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In Review: The itaste SVD

Feb 16, 13 In Review: The itaste SVD

IN THIS CORNER, THE NEWCOMER FROM SHENZHEN CHINA, CLATHED IN STAINLESS STEEL, HE’S MEAN.. HE’S THE MENACE OF .. ok screw this, i’ll start normal

Here we have the SVD, and before I get going.. let me warn.. it’s a wordy post. The SVD is Innokin’s entry to VW. They did a fantastic job of the MVP so we have very high expectations of this one. Full stainless steel, a 5amp current limit and 3-6V or 3-15W range make it a winner on paper so I have my “strict reviewer” hat on (it’s a regular hat that I wrote “strict reviewer” on)

Before I start:

Please please please Mr Innokin.. change the name! VD is already short for two of the most horrible word combinations in existence: Venereal Disease and (even worse) Valentines Day. How about a nice non-threatening name like “the fluffy cloud vape”? Oh well, like other VD’s.. you just got to live with it!

Safety First:

There is a software bug that keeps the device firing for 10seconds with a weird combination of key-presses. Innokin has said they will fix this before official release.

The SVD comes with a nice set of safety features like:

  • Reverse Polarity Protection – Checked, works
  • Overheat protection – Checked, works
  • Battery Safety Protection (aka vent holes) – See box below
  • Short Circuit Protection – Checked, will not fire anything under 1.2ohms
  • Overtime vaping Warning (fancy way of saying “10sec cutoff”) – Checked, works

Warning on vent holes: There are vent holes in the battery cover with a somewhat unique spring configuration. It works with no battery allowing plenty of air to pass through the middle of the hollowed battery contact and out the vent holes.. with a battery in place and the spring depressed the airflow is severely restricted. A reviewer on youtube (my namesake VaporJoe) gave the simplest and most effective solution: drill little vent holes into the plastic cover.

Simple to drill even without a drillpress.

the “fix”

Special thanks to Curtis for this, I don’t think I would have noticed

UPDATE: My contact at Innokin has assured me that this is an oversight in the preproduction model and the retail version will not have this issue -*giggle* I never thought I’d get to say “my contact at..”

Aesthetics and Build Quality:

Taking it out of the box it didn’t look big, little did I know it was in the smallest possible setting. With a 18650 or, heaven forbid stacked 18350′s it is long! Good thing it’s skinny or I would be feeling very insecure right now. As looks go, I think it’s pretty; it’s not spectacular or breath-taking or anything similar, but it’s not ugly and it’s even got a couple of nice lines on it. The problem with most telescope mods is that they remind me of a toilet roll holder.. this does not.

Build quality.. hmm.. it’s solid Stainless Steel and weighs as much, the tubes are a bit on the thinner side making it feel a bit cheaper than it should. I feel that a single tube (I am allergic to stacking) with slightly thicker walls would have felt a lot better. Never-the-less there’s nothing to really fault outside my own definition of what an advanced personal vaporizer should feel like in my hand.

The threads on my preproduction unit when it arrived were bone dry and initially felt bad, once properly cleaned and lubed they got a lot smoother. It’s very fine threading and moving from the shortest setting to the longest one takes some time but the machining is better than expected.

Here’s my biggest problem with the SVD, the display is upside down! If you’re holding it in you right hand, like the majority will, it’s inverted :( if you hold it in your left hand, the plus button is on the bottom.. and the minus one on the top. This is driving me absolutely nuts.

If I’m being nit picky, and I usually am, I have to also mention it’s easy to lose the firing button and press something else, I did this a few times before I got used to the feel of the fire button. It’s all good now.

Vape:

WOAH! BE STILL MY DARKENED LITTLE HEART! Erm.. that is to say. It’s good! It does what it’s supposed to very well.

Ok let’s do bad stuff first

It is NOT 5amps, my email said it was 5amps.. and it’s not. I feel cheated! At most I could get it around 3.3amps with exception of a single incident following a misreading on the resistance of my atomizer (my fault) so I don’t know where the 5amp limit came from but in both single and stacked configuration using some of the best quality high drain batteries I could not get it. This is expecting some clarification from Innokin engineers when Spring Festival is over.

With the theoretical 5amp limit I was thinking this would be the perfect device for running low ohmed rebuildables.  Unfortunately the short protection error warning hits way to early (1.2ohms) so even my elderly Cisco LR (metering at 1.1ohms) will not fire at all on it. This might end up being the biggest shortfall of an otherwise brilliant vape.

The good stuff.

You get the setting you have punched in consistently. If you set it at 4.8V on a half dead battery you will vape at 4.8V until the battery is flat no matter what atomizer you have on it (unless you hit the amp cutoff) and it will feel like a good and consistent 4.8V.

With Innokin using a standard eGo connector this time the SVD is going to be able to fire up most cartomizers, atomizers and rebuildables out there.. except Kanger T3′s, they fit on just fine but I find T3′s to have a very solid preference to devices with a very (and i mean VERY) tall central post. I blame the T3′s for this, not the SVD.

The device even has a little memory chip so the settings don’t reset when you switch the battery. In fact it comes with a little note on how to reset the settings for safer switching from one to stacked battery configuration. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything similar before short of the Provari.

Overall:

There’s a couple of nitpicks but no major issues at all. All my concerns are being addressed in the production model.. how well, that remains to be seen. It’s very enjoyable and pretty well made albeit kind of large. The RRP for the device is €99,99 or your regional equivalent; while I expected the price I would have preferred something in the €75 range. It’s the damn second tube I tell you!

Bonus:

  • Innokin took the time during the Spring Festival to reply to my emails (and I sent a LOT of emails)
  • They don’t try to bundle any crappy batteries with it, instead they make a suggestion to use AW IMR’s. I love that!
  • In the span of a year Innokin has produced consistently good devices: the LeoPro, itaste VV, itaste MVP and now the SVD.. what’s next?

Photos:

  • Justin

    Thanks for your review, VaporJoe, you deserve a medal!
    We just came back from holiday. We will improve the iTaste SVD and remove the issues you mentioned. I will put your link on Innokin’s FaceBook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.burge Jonathan Burge

    My SVD stopped working after about 5 days. Apparently it only works with AW or Xtar batteries. Not Trustfire or Ultrafire. Though no gaurantee it would work even then. Unimpressed and sending mine back.

    • VaperJoe

      Hi Jonathan, Li-Ion batteries simply do not have the drain requirements for variable voltage boosted circuits. For these devices you really should use IMR cells such as the AW, MNKE or Efest cells to name but a few.