The question is have they really achieved what other companies state is impossible or have they just gone in a different direction and provided an interesting alternative?
We shall see.
First Look At The Ijoy Asolo 200W TC Box Mod
I must state that IJOY have only sent us the prototype sample/review model so they can get feedback to help improve their product further.
Since this isn’t the final model we will cover what we can in the typical format of a review but do keep in mind there may be several changes in the final production model.
IJOY Asolo 200W Specifications
- GUI Operate: YES
- USB Charging on IJOY Asolo 200W Box Mod: NO
- Adjust Power Method: Up and Down Button
- Fire Method: Metal Stretch button
- Screen Size: 0.91″OLED
- Heating coil material：Nickel, Titanium and common coil
- Size：90x50x24mm /3.54×1.96×0.94 inches
- Temp accuracy: 2‰
- Efficiency: 98%
- Power-Down Current: 50μA
- Quiescent Current: ≤50μA 50μA ≤100μA
- Screen-On Current: 25μA-32μA
- Input Current: 1A-60A
- Input Voltage: (Dual-batteries) 6.6Volts-8.5Volts
- Temperature Range: 300°F-600°F
- Temperature Resistance Range: 0.15ohm-2.5ohm
- Atomizer Resistance Range: 0.08ohm-3.0ohm
- Output Current: 1.0A-35A
- Output Voltage: 1.0Volts-7.5Volts
- Output Power: 5watts-200watts
- 510 spring loaded connection
- Chip Model No: IW 200TC-V01
- Reverse polarity protection
- Low voltage protection
- Low resistance protection
- Short-Circuit protection
- Over-current protection
- PCB temperature overheat protection
- Parameter lock-out protection
- Single battery independent protection
- IJOY Asolo 200W box contents
- 1x Asolo 200W Box Mod.
- 1x Ego thread adapter.
- Warranty Card.
- 1x User Manual.
Everything comes in a study black box with an outer card sleeve. The packaging is very functional but provides adequate protection.
IJOY Asolo looks and functionality
The first thing you notice about this device is that for a dual 18650 mod it is highly compact. Without the batteries fitted it is also extremely light and even when you do insert the batteries it is nowhere near as heavy as other devices Wismec Gen 3 Dual or Voopoo Alpha Zip.
In terms of styling I will be honest and say it feels a little unexciting being a rather boxy shape (Ed: 🙂 I actually like the looks!). However one end is nicely rounded and that makes it quite comfortable to hold in the hand.
The sample item sent to us was two tone in colour being silver and black.
At the top of the mod you have the typical 510 connector which is spring loaded. I had absolutely no issues with fitting any of my atomizers and they were all flush with the device.
There are also grooves cut into the 510 pin surround I assume they serve a double purpose providing air passage for bottom airflow atomizers as well as for trapping any juice spillage to prevent it from running into the pin mounting.
On one side of the device you have the device name and on the other there is a logo for the manufacturer.
The front and back of the mod feel like hard plastic and I am not especially keen on them, I’d rather they were metal like the other parts of the mod for increased durability.
I guess it’s just me but I am not really a fan of the styling at all because it all feels a little retro.
The form factor is great but the aesthetics could be improved. In my opinion the mod would look great if it was black with the front and back being carbon fibre with perhaps the buttons and the odd amount of trim in silver. Of course that’s only just a suggestion.
At the bottom of the device you can find the battery compartment lid and I have to state that I find it rather awkward to fit and remove. You have to press down and slide it out and even though it has a couple of grooves cut into it, it would be better if those were a little thicker and wider to make removal easier.
What does trouble me is the amount of vent holes the battery compartment has since there are only five small holes. For a dual 18650 mod that really does need increasing especially one that has a maximum wattage of 200W like this.
Inserting the batteries themselves is very straightforward, just remember to press down when refitting the lid and then slide until it clicks into place.
Along the side of the device you have the main screen but the finish is very lightweight plastic and feels cheap. Apparently this has already been addressed in the final model.
The fire button feels too loose and it tends to rattle about a lot, definitely IJOY need to tighten that up. The T-shaped button that serves as a plus/minus and temperature control selector is without issues.
The display shows all the typical information you can expect, such as wattage, voltage, temperature when in that mode, battery charge, resistance etc.
Where it differs from typical devices is when you select the temperature control functionality because it shows a bar display as well as a temperature percentage.
The percentage is set by default to 100% but can be set to 110% or 90% and what this does is set a “Hard” or “Soft” vape similar to other mods we have seen of late.
At 110% it will give you a “Hard” vape at 10% more power for the initial few seconds you draw on the device so if your initial wattage before going into temperature control was 50W you would get 55W.
The “Soft” mode is 10% less power and the “Normal” function is the default setting for those people who don’t want this feature.
Device Operating Procedure
In terms of operation for standard things such as variable wattage and typical Ni200 or Titanium temperature control the device works without issues and is very straightforward. Upon first fitting an atomizer you are greeted with the typical “New Coil” question that we are all used to by now.
