Products & ReviewLife Sciences

SpectraMax® Microplate Readers

The SpectraMax® line of user-friendly microplate readers provide great flexibility for labs conducting applications ranging from ELISAs to nucleic acid and protein quantitation, and include absorbance, fluorescence, luminescence and more

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Molecular Devices®

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Average Rating 3.9

|17Scientists have reviewed this product

Ease of Use
After Sales Service
Value for Money
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Good Instrument but terrible after sales support


Average Rating 2.7

Application Area:

anti-body discovery, anti-body characterization

I am reviewing the SpectraMax ABS Plus. After 2-3 years of use, unit gave an out of spec result during its calibration verification procedure. When I tried to service the unit myself, it started giving a 401 filter wheel error indicating the instrument's optical alignment needs to be corrected. We have another Mol Dev instrument that is ~15-20 years old - The SpectraMax M2. It still works great. I can service the instrument myself without disrupting the optic bench. It still passes annual calibration certification with Mol Dev's ABS1 and FL validation plates. And if it doesn't, it just requires a bit of cleaning in the carriage and it will pass afterward. Molecular Devices would not provide any resources for servicing their equipment except offer to repair it (I'm still waiting on the quote which I know will be thousands of $). You have very little control over the instrument for servicing. For example, I could realign the optic bench of this unit if I knew how to manually control the lamp. They would not provide any resources/procedures for optically aligning the instrument and in fact stated 'Molecular Devices does not support customer servicing of instruments' in an email to me. I know a lot of companies have adopted these kinds of repair prevention tactics, but Mol Dev is definitely one of the worst offenders in this regard. They will not sell you spare parts either. For this reasons I recommend you skip on this company's products if you can. Or at least be aware that you will be unable to avoid a service contract or perform in-house repair with their instruments.

Review Date: 23 Mar 2024 | Molecular Devices®

Manufacturer's Response

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and your perspective as an in-house engineer for a biotech company. We greatly appreciate your positive comments about our SpectraMax ABS Plus microplate reader and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience you’ve experienced regarding our after-sales support. Unfortunately, we do not offer self-service support. At Molecular Devices, we—as is standard for most companies within and outside of our industry, as you aptly note in your review—have a policy where only in-house, factory-trained tech support and service engineers provide comprehensive repair or maintenance. This approach enables us to honor any warranty, maintain stringent quality control, and ensure optimal performance of our customers’ instruments. We do offer troubleshooting guides which you can access direct via our SpectraNet customer portal or by contacting our technical support team. We also offer spare parts for our equipment. To order, please contact our technical support at We understand from our in-house service engineer that you were able to adjust the instrument successfully, resulting in the system passing the ABS test. We are pleased to hear that the issue has been resolved.

Don't buy this one.


Average Rating 1.0

Application Area:

Plate reader for cell based assays & ELISAs

Horrible device. Software is flaky, the machine has issues establishing a stable connection with the attached computer. Typically takes a few hours to get it up & running. MolDev Tech support have not been able to solve the issue and then never followed up on it. Will be replacing this one asap.

Review Date: 29 Mar 2023 | Molecular Devices®

Manufacturer's Response

We are very sorry that you had a bad experience with our device. We take customer feedback very seriously and constantly strive to improve our products and services. We apologize for the inconvenience that this issue has caused you. We truly appreciate your business, and it is of high priority for us to resolve this issue fast for you. A team member is scheduled to contact you shortly and resolve the issue. If you haven’t heard already, please email us at or contact us at 00800 665 32860. Thank you.

Excellent instrument but not reliable


Average Rating 3.0

Application Area:

Cell based assays

The instrument is super easy to use having both direct and computer-added control. It has a range of options and they are very straightforward to define and apply. The problem is after sale service is very costly. My instrument started giving problems within the first year of purchase and eventually died within 2 years which is not something expected from such investments. The repair cost is around 10-15k which does not guarantee a solution to the problem. After-sales service is just horrible

Review Date: 26 Feb 2023 | Molecular Devices®

Excellent instrument in any application you need from a plate reader.


Average Rating 5.0

Application Area:

ELISA, enzymatic assays, coagulation factors analysis

This instrument is the best that you can get as a plate reader. It can read absorbance, fluorescence, and luminescence in the same instruments with infinite possibilities of combinations between static and dynamic readings. It fits all kinds of applications and it comes (optional) with an extra plate that you can use for multiple RNA, DNA, and protein quantification (same as Nanodrop). Super recommended if you can afford an instrument that is in the middle/high price range.

Review Date: 28 Jun 2022 | Molecular Devices®

Never have to worry about tampered protocols again!


