The iTaste 134 Review
Many of you that are fans of Dr. Who will know exactly what I’m talking about when you see the Innokin iTaste 134 up close and personal…the rest of you are probably thinking “The Sonic What?”… and for that I apologize, but the very first time I opened the iTaste 134 metal box and saw the behemoth of an e-Cigarette the word that immediately came to mind was indeed “Sonic Screwdriver”.
All right, so anyway, the Innokin iTaste 134. The heaviest, meanest, most extraordinary e-cigarette I’ve ever vaped with. At $169.00 (MyVaporStore) , it is $10 less than a brand new, variable voltage ProVape ProVari. Unlike the ProVari, the iTaste 134 is not a variable voltage device. It is, however, a variable WATTAGE device, and as a business decision on the part of Innokin I think it was a wise choice. In fact, the iTaste 134 will, in my opinion, become a ‘classic’ e-cigarette in short order. It really is the coolest vaping device I now own.
But before we get into what it’s like to use one, and whether or not the iTaste 134 is in your future, let’s take a moment to look at it’s main electronics feature, Variable Wattage.
Variable Wattage – A Primer
The Innokin iTaste 134 has a metal ring around the unit (called the rotational wheel) and this ring twists in order to set the proper wattage (through the use of a micro-processor), or rather the amount of “power” the device is going to allow up through the connector where your iClear 16, 30, or any other 510-threaded device connects. Like many other variable wattage devices you can set the power (wattage) in .5w increments. The ring clicks into place with each setting, and that click locks it into place so that it doesn’t accidentally move in either direction.
The reason why Variable Wattage is so desirable these days is because YOU control the amount of power that reaches your atomizer. You can, if you want, set it to 5.2w or 8w and be done with it, never touch it again, or you could spend a great deal of time experimenting with the results of using various cartomizers and tanks with various ohms and find the ideal amount of power you need to get as close to the perfect vape as you can.
Variable Wattage is said to be easier to manage than Variable Voltage, and I suppose that is true enough.
Like the Variable Voltage ProVari, the advantage of a Variable Wattage is that it allows your chosen atomizer be used, in terms of output in wattage/power, at its most optimum setting, giving you far greater control over vapor production and throat hit, taking into consideration the actual resistance of the heating coil(s) and PG/VG ratio of your e-Liquid. In other words, by experimenting with the amount of power getting to the atomizer you can find the best wattage on a per atomizer basis, to find that sweet spot.
In addition, if the heating coil’s resistance changes when using a Variable Wattage device the power output will remain the same. It doesn’t matter how the resistance might change, sometimes its just the age or amount of use you’ve put it through, or it could even be because you’ve changed to a different ‘ohm’ cartomizer or you swapped out your coils in your RBA for a different one with a different ohms, either way the output is going to remain constant. Since variable voltage doesn’t work that way the ease in which you can find and maintain your sweet spot during your vaping ‘session’ will mostly be better with Variable Wattage than Variable Voltage. There are different camps regarding VV and VW, and with different camps come different opinions about which one works best and which one is easier or more accurate, et al. You can be sure that Innokin is well aware of these differences so their decision to come out with an admittedly ‘expensive’ APV, they have plenty of confidence in Variable Wattage and are sure the job of providing an excellent vape can be achieved with the iTaste 134.
The Innokin iTaste 134
The design of the iTaste 134 is remarkable. It looks ‘weaponized’. Made with 100% stainless steel, it has a series of spokes (rods) running the length of the body. There is no display screen, instead your setting are shown, and of course, set, by rotating the stainless steel wheel. Adjusting the wattage is to simply rotate the dial to the wattage you desire.
Main Features: (from Innokin)
Variable Wattage: The wattage can be adjusted to 6.5W, 7W, 8W, 9W, 10W, 11W, 12W, and 12.5W by turning the wheel. Use lower wattage for low-resistance (ohms) accessories and higher wattage for high-resistance (ohms) accessories
Battery Level Indicator: The iTaste 134 battery capacity is displayed via green, yellow, and red LED lights. Green = Fully ChargedYellow = Half DischargedRed = Charge Needed
High compatibility 510 connector: Will fit iclear10, iClear16, and iClear30 clearomizers, as well as standard 510 accessories
ON/OFF Battery Switch: Quickly clicking the power button three times will enable or disable the battery. Once enabled, holding down the button will activate the device. This safety feature prevents the atomizer from turning on while it’s in your pocket or bag and prevents accidental changes to your settings.
10-Seconds Cutoff: If the button is held down for 10 seconds or longer, the iTaste 134 will shut itself off until the button is released and pressed again.
Short Circuit Protection. Reverse Battery Protection Circuit. Low Voltage Warning.
If I were to say to you that there will be a ‘gasp’ in your future when you first open the metal storage box and see the 134 for the first time, I’m not kidding. It is an amazing piece of machinery. It is heavy, solid, and with extremely tight tolerances in the construction it feels like a device from the distant future. If there is a Zombie Apocalypse (you might want to read this before you laugh) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/magazine/max-brooks-is-not-kidding-about-the-zombie-apocalypse.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 you will want the iTaste 134 with you.
