After what seems like an eternity Vapor4Life finally released its Vapor Zeus e-cigarette. I received a sample version some time ago and did a video review only to have the product delayed and a lot of questions about when the Zeus would hit the market. Why all the hubub you ask? Let's do this Vapor Zeus review and find out.
|Product name||Vapor Zeus Starter Kit|
|Price||$89.96 – 99.96|
What’s in the Box
|1||Zeus auto or convertable battery|
|1||USB mini cable|
|1||30ml bottle of e-liquid|
Vapor Zeus Design
The Zeus is an interesting product. V4L is one of the big brand companies that has done a good job with delivering more advanced “mod” style devices to a wide audience. Most of their gear is still commodity gear rebranded and fitted with a KR-808 battery connector. The Zeus, however, seems to be (for now) an exclusive to V4L. Here's the backstory according to the marketing blurb on the site:
The Vapor Zeus story began two years ago as an invention created by [V4l founder] Steve Milin. He wanted an electronic cigarette battery that embodied vaping bliss. After countless prototypes and thousands of hours of his life poured into this product, he continued to search for ways to cement the Vapor Zeus as god of the e-cigarette battery industry. Finally, the finished product is here and we are thrilled to showcase our latest and greatest. If there's one Vapor4Life product that says “Steve,” it's the Vapor Zeus.
Of course the problem with such a long development cycle in the e-cigarette industry is that products innovate so quickly. Most of the gear that's popular now has been around for maybe 6 months to a year. The next big thing is sure to come in another 6 months. Yet, somehow, the Zeus seems to have carved out a relevant niche for itself.
Alright, enough hyperbole, what's the deal with this thing? For starters the Zeus is huge. The battery itself is 900mAh and is tall and thin. The convertible version is taller still matching height with many popular 18650 APVs.
Yes, I said convertible. That's the showcase feature of this device. The more expensive dual-mode model features a square fire button for normal manual battery action. Click the button 5 times and instead of powering off the device, it's converted to full auto mode. In this mode the Zeus works hands-free like an automatic battery.
If you prefer full-time automatic, the auto-only version is slightly less expensive and smaller. The automatic action in both is roughly the same though it seems to me that the dual-mode Zeus battery is a tad bit noisier. Both batteries are available in either a black or a cigar wrapper finish.
The click button on the more expensive version is close to flush mounted and illuminates with a green V4L logo, both when pressed and when used in auto mode. Clicking the button returns a nice tactile feeling letting you know the button has been engaged.
Both models feature USB pass-through charging, which is a nice addition. The USB connector is the slightly less common mini USB, as opposed to the micro format used by Android devices. I also discovered that a standard 808 charger can charge the devices if you're so inclined.
I'll talk more about the vapor in just a moment, but let's just say the 5V output is very helpful in this regard. While I think the oddly named Smileomizers are the best option for this device, it can take any standard threaded 808 carto. Do note that the voltage will drop down to 3.7v if you use a dual coil cartomizer.
As for the Smileomizers, they are color matched to the battery. They are traditional caromizers with a center air tube and filler. Thanks to the large gauge, it's pretty easy to just drip fill the cartomizers.
The tip of the Smileomizer is made of soft rubber which takes a little time to get used to, but I think it's probably a good choice for such a large diameter tip. Sadly, the tip on the cigar color is black, sort of ruining the cigar illusion. V4L rates the carry capacity of this big carto at 3.5ml.
Using the Zeus
I think the Zeus is one of the best electronic cigars around. Granted, there aren't really a whole lot of e-cigars, and I'm not sure how much Vapor4Life really wants their Zeus called a cigar. But, I have to call this one like I see it.
This is odd for me, but I actually prefer the automatic variety because that makes it more cigar-like. I found myself almost immediately holding it like a stogie and even puffing without inhaling, it was just sort of natural.
If I could change anything, I'd have preferred they made it shorter and with a larger ring gauge, though some of my favorite sticks were roughly the size of the Zeus anyway. The automatic switch is very responsive and the draw on the auto battery (and the convertible version) is right about where I preferred my cigars as well.
That is to say it's a light to medium draw. Not so light that it feels like you're just sucking air, nor so tight that you think you're trying to drink cement through a straw.
As I alluded to in the previous section, the vapor production is actually very good. The vapor has a thick consistency, good flavor for a fillered carto and comes out fairly warm. Essentially, it completes the cigar transformation.
The e-liquid is kind of the weak link in the chain. While it's not bad, it's also not exactly like a cigar, and definitely not much like a nice Cohiba or Romeo y Julietta (both make fine birthday gifts). Of course you can always vape whatever you like if you aren't that interested in carrying the cigar metaphor so far.
In general I'd say this is a nice device to cart around when you want something simple with good performance, or just miss chomping on a stog during poker night.
Too Long; Didn't Read
Vapor4Life's Vapor Zeus starter kit is both a simple and very compelling choice. The battery is available in both full automatic or manual/auto selectable. It's one of the largest more traditional devices out there. For me, the Zeus reminds me of my single days stinking up my apartment with my latest haul from the Cigar store. I wonder how well it would pair with a nice port or sherry. Head over to V4L before your next poker night to pick one of these up.
|Great as an e-cigar|
|auto/manual hybrid available|
|excellent auto switch unit|
|Only 900mAh despite size|
Disclosure: I received this item from V4L for review. This review features affiliate links.