DSO Quad versus Owon HDS1021M

I’m looking at getting an oscilloscope and multimeter, and the two systems in the title caught my eye. The Owon HDS1021M is a handheld oscilloscope + multimeter for around $280 US, and I assume that everyone here knows what the DSO Quad is. I’m trying to figure out which one is best for me, and at this point the DSO Quad looks like a clear winner. Could someone please verify for me that the following is correct?

DSO Quad advantages

  • 2x analogue channels (1x channel on the HDS1021M)
  • Higher bandwidth (72MHz versus 20MHz)
  • Open source with firmware updates available
  • Lighter (around 100g versus 455g) and smaller
  • Function generator built-in
  • $80 US cheaper - enough that I can just buy the DSO Quad and a good multimeter separately

HDS1021M advantages

  • More buttons - might be less scrolling through menus
  • Higher sampling rate (100MSPS versus 72MSPS)
  • Built-in multimeter
  • More rugged design

I’m not sure what the battery life on the DSO Quad is like; the HDS1021M manages 6 hours. Both have 320x240 colour screens.

Anyway, from that the DSO Quad looks much better. However, it’d be great if someone could tell me if I’ve missed anything important in the comparison.

The 72mhz number may not be what you think. The current belief is that update firmware will get it to 15mhz usable. This is sampling limited.

I agree with “rich” about the DSO Quad, and the same marketing issues also apply for the Owon HDS1021M. Because it has 100MSa/s, it is unlikely that it can be used successfully above 10Mhz, irregardless of the 20Mhz band-width advertised. That is just how it is with digital sampling oscilloscopes (DSOs).

Another limiting factor for both units would be the quality of the trigger detection firmware and the associated trigger options. I would suspect that the DSO Quad has better hardware and it definitely has more channels, and as you say it is lower in cost.

It is unlikely that one DSO scope can be significantly better than another with similar specifications and price range. So you probably need to focus on your most required functions to make your selection.

Unfortunately the DSO Quad creators do not provide the FPGA source code at this time. So thinking of open source support is not quite correct. It is partial open source at this time. I hope this helps you with your decision.