REVIEW: The new Innokin iClear CLK
The Innokin iTaste CLK Starter Kit
Affordable – Capable – Attractive – Under $50
Fortunately not every new electronic cigarette that comes to market is of the $160 variety, like the JoyeTech eVic Supreme Tom just reviewed. While these semi-expensive APV’s are usually big sellers not everyone needs one, or wants one. As much as Tom loves his big honking mods, I’m perfectly fine with a good eGo-sized device like a Vision Spinner… well, most of the time.
For vapers that don’t need to nuke their favorite eLiquids with big, heavy APV’s, the brand new Innokin CLK could be the next electronic cigarette in their future.
I imagine both MyVaporStore and Vapor Authority, two trusted vendors we use all the time, will carry the CLK once it begins shipping wide, with a price tag of roughly $49.95. Since we’ve had a few for a couple of weeks now I would think they’ll be in stock any day now.
What is the iTaste CLK?
The iTaste CLK is a variable voltage pass-through device, designed much like a Vision Spinner or eGo battery. The CLK is a decent 800mAh battery. It’s battery charge will depend on how you vape, but for myself I’m currently getting 3+ hours per charge. That’s actually very good for my style of vaping (aggressive); I get maybe 4.5-5 hours with a Spinner II that’s rated at a huge 1600mAh. Your battery life could very well be better than mine; I doubt you’ll get less. The CLK is also unregulated, so as you vape the output goes down. By the time it reaches 3.3v (time to recharge) you’ll notice a difference in vapor production.
The CLK battery is just a tiny bit thicker than what you might expect for 800mAh. It was designed to look great with the Innokin iClear 16D, and it succeeds royally. Because it is a bit thicker than usual it also looks good with larger clearomizers and glassomizers like the iClear 30 line and the iClear X.I.
The CLK sports a 510-eGo threading connector, with eGo threads on the outside of the connector. It comes with one of the best looking “beauty rings” I’ve ever seen, and it screws onto the outer eGo threads with ease. When using a 510 tank or glassomizer, it creates a great ‘divider’ between the two devices. That beauty ring was an inspired design element, making any clearomizer/tank look so much better than it would otherwise.
I spent about 10 days total with the iTaste CLK and during that time I used a variety of clearomizers, including those mentioned above as well as the X.Jet Spider, Aspire BDC Vivi Nova, and even a glass EVOD II. They are worked fine, but my choices for the CLK would be the X.Jet Spider, just because I like them so much, or the Innokin 16D, which it was made for.
About The iClear 16D
Innokin has taken their famous iClear 16 and divided it in three different types, creating the iClear 16B and the iClear 16D, and the original iClear 16 eGo Clearomizer. The 16D is a Dual Coil, Bottom Coil clearomizer.
Without getting too deep into the other iClear 16’s, I will say the 16B looks more like an EVOD clearomizer, while the 16D looks more like the original iClear 16. The dual coil, bottom coil clearomizer has a hefty coil head that has four distinct wicks sticking out from the atomizer. The capacity is a decent 2ML, better than the X.Jet Spider we’re always talking about by .4ML, which turns out to be about an hour or more of vaping before a refill is needed. Additional coil heads can be purchased for about $2.45 a piece.
The resistance (ohms) in the iClear 16D that comes with the CLK is 2.1ohms, but you can buy 1.5ohm replacements if you want or need to. The CLK can handle resistance down to 1.1ohms, though Innokin recommends the 2.1ohm. The 16D comes in a variety of colors, and they are all semi-transparent. The black one, which came with the black iTaste CLK battery, is the darkest one of the bunch, but I can still gauge the amount of eLiquid left with a simple glance, so its nowhere near opaque.
Some vapers have complained that the 16D can be “airy”, providing a loose draw. I was expecting an airy draw from it, but to my surprise I got an excellent vape.
The 16D has 3 air holes so if you find it pulls a little too easy, or you hear air passing through while you vape I recommend taking a wooden toothpick to plug up an air hole. Try vaping with the toothpick in, and if the draw is tight enough for you, and producing good vapor and flavor, break it off inside the hole and your problem is solved. I didn’t need to do that, but I know Julia has done it in the past, that’s where I got the idea.