- Five clicks switches the device on and five clicks switches it off.
- At present I have not found a lock function unless I have missed it.
- The plus and minus keys adjust the wattage or temperature percentage (when in that mode).
- Pressing the bottom most button on the T-selector three times allows you to choose between Nickel and Titanium functionality.
- Holding the bottom most button down switches the device into temperature control mode.
When using Nickel or Titanium you can adjust the temperature with the plus and minus keys very much like the Kooper Mini I recently reviewed. However you cannot adjust the actual wattage when you are in this mode unlike mods such as the iPV 4. While it is true you can apply the “Hard” or “Soft” option it isn’t as flexible as allowing you to adjust things specifically to your needs.
The only way around it is much like the Koopor Mini I have just reviewed in that you need to set your wattage first before switching to temperature control. To me that just feels a little inflexible but I am used to other devices such as the iPV 4 and I may just be set in my ways.
Temperature Controlled Kanthal does it really work?
Now at last we come to the part that everyone is understandably interested in. The answer to this question is a little difficult because in actuality it does work and it doesn’t.
It would be very unfair to dismiss any new form of innovation and I will say that what IJOY have done is very interesting but it isn’t a complete solution instead it’s more of an alternative method.
I think the most accurate way to describe this approach is “Temperature Control Emulation and dry hit prevention” and while that sounds like the device hasn’t really achieved its grandiose claim it is still very useful to a vaper.
Let’s face it nobody likes dry hits and what with the possible health concerns due to the potential fumes given off from burnt cotton it’s better to be safe than sorry so that’s why temperature control has started to become very popular.
The problem is that Nickel is not that easy to work with and while you do get used to it Kanthal is far more user friendly.
Add in the fact that the jury is still out on whether Nickel coils are bad for you and the known fact that excessive temperatures when using Titanium coils can give off noxious fumes means that I’m sure most people would be far more comfortable with temperature controlled Kanthal in whatever fashion it can be achieved.
In terms of cotton burn/dry hit prevention the Asolo works perhaps not as true temperature control but it certainly does the job.
The way you go about it is a little different. Firstly you build your Kanthal coil, I spaced mine much like I would do a Nickel build. I then wicked it and filled up my RDA (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer) with juice.
I set my wattage to 35W and proceeded to take a few draws. It is important you do this so the device learns what sort of length of draw you prefer as well as what wattage is your favourite. In some clever way it then memorizes this information so then you can switch to temperature control mode. If you don’t do it for long enough the device will tell you that it needs to learn more.
Featured on the display above the bar that I previously mentioned is a droplet symbol. It is solid when you have sufficient e liquid on your wick but as it dries out it will start flashing and cut the power.
This is what I meant by dry hit/temperature emulation, clearly it knows when you are reaching a temperature that would cause burning and it can detect whether your coil is dry or not.
For the most part it worked as intended but on a couple of occasions I had a dripper full of e juice and it wouldn’t let me vape. So all I can conclude from that is that perhaps it doesn’t always read things completely accurately or it may need to learn more from the user.
While the manual does state that you can wrap Nickel around Kanthal for more accurate results I was loathe to try that since that basically defeats the object of temperature controlled Kanthal.
I do think that the device is a little hasty to cut the power since when vaping my Taifun GT-II which was loaded with juice it would frequently cut off after extremely short draws. While the wick was never burnt once I think it was a little over zealous.
Now that could have been due to numerous factors, coil resistance, wicking amount, and air flow settings etc. So for the most part IJOY’s unique solution has a lot of merit but I do think it can be further improved.
It is also possible that I need to experiment more with the device but since I have a deadline I can only try so much in the time I have available.
Is it worth it?
Since all I received was the prototype model for review it would be unfair to give an answer to this. There have already been several changes incorporated by IJOY so until I get the opportunity to try the production model I can’t really state whether it’s worth it or not.
Final Review Verdict
The Asolo is an interesting device and it really does try to achieve something very different. If you were to compare this to other variable wattage devices then it performs without issue. I do feel it needs some significant improvements in terms of its aesthetics and the battery door could be way better.
The rather loose fire button also needs tightening up on production models and I am glad they have already taken steps to replace the very cheap screen plastic finish.
Increased venting for the batteries is something that is seriously needed. Five small holes seems very inadequate.
As a temperature control device that supports Nickel or Titanium coils then the Asolo should feel very familiar.
What makes this device unique is that it truly innovates by trying something new.
I know experts will say true temperature controlled Kanthal isn’t possible and yes I agree with that assessment but the workaround that IJOY have created should be applauded since to the average user who just wants to vape using Kanthal without getting dry hits, it really does work.
I do feel though that it can be improved further and it is my hope that IJOY continue to experiment with this alternative solution that they have presented.
The final production model should certainly be interesting to see and hopefully IJOY send one to us so we can give you a complete review.