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Mobile Desktop Magnifiers

Mobile Desktop Magnifiers Examined

Vision Matters carries a variety of electronic magnifiers that offer our low vision clients the opportunity to move their electronic magnifier from location to location.  Our line of mobile devices are great for reading, crafts, writing and hobbies and have a smaller footprint than our traditional desktop magnifier.  People that are experiencing the early effects of low vision and need magnification and contrast control in order to be able to read effectively, but don’t need a lot of magnification, find some of these mobile electronic magnifiers a cost effective entry into using electronic magnification.


Our mobile desktop magnifiers can operate using battery power which makes them a versatile device for students in a school setting, workers on the move or those traveling.  To be mobile, devices need to be lighter weight, easy to transport and able to run on battery power.  In order to accomplish this, manufacturers created devices with various screen sizes and used different strategies than those found in our desktop electronic magnifiers.  One example is the built-in XY tray that most desktop reading machines have as an integral part of their system.  Mobile desktop magnifiers do not have this feature which means users must move their device or their reading materials rather than moving their reading material using the XY tray.  Some examples of mobile electronic devices include the following.

Explore 12

The Explore 12 is a battery powered electronic magnifier with a 12” screen and a simple ‘pop-out’ stand that immediately turns the device on.  Suitable for reading mostly flat materials on a desktop, Explore 12 user’s guide the device across their reading materials.  The Explore 12 has an optional stand that elevates the Explore 12 above a workspace where users can place reading materials, write or do hand work.  In the stand, Explore 12 allows users to work hands free.  A second camera is built-in and dedicated to distance viewing making Explore 12 useful in an educational setting where seeing around a classroom is a necessary part of a student’s education.  The device and stand fit nicely into a soft carrying case for easy transport.

Merlin Mini

Merlin Mini is a battery powered electronic magnifier that offers two screen sizes, either 15.6” or 17.3.”  Merlin Mini folds up and fits nicely into a soft carrying case for easy transport and like others in this class, has no built-in XY tray and means users must move their reading materials under the camera in order to read.  The Merlin Mini camera can be rotated to facilitate distance viewing and again, makes this device most suitable for the educational setting.

Transformer HD

Transformer HD is another example of a mobile electronic magnifier, but it has some unique and uncommon features.  Designed for the purpose of connecting to a computer (desktop, laptop or tablet) and utilizing the computer screen for a display and leveraging the power of the computer itself, Transformer HD is well suited for the student that can take advantage of the advanced technology found in Transformer.  Like other devices in this space, Transformers HD camera can magnify reading materials and flip to serve users distance viewing needs.

In Summary

Mobile electronic magnifiers, by design, being battery powered and lightweight, should be thought of as tools in the hands of the student, worker or traveler that needs to be able to accomplish the tasks required.  With the smaller screens, these devices are built for mobility and suitable for shorter term reading tasks and not meant to serve the user wanting simple to use for long term reading pleasure – the purpose of our desktop electronic magnifiers.

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