ample space between the camera and reading table, so you can easily place whatever you need to scan inside of it.Get it on Amazon
4. HIMS – Lifestyle Standard Video Magnifier
- 19 inch LCD screen
- Standard definition resolution
- Up to 74x resolution
- 7 image modes, including 4 user-selectable modes
- Line marking feature
- Weight: 15.8kg
- Dimensions: 20.8 x 17.3 x 19.5 inches
The Lifestyle HD video magnifier device is another brilliant option for those who need help with reading or viewing images.
This device comes with a smartly designed LCD screen that spans 19 inches and offers crisp and high-resolution viewing. The screen is fully adjustable and can pivot, too.
This video magnifier comes with multiple color grading options, enabling a fully customizable viewing experience. Its minimum magnification is 3x, and the maximum is 74x.Get it on Amazon
5. Presto 15 Inch LCD Desktop Video Magnifier
- 15-inch color LCD screen
- Flat-panel design
- Up to 40x magnification
- 4 button front control panel
- Non-glare LED lights
- Image features such as color, black and white, or reverse image
This product has an LCD screen that spans 15 inches; although this is smaller than the average desktop video magnifier, is does its job well, which is why we have included it in this list. However, despite the smaller screen, this product does not compromise on price nor quality.
The Presto LCD desktop video magnifier has an autofocus zoom option that makes this a convenient and accessible device. It has an extended travel XY table that is 16 inches by 12 inches, hence allowing for easy placement of the product to be scanned.
This is one of the smallest and most compact desktop video magnifier designs available in the market. It is powerful and easy to use, too. However, its maximum magnification is just 40x, which is significantly lesser than the other products noted in this list.Get it on Amazon
How We Ranked the Best Desktop Video Magnifiers
We ranked the products mentioned above based on a few important things: screen size, magnification, value for money, and adjustability.
While all the devices offered excellent flexibility and adjustability, we found that some performed better than others in terms of magnification, with the LookStation HD Desktop Video Magnifier taking the lead.
As for size, the LookStation and Magnesite Explorer were the best picks; both of these devices sport a 24-inch widescreen that offers the most comfortable viewing experience.
We found that the Presto device had the worst value for money, as it offered a smaller screen and XY table than the others for a similar price.
8 Best Portable Video Magnifiers
Moving on from desktop video magnifiers, we will now take a look at the best portable video magnifiers available on the market. Again, portable magnifiers cost a lot, so it’s important that you select one after analyzing it completely.
Here are our top picks for portable video magnifiers:
1. SenseView Duo Portable Video Magnifier
- 3 inch wide LCD screen
- Up to 12x magnification
- 6 color modes
- 4 levels of brightness
- Rechargeable Lithium Polymer batteries
- 4 hours of continuous use from a single charge
- Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 1.1 inches
- Weight: 261g
The SenseView Duo portable video magnifier has an LCD screen that’s 4.3 inches wide and a camera that offers a 3x to 12x magnification. This device has a special camera light that can be turned on or off, depending on the user’s needs.
It offers clear images with adjustable contrast and color schemes. You can store up to 20 images inside of it at a time for future reference, and alternate between 4 screen brightness levels.
This device has an accessible design that is both easy to use and stylish. It does not need to be charged too often and can be used for up to 4.5 hours straight.Get it on Amazon
2. HumanWare Explore Handheld Video Magnifier
- Built-in 5 inch LCD screen
- HD image quality
- 5-megapixel Omnivision image sensor
- Up to 22x magnification
- 3 hours of continuous use from a single charge
- Non-removable Li-Polymer 2800 mAh battery
- Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.5 x 0.8 inches
- Weight: 228g
The HumanWare Explore video magnifier has a 5-inch screen, which allows for easy viewing. The device offers a 2x minimum magnification and a maximum capacity of 22x, which is remarkable for such a small device.
It also has the HD image quality and flaunts a handy autofocus feature. This product has a magnesium alloy bezel design to help protect the screen from damage.
