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The Quicklook Pocket Magnifier

The Quicklook is made by Ash Technologies, the popular Irish manufacturers who also make the Liberty range of slightly larger CCTVs. The difference between the Quicklook and the Pico is rather slight when it comes to specifics, but there are some differences in design that may swing your vote.

Sample Text Ginger Beer

I tested both the magnification devices using a document with a print size 12 (Arial) in a few different colours.

I also tried looking at the ingredients on the back of a shiny can of fiery ginger beer.

The Quicklook

The Quicklook pocket magnifier has a robust feel to it but lacks tactile grip of the Pico. It has an obvious difference in design in that the camera rotates on a little axle.

As with the Pico, the Quicklook does not have a zoom/magnification control. Instead it relies on the user physically moving the device closer to the subject.

The Quicklook's Camera

The magnifier has two buttons on the edge of the device either side of the camera. One alters the magnification mode (Colour, Enhanced Negative and Enhanced B&W). The other button alters the brightness of the Quicklook's screen.

Both buttons are accompanied by an audio beep when pressed which can be turned on and off if required.

The Quicklook

This photograph illustrates the Quicklook in its off state and with its camera turned inwards.

Turning the Quicklook on is easy - simply turn the camera out of its protective position and as it slots into place facing straight down the device springs into life.

Black-on-white White-on-black Full Colour

The Quicklook supports full-colour magnification at around 5x as well as enhanced B&W and enhanced reverse. The black and white images include a section of coloured text.

As with the Pico, the Quicklook's camera is built into the left side of the unit rather than in the middle. This usually foxes people at first but as soon as you've started using the device it becomes second nature. The camera is surrounded by four white LEDs that emit enough light to brighten up documents and make them easier to read.

Unlike the Pico the Quicklook does not use barn door-style legs. Instead it sits directly on the desk and provides a 5x magnification without distortion.

Writing under the Quicklook

The rotating camera not only protects the lens and makes the device easier to turn on but also can be used for writing. The advantage here is that you can see your pen 'in real life' as well as through the magnifier. The disadvantage is as you write on the pen moves further from the camera and so the magnification reduces. Like the Pico, the Quicklook needs to be pushed along frequently while writing. However, this is perfect for signing documents and other short annotations.

Charging the Quicklook

The Quicklook has a bright red LED that glows when the battery is being charged.

Because of its size the Quicklook can be used out and about, and it comes with a removable neck strap for added convenience. But because on the Quicklook the camera's white LEDs can't be turned off it makes reading shiny items such as pop cans fairly difficult.


The Quicklook has an innovative design for protecting the camera when not in use. Although it doesn't have the same pleasant tactile feel of the Pico it seems to have a robustness appropriate for school use. The magnifiers are very similar to each other in every technical way, but the design of the Quicklook gives it a slight edge for me.

Now read about the Pico Pocket Magnifier.