The Kanger Protank and the Joyetech eVic – a Review.

March 27, 2013 in Vaping and e-cigs

Let me start by saying, if you’ve read my “How I quit cigarettes” page, which has changed a little bit over the last year, you’ll know that I’m a Joyetech and a Kanger fan.  The Joyetech for it’s variable voltage twist batteries, and Kanger for it’s most excellent bottom-coil atomizer, the T3.  I want to talk a little bit about new products from both companies for the interested…

The KangerTech Protank

This little device is a ‘glassomizer’ – a new breed of ‘clearomizer’ (like the more mature T3) that is instead made of glass and not plastic – at least in this case, Pyrex to be specific!  It is also boasts a replaceable bottom-coil atomizer, (again like the T3) which for those who know, has the benefit of the atomizer/wicks being on the bottom of the tank, so the juice doesn’t have to wick up against gravity to reach the atomizer.  This is especially important with thicker smoke juices, and helps eliminate ‘dry’ hits.

What was wrong with the T3, you might ask?  Well, it’s cheap.  That’s a good thing, but a bad one too.  More acidic juices will break down the plastic.  Some juices will even crack the tank over a little use!  Additionally, the mouthpiece could come completely off, though rare, it did happen.

The Protank is a different breed.  Not only made of Pyrex so it won’t suffer from the drawbacks of a plastic tank, but it also has a very sturdy chromed metal base and mouthpiece that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere.  How does it hit?  As smooth as the T3 ever did.

There are drawbacks to the Protank, however.  For one, it’s $30 instead of $5.  The replacement atomizers aren’t but maybe a dollar more per 5-pack ($6 as opposed to $5) so the initial cost is about it.  Also, if you are in the habit of biting down on your mouthpiece with your teeth, you’ll be in for a behavioral modification once you start with the Protank — having a metal mouthpiece it isn’t pleasant to bite on or hold in your mouth by your teeth.  Finally, it’s fatter than the T3, but holds only 2.5ml instead of the T3′s 3ml.  This can mean the difference between one or two fill-ups a day, depending on how much you vape.  I tend to vape right in-between 2.5 and 3ml so I sometimes have to fill it up again same day, whereas I rarely ever had to do this with the T3.

If you aren’t using a 510 or eGo battery, you’ll need to know also that the Protank is 510 threaded, not eGo threaded like the T3.  It will work on an eGo battery as it has threads for both, but it may not work on other devices unless 510 compatible.

Bottom line:  I’m ordering one for the wife, one for a friend, and a spare just in-case I manage to smash the Pyrex somehow ;)  You should too!

Pick up your Protank from www.sun-vapers.com and tell Ed that Nick sent you!  Don’t forget to use coupon code:  FOOLISH  for 10% off your order of $60 or more.

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The Joyetech eVic

This little baby is a battery, which I’m currently using instead of the Joyetech eGo Twist batteries I normally use, except it is far larger in diameter – but not ridiculous   Currently, I’m using the eVic with my new favorite Protank.  This battery is both eGo and 510 threaded, however some eGo atomizers simply won’t make contact with the battery fully, because the threading is too deep – take my formerly beloved T3 for example, it won’t work on the eVic — not without shoving a tiny washer down in to the center hole – something I’ve not bothered with (mostly because I love my new Protank!)

The thing that makes the eVic special is that it really IS an electronic cig!  It has electronics!  First, there’s a OLED screen used to control the device’s many features.  Among them are variable voltage, variable wattage, and a host of other settings like max puff time and all sorts of stuff.  It has sleep modes and automatically goes to sleep to save battery life at a pre-defined interval of not being used.  You can also power it off entirely.  What else is neat, is when you are puffing, it tells you how many seconds (in tenths of a second) that you puffed on it.  Also it displays the battery life with a 1-100 scale, the current time, and something else I haven’t bothered to look at the manual to figure out what it is.  Did I mention it also has upgradable firmware, and can either charge only or *gasp* communicate with your computer!!!  Yep, it comes with software called MVP, which can show you your entire puff history and even allow you to change certain defaults on the device without having to use the on-board menu system (a few features only seem available in the software, in fact.)  There is one button on this device, used to either pull your vape or it also acts as an ‘enter’ key when navigating the menu system.  You move around the menu system with the slider style band below the screen which wraps around the device and moves either left or right.  The same slider is (when NOT in the menu system) used to control the voltage of the device in tenths of a volt increments.

Battery life:  For one, the standard kit comes with a 2200mah battery.  This is compared to the eGo twist 600mah and 1000mah batteries, so you know the battery life is better.  I actually upgraded the battery in my eVic to a Panasonic 3500mah, and it lasts me over two full days on a charge, which it can complete via the USB cable in just a few hours.

Overall, I want to love this thing, but it isn’t without it’s issues as well.  For one, you can’t charge it with the USB cable, and expect to vape at the same time like you can with similar devices.  Only a minor annoyance, because mostly I charge it up overnight every other day.

Also, although I did manage to upgrade the firmware and connect it to the MVP software on my laptop a few times.  Unfortunately, this has stopped working – when I plug it into my laptop now I get “USB Device Not Recognized or has Malfunctioned” or something similar (this is after I think only TWO connects to the same PC.)  Yep, seems this thing fried itself, just like a fried flash drive.  So no more firmware updates or fancy MVP software for me, a real shame as I never puffed on the thing long enough to utilize the software’s graphs and charts on my smoking history.  That was gimmicky anyway so it’s no big loss, except for the ability to update the firmware.  Oh well.  At least it still charges!!!

Another thing about it, not just the USB connectivity, it feels CHEAP.  I imagine if I have this thing much longer the slider style toggle for the voltage will break off.

Also, and this is more of a general gripe, but it’s awkward to view the screen right after you puff, as it is located on the opposite side of the push button for vaping.  I’ve noticed that pretty much all big battery mods are like this, and I don’t know why.  To me it feels very unnatural to use the push button with my index finger (I guess how they expect you to use it) instead of my thumb (how I’ve always done it – just feels right.)

Finally, I find that the power output of this thing varies, just like the eGo Twist batteries.  Meaning that after the battery becomes weaker throughout the day, you have to crank of the voltage a little to get the same hit.  The other times it’s too much, and I have to crank it back down again.  This is a major annoyance, actually.

I was going to purchase another eVic for my wife, perhaps one for a friend, but after the issues I’ve seen with it, I won’t be doing that.  I did a bit of research, and my next big battery purchase is going to be a Provari v2.5 from Provape.com.  Actually, it’s already purchased but hasn’t arrived – I’ll review it when I get it.  The Provari kit costs a whopping 2.5x what the eVic kit does and yet has almost none of the features except that it can hold the big batteries, and it has a digital readout for the variable voltage – beyond that there is no USB connectivity, no software features, no graphs, etc. It also appears that you must remove the battery to charge it, something I’ll miss about the eVic – probably the ONLY think I’ll miss about the eVic.  The thing about the Provari is, it is made in the USA, incredibly durable and not cheap feeling, comes with a one year optional two year warranty as opposed to 30 or 90 day or nothing, and it has superior electronics in side and utilizes high drain batteries – it adjusts itself as the battery weakens so you once you find your favorite voltage, you should never have to adjust it again despite battery drain and wear.

In short, the eVic was a good enough product to make me think it was a good idea, but the implementation leaves a bit to be desired.  I look forward to my Provari as a replacement despite it’s higher cost and fewer features.