eGo Stardust Cartomizer Review – a Big update to the CE2
The eGo Vision Cartomizer (also known as the eGo Vision Stardust) is a novel new twist on the CE2 style of filler-free clear cartomizers. There have been quite a few attempts to re-think the clearomizer. The Vortex and CE3 smokymizers tried to reinvent the concept, but have had mixed results at best. The eGo Vision sticks a little more closely to the CE2 design by leaving the heating coil at the top of the cartomizer. Everything else, however, is out the window. Read on for the eGo Vision cartomizer review to find out if it makes a difference!
The Vision eGo Cartomizer’s Exterior Design
Just about everything is different from a CE2 with the eGo Visions. For starters, the name is there for a reason. This cartomizer is designed to fit on Joye eGo style e-cigarettes. It’s much fatter than its cousin, and a sleeve surrounds the 510 connection. An e-Go style connector (or a 510 to eGo adapter) is a must to use the Vision Stardust.
Interestingly, despite its girth, unlike many eGo-specific cartomizers, the Vision houses less than 2ml of eLiquid. I’ll get to the reason for this capacity shortage in a bit.
Staying with the exterior, the tube is made of a very thick and rigid plastic. The tube also tapers toward the top of the cartomizer similar to the KR808-D1 Clearo Cartos I reviewed a while back. For some reason there are also measuring marks on the outside of the Vision eGo cartomizer.
I have to admit I’m completely puzzled by the existence of the gradient marks. They seem to serve no purpose, especially since the lower two marks are aligned with the connector portion of the cartomizer. This prevents the marks from providing any accurate measure of the eGo Stardust’s current payload.
Ignoring the silly markings and moving up the tapered top of the tube, there is a thick metal band on the top of the cartomizer. Perched atop the sleeve is a black drip-tip.
This is no ordinary drip-tip.
Two things are different about this drip tip. First, it has a bottom piece that protrudes into the tube, making contact with the top of the CE2 engine (the fancy term for the cartomizer’s guts.) Second, the tip screwed on the cartomizer via threads on the metal collar.
The radical new CE2 Engine
The screw-on tip serves two functions. First, it means your drip-tip won’t fall off and roll under the desk. Second, it guarantees that the bottom portion of the tip is securely seated against the top of the CE2 engine.
Perhaps calling the internals of the Vision eGo Cartomizer a CE2 is not entirely accurate. While it works on the same principle of a protected heating coil mounted at the top of a container full of eliquid, that’s where the similarities end.
The heating coil of a CE2 normally sits in a ceramic cup perched atop a very thin tube. The Vision eGo’s heating coil is suspended in a beefy tube about 1/3 of the way from the top of the tube. The tube itself is about as thick as a 306 atomizer. The tube has two slits on opposite sides where the wicks protrude, suspending the heating coil from the wicks like a little tight rope act.
The wicks are also a radical departure from traditional clearomizer designs. Rather than dangling down to the bottom of the cartomizer, they are stubby things protruding only far enough to make contact with the sides of the clear outer tube.
Wait, you say. How is it going to wick the eliquid? Wicking seems to work for two reasons. Because the wicks make contact with the outer tube and because normally you tilt your e-cigarette in a near-horizontal position when vaping.
As you tilt your e-cigarette up to take a puff, liquid rushes past the wicks. When you put your e-cigarette down, the liquid runs down the sides of the tube and gets caught by the wicks and delivered to the coils. The cartomizer’s taper also seems to help with this process.
The whole scheme seems to work better than I would have thought. To an extent. I found things started getting a little dodgy when I was down to my last 1/4 tank. The wicks had a harder time keeping up and I started getting dry hits. Probably a good idea to top off once you start getting low.
A few more tricks exist inside the Vision eGo. The coil seems to be slightly thicker than a traditional cartomizer. I’m not sure of the exact reason, whether it’s to better aid in the new wicking process, or to help it cling to the wick, or maybe it’s just so they can say their coil is thicker, who knows.
Along with long wicks, also missing is the annoying two gasket system found in most CE2s. The Vision eGo has a silicone cover very similar to a cartomizer condom. This cover keeps juice from flowing into the tube’s slits and has a hole in the top for obvious reasons.
