Innokin iTaste VTR Review

Innokin iTaste VTR Review
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Innokin iTaste VTR Review

During the course of 2013 I’ve reviewed, or played a part in the review, of virtually every major Innokin PV release. Each one had its merits, and its ‘issues’. By far the one that made the biggest impression on me was, and remains, the black iTaste 134. Not only does it break away from the traditional iTaste electronics, it’s the most stylish and most outlandish. And let’s face it, if you didn’t want some level of outlandishness in your PV then you’d vape with a cig-a-like, or at most, a neutral-colored eGo or Triton battery and clearomizer. To use anything ‘noticeable’ is to invite stares and the iTaste 134 brings out lots of stares from the public, and your vaping friends and family. It’s a behemoth, heavy, solid, and huge. And I love it.

Sure, the iTaste 134 doesn’t offer variable voltage, but it does offer variable power (wattage), which is all I need. I can attach any eLiquid ‘holder’ (we need a descriptive word for all these clearomizers, cartomizers and tank systems don’t we?), adjust the power and I’m vaping just as good as any other Vaper. If it was within my power (read: Budget) I would own a half-dozen black iTaste 134’s just to be sure I always owned one that was properly working, and had at least one on hand to lend to a friend when it’s time for an eJuice tasting party.Innokin iTaste VTR Review by Spinfuel eMagazine

Enter the iTaste VTR

The new iTaste VTR is one of the most highly anticipated PV’s yet. The buzz for the VTR started before the release of the 134, and continues to this day. The electronics on the inside the VTR run the gamut of high-end features, more so than the 134 (well, at least the VTR offers variable voltage), and it is a finely detailed PV with lines and etching you don’t expect on most Chinese-made PV’s. There are some things about the VTR that remind you that it is a mass-produced, quickly designed and manufactured device, namely the battery clasp on the bottom. That clasp feels cheap, loose, and capable of coming off the unit if it’s closed improperly after as little as 4 or 5 times. For the most part though, it’s worth the price you’ll pay for it.

The range of the variable voltage is (the now expected) 3.0v to 6.0v. You can step through the settings with ease, and watch the display screen as you move through them. Variable Power (Wattage) goes from 3.0w to 15w, allowing for plenty of power to vape the most difficult eLiquids and/or eLiquid containers. (Still need an all-encompassing word. Thoughts anyone?) While using the iTaste 134 I stay in the ‘8-11w’ range, and as it turns out the iTaste VTR provides the best vape in that range as well. Not many people need more or less than that, and I’m always surprised to hear people complain when other devices offer a more limited range. The MVP II, which less of a range than the iTaste VTR, has plenty of voltage to power to play with.

The iTaste VTR also offers short circuit protection so it’s a decent device to taste your home built coils with, reverse battery protection for the dark nights or blurry eyes from a little too many Sam Adams, an Ohms meter, power display, nicely place vent holes, and a 10-second shut off switch to prevent people like me from drawing the biggest drag of Harvest Moon Tobacco eJuice, or Vanilla Sky Tobacco.

Some of the features are really handy for Vapers that build their own coils, including the above-mentioned short circuit protection and ohms readings. In addition, the Low Voltage Warning is one feature I really like since I’ve been trying my hand at wrapping the lowest resistance coils I can. If I go too low I don’t have to worry about the VTR blowing me to kingdom come. (Remember, less resistance means more power getting to the juice)

Innokin iTaste VTR Review by Spinfuel eMagazineThe display is a good size making it easy to see the ohms, volts, power, and atomizer voltage output, though I’m still waiting for a full-color display to hit the market. Not that we need one, but we also don’t need 10,000 models of e-cigarettes…we just want them.

The Full Feature List:

  • Variable Voltage: Voltage can be adjusted from 3.0 ~ 6.0 in 0.1 volt increments
  • Variable Wattage: Wattage can be adjusted from 3.0 ~ 15.0 in 0.5 watt increments
  • Fits many 18650 batteries: See drop down options
  • High compatibility 510-connector: Threads fit 510 atomizers and many Ego Clearomizers, iClear10, iClear16, iClear30 etc.
  • The tank bay also fits Nova Tanks (3.5ml), Kanger ProTank – II, Kanger UniTank, Kanger ProTank
  • ON/OFF battery switch
  • The voltage and wattage can be adjusted with the rotational wheel, the screen displays voltage or wattage and offers intuitive
  • Control over settings leading to more accurate performance.
  • Short Circuit Protection. MS (root mean square)
  • Reverse Battery Protection Circuit.
  • Resistive Load Detection (Ohms meter)
  • ON/OFF battery switch.
  • LED Battery Power Display
  • Low Voltage Warning
  • Overtime Vaping Warning (10 second switch cutoff)
  • Battery safety protection (Vent holes)
  • Built-in 3-digit display (Ohms meter, Volts /Watts, Atomizer voltage output).
  • Maximum Current Output: 5.0 Amperage

Quirks and Issues 101

I really can’t figure out some of the design decisions that we made by Innokin. Take the tank area for the iClear’s and various other eLiquid ‘devices’ you might want to use. The VTR was designed to allow the easy insertion and removal of their own iClear 30S, which comes with the VTR. This incredible clearomizer, which I’ll discuss more in a minute, fits perfectly in the tank bay. But other things you might want to use have a much harder time fitting in. With a little dexterity you can use a Kanger UniTank, the ProTank I and II, and even some Vivi Nova’s, but they do not fit nearly as easily as the iClear 30S. (There may be others that can be used, but these are the ones I was able to fit into the tank bay).

