Innokin iTaste SVD
The iTaste SVD has been around for awhile, but I just got around to picking one up. It's a good variable voltage/variable power electronic cigarette with several nifty features that set it apart from other tube type devices.
Innokin definitely put some thought into the outward appearance of the SVD. It has a steampunk type of look with its raised button bevels, bolted on display screen and telescopic tube. Everything is done in a very nice brushed stainless finish with light gray burnished accents. I suspect that the styling will be attractive to a lot of people while turning some off. It really is a well crafted design, but looks somewhat cobbled together next to some of the sleeker alternatives on the market. I like it, and I'll leave it for you to decide whether you do too.
A dimpled top ring surrounds an eGo connector and two of the dimples have unobtrusive holes drilled in them to provide airflow for close fitting atomizers. The ring provides plenty of room for wider eGo style accessories and is also removable for cleaning. The bottom cap also feels solid and incorporates a sprung center post rather than a exposed spring. The cap is fluted for easy gripping and has 6 vent holes on the bottom for safety.
Even the fire button looks almost like a porthole and has a subtle glow from the LED behind it when activated. The LED in the button is also the only battery life indicator, changing from green to yellow to red as the battery life diminishes.
The designers took advantage of the theme to also add etched markings that provide references on the use of the somewhat less than intuitive buttons. There are three of them, one being primarily the fire button while the two smaller ones are used to adjust the voltage or power. 3 clicks of the fire button turn the device on and off, which is a great feature that makes it easy to trun the device off quickly for those on the go.
Pressing the “-” and fire buttons simultaneously for a few seconds switches the device to variable voltage mode. “+” and fire switch it to variable power mode. Holding both small buttons for a few seconds displays the atomizer resistance and a fw seconds longer locks the buttons so that voltage cannot be inadvertently changed.
Below the buttons lies another defining feature of the SVD, its telescoping tube. The inside of the larger part of the tube is threaded for nearly the entire length, meaning that it can be screwed up and down to adjust for different battery sizes. 18350, 18500 and 18650 batteries are easily accommodated using the included short tube, while a larger tube included with the more expensive kit can be used for a dual 18350 configuration.
Pack all of that together and what you get is a pretty hefty and long device. At oz 4.5oz. empty, the SVD is 1.6oz heavier than a Smok Tech ZMAX and and 110mm length in the single 18350 configuration make it just 17mm shorter than the same ZMAX in a dual 18350 configuration. Set it up for an 18650 battery and it is a full 18mm longer than a comparable ZMAX.
There's not a whole lot to say about performance other than that the SVD does what it's supposed to do – deliver consistent variable voltage. The output measurements are consisten and pretty close to what the device is set for. I did notice a slight decrease (.2v) in output when using a single 18350 as compared to a single 18650.
The device worked well with all atomizers and cartomizer I tried on it, including the iClear 30s that come with the kit. The eGo threads and large trim ring make it ideal for use with EVOD and MT3 style clearomizers as well. I did notice a harder than normal draw with one EVOD that I think may be due to the size of the threads, but I'm not positive. The removable ring is nice when using bottom coil clearomizers, as the ring can be removed before the clearo, reducing the chance that the clearo tank will be removed from the base instead of the base from the device. Yes, I have done that!
My only real gripe with the SVD is the button configuration. I really like the three button idea, particularly the fact that it allows for the quick 3 click shutoff feature. Adjusting voltage is also a breeze and the ability to lock it in is great. Changing from variable voltage to variable power is downright awkward, however. Luckily this is a feature that rarely need to be accessed. The three buttons also make it slightly harder to find the power button by feel alone, given that there are two other very similar buttons close to it. I'm also not a big fan of having the screen on the opposite side from the button, but that has worked fine for the Provari, so who am I to say.
In a variable power device market that is becoming increasingly crowded, Innokin looks to be making a statement with solid performance, reasonable price and bold styling. The SVD hits the design mark and at $66.50 for the device itself from Viper Vape, $69.95 from Indy Vapor Shop(as little as $38 from China)it is a good value as well. The full kit is available from Ecig Express for $99. Look for the company to take this concept even further with the upcoming iTaste 134.