The Tesla eCigarette Review – Tom McBride

“Is the Tesla the muscle car of the factory line street legals?”

Introduction

The Tesla APV is nothing if not unique looking. Truthfully speaking it is the first feature that draws your attention. It is a radical design change, but there is nothing revolutionary in its feature set. There are plenty of eCigarette mods on the market that do what the Tesla does, so it’s more accurate to say that the Tesla is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. That’s not a bad thing to be. As you will soon see, this feature-rich APV has a lot going for it. The price ($79.99 at Vapor Alley) is right in line with other eCigarettes with similar features, maybe even a bit less.

Vapor Alley: The Tesla APV comes to Spinfuel courtesy of Vapor Alley, a rapidly growing vaping vendor with a nice variety of eCigarettes and accessories. I would like to personally thank Vapor Alley for allowing us to review this product and because I have some experience with ordering from them from time to time I can personally vouch for their attention to detail, pricing, and customer service. It is a genuine pleasure to do business with vendors that care more about providing good products at good prices, coupled with a level of customer service that only a handful of vendors achieve.

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The Body

In addition to the spiffy looks of the Tesla you’ll notice when you pick it up that it’s a hefty piece of tech. I like a hefty feel to my mods, it feels substantial when I’m holding it. The tactile feedback is solid. A piece of advanced technology in a durable enclosure makes the Tesla an enticing choice for today’s Vapers.

The button placement is similar to the VAMO, with one large activator button for vaping and smaller plus and minus sign buttons for adjusting the volts/watts. There isn’t a single APV on the market that is truly simple to navigate and the Tesla is no different. But once you get used to it you’ll do just fine.

The body and end cap is made from high-grade aluminum and is fully vented for safety. On that rare occasion, one in hundred million or something, where there is a faulty battery coupled with the failure of the technology, any gases that might escape from the battery are vented through several vents, not just bottom vents. I don’t say that as lightly as it seems, and when it becomes major news when a Vaper blows his face off with his homemade, stacked-battery mod and it makes news everywhere, when is the last time you’ve heard anything about an off-the-assembly-line modern APV causing a major problem? With these kinds of safety features, both mechanical (the body) and electronic (the circuitry) safety issues are a given. The Tesla is, in my opinion, one of the safest APV’s around.

The battery connection offers true eGo threads along with standard 510 threading making it a great device to use with a wide variety of cartomizers, clearomizers, and fancy-smancy tanks and whatnot. We have some Big Daddy “Who’s your daddy” cartomizer-based tanks headed our way this week and I cannot wait to try one out on the Tesla. I just know the tank is going to look awesome sitting atop this sculptured eCigarette. Still, if you fancy using a Kanger T3, MT3 or EVOD the Tesla works just as easily and looks good doing it.

OLED

We are beginning to see more and more mods taking advantage of the low-energy requirements and awesome clarity of OLED technology and the Tesla is one of the best utilizers of it. The display is bright and legible, displaying the menu system in natural, easy to understand English. The resolution seems to be higher than that of the only other OLED APV I’ve actually used, the Anytime CLI, and the display is taller vertically, which allows for the ‘plain English’ wording. Because it is an OLED display the battery charge will last a little longer than normal LED displays. Always a plus in my book.

The Tesla uses a single 18650 battery and during the review the battery life was exceptional. I could easily vape all day and into the night on a single charge. Vapor Alley suggested the eFest IMR 2000mAh or the EH IMR 2000mAh battery so I tested with both. I don’t have a preference though, both lasted about the same length of time and they are identical in price ($8.99) through Vapor Alley. The only thing I’m not 100% sold on is the Trustfire charger, I’m hearing some scuttlebutt about the tendency to overcharge when using a Trustfire charger. Although I do use one myself I do not ever allow a battery to sit in the charger overnight.

Features Galore

The sculpted aluminum body is a terrific selling point for the Tesla but it’s far from the only selling point. Like most modern APV’s the Tesla offers both Variable Voltage and Variable Wattage and it also offers a nice 3-AMP circuit to get a little extra juice in voltage.

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The Feature Set:

  • PWM chip tuned to RMS settings.
    Adjustable voltage or power
    Atomizer check function
    Battery Voltage check function
    Reverse battery installation protection
    Fully Vented body and bottom cap
    Thick Aluminum alloy lightweight build
    OLED screen
    Ego Well connection
    Slotted 510 connection with floating center pin
    Available in Chrome and Black Chrome.

 

As you can see from the above a Tesla is as feature rich as you’re going to find in a stock APV. Chances are that if you are reading this review you’re already well aware of what these features mean and how they will benefit you should you decide to buy one, so rather than go over them one by one let me just say that the way in which the Tesla utilizes the OLED tech, the fully vented body and end cap, the perfectly balanced eGo Well and the slotted 510 connector, (with a floating center pin) are of particular interest. Unlike some lesser models these features are done to a level of precision that would impress every Vaper I know. Even the eGo Well was manufactured to such precision that the Clearos I used fit perfectly, with no wiggle room to worry about.

