Steam-Filled Room: An Ecig With More Than Meets The Eye
Ecigs are the future. If you smoke and you haven’t tried one yet, get one. As a reformed smoker, I can promise you it will change your life.
In the five years since I started “vaping,” the technology has progressed in leaps and bounds, and one of the latest to land on my desk is the V2 Pro Series 3 (S3). It has a very nifty trick that might just be enough to coax a few more people off the fence to ditch their “analogue” cigarettes for “digital” ones.
The S3 takes the basic concept behind vaping and expands on it. In its standard ecig guise, it operates like any vaporizer you have seen. It is a 650 mah battery enclosed in a slick-looking plastic casing that comes in blue, black or steel. It has an LED back-lit activation button that also acts as a status indicator. There is a magnetic base that you use for charging and a removable 1.6ml tank that is also magnetic (more on that later.)
The tank uses a dual wick system to feed your liquid of choice into the heating chamber.
V2 kindly sent me a selection of their eliquids to try, so without further ado, I filed it up and got vaping. The draw on the S3 is good, the airflow is consistent and the vapor production is both flavorful and substantial. I could easily blow half a dozen smoke rings from a single draw. You aren’t going to be winning any cloud chasing competitions with this, but the steam cloud from one of these averaged about a foot long if you want to show off.
V2 claims about 800 puffs (off a 2 second duration pull) per tank, and I’d say they are about right on that score. They also suggest that you can get 20 fills out of a cartridge before you should replace it. I haven’t got to 20 fills yet, but generally, if you keep ecig wicks and coils from going dry they last longer, so I would suspect that with some gentle coaxing you could probably extend the life of a cartridge by a few fills.
Replacement tanks will run you about $8. Which, when you compare it to the price of a pack of smokes, really isn’t too bad.
So, so far so good, but let’s return to the magnets for a moment. The charger is magnetic. I like this. I have used USB passthroughs before and let’s be honest, you always forget that you have it plugged in.
And that means that you pick it up to walk away from your desk and either yank the usb cable from the end of the battery, (which if you’re lucky doesn’t damage the battery) or in a worst case scenario you drag a cable across your desk, knock your ipad on the floor, knock your coffee over your keyboard and then electrocute yourself to death with a caramel mocha and end up on 1001 Ways To Die.
With the S3, that nightmare vision is no more. The magnet in the charger and the magnet on the S3 separate easily. Like the magnetic charger on a Macbook, once you have used one of these you will wonder why no one ever thought of this before. If I have one concern, it is that there is no cap on the end to cover the magnetic charging point — but that’s just me. It seems like a prime logo placement location that V2 missed, if nothing else.
There is also the other magnet in the S3, and it is used to hold in the eliquid tank. This is more than just for show. The guys over at V2 have obviously figured out that there is a market out there for people who have vaporizers that do more than just vape eliquid. The S3 has three different magnetic tanks that you can plug-in and use. One for essential oils, one for eliquid and a 385mm3 160C-180C degree conduction one for loose leaf tobacco.
Now, since I have sworn to forsake tobacco forever more, this is of little use to me, but as a former smoker I can see where the guys and gals over at V2 are going with this — and its genius.
When I swapped from tobacco to vaping I did it cold turkey, but a lot of people I know didn’t. They gradually weaned themselves from one to the other, and the S3 will be able to accommodate people like them simply by swapping out the chamber.
This means that they can commit to their choice to vape, and if they want to swap over to a tobacco hit they can. Then they can go back to vaping without having the temptation of a nearly-full packet of cigarettes “hidden” in place that they can miraculously “find” in less time than it takes to spark a Zippo. This ecig is like a diet that allows you to cheat. From a willpower perspective for longterm smokers this is a big thing.
As any smoker craving a hit knows. If there is a pack of those little Virginia killing sticks, you will want one, even if you know you shouldn’t. With the S3 you can carry a pre-filled tobacco cartridge and if the mood takes you, so be it. You won’t have committed to buy 20 of those little soldiers of death, and if you’re trying to quit tobacco then anything that helps is a good thing.
V2 claims a warm up time for tobacco of about 20-25 seconds. Although be warned, reviews on their site do seem to indicate that the battery goes down faster when using tobacco than vaping, but that is to be expected. V2 also states that the loose leaf chamber can be used with “loose-leaf pipe tobaccos, medicinal herbs, vaping tobacco, or any partially dried organic material.” So I think we can answer the big question. Colorado, this is your ecig.
So what’s the verdict?
I like the S3. A starter kit with the S3, USB charger and eliquid tank is $70, which isn’t extortion and certainly the flexibility on offer is more than other ecigs which cost the same or more. You can use V2’s liquids (sold separately) or use your own. The tobacco tank is an extra $24.99, which is a little steep for an accessory — This is getting into the price range of pro tanks — but it does come with its own little cleaning kit so it can be reused.
The size is about right, it balances well in the hand and feels like a quality piece of kit. If I was going to get one I would get it in silver or black, and it is discrete enough (thanks to its size and look) that it will slip straight into a pocket without an issue. I have a 5.11 polo shirt and my S3 has been living in the shoulder pen pocket without incident.
If you’re a vapor already, the S3 is a solid piece of kit that you will appreciate with some smart design ideas that earn it brownie points. If you’re on the fence about vaping but still like the idea of tobacco as a back up, the S3 could well be the thing that breaks that grip. Yes it will cost you a little more to get the tobacco burner, but the flexibility of having two products combined into one you can change in seconds is certainly going to appeal to some.