Let's face it, advanced personal vaporizers tend to follow the same basic style: a tube. Technically, the Tesla is also a tube but has been styled in such a way that it's easy to forget that fact. This unique looking device can turn heads, but can it deliver the goods? Find out as we review the new Tesla e-cigarette.
|Product Name||The Tesla|
|Voltage||3-6v (.1v increments)|
|Wattage||3-15w (.5w increments)|
Physical appearance is probably the most noticeable thing about the Tesla. In some ways, it's hard to describe, but I'll try to break it down for you, because that's what I do.
For starters, the Tesla is a pretty chunky APV. Maybe not quite as big as the new Lavatube from Volcano, but close. Despite the girth of this device, it is fairly light weight. That is the result of it being made from an aluminum alloy.
The light weight is even more impressive when you think about how thick the walls of this thing are. Doubtless that thickness was designed to give the unit rigidity even with the excessive number of vent slots built into the tube.
There are three vents, to be exact. Each one is about half the length of the tube. The vents are cut along each of three matching flat surfaces machined into the tube. Between these huge vents and the specially designed end cap, which I will get into shortly, it seems that the design takes the idea of safety venting to a level nearing paranoia.
The large vents also mean parts of the battery are visible. This can either make for dramatic color accents or unfinished and ugly depending on your personal tastes.
Between the flat surfaces that house the vents, on the curved parts of the tubes, are knurls or ribs that further add to the alien appearance of the Tesla. Other design flourishes include indents along the bottom battery cap and top connector cap.
The connector is another area where some interesting touches were applied. There is a deep drip well which houses a full eGo connector, replete with eGo cone threads. This allows more eGo cartomizer compatibility. Sadly, I still found that the distance between the wall of the well and the battery connector were too close to house the Kanger T3 cartomizer. Then again, about the only thing I found that could accommodate those chunky cartomizers other than an actual eGo is the eVic.
Another nice feature, which I wish everything would use is a spring-loaded center pin on the battery connector. This allows the connection to automatically adjust for variances in the battery connection on cartomizers.
Looking on the opposite end of the device is the battery cap I mentioned previously. The belt-and-suspenders approach to safety is clear in the end cap, and is also a novel design. Most devices feature one or more holes drilled into the bottom of the battery cap to allow gas to escape in the event of a catastrophic battery failure.
Tesla's approach is different. A ridge runs along the battery cap. Inside the ridge are several rectangular vents evenly spaced. Beyond allowing an unobstructed logo on the bottom of the cap, it also means gas would vent out the sides instead of the bottom of this device. Why? If gas were to vent straight out the bottom of a tube, it would essentially turn it into a bottle rocket.
Let's switch over to the electronics of the Tesla, starting with the button (see what I did there?) The button is on one of the curved segments of the body and is a good-sized disc with grooves that make it sort of look like a target.
The grooves help with the grip and the button has a good tactile feel to it when activated. It is easy to hit the button with any finger thanks to the fairly large design. The low-profile mounting means the button is unobtrusive.
Opposite the main button lies one of the marquee features of the Tesla. The small OLED screen. The screen displays, by default, the current voltage or wattage setting when the fire button is pressed.
Thanks to the higher screen resolution, the display is very legible and there is enough resolution to display menu items in plain English. Above the display are the adjustment up and down buttons.
Besides setting the desired voltage or wattage, they are also used to activate the status displays and navigate the menu. It's perhaps not the most intuitive interface in the world, but it can be done quickly once it's learned.
Holding down the – button will display the battery voltage while the + will show the atomizer resistance. Hold + down to reach the configuration settings menu to change to variable voltage or wattage along with other features. Pressing both buttons at the same time will lock the buttons. A useful feature since a blogger I know once accidentally increased his power to 11 watts and didn't notice. Powering the unit on or off is 5 clicks of the power button.
Like most new APVs on the market, the Tesla can run in one of two modes: variable voltage or variable wattage. Variable voltage is the traditional operation where you just set whatever output voltage you prefer. Variable wattage (or power as its often called) is almost like automatic variable voltage. You set the power level in watts you would like and the device automatically changes the voltage based on the attached cartomizer's resistance to deliver the right wattage. After all, wattage is really what we're looking for when we set our own voltage.
Basic variable voltage operation is as straight forward as you would imagine. Power output is consistent with the set voltage. In my admittedly unscientific testing, I found output power was within .1v of where I set it. This device uses the RMS method of power calculation so that means low power output is as accurate as higher power.
Since the Tesla is a single battery device, don't expect miracles from high current demands. That is to say don't expect to run a 1.5 ohm dual coil at 5 volts on this APV. The circuit is rated at 3 amp, higher than most devices of its class (they usually have a 2.5 amp limit). So that does mean you can get about 4v to that setup.
Also like everything else in this class, it doesn't bother telling you it can't do what you asked, it just lies to you and outputs whatever power is available. I've essentially resigned myself to the idea that single battery devices that aren't named ProVari. These days I generally reserve my high power activities to dual battery setups like the Vamo while using the single battery devices for single coil gear in variable wattage mode.
When not asking too much of my APV in the form of dual coils, I've really gotten spoiled by variable wattage. I can just toss a cartomizer or tank on and not have to worry about setting anything. The Tesla does a commendable job running in no-brainer mode. Power output is consistent as it is in voltage mode. Plugging the numbers into an ohm's law calculator shows that it does a fair job of figuring out how much voltage to deliver.
I find that variable wattage is a bit tricker and most devices tend to swing a little further being closer to half a watt off in many cases. The Tesla essentially exhibited the same behavior. I suspect these devices all use the same basic circuitry with custom programming for different features. It stands to reason that they would have similar variations in performance.
Perhaps the Tesla doesn't quite live up to its extreme styling since it can't jam tons of power into a dual coil. Then again it's no slouch either. I think it's safe to say this device is not all show and no go.
Too Long; Didn't Read
The Tesla is a radically styled advanced personal vaporizer that can operate in either variable wattage or power (wattage). The looks might not be for everyone, but it certainly stands out in the crowded field of tubular shaped devices. While the 3 amp limit keeps the Tesla from being an absolute powerhouse, but it's better than average with its consistent power output. This device is fairly large, yet light weight and its particularly thick construction makes it a very sturdy device despite the paranoid levels of safety vents built into the body. You can get your own example of the Tesla at VaporAlley.
|Dual mode operation|
|Exposed battery may put off some users|
|Unintuitive menu system|
|3A output limit|