Eleaf ASTER 75W mod

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StanR
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:07 am
Location: Toronto, ON, CA

Eleaf ASTER 75W mod

Post by StanR »

TL;DR: If you're a low-power vaper (mouth to lung or less than 30W restricted lung), you probably want this mod more than you think you would.

The Eleaf ASTER is utterly uninspiring. It's a little oddly-shaped, yet manages to look plainer, somehow, than any run-of-the-mill rectangular box mod you've ever seen. The buttons are just there; the screen is just another screen. It doesn't do any tricks, other than work as well as you'd expect a current-generation Joyetech/Eleaf/Wismec mod to work. On the up side, it's quite inexpensive, at about $US 35 (or less if you shop around a bit).

It's a single-18650 device. It does wattage from 1W (why?) to 75W, bypass, temperature control for Ni200, Ti (Grade 1), 316L stainless steel and whatever you want to load into its 3 TCR memory locations. It also has that new "Smart" mode that remembers different settings for different atties. It's firmware upgradable (Windows and Mac) and since it's a single-cell device, it can safely (but slowly) charge via the USB port. It has the typical Joyetech/Eleaf 510 connector, which means that some atties with extra-long 510 connectors (like the TFV4 or the SXK Rose3 clone) will need a mod guard or other spacer to sit secure. It's just a tad more than 22mm at the 510, so both 22mm and 23mm tanks will look and feel okay, but 24mm and larger will overhang in an annoying fashion. The shape works well with tall tanks like the Kayfun, Rose, Ubertoot and so on, or with the tall section installed on the Corolla V1.5.

Being a single-cell device, it's not the sort of thing you want to run at high power. It'll fire just fine at 50 watts or more, but battery life will be horrible. I can't tell you whether or not it can hit an honest 75 watts, but I can tell you that if you need to vape at 75 watts, you need more than a single 18650. Unless, that is, you think a dozen good puffs before changing batteries is "vaping". With a higher-capacity cell, like a Samsung 30Q or an LG HG2 (both at 3000 mAh), you'll get reasonable battery life at reasonable power levels. To get the full output, you'd need to use higher-drain, lower-capacity cells, and would need to carry extras. Better to just use a dual- or triple-cell mod, really.

So far I haven't said anything nice about this mod, other than to say that it's kind of boring-looking and does what it say on the tin.

I'll be honest here. I picked this up because it was small without being fiddly, and because it came in "fashion colours". I wanted to know if it was something I could recommend to my women friends, who, as a group, aren't blessed with the sort of shovel-hands that would find, say, the Wismec Reuleaux RX200S or the iJoy Maxo Quad a comfortable hold.

It turns out that after about a week of testing, I found myself picking up the Aster much more often than any of the other mods I own. It's comfortable to hold in ways that no other mod I've ever held ever has been. Sure, there are only a couple of ways that you can hold it and make it work, but most mods are like that, and with most of them the most comfortable way to hold the thing is still a little awkward. Not so with the Aster. It's not a thing of beauty. It doesn't stir the soul. It just sits in the hand like it was made to be there. I mentioned that it works well with tall tanks; with squat tanks and drippers, you're likely to find your thumb in the way a lot of the time. (I can't imagine using this mod with a LowPro. Not only would you be sucking your thumb, you'd probably burn your thumb on the top cap as well.)

I love the looks and the performance of my VaporFlask Lites and Stouts. I've got some quite pretty DNA40 mods. I've got DNA75 and DNA 200 devices. The Sigelei Spark has been my beater, the thing I don't really love but can't kill with a bazooka. They've all just been sitting there on the desk lately. My hands want the Aster in them, and they aren't particularly concerned about my aesthetic sense or anything floating around in my brain telling me that the more expensive stuff is better. The Aster feels good. TC is rock-solid. Wattage works. The fire button is precisely where it needs to be, and at precisely the right angle. I think so. The women I was testing it for, whose hands are much smaller than mine (and I have the hands you've always wished your dentist had) think so too. An older friend with great huge honest working-man's hands thinks so as well.

If you're an MTL vaper, and especially if you're an MTL vaper with smaller hands, you want this mod. It's just a shame that you'll probably never find that out unless you happen to pick it up yourself, with a tank attached, and use it for a while. Long enough to stop treating it like an oddly-shaped rectangular block. I've only seen one "review", and that was just Twisted420 saying the name of the thing and that it felt good in the hand. It's not exciting or beautiful. It's just competent and comfortable, and it's hard to make comfortable look good in a video.

[Edited to add: I should probably point out that after a month of using it, I bought a second one, which cleaned my local B&M out of the black version, and have ordered two more online, since I have the dread feeling this thing will be discontinued to to general lack of interest. I didn't get this free for review; I bought the first one with a bit of trepidation because it was small and cheap, and bought the others because the thing is really that good. I just wish it looked as good as it feels and works.]
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