Innokin Cortex Complete System Review
Temperature Control Vaping System
The first thing I want to say about the Cortex Vaping System is that it is a gorgeous, fine-made, and extraordinary mod for the money. In addition, the iSub S Tank is equally well made and together they form one true vaping system for Vapers looking for the an excellent temperature control system. I am so happy to be the one chosen to do this review for Innokin’s latest. Now, let’s get on with it..
CORTEX APV TC Mod
The Temperature Control Vaping System
The CORTEX Advanced Personal Vaporizer incorporates the latest Innokin temperature technology powered by the IKARNO S1 chip.
Powered by up to 80Watts of precise wattage output, a built-in 3300mAh InnoCell battery with excellent battery life (per charge) and a fast recharge time, the CORTEX has set the standard as top-of-the-line box mod with features and specs that would seem to make it more expensive than it actually is. The Temperature Control system and the IKARNO S1 chip, in the CORTEX finally persuaded me to move to temp control coils full time, during my private vaping life anyway. For the first time I believe I am finally getting a supreme vape experience with Ni200 coils.
The CORTEX APV utilizes Fast 2Amp Charging (through wall charger only – sold separately), features a greater range of Temperature Control & Variable Wattage, utilizes advanced safety protections as well as pass-through vaping so you can vape while charging, and much more.
The Wattage range is 6w to 80w, adjustable in .1w increments. Wattage and temperature settings are adjusted by clicking the small plus and minus buttons located on the base of the CORTEX, along with the OLED display.
Adjustments are made by holding down the button (+ or -) for about one second till the wattage or temperature display begins to blink. Each click after the blinking begins raises and lowers the settings.
The CORTEX APV features a flush 510 connection with has a spring-loaded gold-plated positive pin and sturdy stainless steel threading.
I started the review with the Ni200 0.15-ohm coil head in the iSub S tank because that was the coil head preinstalled in the tank. From there I moved to the Clapton coil 0.5-ohm and then to the Horizontal 0.5-ohm coil. All three coils performed excellently, but the dependability against dry hits and the ease of fine-tuning my vape experience with the Ni200 coil head I found the Ni200 (Nickel) coil to be the my preference when using the CORTEX APV.
About 8 days of steady use was spent during the review period, and rather than putting the CORTEX on the Mod Case (where all review mods are stored for the staff) I am still using it daily.
Variable Wattage Mode
The CORTEX APV was built for Temperature Control, but Innokin realizes that there are still many holdouts from adopting this style of vaping so as expected, the CORTEX APV has an excellent Variable Wattage mode as well.
The CORTEX Vaping System comes with a BVC 0.5-ohm Clapton Kanthal coil as well as a 0.5-ohm Horizontal coil. For this review I used all 3 coil heads and 5 eliquids from Vape Craft (part of the Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team for Vape Craft eliquids). All the eliquids were Max VG and 3mg nicotine. Both the Clapton coil head and Horizontal coil head are used in variable wattage mode.
Innokin hasn’t reinvented the way Variable Wattage mode works, so setting up the CORTEX with the iSub S and the 0.5-ohm coils (Clapton and Horizontal) is just as easy as it is with most other modern vaporizers. Getting to the VW mode is a bit different, which I’ll get to, but once there it’s just a matter of choosing the wattage.
The Clapton Coil has a range of 30-70w while the Horizontal 0.5-ohm coil is rated at 25-35w. For those not familiar with Clapton coils (read this) the threaded coils really do make a difference when it comes to pushing more wattage without scorching the eJuice. Using the Vape Craft flavor “Churro” eliquid, in Max VG, at 3mg nicotine, I easily found exceptional performance in flavor and vapor from 30 to 52 watts. Going above 52 watts with this eliquid produced vapor that was too warm for steady vaping, and above 62 watts it was just plain not do-able.
