Sunday, October 18, 2015

Has Aspire lost their freakin' minds?

Aspire became known for their tanks. The K1 and the Vivi Nova were great competitors to the Kanger Protank line, the Nautilus and the Atlantis were great upgrades. They really opened up the flavor chaser's market, and started the sub ohm tank race. I have a couple Vivi Novas, I had a Nautilus I just PIFed. I have an atlantis V1 in my rotation. Loved 'em in their time. Paid good money for 'em.

Then Aspire started to produce mods. Their first devices were over-priced, somewhat underpowered, and - to be brutally honest - fugly! Faux carbon fiber and contrasting logos everywhere.

A couple months ago, Aspire announced the Pegasus mod. They paired this with the Triton tank in a kit they named Odyssey. Up front, these were beautiful items. Absolutely gorgeous! The features list was competitive. The price was reasonable. I thought that Aspire had turned a corner, a new leaf. I was impressed and I bought one.

Even my wife said it was a great looking device and she's never taken notice of my mods before except to say "isn't that a different thingie than you had yesterday?"

When the kit arrived along with the charging base (which, sadly, was not included) and the RTA kit (which, sadly, was not included), I was elated with the looks. Have I mentioned how nice it looks? I immediately put it all together, and tried to vape it.


The RTA deck is so poorly designed that I popped the first coil (hot leg), flooded the second coil (under wicked), burned the third coil (over wicked). The problems did not arise from my inexperience building coils. They stemmed from the RTA deck's closed off nature which means you cannot adjust or pinch or even see IF there are hot spots before assembling. It's even difficult to prime the wick! Anyvape - an also ran in the atomizer space that typically builds so-so tanks that can use other companies atomizers (whichever company is popular at the time) - has a far superior RBA deck that will fit the Atlantis in their Furytank Kit. Hell, even the shoddy V1 RBA kit that shipped with the Segatank was better than this.

Continuing on with the failure that is the Triton tank system is the fact that you will never disassemble it for cleaning. You will never be able to replace the glass if it breaks. This is a closed system that has just one saving grace - it takes a variety of coils.

On to the mod...

When I finally did get a coil to work in the RTA deck, I attached it to the mod again and fired for four seconds which is what the mod requires to auto-detect the wire. This is the type of activity that led P. Busardo to give the eVic VT a thumbs down just a couple months earlier. Was no one at Aspire paying attention? It did work, though, and the mod switched smoothly into temperature control. Yet, after half a tank, when I decided to try a Kanthal coil and power mode and dropped in a .5 Kanthal coil, attached it to the tank and fired for four seconds, the mod happily stayed in TC mode and fried the new coil. In order to get the device to switch back over to power mode, I had to remove the battery before attaching the tank.

To be fair, it's not all negative doom and gloom.
  • The screen is one of the best I've ever seen outside of the Joyetech eVic VT line and the SMY TC60 Mini. All my iStick and DNA style screens look dim and cramped now.
  • The charging base is very nice. Not as nice as the more compatible Vaporshark charging plate or the newly announced Eiffel charging plate, but solid, heavy, heavy and functional (although I wish the USB connection were in the back instead of the front, under the display).
  • The dial, although done before by Joyetech in the eGrip, was a delight to use, even if it was a one trick pony.
  • The battery door is the best I've seen on any mod - period!
At this point, I am frustrated with the kit I just spent $100 on, but it IS pretty and I have managed to find a way to make it work. I think I'll even write a review about it.

But in the past day or so Aspire announced that they've retired the Odyssey kit I JUST bought in favor of the NEW Odyssey kit that will ship with the Triton V2 (still the same garbage RTA section, but can now be disassembled and cleaned or repaired), and the Pegasus TC Manual that gives the user greater control over the mod. Even the charging base has been redesigned so that the USB connection is on the side instead of under the display.

I also see that they're announcing the Proteus. An actual e-hookah, because, obviously, their research department has determined that the average vaper wants to be even more tightly grouped with tobacco users and wants an insanely large device that is really not all that portable. Really, when I read the press release, I kept looking for a credit to The Onion. The idea is just that ridiculous. But, no...

It must be a glitch in the system, I tell myself as I trundle through cyberspace to locate and chat with an Aspire rep. The Aspire rep tells me that the device I JUST purchased cannot be upgraded, but that they will make an announcement if they discover a way to upgrade it. "The device you just purchased is obsolete garbage, here, buy another, and thanks for being a beta tester" is the message I came away with.

I will continue to use the device. Can't really sell it... the new kits are the same price as the old kits and I'd take a bath. Can't really give it away... I can see it now - here, take this piece of garbage. It's beautiful and only works half-assed half the time. I can certainly wait to see if a patch can be developed - I'll just hold my breath... What I can do is write this and warn vapers off of what used to be a great vaping company but has taken a serious hit in the thinking department - Aspire.

These are my opinions and my opinions alone based on my experiences. No animals were harmed in the writing of this rant.

1 comment :

  1. Great review, er, rant. Very entertaining, and I couldn't agree more. They are all using us as beta tester, Joyetech did the same thing with the Evic VT. And the IPV4. I refuse to buy any Gen 1 product for that same reason. Unless it's been proven to be a huge success in build and functionality, I am saving my money for the improvements. That are suggested and demanded from all those beta testers, not any they have developed by testing their own products, oh no. That would be too easy and ethical. Horrors ;)