Lastly, the iClear 16D has a pretty big ring around the bottom, where the 3 air holes are. At some point in time Innokin is going to turn this area into an adjustable air controller, and I hope they do it sooner rather than later. If the 16D had an adjustable air controller it would be an incredible clearomizer. As it is the iClear 16D sells for $5.71 at MyVaporStore, and I don’t know about you, but I would gladly pay another dollar for the addition of an adjustable air control ring.
The iTaste CLK is also a pass-through electronic cigarette. Attach the CLK via the micro-USB port located beside the now expected Red/Yellow/Green LED power/firing button. The firing button is made of a flexible rubber and not quite opaque, so the lights can shine through nicely.
For the sake of this review I did hook it up to my computer for some pass-through vaping and it worked as expected. It not only output at optimal power, it charged the battery as well. Using any eCigarette as a pass-through is something I rarely, if ever, do, but if pass-through is important to you the CLK works well. The CLK comes with a white micro-USB cable and a lanyard. I half-expected at least an extra coil head, but there is only the one, already seated in the 16D.
Dial It Up
The iTaste CLK has a rotational wheel at the base of the battery with a clickable range of 3.5v – 5v, which is perfectly fine for most vapers, including myself. The wheel has well-defined numbers and notches so dialing in the setting you want is both fast and sure.
Before I get into my real world thoughts about the iTaste CLK, I should tell you that the CLK will be available in three designs QuickSilver, Onyx and Pixie (Silver, Black, Pink) and the iClear 16D is color coordinated to match the battery. For my review I used the black version. The finish contains a very, very slight imprint of swooping lines, but it’s not something you can really see unless you’re looking for it. The ‘finish’ is neither glossy nor matte, its somewhere in between.
Real World Usage
By now I am so used to using my Spinners and X.Jet Spiders for most everyday vaping that making the switch to the iTaste CLK was really easy. Setting it up for the first time couldn’t be simpler; charge the battery, fill the 16D, attach, set the wheel to 3.8v (the default) and start vaping. Finding the sweet spot for your particular eLiquid will be quick.
Unlike other batteries of this shape and size, the USB cable does the charging, not the typical 4-inch long charging cable with the rectangular boxy end and a standard USB port on the other end. The USB port on the side of the battery (opposite the fire button) is sturdy and the cable fits perfectly with no fussing around trying to get it lined up like you would with some other batteries that use a micro-USB port.
Since I don’t enjoy pass through vaping I had to switch out from the CLK to a Spinner when it was time to recharge it, and I have to admit, the quality of the iTaste CLK is very good. I’m not going to say that I preferred the CLK to my usual Spinner+X.Jet, but it was damn close, just about indistinguishable.
The iClear 16D coil head remains in great working order after more than 20 refills, or 40ML of eLiquid. The most refills I’ve gotten from an X.Jet Spider is 12, so the 16D coils seem to last quite a bit longer than the X.Jet “hidden coil” coil heads.
Hooking up the CLK battery to my portable meter I found the voltage to be about 99% spot on. 3.8v showed 3.8v, and so on, the only time it was different was when I tested it at 4.8v, the meter told me it was hitting 4.9-5v, and 5v showed 5v-5.1v. Of course, these readings were done without any vaping involved so I just don’t know the amount of drop off there might be while vaping.
Vapor and flavor were excellent. From the clean, clear flavors of the eLiquids, to the large amount of vapor I was getting with all the different brands and flavors I vaped I came to conclusion that Innokin had to have designed the battery to work with the iClear 16D rather then having to design and build a battery and then choosing an adequate clearomizer for it. I’m not definite about that, but it seemed to me that these two components formed too good of a match not to be designed that way.
There are some devices over the past couple of years that I have reviewed and then given away. It’s not that I disliked them, it’s that I dislike owning a whole bunch of batteries and mods and having to decide what I’m going to use. It turns into clutter.
Ultimately, it always comes down to one or two, sometimes three, devices that I use over and over. If I don’t plan on including it in my normal device rotation I give it away to someone that has less vape gear than I do. With respect to the iTaste CLK, I placed into service right along with my Spinner and Spinner II. I enjoyed the iClear 16D enough to order a few coil heads for it as well.
Lastly, the iTaste CLK is a very affordable, very attractive, workhorse eCigarette. The quality of the construction is as good as any of the other iTaste devices. Innokin has put together a nice package for under $50, so if you’re looking for this kind of device as a primary eCigarette or as a backup, the iTaste CLK is definitely something to consider. Oh, and it would make a great Mother’s Day gift too.