The battery life is decent, too, with the device providing up to 3 hours worth of usage on a full charge.
It weighs half a pound, and it easy to carry around; the device can fit right into a large pocket or inside a purse.
This video magnifier has large, bright buttons for easy control and also has a flip-out handle that can help users enjoy a comfortable viewing session. The flashlight option is a handy addition, allowing users to light up the viewing page if needed.Get it on Amazon
3. Enhanced Vision Pebble Portable Video Magnifier
- HD Camera
- 3 inch LCD Screen
- Diagonal TFT display
- Resolution” 480 x 272 (RGB)
- 28 color select modes
- Up to 13.5x magnification
- Easy-to-use large buttons
- Adjustable brightness
- Comes with a carrying case
- Rechargeable batteries
- 3 hours of continuous use on a single charge
- Dimensions: 10.2 x 3.1 x 1 inches
- Weight: 204g
This product is undeniably one of the best portable video magnifiers you can get. It is fully portable and has an HD camera with a 4.3 inch LCD screen.
This device is remarkably lightweight and weighs just 7.2 ounces and its battery lasts up to 3 hours per charge. Moreover, it contains 28 different color select modes for comfortable viewing. The color settings can easily be adjusted to match the user’s preference.
You can also alternate between different brightness modes and opt for the flashlight to be on or off.
It has a magnification range spanning from 1.25x to 13.5x, which is enough to read most things, like maps and medicine packages.
The product has a two-year warranty, although it is unlikely to come in use as this is a remarkably durable video magnifier.
It also has a handle to make viewing more comfortable and has many handy features, like freeze-frame, which allows users to take a picture of the scanned object or text and view it at their own leisure without having to hold the magnifier in place.Get it on Amazon
4. Eschenbach SmartLux Digital Portable Magnifier
- 5-inch LED-backlit LCD TFT display
- 5x, 7x, 9x, 12x magnification modes
- Color modes: full color, black on white, white on black, black on yellow, yellow black
- 5 viewing modes
- 3 simple marked buttons
- Automatic shut-off feature – after 5 minutes of non-use
- 5 hours of continuous use on a single charge
- Charging via power cord
- Main voltage requirements: 110V – 240V, 50 – 60Hz
- Weight: 221g
This device is complete with five viewing modes and a magnification range of 5x to 12x, which is a decent range similar to what most portable magnification products offer. It also has a screen contrast ratio of 600:1.
This portable video magnifier has an LED-backlit LCD screen that spans 5 inches, which is larger than most screens. However, the difference isn’t too significant.
The device weighs 7.8 ounces and is easy to carry around, making it one of the best portable devices on the market.
It has a battery life of up to 2.5 hours, which is lesser than what most portable video magnifiers offer. It has a two-year warranty, which is helpful.Get it on Amazon
5. Eschenbach Mobilux Digital Touch HD Handheld Video Magnifier
- 3-inch screen
- Mobilux Digital Touch HD
- LED illumination
- Up to 15x magnification
- Automatic shut-off feature – after 5 minutes of non-use
- 5 contrast modes
- Removable 4GB SD card
- Li-ion rechargeable battery
- 3 hours of continuous use on a single charge
- Weight: 227g
This device has a 4.3 touch-enabled inch screen. It has a magnification range that begins at 4x and goes up to 15x. The screen has a protective anti-glare coating, allowing for easy image-viewing even under harsh sunlight.
The anti-glare feature is excellent and not something that most devices have, which is why this product is definitely one that’s worth considering.
This device weighs just 8 ounces and is easy to carry around without weighing you down. It has a built-in auto-shut feature; the device will switch off after 5 minutes of inactivity to preserve battery.