Was the design decision made to lock people into using the iClear 30s, or was it just necessary in order to obtain the optimum design? Personally, I have no idea but I wouldn’t doubt it. Kanger has been making huge inroads in the clearomizer market with their ProTank line, so it isn’t far-fetched to think that Innokin wanted a lock in. I have my doubts that that kind of thinking is going to work, people will either put up with the extra time it takes to fit their favorite devices or they will take a pass on the VTR. Some may go ahead and choose the iClear 30s as their exclusive atomizer, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Innokin iTaste VTR Review by Spinfuel eMagazineLike John, I prefer long-wick atomizers too, and I passed on the earlier versions of the iClear 30 because of the metal drip tip that couldn’t be replaced. The new iClear 30s not only offers the most amazing atomizer I’ve seen in a long time, the metal drip tip can now be removed. You can’t use every single 510-thread drip tip with the iClear 30s, but I found that all the wooden drip tips I’ve purchased from various vendors fit really well. Many of the knuckle drip tips I’ve used simply fall of the drip tip well, out but the wooden ones seem to be made just a tad thicker so they fit into the iClear 30s like they were made to.

iClear 30s

The new iClear 30s is an extraordinary product. It can produce vapor from a stone, so any eLiquid you use with it is going to produce more vapor that you might expect. The atomizer head looks like a muffler on a car. This dual coil atomizer burns evenly inside the ‘muffler’ post. They last a while too; I used my first one for nearly two weeks, putting through nearly 10ML of juice through it every day. Replacing the coil is simple; unscrew it from the iClear and screw a new one back on. Replacement coils run $3 apiece, and the tanks themselves come in several colors and cost for a single iClear 30s is just $14.99, a couple of bucks less than the iClear 30 just a few months ago.

The capacity of the iClear 30s is 3ML but it looks like it should hold more, maybe 4-4.5ML. It comes in various colors, costs $14.99 a pop, replacement coils are $3, and the fact that you can replace the drip tip, and fill the tank easily directly through the opening of the drip tip, the iClear 30s is an ideal companion for the VTR and a variety of other 510-capable batteries.  I recently purchased 10 more iClear 30’s with 25 replacement coils, which should tell you how much I enjoy it.

At 4-4.25v or between 8-10w of the power, I found that most of the eJuice I use on a daily basis tested best. As you can see, at least in my case it doesn’t matter if I was vaping with the iTaste VTR or the MVP II, or for that matter the Joyetech/Ovale eVic, a ProVape ProVari, or a ZMAX.

The iTaste VTR and Me

Sometimes having access to any and all e Cigarettes just leads to confusion or dissatisfaction. I switch devices several times a day, out of habit. Sometimes I’ll lock myself into a device and use it for several days, but those periods are getting fewer and farther between. When I am reviewing a PV I’ll use it most of the time, but I also make it a habit to use other devices to get the feel for where I would place the device in my personal Top 10 list. When something new comes out it heads right for the top of the list and as I go forward it can lose a spot to two, or head straight to the bottom. The iTaste 134 held the top spot for a long while, and the MVP 2 only a few days. Like I said though, the only reason the iTaste 134 is used so often is because I love the look of it, and I don’t really need variable voltage.

Below are the motives for the various positions on the list that the VTR took up during the review time.

If my job was unrelated to e-Cigarettes, and I had to choose between a box-like shape for an e-cigarette or a round tube shape I would choose the tube shape every time. I am most “comfortable” with a tube shaped PV because of the years I spent smoking small tubes of tobacco wrapped in paper. For the past few weeks I’ve been picking up the large 1300mAh Vapor Zeus almost every night. At 5v I have to restrict some of my juice choices, but as a shape, balance, and vapor production/throat hit, it’s hard to beat. The least comfortable PV I’ve vaped over the past few months has to be the iTaste MVP II, though it still performed well.

The iTaste VTR feels better in my hands than the MVP II, though the MVP II has a much longer battery life. The VTR, despite it’s similar boxy shape, takes the 18650 high drain battery and will last only as long as an 18650. In addition, the VTR is heavier than just about anything else, other then the iTaste 134, but it’s tubed shape and reminds me of using a Sonic Screwdriver.Innokin iTaste VTR Review by Spinfuel eMagazine

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About The Author

Team Spinfuel is a group of passionate vapers that bring you honest, in-depth reviews and commentary on products, services, and the legal and political ramifications on vaping and ecigarettes. Julia Hartely-Barnes, Tom McBride, Jason Little, Tony Brittan, Nick Bessette and Keira Hartley-Barnes make up the editorial team (video and written) , along with John Manzione, our Publisher, and talented contributors like Mark Benson. Email any of the writers at admin AT spinfuel.com, or just ask for their email address.