Clapton coils are made in a way that allows more eliquid to make contact with the coils themselves, so that eliquid is vaporized faster since it is spread over more surface area. This allows a wider range of wattage output, but without burning the juice or scorching the cotton.
Switching to the 0.5 Horizontal build coil head the range in which I could find a good vape was restricted to no more than 32 watts, about the same as most other half-ohm single coils. I will tell you more about the Innokin iSub S a bit further down in the review.
Temperature Control Vaping
Operating Temperature Range:
The CORTEX Fahrenheit Temperature Range is set by pressing the “+” or “-” buttons. Hold the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ button down to set Fahrenheit temp. If the °F is set below 300°F it will automatically cycle back up to 600°F. When the temperature is increased above the 600 °F mark it will cycle back down to 300°F. Press the fire button to lock the setting and activate the CORTEX.
The CORTEX Celsius Temperature Range can be adjusted from between 150-315 ℃ in 5℃ increments by following the same instructions above. The cycling process is the same as well.
While in Temp Mode with the Ni200 0.15-ohm coil head I ran through a few different eliquids from Vape Craft. The CORTEX fluctuated a bit between 0.14 and 0.17 ohms’, and the best temperature setting for my preferences was between 505 F and 540F with the Vape Craft Max VG eliquids. I look forward to trying other brands and VG ratios with the extra Ni200 coils supplied for this review.
Choosing The Right Coils – Important
The new high-end IKANI S1chip in the CORTEX does a lot of calculating in order to deliver this new level of accuracy in TC mods. It is important to use the right coil with the right setting.
The Innokin CORTEX offers Temperature Control for Nickel and Titanium coils. However, and this is very important, do NOT vape Titanium coils if the CORTEX is set to Ni200 (Nickel) coils. This can be a hazard to your health due to the coefficients involved in accurate readings. (This is true of all TC mods)
Before using the Temperature Control Mode, you must CHOOSE the coil first. Set the proper coil this by:
Holding down the Plus and Minus button at the same time for 3 seconds. The OLED display will show you three options, NI TI and W, Nickel, Titanium and Wattage modes.
By clicking either the plus or minus button you can cycle through the settings to choose the right one. Do not ignore this warning. Even if it were safe to vape Ti coils in Ni mode, the accuracy would be thrown off by the internal circuitry using the proper coefficients in the calculations. Needless to say, don’t vape Nickel coils in TI mode as well.
The Innokin iSub S Tank
The iSub-S has a capacity of 4.5ml and has a top-fill system with PRISM Flavor+ design. In the Kit you’ll get both a metal drip tip and a Delrin tip (in black). I preferred the Delrin tip, which provided excellent heat dissipation. Even at the highest temp and wattage the CORTEX and the Delrin tip maintained a nice room temperature.
The top fill design is pretty simple. No cap to unscrew and no secret entrances. Just turn the bottom of the drip tip, permanently attached to the top cap, to reveal two holes for filling. The Vape Craft bottles, as well as the Lucky Ruckus eliquid bottles have the tall, thin plastic tips that made filling the iSub S a breeze. You can fill the tank right up to the top of the tank, achieving just slightly more than the 4.5mL capacity. Important: Make sure to twist the top cap to conceal the fill holes. If you do not seal the tank you won’t get a vacuum, the tank will leak like crazy.
The tank is stainless steel in color and construction and looks great atop the black CORTEX mod. It’s 22mm width takes it out the very edge of the CORTEX without going over the edge.
The airflow slot at the bottom of the tank is a dual slot (one on each side of the tank) mechanism that provides an adjustable draw to fit whatever draw tightness you want. Wide open brings you the thickest clouds of vapor with a loose draw. Tighter draws offer a more intense flavor.
Lastly, I’d like to tell you that the tank sits perfectly flush with the CORTEX, but the truth is there is a tiny amount of space between the mod and the bottom of the tank. I have zero issues with that, but some super-critical reviewers will undoubtedly point it out. I do so here so that later on no one can comment that I failed to mention this non-issue issue.