Moreover, it has a 3-hour battery life and offers five contrast color modes.Get it on Amazon
6. Zoomax M5 Portable Video Magnifier Device
- 5 inch TFT touchscreen
- 1280 x 720 screen resolution
- Up to 16x magnification
- 5 megapixel HD camera
The Zoomax M5 is a force to be reckoned with; this compact portable video magnifier device has a full-color screen that is touch-enabled, allowing for easy usage. It offers a minimum magnification of 2.3x and a maximum of 16x, which is excellent.
This product weighs just over half a pound and has excellent portability. It has an autofocus camera with a 5-megapixel resolution, allowing for excellent and clear images.Get it on Amazon
7. Eschenbach Visolux Portable Video Magnifier
- 12 inch TFT LCD display
- FHD camera
- Built-in stand
- Unique Dynamic Line Scrolling (DLS) feature
- HDMI and USB ports
- Removable 8GB SD card
- Comes with a durable nylon carrying case
The Eschenbach Visolux portable video magnifier is slightly different from other portable magnifiers; this device has a large touchscreen that is 12 inches wide. This LCD screen is accompanied by a built-in camera and stand, along with easy access buttons on the front of the device.
With a 22x maximum magnification, this is one of the most powerful portable video magnifiers on the market.
In some ways, this device resembles a tablet. It has a unique Dynamic Line Scrolling (DLS) feature that allows users to scroll both horizontally and vertically using just their fingers. You can also change the color settings for a top-class comfortable viewing experience.
You can also transfer images from this device to a computer using the USB port option. It also has a removable 8 GB SD card and weighs 3.1 pounds, making it slightly heavier than most portable video magnifiers.
This device has a two-year warranty, which is excellent.Get it on Amazon
8. Snow Portable Video Magnifier
- 3 inch TFT color screen
- Up to 16x magnification
- Zoom in zoom out feature
- 10 hi-contrast viewing modes
- Freeze Frame feature
- Rechargeable battery
- Ability to connect to your TV
- Supports PAL and NTSC formats
- Auto shut-off feature – after 3 minutes of non-use
- Up to 3.5 hours of continuous use on a single charge
- Built-in rechargeable lithium battery
- Dimensions: 6.25 x 4.125 x 1 inches
- Weight: 204g
The Snow portable video magnifier is an ergonomically designed compact device that can easily fit into your purse or pocket. This product has a 4.3-inch wide color screen with ten contrast viewing modes and easy magnification alteration. Its maximum magnification capacity is 16x, which is excellent for a device of this size.
This device also has a handy freeze frame option and can be connected to your TV or computer for a unique viewing experience on a larger screen. Furthermore, this device shuts off automatically after 3 minutes of no usage; this helps preserve its battery.
It has a maximum battery life of up to 3.5 hours. It weighs 7.2 ounces, which gives it excellent portability.
However, this device does not come with a built-in handle, which can cause trouble sometimes. It does not come with a warranty, either.Get it on Amazon
How We Ranked the Best Portable Video Magnifiers
We ranked the products on this list by judging based on the following factors: magnification, screen size, portability, and battery duration.
Magnification is the most important feature for such devices; their entire purpose is to make things appear larger for easy viewing. Screen size is hence important, too; the screen should be large enough to prevent eye-strain on a person with already compromised vision.
Battery life is another important element to take into consideration; portable devices are generally used outdoors, which means that they should have enough battery to last them through the whole trip without needing to be charged too often.
As for portability, the device should not be heavy or weigh you down; a portable video magnifier needs to be lightweight and compact enough to fit into a purse or pocket, or else the very purpose of purchasing a “portable” video magnifier is defeated.
With time, a person’s vision can deplete and become compromised, so much so that even reading simple labels becomes difficult. At times, a person’s eyesight can become weak to the point where even glasses do not help.
At times like this, a video magnifier can help immensely. But remember, it is important to differentiate between the two types of video magnifiers (portable and desktop) and choose the one that lines up with your needs.
You can use the guide above to help you understand the differences between the two types and decide which one works best for you or your loved one.
All the products listed above yield excellent results; however, each of them is adapted to a specific purpose and has its own unique pros and cons, so choose wisely!