Hello, this is my first Post in this forum, so I hope this is the right subforum for this question.
Short question: Is the EclipseView 114 identical with the Lightbridge Mini 114 (except for coloring and additional solar filter), or is there any difference not obvious on the spec sheet (different materials, spherical vs parabolic, worse construction)? I couldn't find a definitive answer anywhere, yet.
More detailed situation: I recently moved to California to a location just 0.5-1 hour drive from nice, dark viewing locations at somewhat higher atlitude, with nice conditions all year around. Since then I thought about buying a small telescope in the <200$ price range (I already own a reasonable pair of binoculars, which I carry around alot, also for daytime viewing). As, at some point in the future, I might have to move again (I am not from this country), I was looking for a reasonably priced telescope in the 4" to 5" range, small enough to be carried around. In worst case, I might even dissemble in tube and base, where the tube would travel with me in my carry-on and the base in my checked luggage, if I have to travel or move far.
This pretty much brought me to any of the tabletop mini newtons (Zhumell Z114, Orion 4.5" or Lightbridge Mini114). Recently, I have also seen that the EclipseView 114 is on sale/clearance. I have spotted it for example on amazon for $96 as a heavily discounted item (vs. >$149 on the lightbridge mini and the others). The EclipseView appears on the spec sheet a Lightbridge Mini 114, except for the additional solar filter and slightly different coloring (the original price tags Lightbridge for $149 vs Eclipseview for $189 supports this assumption). Is this correct? Or did the EclipseView recieve any kind of different components to rib off less knowledged people during the eclipse hype (i.e. a spherical mirror, worse optics, worse base construction?). I also see, why the EclipseView is on sale right now, it was introduced for the "Great American Eclipse" and now they want to get rid of stock items. But now there is no Eclipse, but casual people don't see that this is the same item (except for coloring). If, it really is the same, I can easily fit on my budget a 2x or 3x barlow, a moon filter and a maybe a book/planisphere and I have everything, I was looking for.
Thank you for your answers.