Not sure what the above poster is on about but my Starblast 6 rocks!!! Put a decent EP in there like TeleVue 32mm Plossl and the night comes alive. I disagree that the XT6 has better mirrors, it would have the Same mirrors. Doesn't make sense from a business standpoint to have two 6 inch models with two different mirrors. Go to Orion's website and find this Telescope and read all 50 reviews that are there, 99% of the reviews are 5 out of 5 stars and gleaming reports. This is the best table top Newtonian and the best 6 inch Newtonian I have ever used.
Now as for the actual telescope, it is the exact same price as the Orion XT6i. Do not even think about getting the Starblast 6i. The XT6i is lightyears ahead of the starblast! The XT6i has a significantly better altitude friction brake system and if you loosen it enough, it is not a problem, unlike on the starblast where loosening it too much would cause the single arm to slowly lose the telescope and it would not sit level anymore. The XT6i also has a MUCH better mirror in it. The fast mirror in the starblast made even the 25mm plossl it came with show terrible terrible coma! The stars in the outer 25% of the FOV were not sharp pinpoints, and that was in a PLOSSL! The XT6i has a much slower mirror and the optical quality is so much better. If you think the XT6i is too big to carry, it is actually less awkward to pick up as a whole unit then it is to carry the starblast because it can't lock in place to carry, whereas the 6i just rests against the front of the base and the tube won't rotate on you. Do NOT purchase the Starblast 6i with an Intelliscope controller!!!
I've been in this hobby for years and my mother wanted to purchase a telescope. We figured this would be the perfect one, small and light enough for her to carry, a decent sized mirror that could still show off fainter objects, and the intelliscope would help her faint plenty of objects. What a terrible mistake and waste of 3 months that was. We assembled the telescope and tried it out, but the Intelliscope controller was consistently pointing us in the exact opposite part of the sky that it should. If we told it to point to M42, it pointed in the North and below the horizon, no matter how many alignments you did. ANY object was 180º off in both axis every time. After rereading the manual, checking with Cloudy Nights' Forum and the Skyquest Yahoo group, nobody had ever heard of this. I tried all their suggestions, reversed anything that could reverse, but it just did not fix it. I emailed Orion's tech support and after trying several things I told them the only way it worked was if you put the vertical stop on the other set of holes (which it turns out only older bases have, yours probably won't have this and if I use the tube in an awkward position with the navigation knob hard to grab and the location of the velcro for your controller ended up being extremely hard to get to now. Orion's email support just said to go ahead and use it like that. This was unacceptable, to use it in such an awkward manner when it was clearly not designed that way. I called Orion's tech support and they were significantly more helpful. They started sending replacement parts to try to figure out what was broken. The altitude encoder will ALWAYS read moving the telescope straight up as -90 instead of +90, which caused the computer to be completely backwards in both axes. Even if you take the tube out, flip the rings around, then put it back in, that wouldn't do it. It wasn't about where the telescope started, it was that that motion made it read as decreasing when it was really increasing in value. We ended being sent one, sometimes 2, of every single part of the Intelliscope system there is, and it took 2 months to go through this process because I had to drive back to my mother's house each time to work on her scope. Finally Orion wanted to send us a new base. How in the world would sending a new piece of particle board change this?? We refused and demanded that they swap the entire scope for the XT6i, a much more common and proven telescope as I had yet to find a single other person that owned the starblast 6i. They agreed that it was only fair to cover the shipping both ways. We sent the scope and all the other parts back and in a week received an email about a credit, which we used to buy the XT6i, with zero extra out of pocket expense on our end. Orion's email tech support was severely disappointing, settling to use a product in an awkward way because that worked. Orion's customer service and support over the phone however was phenomenal. They had trouble figuring out this problem as they had apparently never seen it, but they really worked with you to try to fix it. They also said don't worry about the whole 30 day return policy because we had been working with them to resolve this issue well before 30 days ever came. However a month after this had been resolved I was contacted through the Yahoo group by 2 other people that both have the EXACT same problem. Orion told both of them they've never heard of this and they're sending replacement parts. I have yet to find a person that has had a Starblast 6i WITH Intelliscope that has worked. I do not know if any even exist, but I do know that the 3 of them I know of ALL HAD THE SAME PROBLEM. Pointing straight up is -90 when you go through the tests in the extra menus. This is UNACCEPTABLE from Orion and they need to make a change to this product immediately rather than keep selling ones that do not point correctly at all.