Of all the developments in the e-cigarette world probably the most significant is the all-in-one atomizer tank or clearomizer as they are known. Long term vapers will recall the hit and miss days 5 years ago. If short battery life wasn’t enough to pull your hair out, getting a consistent “hit” proved more than tedious.
The vaping scene has come along way since the wool filled mouthpiece which tended to be either too wet or too dry. Most hardcore users ditched the wool and dripped instead and this provided the best solution. The “CE” range of clearomizers were a real breakthrough and carto style tanks even better – fill up the tank and merrily vape away with no need to take a bottle of juice when out and about.
Further enhancements led to the systems such as the KangerTech Mini Protank II which we’ll be looking at today.
The Apollo Vtube 3.0 is the latest incarnation of the ever popular Vtube (also known as the Lavatube or Lambo to you and me). As the version number indicates this is the third revision of the Apollo Vtube. The original Lavatube design was pretty much an overnight success – the first low cost variable voltage device meant vapers on a budget could experience the delights of Variable Voltage (VV) without spending a small fortune. I had one, still do. The product was let down by the plastic end caps, but overall a decent introduction to advanced PV’s and ground breaking to a certain extent.
With numerous complaints about the cheap feel, the v1.0 tube quickly got a face lift. A couple of years back Apollo commissioned a unique limited edition stainless steel Vtube. This would be known as the v2.0 and while the previous example (v1.0) and the v2.0 had identical performance (they both utilised the same on-board electronics) significant external modifications such as a floating (spring loaded) centre pin, built-in ego cone threading, all metal end caps and a choice of chrome or stainless steel bodies added to a growing pedigree.
With the latest developments in cartomizer and clearomizer technology, I have gradually weaned myself off direct atomizer dripping and moved into the tank scene! Dripping (as its known) is the old school approach – “dripping” a few drops of eliquid directly into a waiting atomizer, rather than filling a tank. As a vaping purist, there really is no better way to experience e-liquid flavour. This method has its drawbacks. While it is fine lounging around in front of the TV, when out and about or driving its not so convenient.
Regular readers will recall that I generally use a couple of devices. Namely an Apollo Vtube and eGo topped with a CE4 – my go to clearomizer solution. I hadn’t really considered “proper” tank options as I was happy enough with the CE4’s. To cut a long story short, I decided to purchase a couple of Dual Coil Tank (DCT) cartomizers from Apollo just to see what they are like and these are my impressions.
Keen readers may have noticed that I often make reference to my stainless steel Vtube having a somewhat airy draw due to the connection design. Side by side with a regular Lavatube I’d hazard a guess that the draw is 50% lighter – somewhat reminiscent of sucking air through a straw! When I used regular atomizers, this was overcome with an eGo cone, it tightened the draw and was great, but when it came to using a Dual Coil Tank (DCT), the airy nature returned.
Since I road tested the Apollo Superior eGo Kit late last year I have become hooked on CE4 clearomizer’s, so much so that I haven’t used a regular atomizer since then. Anyway, I thought I better get my hands on an adaptor so that I can use them with my stainless steel Vtube. So I headed off to Apollo and ordered one.
The CE4 has a recessed 510 connector and a metal skirt, which means their use is limited to standard eGo style devices, but an eGo adaptor opens up a whole new world of opportunities enabling this popular clearomizer to be used on just about anything, including of course the Vtube variable voltage mod.
The Apollo disposable electronic cigarette is not something I use on a regular basis as I have a fair amount of vaping kit that fulfils my personal needs (see other reviews). However, I’ve been meaning to review one for a while but never got around to it. So today, I’ll explain what these are all about.
If you are new to the world of electronic cigarettes and the vaping scene in general lets get down to basics. Most ecig users start out on something fairly basic. I know I did. 5 years ago, ecigs were extremely primitive and most, if not all, replicated a real cigarette in looks if not performance. Over the years, and thanks to the personal innovation of a number of ecig users, various “mods” started to appear. Chinese manufacturers quickly picked up on these and started mass producing more durable and longer lasting products.
You see the problem with the earliest ecigs was size. After all, these things were nigh on identical to a cigarette dimensionally, thus battery capacity and ultimately life was limited to say the least – a typical battery lasting anywhere between 30 mins to 2 hours (the latter, if lucky). In addition, they didn’t hold a decent charge after a few months, so a hefty battery arsenal was always needed.
What can be said about the eGo e-cigarette that hasn’t been said before? When the eGo was launched it quickly revolutionized the vaping scene much in the same way as the 510 atomizer destroyed the good old 910. The eGo pretty much swept away all other conventional e-cig designs and still dominates the starter segment of the market. No wonder really – up till this point ecigs were unreliable, inconsistent and often frustrating.
This was the e-cigarette to be seen with. Its sleek lines, cool manual button and long life battery made it an overnight success perfectly at home in the hands of veterans and beginners alike. Its small dimensions meant you could slip it in a pocket, head out for the day with no worries. With the advent of cartomizers, tank systems and clearomizers things just kept getting better (no need to even carry a bottle of juice anymore).
The Apollo CE4 is the latest generation of refillable clearomizers and having used one for a while I can confirm it blows previous versions out of the water!
In my experience using clearomizers has always been a bit of a disaster. In fact the last time I tried a CE3 more than three out of the five I purchased had major leaking and wicking issues. So I was really interested to see how the Apollo CE4 (sometimes referred to as the Stardust) would perform.
Visually it’s a really nicely designed bit of kit. Its almost a shame it’s a “disposable” item – no time for sentimentality though! Lets take a closer look.
Ecigarettes or personal vaping devices have come along way since their inception. In fact when I look back to 2008 (when I first started) ecigs are unrecognisable from the original products in both performance and looks.
I suppose back then I wanted an ecig to look like a cigarette – it was a comfort to hold something of similar dimensions and see that little orange LED glow each time I took a puff but these things were expensive and didn’t last that long what with the small battery and all. For a heavy smoker I found I was charging batteries via USB every 20 minutes and don’t get me started on those bloody wool filled cartridges!
Fortunately, as time passed improved devices came along and I flittered from the latest gadget to the next. The good thing is that they helped me quit and while some adverts made outrageous claims about “saving money” I reckon I spent more on ecigs during the early years than I ever would have on cigarettes during the same period!
In early 2011 a device called the Lavatube attracted my attention. This sleek and stealthy black tube looked the business and was the first variable voltage mod that fell comfortably into my limited budget.
I picked up a fully featured kit including batteries, charger and all that good stuff. What a revelation – I had never used a variable voltage mod before and was overwhelmed with the performance. For the first time ever I was able to hit that “sweet spot” every time rather than get a mouth full of juice or an indifferent vape. I was hooked on the tube.
As you’ll no doubt know most of these devices hail from China and many sellers market the same/or similar products under different names such as the Lavatube, VTube, Torpedo, Knight Rider and the ThunderVolt (to name but a few).
I was happy with my tube and while it had a few cosmetic issues namely the cheap looking plastic end caps it didn’t distract from the solid vape it consistently delivered. I had read on various forums that if dropped, the plastic battery end cap would fall off and even though it could take a fall and survive (relatively intact!), I kind of wished my tube was a bit more sturdy.