One hundred and fifty watts. It doesn’t seem like THAT long ago that this was a figure achieved only by vaping experts, using homebrew equipment or elite-level mods. And these devices were suitably huge and unwieldy. Fast forward to 2018, and I’m writing a review of a legitimate 150-watt mod with the same dimensions as a large pack of gum – the Eleaf Tessera 150W mod kit.
More important than the reduction in size from those old-school 150-watters was how consistent the Tessera is by comparison. Yeah, technology has come a long way in a short period of time, because not only is the Tessera a truly compact 150-watt Mod – with an integrated battery, to boot – it’s also a pretty good one. (Save for a few GLARING flaws, mind you. But we’ll get to that…)
The Tessera might be the most streamlined and compact mid-wattage device we’ve seen. Even with an internal battery, the Tessera is barely taller than a standalone battery, making it an ideal palm-friendly device, right down to the flush fire bar seamlessly built into the side of the Tessera’s stainless steel chassis.
Another thing that jumped at me was the fantastic, crystal clear, high-def display. I can’t sing Eleaf’s praises enough for their recent display efforts, and the Tessera is no exception. We’re still holding out hope that Eleaf will bring its phenomenal iStick Kiya display to a larger, full-powered mod, but it’s still sharp, clearly laid out, and far better than 95% of the cluttered displays we deal with everyday.
But, even with all that technology, perhaps the most impressive thing about the Tessera mod is how the center-positioned 510 connection manages to handle 25 and 26mm tanks without overhang – AND without looking awkward or imbalanced, even on such a small device. Kudos to Eleaf for welcoming all levels of vapers to the party, not just the newcomers looking for “something small.”
Main Feature Highlights of Eleaf Tessera Mod Kit
Let’s start off the “highlights” portion of the review with just that – a highlight. The flush, clicky, fantastic fire bar not only makes the Tessera a dream to use, but it might give SMOK’s industry-standard mechanism a run for its money. We use the word “seamless” a lot around here, but I defy anyone to spot the Tessera’s fire bar without squeezing it first. And when you do, you’ll love just how firm and responsive it is.
Another highlight was the speed of the onboard (duh) 2-amp charging, which took my Tessera from 0 to full in just over an hour. The tradeoff for this fast-flowing power is excessive heat; the Tessera struggled to stay cool when charging, and before long, I found myself disconnecting the mod and letting it cool down before charging again.
On the flip side of the coin is the included Eleaf Ello TS sub-ohm tank, which was a consistent disappointment throughout our time using it. When it worked, the flavor and vapor production was passable, but those moments were few and far between.
From scorched hits, to uncontrollable leaking and even some incorrectly sized o-rings, the Ello TS is not a tank we’d seek out for anyone, kit or no kit. The leaking was a particular concern, since I couldn’t nail down the cause, no matter how many tweaks and adjustments I made to rectify the situation.
Eleaf Tessera 150W TC Box Mod Specs:
- Integrated 3400mAh Rechargeable Battery
- Wattage Output Range: 1-150W
- Maximum Voltage Output: 50A
- Minimum Atomizer Resistance: 0.05ohm
- Temperature Control Range: 200-600F
- Ni200, Titanium, and 316 Stainless Steel Compatibility
- TCR Adjustment – 3 Memory Modes
- Ergonomic Soft Contour
- Beautiful 1.45″ TFT Full Color Display
- Compact Design with Soft Contour
- Hidden Firing Bar Mechanism
- Real Time Clock System
- Dual Circuit Protection
- MicroUSB Port – Max 2A Charging Rate
- Centered Stainless Steel 510 Connection
Eleaf ELLO TS Sub-Ohm Tank Specs:
- 25mm Diameter
- 4mL Maximum Juice Capacity – Extension Glass & Chimney
- Superior Stainless Steel Construction
- Pyrex Glass Reinforcement
- Eleaf’s HW Series Coils
- 0.2ohm HW1 Single-Cylinder Kanthal Coil – rated for 50-65W
- 0.3ohm HW2 Dual-Cylinder Kanthal Coil – rated for 45-60W
- Convenient Retractable Top-Fill Design
- Dual Bottom Airflow Control
- Delrin Widebore Drip Tip
- Detachable Structure
- 510 Connection
Eleaf Tessera 150W TC Box Mod Kit Contents:
- 1 Tessera 150W Box Mod
- 1 ELLO TS Sub-Ohm Tank
- 1 0.3ohm HW2 Dual Coil
- 1 0.2ohm HW1 Single Coil
- 1 QC USB Cable
- Instructional Manual
The Spinfuel VAPE Score
Personal Observations of the Eleaf Tessera
I’ve said it before, but I’m just floored by how much technology and performance Eleaf has crammed into the Tessera’s diminutive frame. Not only is there a decent 3,400mAh integrated battery, but also a legitimate 150 watts of output, full temperature control suite, TCR customization, and more.
Temperature control and TCR performance was a particular highlight during my time with the Tessera. While this isn’t nearly as popular a vaping style as when it was introduced, companies are continuing to improve reliability, which is evident on the Tessera. Between stable resistance readings, effortless wattage adjustments, and hiccup-free vaping, even when using it heavily, the Tessera is a solid TC performer that belies its undersized frame.
Of course, as we expected with a limited capacity cell, the Tessera doesn’t have the BEST battery life we’ve seen, but it more than holds its own against similarly spec’ed devices, both with internal and external battery power.
Yes, the 150 watt limit is reachable, though I question anyone who might want to use the Tessera at these levels for very long. While the device made it to the limit without any errors, the bare metal frame becomes almost unbearably hot at such elevations – to the point where I had to put it down to cool off before firing again.
More realistically, Eleaf probably could have used the same technology and capped the wattage at 120, since that’s where things began to be uncomfortable for regular use. Not only did the heat become unbearable, but the battery life plummeted off the table above this mark, as well.
There is little, if any, visible venting on the Tessera, making these numerous heat issues a legitimate concern for vapers who are concerned about such things. (Which should be all of us.)
At 50-90 watts, though, the Tessera absolutely sings, offering smooth, stutter-free performance and flawless ramping, whether you’re in temp control or wattage mode. And it performed this way with a wide range of tanks and RDAs. All sat flush and powered well – even some older MTL devices I keep around just for this purpose.
Bottom Lining the Tessera
Considering the size and power output of the Eleaf Tessera, I feel like I should give it an A despite its flaws. Because what it does well, it does REALLY well. And it does it well with a wide range of tanks and RDAs, thanks to an accommodating 510 connector and smart design.
But the problems I had with the excessive heat and seriously flawed Ello tank are just too big to ignore, especially on a device aimed at newcomers and those wanting convenience in their next vape device. Still, while Eleaf might have tried to cram a little too much into this diminutive frame, I still commend them for making a decent mod that will probably set the framework for something much better down the line.
Pick up the Eleaf Tessera today at Element Vape