Until recently there have been three barriers of entry to the APV market for vapers.
1. Size: APV's have not been the "stealthiest" of items. Many users prefer the standard eGo form factor and the prospect of using a device that looks and feels like a lightsaber or D-cell flashlight is not appealing to all. Box Mod's are also available, but again they are not the easiest thing to slip in a shirt pocket or dig around in your purse for.
2. Price: While cheaper than smoking, not all vapers have 80 to 100 bucks to spend on an APV. Especially if they are simply testing the waters.
3. Complexity: While variable voltage has been around for quite sometime, it usually required you to be a bit of an electrician/mathematician to operate. Even if you simply dial your voltage to taste, you usually had to adjust the battery each time you swapped out atomizers/clearomizers as head resistance is not always consistent. Variable Wattage is definitely a more set it and forget it technology but was limited to the more expensive APV's out there.
Well the Innokin iTaste vv 3.0 tears down all the barriers of entry with one fell swoop. Finally a device that is perfect for both experienced and new vapers alike. It offers a very low price point, convenient and portable form factor, while performing all the features you would expect of a much more expensive APV.
The battery comes in two flavors. The express kit which includes just the battery and a retractable usb cable. This option is best for experienced vapers who already own the tanks or clearomizers of their choice. The starter kit includes the battery, retractable usb cable, wall adapter and 5 Innokin iClear 16 top coil clearomizers.
Here is a picture of the rev 2 itaste attached to a Kanger Mini Protank 2 for size comparison:
Here is a list of all the available features packed in this small powerhouse:
800 mAh NiCad battery.
eGo and 510 threaded.
Adjustable Voltage 3.0 to 5.0 volts in .1 volt increments
Adjustable Wattage 6.0 to 11.0 watts in .5 watt increments
Built in Ohmmeter
Built in Puff Counter
Built in Battery level indicator.
Micro USB passthrough allows vaping while charging.
Comes in 4 colors: Black, Pearl White, Silver, Chameleon (Black with sparkles...)
Fire button with built in color coded charge indicator (green/yellow/red)
Short circuit protection.
10 second auto shut off
over charge protection.
3 click on/off function.
Overall this battery is a joy to use. It's square shape prevents the battery from rolling off the table. It provides a very satisfying and consistent vape experience throughout it's discharge cycle. The Micro USB passthrough function is very convenient allowing you to vape while charging the battery. It's diminutive size allows for ease of use and storage when "out and about". The three color LED immediately gives you the battery health during each vape. No more guessing when you need to charge. The unit will actually display the actual battery charge remaining as well. The puff counter will help you keep track of your usage, while the built in ohm meter will allow you to measure your coil resistance as well as warn you of possible connection problems between the battery and your atomizer.
However all is not perfect with this battery. As one can expect 800 mAh is not very much so don't expect this battery to last you a full day of vaping. I get approximately 400 puffs from full charge until I get the "red" indicator. Of course the size of your puffs will affect this number. The Micro USB passthrough will mitigate this slightly as long as you don't mind being tethered to a cord for awhile. Of course getting a second battery will solve this issue.
Also the unit does experience a bit of button rattle. The amount of rattle seems to differ from battery to battery. My white revision 1 unit has very little rattle to it whereas my black revision 2 sounds like a baby rattle when shaken. Regardless of the amount of rattle, the buttons seem to be firmly installed and I have yet to experience any issues outside the noise it makes.
The micro USB connection on this battery is rather tight, you will need to take care removing the micro USB connector from the bottom of the battery, especially if you get a rev 1 battery. (see Rev 1 to Rev 2 comparison below)
Also, I find the "black" version has more of a matte finish instead of the high gloss of the other colors. Ironically however, the black version feels more slippery in your hand than the high gloss finish. This is not a huge deal but it may make a difference in your color choice.
The biggest knock on this battery however, is it's high voltage/wattage performance. Although the battery states it can get to 5 volts, This battery just is not able actually hit 5 volts. The 11 Watt power setting also appears to be wishful thinking. 10 watts is a much more realistic top range. If you are a sub ohm or extremely high wattage vaper, you will need to look elsewhere. Everyone else though will be thrilled.
Comparisons between Rev 1 and Rev 2 of the battery. Currently there are two revisions to this battery. Rev 1 of the battery has a single rivet on the side opposite of the fire button. Apparently Rev 1 batteries were prone to having the tight Micro USB connection pull the bottom of the battery out the bottom. I have not witnessed this, but I take care to grasp the bottom of the battery while removing the USB charge cable. Innokin has addressed this in their Rev 2 model. They have added five (5) additional rivets to this model to more firmly attach the battery to it's plastic casing. One additional rivet on the same side as the existing rivet is used to strengthen the bottom of the battery to the case. Also two additional rivets were added near the top of the battery on either side. These additional 4 rivets on the sides appear to be a bit of overkill but I trust Innokin knows what it's doing.
One thing I dislike about the rivets is that the fire button is no longer as easy to find in the dark. On the single rivet model, the fire button was very easy to find with your thumb. But on the 6 rivet model, I've often had to turn the battery in my hand searching for the button with my thumb. It is really not a big deal, and I'll gladly trade that for a more rugged build.
Other than the additional rivets there is no difference between the rev 1 and rev 2 of the battery.
In Conclusion: Overall this is one fantastic battery. I highly recommend it for beginning and advanced vapers. Advanced vapers will appreciate the express kit with it's lower price point while including the bare minimum necessary. Beginning vapers no longer have to spend a lot of time and money searching for a high quality/high performance kit. The starter kit will provide the beginning vaper everything they need (except e-juice) to immediately enjoy high quality vaping.