Average Rating 5.0

Application Area:

ELISA and end point fluorescence

I never thought I would be one to fall for the "NFC personalization" but now I question where it has been all my scientific life! Not only does it protect my protocols (Bless my lab team members, but there has been more than one occasion where my protocol has been manipulated), but the walk up functionality means I can quite literally "tap" and run my experiment quickly. I use the touch screen to run my simple absorbance reads and then for my more complex reads use Softmax pro on the attached computer for acquisition and analysis. Constantly reproducible results and we receive brilliant response on application queries, annual preventative maintenance with the distributor down here in Australia. Price point was slightly high, but when working with the local product manager we got a very respectable price, which includes installation and training.

Review Date: 17 Sept 2021 | Molecular Devices®

Instrument is very good and application wise is broad spectrum.


Average Rating 4.0

Application Area:

Plate reader

It's good for analysis as it combines absorbance fluorescence and luminesnce all in one and it's esasy.

Review Date: 23 Jul 2021 | Molecular Devices®

High performance instrument, highly recommended!


Average Rating 4.7

Application Area:

ELISA assays

SpectraMax plate reader is very easy to use, with detection of absorbance, fluorescence, luminescence, etc.. For prep samples treated with the ELISA kit reagents, it is fast and user friendly. The equipment has integrated software that's also very easy to use, flexible settings and the ability to create protocols and templates for specific assay parameters.

Review Date: 21 Jul 2021 | Molecular Devices®

Great results; it has been a life saver and time saver for ELISA testing.


Average Rating 4.3

Application Area:


The plate reader has enhanced our lab capabilities quite a bit. It is very easy to use and even when we are starting a new application, the tutorial videos are easy enough to follow. The data generated is helpful in our immunology studies. We use it primarily for ELISA testing and it is extremely sensitive. I highly recommend this piece of equipment as a staple in any immunology lab. I wish we could purchase another one!

Review Date: 19 Jan 2021 | Molecular Devices®

Great and easy to use machine.


Average Rating 4.7

Application Area:

Kinteic enzymatic assays, BCA Protein, HCP ELISA

Great machine with many capabilites! The iD5 is a simple to use machine with a lot of potential we still need to discover. We especially like the scan feature that the iD5 has to offer to detect how well we measure over the whole area in one well. Also, we did some comparison and it is very reproducible and it is also comparable to another machine we have, which is the M2e. Being comparable makes our life for our day to day work in the lab easier. One little negative point we have is that we cannot use the same template for both machines. The plate layout is somehow not compatible even if it has the same settings (it must be rechosen). Nonetheless we are very happy and would buy this instrument again!

Review Date: 30 Nov 2020 | Molecular Devices®

Great value for money.


Average Rating 5.0

Application Area:

JAK-STAT signaling, dual-luciferase assays, nanoparticles, spectral scans

The ideal reader for assay development. It has high sensitivity and flexibility. Setting up protocols for screening is user friendly and easy. It seems robust (no instrument failures so far) and the plate holder is made of metal so no risks with students. Customer support was very reactive and I got an application note helpful for setting up my experiment in less than one day.

Review Date: 10 Aug 2020 | Molecular Devices®

The SpectraMax® line of user-friendly microplate readers provide great flexibility for labs conducting applications ranging from ELISAs to nucleic acid and protein quantitation, and include absorbance, fluorescence, luminescence and more

EXCLUSIVE offer for SelectScience® customers

Save with any of the i-Series Microplate Readers up to 25% off for their basic configuration PLUS Get up to 3-Years Warranty. Promo Code Commercial: EU-iDi3xQ4-P923 or Promo Code Academic: EU-iDi3xAcadQ4-P923, expires Thursday, December 22, 2023.

Purchase is subject to Molecular Devices standard terms and conditions of sale. Get any of the iD series microplate readers with up to 25% discount off the current list price in their basic configuration and receive a two-year warranty for commercial or a three-year warranty for Academic customers. This offer includes SpectraMax i3x, SpectraMax iD3, SpectraMax iD5. Purchase order must reference promotion code EU-iDi3xQ4-P923/EU-iDi3xAcadQ4-P923 and be received by Thursday, December 21, 2023, for delivery by Thursday, January 18, 2024. The offer does not include any other options or accessories and applies to standard parts only. The offer does not include shipping and handling, installation, or training. This promotion cannot be combined with other promotions or discounts. No substitutions or swap-outs are allowed. The offer is not convertible to cash. Offer is not valid for standing orders. All prices exclude local tax, which is the responsibility of the customer. This offer is valid only to customers in Europe when buying directly from Molecular Devices. Delivery terms are FCA (Free Carrier) seller’s shipping facility (Incoterms 2010). Offer void where prohibited. All Molecular Devices products are for research use only. Other restrictions may apply. For our full standard terms and conditions of sale, please visit

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