The iTaste MVP Review
Introduced nearly a year ago, the Innokin iTaste SVD (short for, “Superior Vaping Device”) brought variable voltage and variable wattage capability to the iTaste line — if I’m not mistaken — for the first time, expanding on the success of the original iTaste and iTaste MVP.
Since then, Innokin has followed up with amazing devices like the 134 (regular and, soon, Mini versions), the VTR, and the Cool Fire mods, but the SVD was the one to bring variable wattage to Innokin customers in a big way.
I’ve spent the past week or so with this device, and today I’d like to give you my thoughts and impressions regarding it. Over my time with the SVD, I’ve used it with a small army of different Atomizing Devices (ADs) and batteries ranging in size from 18350 to 18650; additionally, I’ve used it both at home and out on the town. Let’s get started:
Features & Specs
The SVD is an interesting device in that it is, to an extent, a telescopic APV which also comes with multiple battery tubes. It arrives assembled with its “long” tube, suitable almost exclusively for 18650 battery use. However, it also arrives with a “short” tube which can accommodate batteries from 18350 to 18500 in size comfortably and solidly.
The SVD also sports a 510/eGo combination connector, with the eGo threads generally concealed behind a “beauty ring” which can be unscrewed and removed — practically a must when using clearomizers or cartomizers that feature a recessed connection because, although the beauty ring features air channels in two of its stylized divots, a recessed connection device won’t really benefit much from them.
The SVD is also a Variable-Voltage and Variable-Wattage device, with a Voltage range of 3.0-6.0 volts adjustable in 0.1 volt increments, and a Wattage range of 3.0-15.0 watts adjustable in 0.5 watt increments. Resistance checking is also featured on the SVD, accessed by pressing both adjustment buttons simultaneously.
Build Quality & Aesthetics
Build quality on the SVD really is top notch for a device of its age and price point. The exterior of the control head housing, as well as the battery tubes, features brushed stainless steel construction. This gives it enough heft to feel solid and serious in the hand.
The firing and selection buttons offer satisfying tactile feedback when pressed, although I have to note that the smoked plastic cover on the firing button, as is the case with the Cool Fire II, makes it difficult to know with any certainty when one has successfully turned the device on or off in outdoor lighting.
The one feature of the SVD’s design that I can see being a “love it or hate it” point is the device’s display; specifically, the raised display frame with exposed screws. Some may see this aesthetic choice as, “dated” — personally, I see it as being rugged and classic.
Ergonomics & Usage
The feel of the SVD in the hand during normal use is about what I expect from any tube shaped device — a little narrow, but comfortable enough. It’s a device I find myself holding in my fingers rather than with my whole hand. By itself, that’s not an issue.
Where I do find it worrisome, though, is in the fact that, with my index finger on the firing button, my thumb comes to rest on the display — as a consequence of that, I occasionally have to use a soft cloth to clear the display of thumbprints. That’s certainly not a bother, but I do consider it to be something of an oddity that bears mentioning.
Another rather eccentric design choice, in my opinion, is the placement of the power adjustment/menu selection buttons on the “flanks” of the device. The reason I have to describe this button placement as eccentric is that, every so often, simply picking up the SVD results in my thumb and index finger pressing the buttons.
When activating the device for the first time, there is a certain sequence of events that will make the process quick and smooth, though not exactly as intuitive as one could potentially wish for. After inserting the battery of your choice — using the short battery tube for 18350, 18490, or 18500 batteries, or the long tube for 18650 — 3 clicks of the firing button will activate the SVD. But then there’s one more step required before voltage or wattage can be adjusted, because the SVD will arrive in a “Locked” state.
With the display oriented vertically and the connection threads facing toward your right, you’ll find the “Up” button above the display, with the “Down” button below it. Before you can adjust wattage or voltage, you’ll need to press and hold both the + (adjust upward) and – (adjust downward) buttons at the same time.
The display will first show the resistance of the AD you have attached to the device as a number followed by “A” (probably short for “atomizer”.) Continuing to hold the buttons will present the currently-set voltage of the device, indicating that the SVD’s adjustment feature has been unlocked.
If variable voltage is your preferred adjustment setup, you can now adjust the voltage to your liking. If, however, you prefer variable wattage, switching between variable voltage and variable wattage is as easy as pressing and holding the “Up” button and the firing button simultaneously until the display shows the letters, “Po” for Power. Switching back to variable voltage is the same procedure, engaged in that case by pressing and holding the “Down” button and the firing button until the display shows “Vo” for Voltage.
Performance & Real World Experience
When it comes to performance, the SVD is rock solid reliable, delivering quick power adjustment, accurate resistance checking, and smooth power to the AD of your choice. My experience with various battery sizes has shown me that even as the battery’s capacity dips down into the “red” — nearing the time when the battery needs to be swapped out for a freshly charged one — performance doesn’t degrade in any noticeable way.
This performance consistency remains true across the SVD’s output spectrum in both Voltage and Wattage modes, although high voltage and high wattage battery depletion rates were difficult to gauge due to the lack of ADs which can satisfactorily handle voltages above 4.4 or wattages above 12.5.
My real world experience with the SVD has been absolutely satisfactory. Here at home, where I don’t need for the device to be pocket friendly, I typically pair it with an 18650 battery to maximize its useful span between battery swaps.
Out and about, I typically employ the shorter battery tube with an 18500 battery, along with an Aspire or X.Jet Vivi Nova clearomizer. My preference is a wattage output of 8.5, which strikes the perfect balance, in my opinion, between performance and battery life.
Recommendation & Conclusion
Who is the vaper who will really get the most out of the Innokin iTaste SVD? Based on its variable size thanks to telescopic tubes, its moderately unconventional control/display layout, its highly efficient power consumption, and its amazingly friendly price point, I would recommend the iTaste SVD most emphatically to the vaper who is looking into his or her first Advanced Personal Vaporizer.
Even so, I would also recommend this device to experienced vapers who may not have given it a try before — most particularly because it packs all of the features of newer offerings from Innokin without bringing along their higher prices. The SVD brings hardcore performance at an entry-level price. I call that a recipe for a winner.