Eleaf iStick 30w from The Canvape Store
If you put the original Eleaf iStick (20w) beside the new Eleaf iStick 30w, it is nearly impossible to tell them apart.
I've done just that at the right. The new Eleaf iStick 30w is at the left. The only way you can tell is at the top ... the slopping and slightly higher top is one of only two visual differences. The second is the logo (not shown), on the 30W version, it has the iStick logo and below that it says "30W". That's it. The colors are the same, the size is the same, the buttons are the same, the OLED display is the same.
But, the trivial price difference between the original and this new version cover up some huge improvements:
- Wattage that ranges from 5.0 to 30 watts ... still the familiar 0.1 wattage increment
- Voltage that ranges from 2.0 to 8.0 volts ... still the familiar 0.1 voltage increment
- New top design that better accommodates clearomizers up to 23 mm
- New connector design that floats (spring loaded)
- New stainless steel threading
- New "locking" functionality ... no more concern about putting this in your pocket and the vv/vw shifting inadvertently
The color choices is the same: Black, Silver, Red (pink really) and Blue. For this test, I decided to get the Silver version so that it would be more streamlined in looks with a stainless steel tank. (Pictures don't really do justice to the color range ... here the Red looks mauve ... it's really closer to a pink color).
The most visible difference is the top. It's slightly slopped, and shaped more like a short beauty ring ... but it does effectively blend well with tanks that are up to 23 mm in diameter. With the 20w original version, anything over 21 mm really stuck out like a sore thumb. This looks better ... particularly on the width view. The connector is still offset, but the top design improves the overall impact much better. I even used this with the 25 mm KangerTech Subtank ... while it did stick out a bit, the new top design on the iStick 30W helped make it look like it belonged there.
This is an entirely new category of battery devices and there is going to be a lot of development in this new category. The Eleaf may have created the category and at the moment, they lead. The original iStick has been cloned – there are at least four different clone versions that, other than name, match it feature for feature. Eleaf have now announced another game changer in the iStick 30W and have also announced a 50 watt version with double the battery capacity.
Eleaf have addressed most of the feedback and improved the 510 connector substantially. The connector pin is now spring loaded and floats. Plus, the threading is stainless steel.
Both of these issues were the biggest reported issues and Eleaf has addressed them well.
You can see the stainless steel threading at the right, and an illustration of the floating pin is at the left.
The Eleaf iStick 30W greatly expands the feasibility of this device. You can now use it with just about any clearomizer, RTA, or RDA. It supports sub-ohm resistance as low as 0.4 ohms and as high as 5.0 ohms. Covers just about everything out there, and even the slightly oversize 25 mm tanks look good.
What they did not change is the effect of harshness. Even with sub-ohm coils, you still get a bit of a harsh effect on vaping. It's easy to factor in ... just dial back on the wattage to smooth out the vape experience. But, that does defeat the benefits of higher wattage. Many have reported the harshness is from Eleaf's implementation of Pulse Mode Modulation (PMM). While PMM does extend battery life, it also has impact on how the power gets to the coil (in pulses as opposed to direct). I do understand that PMM is needed with this more powerful wattage to get reasonable battery life – and to contain costs.
All of the other specifications (safety, battery protection, inhale time, etc.) are all identical to the original iStick.
So, what's the verdict? Is it worth it? Eleaf has created a new category of vaping products with the launch of the original iStick, the 20 watt version. It's been flying off the shelves of retailers and I have no doubt this 30W (30 watt) version will be just as popular. Certainly the price difference between the original and this new 30 watt version is trivial. It's worth every penny and the new features add flexibility that vapers need and want. Just from the perspective of providing wide flexibility for any tank system make this a worthwhile buy. My only hesistation would be that this category is new. It's not necessarily what Eleaf will release that we need to watch, it's what the competition does to expand the range.