The Elips electronic cigarette from Nhaler takes a concept familiar in e-cigarettes like the eGo-T and tries to turn it on its ear. Like the tried and true favorite e-cigarette, the newcomer boasts an easy to fill tank and ups the ante with a design that tries to incorporate improved performance and styling. Does the Elips live up to the challenge? Or is it yet another novel design destined for the e-cig graveyard? Let's find out in this Elips e-cigarette review.
What's in the Box The Elips is a pretty standard e-cigarette starter kit. There's no wild logos or unusual branding on the cover of the nondescript two-piece slide out box. Inside the box you'll find the following items:
2 Elips batteries (350mAh)
2 Atomizer covers
5 tanks (available filled or empty)
The Elips is clearly a departure from traditional electronic cigarette design. It's easy to tell that this is a different sort of e-cigarette just by looking at the device. The device is roughly the length of a standard mini style e-cig, but is much wider and has an elliptical shape to it (hence the name, presumably).
By the looks of things, a lot of thought went into the industrial design of the Elips. The button is flush with the battery's body and is contoured for the finger. A raised collar sits between the atomizer and battery, in which two barely noticeable pin holes provide airflow for the device.
Button and Atomizer sections
The other immediately noticeable thing about the design of the Elips is that it uses no typical e-cigarette standard whatsoever. Instead of an atomizer that screws into a battery, the Elips features an atomizer that snaps onto the battery. Two matching pins on each piece provide the electrical connection.
The atomizer design also works a little differently than most tank systems. Rather than a tank sliding into the atomizer sleeve and just sitting there, a small tank that looks like a perfume bottle is attached to the atomizer. A cover hides the tank and inner workings of the atomizer contributing to the monolithic look of the Elips.
Charging is done via a built-in port on the end of an e-cigarette. The device also works as a pass-through, so you can continue to use the Elips while its charging up. The one minor gripe I have is that the USB cable uses an odd connector on the battery end instead of a standard mini-USB. Of course a mini-USB port on the end of the Elips would have thrown off the whole design aesthetics. A small red LED next to the port indicates when charging is taking place.
The thought put into the design of the Elips shines through when using the e-cigarette. The device just feels natural as can be when holding it. I found that the button placement was in exactly the right place to ensure a comfortable grip on the device.
Atomizer and battery connections
It did take a little getting used to actually having the e-cig in my mouth and puffing. I'm normally used to a certain size and shape with my devices. The shape generally requires a sort of pucker of the mouth to puff. The wide and thin stance of the Elpis requires a more relaxed lip. Ergonomically, this actually seems better since you don't have to bunch up your face when vaping, but it's just something I found hard to get used to because of habit.
The curve of the button is a natural fit for my thumb which sort of gravitates to that button. I never really found myself having to look at the device to figure out how to hold it for use. The small shape and wide, but thin design also makes for a very pocketable e-cigarette.
Adding to the pocket-friendliness factor is the device's 3 click on/off feature. Press the button 3 times in succession and it will turn off, preventing any pocket misfires. I did notice the atomizer tended to come off in the pocket fairly regularly, a side-effect of the atomizer snapping on rather than screwing on.
While the atomizer coming off mid pocket isn't what I'd consider a major problem, there are a couple of weird things going on as a result of the design. First, there are now viewing windows to determine levels of e-liquid while using the device. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal since it's easy enough to pop off the tank cover and look inside the clear bottle.
A little messy
Yeah… not so much. Turns out, under that cover, there's a whole lot of moisture going on. This isn't necessarily leaking exactly. It's just the way the thing works because of the atomizer design, things just get wet inside that cover.
Not being able to see my liquid without getting it everywhere is kind of a downer. The cover somehow manages to keep things from getting all wet during normal use. There are some limitations to this. I found under very heavy use, there was some slight leakage between the battery and atomizer connector.
Despite the unusual sort of wet/dry operation of the atomizer, and even the occasional leak, the system does seem to perform pretty well. Vapor production is good, thanks in part to the 4.1 volt output of the battery. Interestingly, I did notice one of the two atomizers put out quite a bit less vapor, which I'm inclined to attribute to a faulty atomizer.
Atomizer, tank and cover
The vapor produced is also flavorful, more so than a lot of tank systems I've used before. Temperature of the vapor leans a little more to the cool to average side of the spectrum. I did also notice on occasion an issue with dry hits. It appears there is some kind of vacuum thing going on preventing wicking. Most of the time simply removing the bottle and putting it back on resolved the issues.
I think part of the credit to the decent output goes to the battery's 4.1 volt output. The fairly compact size and higher output does take its toll on battery life. The Elips battery only has 350mAh of capacity behind it, as opposed to at least 650mAh on an eGo (though much linger than the 130 or so on mini batteries).
I found the battery kept the Elips chugging along under my regular usage (which is pretty heavy) for about 3.5 hours. Normal human beings can probably expect better results than that, of course. That's not a shabby run time considering how small the device is and that you can continue to use it while it charges.
Too Long; Didn't Read
It seems almost as if the Elips were designed by people with a lot of e-cigarette experience who were told to take the best features, but toss out everything else out and start over. The result makes the Elips a pretty interesting electronic cigarette. The ease of changing the atomizer is offset by the fact none of your other e-cig stuff will work with it.
Despite this, the e-cigarette is a pleasure to hold and use. Its portability means that this may be the choice for people looking for an electronic cigarette that won't draw attention. A few issues and the lack of compatibility may hold it back from being a lot of people's primary device, but it certainly makes for a good companion gadget and an interesting alternative to the eGo-T and similar electronic cigarettes.