The iTaste 134 uses an IMR 18650 battery. Innokin warns of using low-quality batteries, so if you have some old 18650’s laying around I would go ahead and spring for a new one, or two, just in case. The length of time you’ll get with a fully charged battery completely depends on the wattage setting you use. It can, and does, vary. To get the best battery life regardless of the wattage setting take advantage of the quick off/on battery switch. Click the button 3 times quickly to engage or disengage the battery. Once you turn it on, hold the button down to activate it, just as you would any other button activating PV/APV. The iTaste 134 is equipped with a safety feature that prevents you from accidentally activating it when its on your pocket, backpack, or purse. To the men in the audience; Unless you want the wrong kind of attention (or the right kind?) avoid trying to stuff the iTaste 134 in your front pocket.
First Time For Everything
The first time I used the iTaste 134 I felt like I had to use the iClear 16 it came with, despite the fact that I don’t like the metal drip tip the iClear uses. The iClear 16 is better than the iClear 30, but that damn metal drip tip, which still looks more like dull lead than anything else, just feels awful. (Personal preference) But, forgetting that, the iTaste 134 took a little time to get used to based on the size and weight.
I’ve been using my VAMO 3 pretty consistently, also with an 18650 battery so I wasn’t that put off by the added weight, though even compared to the VAMO 3 fully extended the iTaste 134 is pretty heavy. After about half an hour or so I was used to it and it operated fine and felt fine. No complaints.
Since the whole idea of testing out something like this is to run it through the paces I switched out various tanks using LR and SR cartomizers in them, and I used a Vivi Nova with a 1.8ohm and 2.4ohm coil replacements. I even found time to use the Kanger ProTank II, which really looked good on the iTaste 134. Although there are numerous fans of the iClear line, for those that aren’t quite sold on it the options are plenty. Though, if you want a laugh screw on a simple 510 cartomizer, stand back a few feet and stare at the device.
Finding the right wattage to use for each device was pretty quick, and because it’s a rotational wheel that makes a sound when its clicks into place there was no need to study the device while increasing or decreasing the wattage. I seemed to be within 7w to 11w the vast majority of the time, only occasionally trying to push it up to 12w with a 3.0ohm coil in a Vivi Nova. With a 3-ohm 510 cartomizer wrapped inside a SMOKTech DCTank I was able to get to 11w without burning, using a pretty thin eLiquid of 70/30 PG/VG ratio. But most of the time I kept it in the 7-11w no matter what juice I was using. The takeaway on all this is that it’s pretty damn easy to use, and easy to find a great wattage setting no matter what.
I’m not going to kid you, the iTaste 134 is not what you’re going to want to use for stealth vaping. You are very aware that you’re using this behemoth all the time. While alone, or with the staff or friends I felt fine and enjoyed the heck out of it, but when someone walked into the office that I didn’t know I did feel self-conscious with it, and I would put it to the side and leave it alone while they were there. Looking at the accompanying photos you can get a pretty good idea of the size compared to other devices.
Let’s face it; you’ve never seen anything so cool in an e-Cigarette before the iTaste 134. It looks like a weapon, a Gatling gun in miniature actually. If you’re looking at the photo of it and thinking to yourself, “This looks cool” then that’s it, that’s all you need to know. You want one. You’d love to have one. So the only decision you need to make is if the price tag warrants a purchase.
If you have $170 to invest in an e-Cigarette, look at the photo of a ProVape ProVari and the iTaste 134. Compare the two. One has Variable Voltage one has Variable Wattage. Consider the type of Vaper you are; do you use or need VV or VW more often? Does it matter? (I actually prefer both equally). Once you’ve done that, which one quickens the heart? Which one makes you go all-atwitter? Pick that one.
However, if $169.99 is not sitting around looking for an e-cigarette but you’re lusting after the 134 anyway the decision has to be made as to whether or not you’re going “shift things around” to find the money for one. Should you? Ultimately, that’s a question only you can answer.
I will offer you this though; I do own one now and if someone walked up to me and offered me twice the money for it and told me I had to wait until mid-September to get another one, I wouldn’t do it. Now that I have one, I don’t want to be without it. That is a decision I can make only because I’ve used one for several days and I know what my vaping has been like. On the other hand, if I never held one or used one, and someone told me they could get me one this evening for twice the cost I’d say “no thanks”. Why would I if I have no idea what its like? If I could pop over to MyVaporStore and buy one today for $169.99 and I had that much to spend, then yea, I’d order it in a heart beat. Because when all is said and done, this is one bad moth—–.
PS: The Black one is meaner looking than the polished steel, just an FYI. Had I had the choice I would have opted for the black one I think. You do have that choice, and you can pick one up today at MyVaporStore in either finish. Which one would/will you buy?
Package Contents: (MyVaporStore)
- 1 x Innokin iTaste 134
- 1 x iClear 30 Tank
- 1 x User Manual
- 1 x Metal Storage Case