mini8X vs. mini16X: Which thermal cycler is right for me?

Everyone’s favorite portable thermal cycler, the miniPCR® comes in two sizes: the mini8X and the mini16X. Not sure which miniPCR to get? This guide will walk you through the differences between the two and help you choose the miniPCR that best fits your needs!

Note: this guide only applies to the new mini8X and mini16X models. If you already have a classic mini8 or mini16 (purchased before August 2023), please consult the user guides for those models or contact the support team with questions.

Cost: the mini8X costs $695 per unit and the mini16X is priced at $860 per unit

Size: both mini8X and mini16X are the same compact size (6” X 3.5” X 4”, and weighing 1 lb)

Capacity: the biggest difference between the mini8X and the mini16X is how many PCR tubes (0.2 ml size) each can hold. As the name suggests, the mini8X can hold 8 PCR tubes, while the mini16X can hold 16 PCR tubes. Both mini8X and mini16X are compatible with standard PCR reagents and consumables, including 8-strip PCR tubes. 

In a teaching lab, each group that runs miniPCR Learning Labs™ will generally need 4 wells to run 4 samples. This means two lab groups will be able to share a mini8X device and four lab groups will be able to share a mini16X device. Some teachers like to have mini8Xs to maximize the hands-on experience, as machines will be shared among fewer students. On the other hand, some teachers choose mini16Xs to save money, as you need fewer PCR machines per class.

Device compatibility: the mini8X and mini16X are both compatible with:

  • PC via a USB-C connection or wireless Bluetooth connection
  • Mac via a USB-C connection or wireless Bluetooth connection
  • Android devices and Amazon Fire via a USB or wireless Bluetooth connection
  • iOS devices via wireless Bluetooth connection
  • Chromebooks via wireless Bluetooth connection

Refer to the table below for a full comparison of mini8X and mini16X.

[wptb id=134020]

In short, either the mini8X or the mini16X will be compatible with any device you have. Check out our “Getting your device connected to your miniPCR” guide for more information on device compatibility.

Programming options: the mini8X and mini16X both offer FLEX mode programming, which allows for user-defined combinations of up to 15 programming steps, including touchdown PCR steps. Note that FLEX programming is not needed for a typical classroom PCR lab. 

No matter which device you end up choosing, you will have a great PCR experience with our miniPCR devices! Need more help choosing a device? Schedule a demo with us and we’ll be happy to go over your needs and answer your questions.

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