Last Updated on March 27, 2017 by Team Spinfuel
In the time that I have been using the new Eleaf Aster 75W TC Box Mod, eLeaf has released a newer model, the Aster Total. I’m just beginning to acquaint myself with the Aster Total, and about the only feature that makes it an “Aster” is the design elements. The Eleaf Aster 75W TC Box Mod must utilize an atomizer/tank in order to vape, whereas the Aster Total is a self-contained box mod, much like some of eLeaf’s sister company, Joyetech’s AIO line (AIO means All-In-One). Spinfuel VAPE will review the Aster Total in the coming days, but for now, let’s focus on the Aster.
Eleaf Aster Box Mod Review
The more products I review and cycle through on a weekly basis, I make it my goal to find a feature or innovation that makes the product standout from the rest and share it with you. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s impossible. Some vape gear products just aren’t even worth taking the time to review. In the case of the Eleaf Aster 75W TC Box Mod, the chassis design definitely is out there (reminds me of an alien space ship for some reason) and the $27.95 it takes to pick one up at Vapor Authority is a no brainer.
Even though I find myself vaping over the 100W mark more often than not, having an inexpensive, ergonomic and split-second portability mod that I can grab and go has been… satisfying. While I wouldn’t normally seek out a 75W device for myself, I can’t deny that the price point is just too good not to grab one to have as my throw-around device or simply as an in-car backup.
The Eleaf Aster’s footprint is small thanks to its angular design while eliminating any unnecessary space; no glitz and glamour here just straight to the point. At first glance, the frame is definitely awkward but surprisingly seems to mold to the creases of the hand very well. Its tall and slender shape makes thumb firing the preferred hand configuration (trying to trigger fire this device doesn’t turn out good). Using my right or left hand, my thumb rests comfortably on the fire button which is why the strange aesthetic is actually very practical and well thought out.
The Eleaf Aster Box Mod is available in Black, White, Pink, Brushed Silver and the one I received for review, the Grey, all sharing a metallic shade adding to the simplistic nature it portrays. The Aster is lightweight and extremely pocket-friendly without it weighing down your pockets or being intrusive in any way.
The Eleaf Aster Box Mod has a complex chipset for its smaller size and being offered in this low of a price range. It can be fired up to 75W and with many mode options to choose from gives you a very versatile device. In Variable Wattage (Power Mode), Bypass (Direct Output Voltage) and Smart Modes, you’re able to fire between 0.1-3.5Ω. The Temperature Control Modes include Nickel, Titanium, Stainless Steel (not specified which one) and three TCR profiles you can customize, M1-M3. In any of the TC Modes, you can safety fire down to 0.05-1.5Ω, which is really low for only a 75W device.
I ran it mostly in Nickel TC and Power Mode, but every option I tried performed flawlessly with a very small firing delay along with no glitches or issues during operation; shocking for a $25 Box Mod! The wattage isn’t adjustable in TC Modes but the Aster does do a great job regulating the temperature and really provides a great temperature controlled vape experience.
Scrolling through the modes for the first time, I noticed Smart Mode wasn’t an option on the device I received even though it was marketed everywhere saying it was. After checking the firmware, the older version was installed and was never updated. So after logging into Eleaf’s website, in a manner of minutes I installed V1.02 (which can be done on Mac or PC), which then activated Smart Mode and also added some additional fixes as well as an Eleaf logo upon booting up or shutting down.
For consumers that don’t have immediate access to a computer, plan on not having access to Smart Mode until you’re able to upgrade the firmware, or purchase it after the initial run of devices have been sold and Eleaf begins shipping the unit with the latest firmware.
Smart Mode has been used on other Eleaf devices (iPower and Pico Mega) and allows you to set up specified wattages for certain resistances of up to 10 different coil options. If you switch tanks back and forth often, this mode could save you a lot of time from adjusting the wattages back and forth versus the software automatically applying your specified wattage when a tank is attached.
The software worked well as I attached a wide variety of tanks and resistances, set up each one to a different wattage and by attaching each one, Smart Mode will bring you to your imputed wattage number. The software uses Automated Atomizer Detection so it’s as easy as screwing your tank on (while in Smart Mode) and vaping with very little downtime.
The Eleaf Aster 75W TC Box Mod is powered by a single removable high-amp 18650 battery (not included) with a recommended minimum of a 25A continuous discharge (I used a 20A 3000mAh VRK cell and it worked perfectly fine). I was able to drain the battery down to 3.5V before getting a ‘Weak Battery’ warning.
The battery door can be removed with a fingernail by a small notch cutout on the bottom. The two rectangular magnets, one on top and bottom, hold the battery door on very snug which makes removing it a challenge at times. I like to slide the door down a little first which gives me more leverage to pull the door off. You can also flip it upside down which makes pulling the door off much easier.
The battery area is really simple and clean with Gold-plated battery contacts ensuring proper connection (no battery rattle). The battery orientation markings are clearly visible and even without a battery pull tab, it’s easy to install and remove your battery.
The 10mm fire button is easy to click but plan on thumb firing since its location sits at an angle; not a problem but forces me away from trigger firing. The button protrudes enough to easily find with your thumb and is positioned perfectly for my hand. The only struggle I have is the slight button rattle when lightly shaking the mod. The two 9mm x 2.4mm regulatory buttons, one on top and one underneath the display screen are equally responsive.
The Stainless Steel connection threads accepted the multitude of atomizers I’ve been using the past month (mainly the Herakles Honor Sub-Ohm Tank) without any hesitation or wobbliness. The spring-loaded 510 pin also read all the tanks I attached to it and never got a ‘No Atomizer’ error warning. I ran mostly 22mm Sub-Ohm Tanks since they sit down flush and have no overhang whatsoever. If that’s not something that bothers you, fitting larger tanks still looks decent but personally drives me crazy.
I find myself using the Eleaf Aster mainly while driving rather than an at-home setup. Having it in my shifting hand, I can safety change gears without it getting in the way or distracting my daily driving routine. I prefer longer and skinner devices versus shorter and thicker so the Eleaf Aster fits the bill just right. With a simple 5-click on and off operation, I’ve been using it more outdoors than inside my home. The display screen is dimly lit and difficult to see in the daylight but I found myself leaving it on a select wattage without needing to adjust it as often.
The micro USB port under the bottom regulatory button is used for firmware upgrades but you can charge the Aster with the included USB cord if you’re in a pinch. It’s always recommended to charge your batteries externally versus inside the device.
Eleaf Aster Is Available at Vapor Authority
Final Grade – A
“Eleaf has proven they can put out portable mods that are inexpensive and function well. Again, for only $27.95 at Vapor Authority, the Eleaf Aster is a great device for the beginning user or a good backup option for the advanced vaper; if the alien shape doesn’t steer you away. For what the Aster was designed to do, it passes my tests.”