Bento Lab

Your Portable DNA Laboratory

Bento Lab

Your Portable DNA Laboratory

A mobile genomics setup, Bento Lab combines a portable PCR machine, a microcentrifuge, gel electrophoresis and a transilluminator. And it fits into any laptop bag, so Bento Lab can travel wherever your science goes.


PCR Centrifuge Gel
Entry 21°C – 99°C 2,700g 50V (fixed)
Pro 12°C – 102°C 500g – 8,000g
(13,500 rpm)
50V – 120V

Sorry, this product is not yet available to purchase in your country.

Looking to purchase in Japan? Bento Lab is distributed by Funakoshi.


Request Formal Quotation

A lab you can depend on, deployable in minutes

“[Bento Lab is] deployable to remote locations with minimal household-grade infrastructures […] The standard protocols of a laboratory may be used without amendments and adaptations […]”

Kambouris et al. (2020). Point-of-need molecular processing of biosamples using portable instrumentation to reduce turnaround time. Biosafety and Health, 2 (3), 177-182.

“Bento Lab and MinION are useful for genomic analysis and surveillance of AMR bacteria in hospitals and research centers with limited facilities.”

Hirabayashi et al. (2021). On-site genomic epidemiological analysis of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in Cambodia with portable laboratory equipment. Frontiers in microbiology, 12 , 675463.

Bento Lab Pro or Entry – which configuration is right for me?

Bento Lab Entry: An affordable option for beginners. Fixed speed centrifuge (2,700 g), fixed voltage electrophoresis (50 V), blue light transilluminator. The centrifuge is compatible with 1.5 mL conical centrifuge tubes, and with 0.5 mL and 0.2 mL tubes via adaptors.

Bento Lab Pro: For ambitious and professional research and teaching applications. Thermocycler supports touchdown PCR. Variable centrifuge (max 8,000 g), variable voltage electrophoresis (30 V–120 V), blue light transilluminator. The centrifuge is compatible with spin-column DNA extraction and purification kits; 2 mL centrifuge tubes, skirted tubes, and smaller tubes via adaptors; and DNA precipitation.

Explore detailed technical specifications for Bento Lab

PCR Thermocycler Bento Lab Entry Bento Lab Pro
Temperature Range 21 °C to 99 °C 12 °C to 102 °C
Touchdown PCR
32 well block for 0.2 mL tubes
Ramp rate up to 2.5 °C/s
Temperature accuracy ± 0.2 °C
Temperature uniformity ± 0.5 °C
Memory for 100 PCR programs
Quick spin mode
Timed spin mode
Speed Fixed Variable
RPM 7,000 rpm 3,000 – 13,500 rpm
RCF 2,700 g 500 – 8,000 g
Capacity 6 x 1.5 mL tubes 6 x 2 mL tubes
Gel Electrophoresis
Voltage Fixed
30V – 120V
Gel tray size 91 mm x 78 mm
Small gel volume 25 mL gel, 30 mL buffer
Wells 9 and 12 well combs
Compatible with Add-a-Lane Gel Combs
Gel Box included included
Imaging Hood included included
Surface dimensions 105 mm x 85 mm
Blue LED Design
LED wavelength 468 nm (visible blue light)
Material Scratch-resistant acrylic plastic

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Bento Lab compare to traditional thermocyclers?

Bento Lab is designed to match or exceed the performance of traditional thermocyclers. Our users have achieved equivalent results on Bento Lab compared to Bio-rad thermal cyclers.

Temperature is controlled using industry-standard peltier modules, for high accuracy and speed. The Bento Lab peltier modules are specifically designed for robustness in thermo-cycling applications. For accurate temperature measurements, Bento Lab uses platinum resistance thermometers, the gold standard in temperature accuracy and reliability.

From the start, Bento Lab has been rigorously tested by our team of molecular biologists, research partners and independent testing houses. Bento Lab’s performance has been independently verified by scientists at world-leading research universities, institutes and commercial labs internationally on a broad variety of applications.

Is Bento Lab compatible with my country’s electricity grid and electricity sockets?

Bento Lab comes with a universal power adapter. You can use the lab internationally, with any national power supply grid, with a travel plug adaptor or by exchanging the plug cable for a standard plug cable.

We offer several options of plug types: A (USA and others), G (UK and others), F (Europe), and I (Oceania). Standard travel plug adaptors can be used with other plug socket types. You can find your local standard plug type here:

Which DNA stains are compatible with Bento Lab?

Avoid UV damage and visualise DNA safely with Bento Lab’s blue light transilluminator, using green fluorescent nucleic acid dyes designed for blue-light excitation.

Our favourite DNA stain is GelGreen® because of its sensitivity and safety features.

Bento Lab is also compatible with a wide range of dyes including GreenView, SYBR Green, and SYBR Safe.

Can I use standard consumables with Bento Lab?

Yes, Bento Lab works with standard reagents and consumables, from 0.2mL PCR tubes to 1.5mL microcentrifuge tubes. With 32 wells, Bento Lab can accommodate four 8-tube strips for easier sample prep and PCR. Smaller PCR microplates (12–well, 24–well, or 32–well) should also be compatible.

Can I get a demo unit or a trial?

We are not able to do easily do trial units, as we ship internationally. We offer demo calls, and you can see a quick 60 second video introducing Bento Lab here.

We do have a 30 day returns policy, so if you change your mind, you are welcome to return your order.

What is the Bento Lab warranty? How long is the warranty period?

All Bento Lab products are backed by the Bento Lab Limited Warranty, which covers defects in materials and workmanship for a period of 12 months. You can also buy an extended warranty of two or four years at the point of purchase. Check our Terms and Conditions for more information.

Do I need the Biotechnology 101 Starter Kit?

The Biotechnology 101 Starter Kit is our educational genetics kit. If you have a background in molecular biology then you will be familiar with most of what it covers, so just get started with Bento Lab and its manual.

For first-timers looking for an introduction to genetics, you can add a Biotechnology 101 Starter Kit to your Bento Lab, which provides everything you need to start learning about molecular biology and genetics hands-on. Beginners may find it useful to read through its introductory sections on core lab skills even if they do not buy the kit.

Selected Product Citations

Chang, Jia Jin Marc, et al. “Takeaways from Mobile DNA Barcoding with BentoLab and MinION.” Genes 11.10 (2020): 1121.

Kambouris, Manousos E., et al. “Point-of-need molecular processing of biosamples using portable instrumentation to reduce turnaround time.” Biosafety and Health 2.3 (2020): 177-182.

Knot, Ineke, et al. “DNA barcoding of nematodes using the MinION.” Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (2020).

Hu, Yiheng, et al. “Pathogen detection and microbiome analysis of infected wheat using a portable DNA sequencer.” Phytobiomes Journal 3.2 (2019): 92-101.

“Bento Lab.” Nature Biotechnology 34 (2016): 455–455.