The biggest surprise with the iSub S is how, no matter what wattage setting or temperature setting is on the mod the Delrin drip tip stays at room temperature. Great flavor and vapor production is a given with Innokin tanks these past 12 months, so it was no surprise that flavor fidelity and vapor production were as good as it gets. The iSub S is the new flagship tank from Innokin.
CORTEX APV Features in Brief
The CORTEX APV is designed for extreme high efficiency. The efficiency of the Innokin CORTEX is above 90% while in operation and the maximum conversion rate registered is 99% at its peak.
In English: There is a very low reactive loss which reduces the surface temperature of the device and thus conserves energy, and keeps the mod room temperature.
Direct Current – Steady Power Output
DC vs. Pulse – Two methods of temperature control which deliver very different vaping experiences. Pulse output is discontinuous and less accurate as the temperature of the coils fluctuates throughout the vaping experience and do not heat up as evenly as they might otherwise.
Direct Current delivers very accurate output along with smoother, controlled, changes in coil temperature for the very best vaping experience. Needless to say, DC, or Direct Current is what Innokin has opted for in the CORTEX Mod. The coils will heat up evenly, and you’ll notice the difference in TC mode.
Ultra-low Static Power Consumption
Innokin’s engineers worked on power consumption technology enough to improve the long term energy conservation of the CORETEX. The very low dissipation improves the quality of the device, and the performance.
Precision Temperature Control
Innokin now offers a vaporizer with a chipset that is affordable while also delivering a top of the line Mod with tremendous accuracy and output precision. It is the best Innokin mod yet.
Features and Specs:
- Dimensions: 3-3/4″ x 1-3/4″ x 7/8″
- 510 Threaded
- Battery: 3300mAh InnoCell
- Standby current: 100uA max
- Maximum output Wattage: 80W
- Maximum Working Current: 30A
- Maximum output Voltage: 7.5V
- Clearomizer Resistance: 0.1 (Minimum)
- Operating Wattage: 6.0 – 80W .5 watt increments
- Precision Temperature Control: ±5 ℃
- High Efficiency
- Direct Current – Steady Power Output
- Balanced Even Coil Heat-Up
- Ultra-low External Heat Generation
- Dry Hit Detection & Prevention
- Ultra Low Standby Power Consumption
- 5V/2A Fast Charging Supported. (Wall Charger sold separately.)
- Comes in Black, Blue, Red, and Silver
Features and Specs:
- Dimensions: 2-5/8″ x 7/8″ (Including Drip Tip and Threads)
- 22mm Diameter
- Quick & Clean Top-Fill
- Large 4.5 ML Glass Tank
- 100% Stainless Steel
- Open & Point Adjustable Airflow
- Removable Delrin Drip Tip
- Replaceable Glass Tank
- Japanese Organic Cotton
- No Spill Coil Swap System
- iSub Coil Compatible
The Innokin iSub-S Tank and Clapton BVC coils offer more control, more flavor and huge vapor production.
We all have our favorite devices and because the Chinese vape industry is always putting new devices out into the marketplace today’s favorites become obsolete sooner than we’d like. With the CORTEX I believe Innokin has created a TC APV Mod that I could be very happy with for a long, long time. It is nice to be able to say that, and mean it.
The finish of the CORTEX is like a brushed rubberized finish, but one I haven’t felt before, making the grip firm and secure. The tight tolerances of the mod pieces, the superb workmanship and materials, and the light weight, especially compared to the similarly sized Joyetech Cuboid, makes it comfortable for all day use.
Innokin has been developing the CORTEX for more than 15 months, and in so doing the chipset, Direct Current, High Efficiency and other features are truly state of the art.
All the hard work and research pays off in the performance of the CORTEX and the iSub S tank. Like I said in the beginning of this review, the CORTEX is the APV that has finally made me a true believer in temperature control technology.
Tom McBride – January 9th 2016