Welcome to another hardware review by Foxy.
In this review we will be taking a look at the iStick 100W by Eleaf.
Eleaf as we all know by now are one of the industry big boys with their ever growing number of devices knocking around at the moment. Eleaf started to come into the UK market around Xmas 2014 with the release of the original iStick (20W) which was quickly followed by the iStick mini, 30W and 50W. I personally have no love for the iStick range with the exclusion of the 30W. My own experience of their range is that a lot of them had faults with 510 threading and battery shorts.
Eleaf went quiet for around 2 months with not a single peep to be heard throughout vapeland and suddenly we had the iJust2 kit released (Reviewed here by Shinx) quickly followed by the rumours of a 100 Watt device.
A few weeks went by and we finally had the iStick 100W in the shops in not so sunny Ulster! I personally bought mine to review for you guys with a price tag of £55 from VapeHunter. I know these devices range in cost anything between £40 online to £60 in some B&M stores depending on where you buy from but the cheapest I have seen is £39.99 from NobleVaping.co.uk (Don’t forget to check out our discount codes tab for 5% off your purchase with Noble).
On opening the box I was pleasantly surprised to see that the iStick was made out of metal and not plastic which was suggested in the rumour mill before release. On close inspection of the mod it feels nice and light to hold but it is far from being a small device!
To take off the back cover there is a “lip” on the side about half way down on the same side as your 510 connection. You will need a strong finger to lift the back cover off as it is held securely in place by 8 magnets…….. *****When inserting batteries check sled for diagram***** the iStick 100W batteries are inserted as Parallel but the internal wiring is wired to make the device series instead. I understand fully that it would be great if all devices were wired the exact same way but there are pros and cons with this setup as we will see later on.
For this review I have been using a range of tanks and RDAs… Namely the Turbo RDA, Smok TFV4 and Innokin iSubTank-G. Firstly we will talk about one of the most important things to me when vaping and that is the battery life between charges. As I’m a biker I am always on the road without a 12v charger to top-up my battery when on the road. I need at least 10 hours between charges on my mods as carrying a pocket full of batteries is also a thing of the past when I was using mechanical mods.
My typical day starts at 0530 hrs when I get up and talk my dog for a dander. I’ll get up and stick in a freshly charged pair of 18650s and in this case it was the old generation Samsung 25Rs with the blue wrap. I was vaping this device at different wattages throughout the day as I will explain later on and even at 100W in some cases I was able to get past 0000hrs with nearly 3.4V left in both batteries.
On the iStick you can adjust the wattage from 5W to 100W by simply pressing the + or – buttons at the base of the device. To be able to fire at 5W though you will need to have a high resistance coil otherwise the device itself sets the lower limit but yet not the top which seems a little counterproductive to me. If you set the wattage too low for your build the iStick will make a really irritating buzz/clicking noise whilst it attempts to fire your build
The screen is as I would have expected from Eleaf… bright, crisp and informed with your usual icons appearing showing you battery level, coil resistance and wattage. You will also see when pressing the fire button a puff timer but this is rather pointless as there is no puff counter or puff limiter to be seen. To be fair though for a high powered budget device do you really expect to have all these features?
I mentioned above that I adjusted my wattage quite often during my review time… This is for one reason only. As you will know by all my reviews here on the BV Bar, I typically vape at around 60W or for reviewing liquids I will sometimes go up to maybe 70W to see how they cope under high temperatures. With the iStick 100W I found that I was getting very different wattages on the iStick than I would do on the IPV4 for example. To make this a tad clearer what I mean is that on the IPV4 if I vape at 60W I will get a perfect warm but not hot vape from the Turbo RDA. When putting the exact same RDA and identical build on the iStick I found that at 60W it was almost like vaping at maybe 50W or even less. So to get my 60W hit which I am accustom I had to crank my wattage on the iStick up to approx. 70-75W. Now, this isn’t a big issue for me but it is a little irritating that the stated wattage on the screen is in fact incorrect.
To turn the iStick 100W on and off it’s as easy as you would expect. All you have to do is click the fire button 5 times in quick succession to operate the power function. There is no lock/unlock feature for the mod but again, this is only a minor issue as I have yet to have a misfire in my pocket. Once you have used the + and – buttons to select your desired wattage you can lock these into place by simply holding both buttons in for around 3 seconds. You will still be able to fire the device but your wattage will be locked into place to stop you from firing too hot or too low. When you swap tanks your wattage will stay in place which can be problematic but again isn’t an issue as only high end devices made recently include a “new coil?” option. Now, had this device been released a month or 6 weeks later than it was I would have taken points off for not including this in their software?
At the base of the iStick you will see a Micro-USB port, I am delighted to say that this is for charging your batteries and you are not limited to taking batteries out and charging externally. Personally my recommendation would be to remove and charge batteries separately but I guess it’s handy that you can use the Pass-Thru technology included.
Some of us vapers aren’t too sure about using a variable wattage device. Now, most of you who are here to read this review will be familiar with how wattage mode works, but if you prefer to use the iStick 100W as a variable voltage device instead you can do this by pressing the fire button 3 times in quick succession to switch to variable voltage mode.
- Great battery life
- Micro-USB charging
- Clear display
- Easy to use
- Metal construction
- Removable 18650 batteries
- Magnetic door
- Wattage inconsistencies
- Large size
- 0.5mm 510 connection gap
- Rattling buttons
So overall I am more than impressed with this device. The fact that it is on sale here in NI for around £50 is a bonus! Obviously buying online is going to be cheaper especially with NobleVaping using our discount code. But even if the cost of this device was £60 I would still buy one. The battery life alone is what made me fall in love with this mod. Yes, there are a few cons which are subjective as always but there will always be something out there that someone won’t like.
I guess the important question would be if I lost my iStick would I buy another one?? Yeah I would for sure! Great value for money, made to high standards and realistically nothing can go wrong for this price with a big name manufacturer being responsible.