Slim Nova Review – When you just need a little nova
The Slim Nova is a more svelte version of the Vision Vivi Nova. Hands-down, the Vivi Nova is one of the most popular e-cigarette accessories around. There’s a lot to like, replaceable heads provide staying power and it’s easy to fill and use for new vapers. Tinkerers and modders like how easy it is to rebuild coils. They’re available in a rainbow of colors, and now with the introduction of the Slim Nova, there’s also some size choice. I’ll take a look at the little guy and see how it stacks up to the others in this Slim Nova Review.
|Product name||Smoktech Slim Vivi Nova Tank|
Slim Vivi Nova Design
Smok’s entry into the Nova world isn’t that different from other versions. There are even a couple of mini versions running around out there.
On the surface, it’s pretty similar to the rest. There’s a replacable head (which is not compatible with other brands), the level graduations on the tank and the metal caps. There’s even a rainbow of colors available.
What is the signature difference in this Vivi is the battery connector. It’s still a 510 threaded connector, of course. But, it features something fairly unique: a spring loaded center pin.
I’ve seen this sort of center pin on some devices like the Tesla, but not on a cartomizer before. The concept is simple, the post which makes contact with the battery terminal is pushed out with a spring, allowing the pin to adjust to the specific e-cigarette to which the Slim is attached.
Like the Vision version of the Vivi Nova, Smok’s air vents are located in the battery connector and not the side of the bottom end cap. This particular configuration is somewhat important for performance, which I’ll get into during the performance section.
Right about now.
Using the Smoktech Slim Vivi Nova
I don’t normally come out and say this, but I don’t much care for this cartomizer.
Allow me to elaborate.
At lower voltages/wattages, Smok’s Nova does fairly well. I’d say it was about on par with a Vision when run around 6 watts (around 3.7v on the ones I have).
The problem is I like to run my Vivi Novas at 8-9 watts. The Smoktechs simply can’t hang with that much wattage running through them. They simply start burning very easily.
I have to dial the wattage back to 7 or lower to keep them from burning up on me. While they’re not terrible at lower wattages, it’s just not the same as running a regular model full-tilt. There’s just so much more vapor when you get these hot.
On the plus side, the Slim Novas don’t have any gurgling or leaking problems at all, and don’t have or need the secret gasket I talked about in a recent video.
While I’d say these things are kind of duds in the stock configuration, a little tweaking can improve them somewhat. And if you’re really a tinkerer, there’s one change you can make that will actually make these perform very well.
The first tips are pretty simple stuff. The problem appears to come from the wicks not working fast enough. At first, I suspected the silicone gasket was crushing the wicks.
On closer inspection, I found that was not the case. There’s actually a little lip on the metal right above the wick slots that stops the gasket from sliding on to the wicks.
What I ended up doing was to unbraid the wicks while I had the tank apart. The tank worked somewhat better, but still wasn’t great.
My next brilliant idea was to make the draw tighter thinking it would help the wicking action. I used the collar on the iTaste MVP to tighten the airflow. There also exist tank airflow adapters that would do the same job.
Using both the tweaks, I found performance to be somewhat improved. I could cruise over 7 watts finally. I even got to 8 for a while, but it was a little rough around the edges.
I didn’t actually rebuild the coil, I’m pretty terrible at coil building, actually. Instead, I just pulled the old wick out strand by strand. Then I took a small piece of sterile cotton gauze, and wet it with e-liquid.
I rolled up the gauze very tightly and pushed it through the coil. It was much like threading a needle. After that, I just cut the gauze to the right length and unrolled it.
Once I put everything back together, I filled it up and let the liquid soak in for a few minutes. Everything worked great, I was able to run it at 9 watts without issue. Vapor production was fantastic as was the flavor.
Since the wick transplant worked so well, I’m inclined to think Smok has wound the coil too tightly around their wicks choking the liquid flow.
If you’re not familiar with using cotton there’s a couple things to know. First, as long as you keep it wet, it won’t burn, amazingly. Dry burning is right out of the question of course. Protip: dry burn your coil once you remove the wick, it’s way faster and there’s nothing to burn. Just don’t fry the coil.
The other thing is that cotton simply doesn’t last anywhere as long as silica wicks. The cotton degrades fairly quickly, so you will have to replace the wick every few days to a week depending on how you use it.
While the Slim Nova works great once it’s modified, I’m going to go out on a limb and just call this thing fiddly. The wick swap is fairly simple once you get used to it, but it’s definitely above and beyond the call of duty.
Too Long; Didn’t Read
The Slim Vivi Nova is Smoktech’s take on the incredibly popular e-cigarette tanks. The design has a cool spring-loaded battery post and doesn’t leak. However, performance in the stock configuration is very weak. Simple tweaks will improve the performance a little. If you’re willing to swap out the wick for some cotton or other material, it performs great. If you don’t want to fiddle with your gear, however, it may be best to stick with the classic Vivi Novas. You can buy both models over at MadVapes.
|Spring loaded center pin|
|Doesn’t need special gasket|
|Poor wicking at moderate voltage|
|Best performance requires significant modification|
Disclosure: I feature affiliate links for MadVapes