Unlike traditional microscopes that require a base, portable microscopes are small and can be held in the hand. Many do not require batteries and can operate using natural light to produce high definition images, such as larger single celled organisms.
Portable microscopes can be used to by children, hobbyists, and scientists to examine the indoors and outdoors in great detail. They can also be used by emergency medical technicians, trauma and emergency room practitioners, scientists in field study, and hobbyists. Additional applications include industrial and manufacturing inspection for quality control such as finding imperfections in: electrical components, machinery, metals, optics, and glassware.