Price: ~ £140
Focal Length: 650mm
The telescope has retractable truss rod design with names of those famous to astronomy printed around the main tube, meant to celebrate the 2009 Year of Astronomy.
With the telescope in carry mode, it sits around 45cm, and the extension of the rods take it to about 70cm. Actually the scope’s small dimensions, despite being the main selling point, are actually its downfall- the scope it just too uncomfortable to use without mounting it on a table or something similar to sit it higher off the ground. Cue aching backs and sore knees.
Despite this, the 130 remains a competent scope for those who can look past this issue. The 130mm aperture puts it in the realms of deep sky observing, whilst the 650cm focal length makes it an ideal scope for observing star clusters.
The scope is supplied with the usual 10mm and 25mm eyepieces which serve as decent starting e.p s though you will quickly want to upgrade these. It also ships with the usual Skywatcher Red Dot Finder which is again fine but will be subject to an upgrade if you want to get the most out of your scope.
In the field the scope performs well. When cooled, views are impressive of star clusters, both open and the brighter globulars such as M13. Brighter galaxies are easy to locate, though the 130mm aperture sets a using limit for just how low magnitude (high mag. number) you can view. An experienced user will easily locate M81/2 easily for instance, but may struggle with the Coma galaxies (though this largely depends on the darkness of your skies).
Overall i would recommend this scope were it not for the impractibility of its size. If you have a portable camping table for instance, it would be perfect, but if you dont want to be kneeling down all night in the cold, i would consider a mounted scope, or a larger dobsonian.