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13 Comments

  1. Adam Hawkins

    I am fairly new to the whole vaping thing. My first setup was a vamo with a puritan, which for me at the time was just awesome. But then I bought this VTR with the iclear 30s tank, and it’s not even in the same universe. It’s a fantastic combo. I’m set as far as I’m concerned for the time being. Appreciate the review.

    Reply
  2. Colleen Peters

    I have the MVP 2 and am looking forward to buying this as a companion device to it. About the iClear 30s. Did it have any leaking issues? Btw, thank you for the review Tom :)

    Reply
  3. Lisa Jones

    Hey All, I wanted to let you know the VTR is $90.01 through October 31 ONLY at KokoVapes.com. We are running a 13% off Special through Halloween that when combined with coupon code SPIN10 makes the VTR only $90.01. Once October ends the VTR will be available for $104.95 with coupon code SPIN10 – which is still a great deal. Shipping is free on this item as all orders over $65 qualify for free shipping. Sorry for any confusion…just want to be sure it is clear to all.

    The VTR may be a little heavy at about 2 lbs, but it sure is hard to put down once you pick it up…..

    On a side note, 13% off applies to all items – no restrictions.

    Reply
      1. Lisa Jones

        No worries. Just want to be sure everyone knows the 13% off won’t be around much longer. The coupon code for $10 off will be though. :)

        Reply
  4. Chuck

    Tanks, atomizers, juice boxes, reservoirs… I’ve even seen some refer to the gamut of juice holders referred to as “*omizers”…

    Reply
    1. Staff

      Omizers? Hmmm… I’ll think about that. I was thinking that if we, as in all of us, could come up with a solid name we would incorporate it into Spinfuel. Even put it on the site as hard copy, in our glossary and on the homepage. Try to get it into the zeitgeist. I like juice box, or some iteration of “juice something”. Juice holder is to simple, literal. We need something as cool as clearomizer or cartomizers. JuMizor? Juiceomizer? ;)

      Reply
  5. PeteC2

    Good review, only 3 things that I would like to mention:

    1. On my VTR, I have no complaints at all on the battery hatch, it seems secure enough and rugged enough to be just fine, but this is just my take.

    2. Because of its 5 amp design, the VTR really is ideal for dual coil clearos such as the iClear 30 & 30s (Vision V-Fates do very well on this as well!). However, I have no issues at all with my Pro Tanks 2 on this, it fits just fine, looks good, and vapes as well as with anything else. I have tried a number of tanks/clearos on this, and much of my concerns about tanks that would fit have been allayed. Some wider carto-tanks may not fit within the “skeleton” of the VTR though(over 19mm diameter), and would need to be used with the included adapter. I have no tanks/clearos that I can not use on the VTR.

    3. Although still not really a sub-ohm device, again due to the 5 amp design, the VTR is friendlier to low ohm coils than many microprocessor controlled mods, and will fire coils that some earlier mods will not.

    Reply
    1. Staff

      Good to know Pete, perhaps my battery clasp is an anomaly. I only tried the tanks I had on hand, but I’m happy to hear your tanks worked well. As for looks, I just don’t like the looks of the pro tank in the well. Could be a bias, though I do think the well looks best with the iClear 30s. I think the adapter is hideous looking, unbalances the device something awful. I had a couple paragraphs about it but they we’re cut due to the overall length of the review.

      It’s definitely a nice PV, I’m glad you’re loving yours. By the way, how low have you been able to go, ohm-wise, and what atomizer did you use?

      Reply
      1. PeteC2

        I have a couple of rebuilt Pro Tank coils at 1.0 and 1.1 ohms that were “accidents”, as I am not very experienced at rebuilding (I was going for 1.5 ohms).. Would not fire on the Evic at all. They fire on my MVP 2, but I can tell they are not getting “full power” for the voltage used. On my VTR they fire up perfectly. In fact I am motivated to try a RBA.

        Dual coil clearos such as the iClear fire up best on a device with enough amp draw, and do great on the VTR.

        I do agree with the adapter being somewhat less than elegant. It works well enough, but does detract from the appearance – clearly the VTR design looks best with the tank within the “skeleton”.

        BTW, one of the nicer features on the VTR has got to be the fire button. Just the right touch and it doesn’t need to be hit “square” to fire properly. With the VTR resting on my little finger, its a perfect position for my index finger on the fire button. Surprisingly comfortable hold for the size/weight of it. (I do not have very large hands)

        Reply
  6. Debbye Thompson

    I am one of the vapers who love the look of the VTR and just had to have it. I surely don’t NEED another PV, but couldn’t wait to get my hands on this baby! Received mine about 10 days ago, and haven’t put it down yet. I have to say that there has not been one bit of regret, and I foresee enjoying this mod for a long time to come :-)

    Reply

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