I'm in the very early stages of planning/saving for some new glass and wanted to get some updated opinions on these two scopes. Here are the pros/cons I've found listed in old threads for these scopes:
Pros of XT12g
Ease/time of setup
Less collimation required
Lighter in weight overall
Significantly cheaper ($453, assuming shroud for XX)
Not affected by elements due to solid tube vs. truss (flexure, wind, etc.)
Pros of XX12g
Easily broken down/transported in any vehicle
Cooling fan included ($23 value)
Probably looks cooler
Mirror cools faster if open?
Let me talk for a bit about how I would use the scope. I live in a light-polluted city with an XT8 and since getting into astronomy last March, I've logged exactly 60% of my 100 observing hours with the scope from my house. The other 40% I've taken the scope to darker skies. I would say that the percentage of going to darker skies is certainly increasing. For example, since August, it's been 40% at home and 60% away from home. Often I'm very limited on my time, observing only for an hour or two, so the grab and go XT8 has been great. I have a Toyota Highlander and don't expect to ever have a smaller SUV. I'm 30 years old and currently store my XT8 upstairs but don't really have any trouble carrying 40-50 lbs short distances.
Assuming I could talk the wife into a $2,200 budget later this year, I'm between the XX12g and a shroud, OR the XT12g, the wi-fi controller, a cooling fan to match the XX, a padded telescope case and an off-axis solar filter. The latter option would also save about $40, perhaps for a new telrad. If I don't need to break the scope down into smaller pieces, is there any way I could justify the XX over the XT? Are the views in these two truly going to be near-identical? Interested to hear some thoughts from other users. Thanks in advance!