The other features; from “reverse battery insertion” to “checking the atomizer” is standard fare on most modern APV’s. During the testing phase I found the level of accuracy for testing atomizers to be as good as it gets (compared to using a fluke meter), and once you get used to switching back and forth between voltage and wattage settings it’s quite easy to navigate.

In the Spinfuel’s Guide to Vaping chapter about voltage and wattage I wrote that wattage is an easier way to vape. A sort of ‘set it and forget it’ thing. Wattage (or power) usage calculates the voltage for you, so you just choose the wattage level you want to use and the Tesla (or other VW APV) chooses the proper voltage based on the atomizer you’re using. Because the Tesla uses RMS settings, (Root Mean Square: The square root of the mean, or average, of the squares of the original values.) for its calculations it is very accurate with both low and high voltage settings.

My Real World Experience

At first glance the Tesla looks strange. Then again, after seeing so many APV’s with a normal tube shape I guess its only natural. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. It looked more like a tool from Sears than an advanced mod and that threw me for a bit. In fact, once it was given to me to review I let it sit overnight before attempting to use it. I took it out of the box, inserted a battery, and tossed it back and forth in my hands while trying to get a feel for it. Then I put it back in the box and waited. The next day I had to make a conscious decision to use the Tesla rather than my personal eCigarette because I wasn’t all that anxious to begin the review. What if the shape of the thing, those deep cuts in the aluminum, a tube shape that looked to be cut down the middle, length-wise, the opening that allowed you to see the actual battery, was just to radical for me? How would I be able to do a fair review of the performance if I was a little freaked out while using it?

So, after forcing myself to unscrew my tank from my personal APV and screwing it on the Tesla I started to vaping with it. I set the wattage to the identical wattage from my other device (8w) and took a long steady drag. And it went beautifully. My tank fit exceptionally well and the length of the Tesla was just about perfect for the size of the tank (a Texas Tuff Tank PX7) and the drag was easy, powerful, and satisfying.

I guess it took about an hour or so before my mind “righted” the difference in body shape and from then on it was a very natural feeling. I began to enjoy the unique design and when coupled with all the modern features and the gorgeous display, making changes to the settings was a breeze.

Let’s remember that unlike the VAMO the Tesla is a single-battery APV. I would never consider running two batteries in a VAMO despite the safe track record, but that’s just me. Still, when it comes to using a single battery you are locked in to the 3.7 volts on most APV’s that use a 2.5AMP limit, but the Tesla boosts that to 3AMP so you could get up to 4 volts instead of 3.7v. That added voltage is more than it sounds. For my own vaping needs this is plenty. For the experienced Vapers among us that like to push the limits the Tesla is probably the best bet for a “street legal” mod.

Bottom Line / Buying Advice

Look, I’m not about to tell you to rush right out and buy a Tesla without regard for what you’re using now. And I’m not about to tell you that the Tesla put my personal APV to shame, that’s not what Spinfuel is about and its certainly not what I’m about. There are plenty of mods on the market that perform just as good, or better, than the Tesla. Well, that’s really splitting hairs; the Tesla is a solid machine that does a great job. The differences in performance at this point are miniscule. It’s a matter of preference.

What else can I tell you other than I enjoyed using it?

Here’s where I truly sit with the Tesla. I love the price, $79.99 for a high-precision high-grade aluminum VV/VW eGo/510 connector APV is a great price. I’ve heard nothing bad from other owners of the Tesla and the company behind it seems to be a good company. I didn’t have a single issue with it, and every moment of use was satisfying. With the slightly higher amp circuits you could say that the Tesla is equivalent to a muscle car among the factory-line APV’s. You can do a lot of experimenting within the safety margins and enjoy a variety of vaping setups.

What really sells the Tesla is the unique design and the feature set as well as the precision of the workmanship. Oh, and the price. If you are in the market for a new APV the Tesla is a damned fine choice… with one caveat. If you’re moving from a cig-a-like to a VV/VW mod you might find the Tesla intimidating. Its strange and radical design might throw you, so perhaps something more familiar looking might be a better choice.
If, however, you going from last year’s variable voltage in order to take advantage of variable wattage then the Tesla is a great choice.

Update:

My editor has told me that I can keep the Tesla (its one of the benefits of writing reviews), and since that time I’ve switched back and forth between it and my primary APV. At this point I’m torn between them. The VAMO is an APV I will always be fond of, and the Tesla brings some uniqueness to the table that I would rather not lose. What that means is that from now on I will continue to switch back and forth. I’ve had the opportunity to recommend an advanced mod to a few people since using the Tesla and each time I found myself talking up both units. Those friends that took my advice seemed to be divided among personality. My more creative, or imaginative friends seemed to like the radical design of the Tesla. That might be the defining factor when choosing between the Tesla and a more normal looking device.

Tom McBride

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