The silicone cover also protects a small metal gasket that tops the tube. This is an interesting innovation as well. The metal piece serves to keep the drip tip from wearing down the silicone cover, and may also help with condensation.
Did I mention this whole design means you can throw your syringes out? Just tilt and fill straight from the bottle thanks to the elimination of the inner gasket system.
So, is the Vision eGo Clearomizer Any Good?
Unlike the regular Vision Clearomizers, I have had virtually no issues with vapor condensation winding up in my mouth. I regularly found myself having to clear the tip of built up liquid on the original Visions. That is simply not the case with the eGo Vision variation.
I presume condensed e-liquid will roll down that monstrous tube in the middle. I’m also convinced that tube leads to a parallel universe somewhere. Condensed vapor is a reality, and generally, it has to go somewhere. Normally that location is either in your mouth or out the battery connector. I’ve not found much eliquid in either place.
It’s apparently some kind of ancient magic.
Moving on to things I can explain, the Vision Stardust (I still don’t know what to call the thing) is a particularly good performer in the vapor department, once it’s loosened up. GotVapes recommends letting the Stardust break in for a while due to the thicker coils. I’m not sure why that would matter, but I went with it.
I ran it through a tank at 3.7 and it produced decent results. After the first tank, I checked the resistance, which dialed in at 2.8Ω. I cranked up the voltage on my ProVari to 5v to see what it could do. 5v may be too much for this device.
I definitely got some dry hits at that high of a current. After some fiddling around, I decided the 4 volt range worked best for me in terms of vapor output and being able to constantly puff on the vision.
Those of you who actually take your e-cigarette out of your mouth occasionally can probably get away with higher voltages and still keep the wicks well saturated.
Flavor product is also pretty good, though there does seem to be a slight plastic taste which hopefully will wane over time. Throat hit was about average and the vapor’s temperature hovered on the cooler side.
Cleaning the Vision eGo Stardust Cartomizer
No clearomizer review would be complete without a section on cleaning them. One of the benefits of this style of cartomizer is that with proper care and cleaning, they usually last quite a while. Except for the CE3 which is like the rigged carnival game of cartomizer cleaning.
Fortunately, the Vision eGo cartomizers rank pretty well on the easy side of the cleaning spectrum. Disassembly may be easier if the cartomizer is placed on an e-cigarette with an actual eGo connector to avoid putting stress on battery connector with an adapter.
Remove the drip tip. Grasp the cartomizer and rock it back and forth while pulling (gently). The cartomizer’s outer tube should loosen fairly quickly. Once it’s loosened, simply turn and pull the tube and it should come free from the insides with minimal fuss.
Take the silicone cover off the inner tube, being extra careful not to lose that little metal washer. Rinse the parts and dry burn (if that’s how you roll) the coils.
To re-assemble, put the washer and silicone cover back on the inner tube. Attach the drip tip to the outer tube. Connect the interior components to your eGo battery if you removed them. Slide the tube back on and give it a firm but steady push to re-seat everything.
Everything should stay nice and snug thanks to a silicone gasket at the bottom of the cartomizer. I did notice things seem to get a little looser each time I take the Vision eGo apart, so try to tear this thing apart sparingly.
Too Long; Didn’t Read
Ok, so my review of the Vision eGo (Stardust) was kind of epically long. Mostly because there’s a lot to explain due to the radical new design of the Vision eGo cartomizer. The carto works remarkably well, especially for a first generation design. While the cartomizer doesn’t hold as much liquid as the size would seem to indicate, it makes up for in ease of use. The device is easy to fill and easy to clean. While you can’t crank the voltage too far with the Stardust, it produces good results at 4 volts and under.
- Vapor Production: Very Good
- Vapor Temperature: slightly cool to moderate
- Throat Hit: average
- Draw: airy
- Flavor: Good (some slight plastic undertones)
- Good performance
- Easy to fill
- Easy to clean
- Solid construction
- No flooding or juice in mouth
- Small capacity for its size
- Doesn’t handle higher voltages very well
- eGo threaded (requires eGo threads or an adapter)
- Tends toward dry hits when less than 1/4 full
Product Name:Vision eGo Stardust / eGO Stardust Cartomizer 1.6ml ViSION
Buy it from: GotVapes / ECig Express
Threading: eGo (510 with adapter)