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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Is the iStick for you?

Julia reviews the new, preproduction eLeaf box mod called iStick

I have never owned a box mod before so I was cautious when I saw the new preproduction model of the iStick from eLeaf in my review box. I wasn't sure if I should be the one to review it. As it turns out it was the right choice, I finally found a stealthy box mod I could actually feel comfortable with.

Although it is a pre-production model, the feature set and design are complete. In fact, it was only the packaging that clued me in on the preproduction status. It arrived in a large eLeaf box with these:


1 x iStick battery
1 x eGo adapter
1 x AC-USB adapter
1 x USB cable
1 x User Manual

Features:

2200mAh Li-Ion Battery
VV/VW – up to 20W and 3v – 5.5v
OLED display
510-Threads
Power on/off: Press the button for five times to turn the iStick on and off.
10-sec Protection: Maximum of 10 seconds per drag.
Atomizer Short-Circuit Protection: If atomizer short-circuits, the OLED screen show "Atomizer Short".
Low-Voltage Protection: Once the battery is below 3.3V the OLED screen will show "Lock", which means its time to recharge.
Unlock the Low-voltage Protection: The iStick begins working again once it reaches 3.65V.
Low power Alert: If the battery's power is lower than 10%, the power symbol on the screen will flash.
Atomizers from 1ohm to 3ohm capable
Accurate Metering
Pass-Thru vaping while charging

The iStick comes in four colors, black (the one I received), silver, red, and blue. The OLED display is one the side of the device, along with the up/down voltage/wattage adjustment buttons and a good sized firing button. The display is bright, easy to read, and shows the voltage, wattage, battery charge, and atomizer resistance in blue OLED.

The buttons are not flush to the unit, but they don't stick out much either. I didn't have a problem operating them, though I'm not so sure that people with large hands and fingers would feel the same. However, if they stuck out any more than they do just wouldn't look right.

Something New

Instead of the usual .1v increments for voltage and .5w for wattage there are three ways to adjust the voltage and the wattage with the iStick. Pressing the plus or minus buttons to increase or decrease the voltage/wattage can be adjusted to deliver different increments.

Holding down the plus or minus buttons for a few seconds will bring you to the AUTO mode, which allows you to increase or decrease voltage/wattage by 0.1V/W. Press the plus or minus button again and you're able to increase or decrease voltage/wattage by 0.2V/W. Pressing the same buttons again you are able to increase or decrease the voltage/wattage by 0.5V/W. I'm calling this feature, ‘variable increments', and depending on the situation or how precise you want to fine tune your settings, this new feature may give you the control you need.

Real World Usage

The reason I never bothered with box mods before is that they were always uncomfortably large for my hands. The size of the iStick is remarkably smaller than other box mods I've seen, and that alone made it appealing to me. The iStick fits easily in the palm of my hand, giving me a long-lasting stealth mod loaded with modern features that I can hold onto in comfort.

After charging it up I decided to test it out with a Nautilus Mini and an Aerotank v2. Just for fun I attached an Aerotank Giant to it and needless to say the Giant looked even bigger than usual. Although, with the Giant attached I could hold the iStick in the palm of my hand and people could see only the Giant, making it seems as though I was vaping on a large glassomizer that wasn't attached to anything. It was fun, but not very practical. The Nautilus Mini and Aerotank are two excellent choices when it comes to size, and performance. With its shallow 510-threading you can use just about any 510 atomizer/glassomizer/cartomizer you want.

Accuracy

I ran some tests on the accuracy of the metering system in the iStick. Using a 1.6-ohm coil in the Nautilus Mini and a 1.8-ohm in the Aerotank the iStick read them exactly the same as the meter, which was enough to convince me that the electronics in the iStick were solid quality and accurate.
Conclusion

Where it really counts in using any device is being able to have confidence in the electronics being used. The voltage, or power settings have to work consistently, and be consistently accurate in order to provide just the right amount of power to whatever atomizer you're using. If the device tells you its putting 4.1v to the atomizer, or 11w of power, then it needs to do that consistently, accurately, with the least amount of fluctuations possible. So far the iStick has provided accurate metering and a consistently good vape.

I may still prefer my ProVari's and ZMAX's and my new black eVic Supreme and black Delta tank combination, but I enjoyed the iStick well enough to add it to my collection and use it as a nice stealthy device.

For now, I'm impressed with the look and feel of the device, it doesn't feel cheap and the size is perfect for me. The buttons are sized well enough to make adjustments without slipping, and the firing button is large enough to rest my thumb on and get a secure fire.

Is the iStick for you?


Well, it is if you're looking for a small, pocket-sized box mod and you want the latest features and safety precautions with it then yes, you couldn't go wrong with it. Vapor Authority is now stocking the iStick and the price is the cheapest I've found from vendors I trust ($31.99!). Click Here to find the iStick at Vapor Authority.

When it comes down to it, the deciding factor will probably be the size of the iStick more than anything else. There are other box mods that offer variable voltage and/or variable wattage, but only the iStick offers all that and 2200mAh battery life… in a box smaller than a deck of cards. For vapers looking for a state of the art box mod I highly recommend the iStick.

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