Micsig Tablet Oscilloscope tBook mini TO1104 review 2017/7/2 19:49:33 hits:


Title:Micsig Tablet Oscilloscope tBook mini TO1104 review

Excerpted from:EEVblog






I’ve been looking for a 4 channel ~100Mhz ‘scope for home electronics use, and for use at work (embedded software / hardware debugging), preferable with a good memory depth and trigger out. At work I use a combinations of Rigol MSO 1104Z plus, Keysight MSO-X 3054T, and R&S RTM2034 (similar to Keysight MSO 3054T but with a decent 100x the memory depth and better screen). 

Before choosing the Rigol for work I tried one of the Micsig 10” tablet (TO204A) scopes from a local supplier, I liked the spec, user interface and form factor, sadly work budget limited me to Rigol. 

Recently I noticed Micsig had release a new cheaper scope still in tablet format, I first found it on Amazon US, but they ship direct from to China world wide. The price was similar to Rigol DSO1054Z, the specs are similar to the Rigol with full codes, the Micsig had a edge in some places and had more unknowns (touchscreen only interface, build quality, features), the Rigol is not without its flaws. 

Several factors swayed me, notably, larger screen size, smaller desktop footprint, WiFi, battery powered for those outdoor projects, and mouse control. (so I can tuck it out of the way but still control it easily). I was also taken by the Micsig teardown done my Dave, that leads me expect the diligence has been taken with the tablet ‘scopes.


In the end my hard earned cash went on the Micsig TO1104. 


Now I have  access to both a Rigol (at work) and Micsig TO1104 (personal) so can do side by side comparisons.

I’ll cover the specs first, then discuss what it’s like having used it for a few weeks and any other pros and cons.


I unboxed the Micsig with a little trepidation since you never quite know what the kit is unlike until you get it in your hands, I needn’t have worried, it’s a satisfyingly solid feeling piece of kit, the screen is 8” (20cm), but the ‘scope itself is 12” (30cm) across the diagonal, some of this space is used by soft buttons, the rest by a nice solid protective bumper round the edge, the screen is recessed into the bumper by ~5mm so the screen won’t get damaged by a fall.

The TO1104 is ~40mm deep, so has enough space for all the electronics you’d expect in a good quality scope.



See the website for the nicely formatted tables, here is the summary of the areas I was particularly interested in.

TO1104 : 4 channel 100MHz 28Mpts

Channels:          4

Bandwidth:       100MHz 

Scope probes:    300MHz bandwidth.

Convertor:       1Gsps split over 1/2/4 channels

Memory depth:    28M samples.

Clock accuracy:    20ppm 

Wavefroms/s      80,000

Display:      8” (10cm x 14cm) 800x600 touch screen

Vertical         500uV (handy for some voltage drop problems)

The experienced readers will notice the specs are better than the other contender in most areas.


The top of the scope has the plain BNC connectors for the probes, and a trigger out BNC, I use for triggering a USB logic analyser.

On the right side has the on off switch and a rubber cover protecting:

 · Ethernet

 · Cal (1kHz)

 · Micro HDMI (to drive a monitor)

 · USB A socket (for memory sticks or mouse control)

 · Micro USB (to allow a PC to read stored files)

 · Charging port

In addition there is WiFi access, allowing OTA firmware upgrade.

User interface:

The user interface is very intuitive, and fast, not suffering the lag that some of the competitors suffer from. I’ve lent the ‘scope to people, and after a 30 second demo they’ve gone on to explore all the features quite happily. Nearly everything works as they’d expect from a tablet which is what makes it so intuitive. (The minor exception is pinch zoom). It’s designed as a touch only interface so differs from the Keysight touch as a retrofit interface to a knob and button interface.

If you’ve used a tablet, you’ll find this a breeze, and I prefer it hunting for the knob or button with the correct label on it on a regular scope. If you’re not a fan of touching the screen or want to mount it out of the way, the user interface  can also be operated by mouse.

On the far right (off screen) are the main action items are on permanent off screen soft buttons (Run Stop / Single / Auto / Measure / Trigger). The last two bring up a the menu to select the various option, menus are big, clear and easy to use. There is also a handy 50% soft button, this is the “recentre” button, the item recentered depends on the last thing changed, e.g. trigger time, or trigger level etc.

A simple swipe or (soft) button press will bring up all the menus you’d expect on a regular scope, except on the Micsig you touch the screen, instead of twiddling a knob to get there. The menu interface seems to allow easier access to more of the menu items than a usual knob and button interface. Changing channel filtering and bandwidth or selecting a measurement (23 in total) is all very easy. Micsig have done a great job here.

There are a few additions to the touch interface Micsig have added to make it easier, the 50% soft button, a pair of “fine” button to provide fine tuning of threshold / positions, these are context sensitive like the 50%. Finally the timebase can has a finer time (ns) button, a coarser time (s) button and a “show the ruler” button that pops all the time bases up to allow instant selection or scrolling. The touch interface also make the cursors very intuitive. 

I did try some waveforms for second tests, and for day to day use got ~1K waveforms per second, however with some tinkering with the settings (50ns per division, 1 channel, “Hi Speed” mode enabled, dots not vectors), I managed to squeeze out ~180K waveforms per second, though with a more normal fast configuration I’d get 30K waveforms per second. I found the update rate fast enough for my current project. The memory depth removed the need for me to do any fast triggering.

I’ll try and include an images but the data sheet here does a better job than I can. (website a s little slow sometimes)


Screen captures and data (.wav / .csv / .bin) can be saved to local memory or external USB stick. Data on internal storage can accessed over micro USB, using a file explorer on the PC, note this requires changes the USB mode to USB storage device. Stored files can not be downloaded over ethernet / wifi.

Features In Development

There are a few features still in development

 · Serial Decoders  a useful tool for some embedded developers)

 · Segmented Memory (kind of goes with serial decoder to see several packets)

 · Download screenshot over web interface

Some users also like web control but this is more geared towards automation and I don’t need to do this for home projects.

I will try and answer questions people post and I can do some side by side comparisons with the Rigol, though I'm hoping Dave will do a Micsig TO1104 review / teardown at some point.


The key positives for me (in no particular order)

· Good value for money

· 4 channel 100MHz

· Deep memory (28Mpts with Zoom function)

· Big screen

· Small desk footprint

· Easy to use interface

· Micsig support very helpful


All devices have their cons, they’ll matter to some people not to others. If you like the ‘scope but need a missing feature then check with Micsig, they are in the process of developing them.

· Serial decoders not yet ready

· Only support a single memory ‘segment’

· Web interface slow / does not support screenshot download

· Fan noise present in quiet environment (home), but not significant at work

· Some screen reflections on bright days when using outdoors

Some people may need the serial decoders, others may find the waveforms per second a little slow for some problems, though the big memory can help out with many of these problems. I’m looking forward to serial decoders and segmented memory being added, but a 100MHz+ PC logic analyser can plug the gap. 

Wrapping Up

Overall I’ve been pleased with the Micsig TO1104 scope, especially at the Amazon US prices (seems to ship worldwide). It makes a great work and hobby scope, the battery makes it a grab and go ‘scope of choice. At work I use it preference to the Keysight MSO 3000 ‘scopes for most problems, only resorting to the Keysights when I need a faster (and 10 times more expensive) scope. The interface puts to rest any concerns I had about not having physical knobs and buttons. 

For me the pros outweighed the cons and I'd highly recommend the Micsig TO1104.



 « Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 02:59:01 AM by AndyP »



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