Published on April 24th, 2013 | by Trick13
The Innokin iTaste SVD
Summary: Easy telescoping and good performance make for a mod that will accommodate a wide variety of vaping styles.
The Innokin iTaste SVD took its sweet time arriving. Plagued by production delays, vendors and co-op buyers often waited months beyond the SVDs scheduled arrival for their mods, but in recent weeks Innokin has finally started cutting them loose, working through what must have become a heavy backlog to get the PV into buyers’ hands. They had a long time to get it right, but did they?
What’s That Other Tube For?
The Innokin iTaste SVD is a telescoping mod, and can accommodate 18350, 18500 or 18650 batteries, and it also supports the use of dual 18350 batteries. It comes with tubes in two different lengths. Oddly, while the marketing literature for the iTaste SVD says the shorter tube is for an 18350, with the second tube for longer batteries, we found that an 18650 fits just fine with the shorter tube, so we’re not really sure why the longer one is included.
This is a variable voltage and variable wattage device. In variable voltage mode, voltage can be set from 3.0 to 6.0 volts in .1 volt increments, and in variable wattage mode the SVD can be set from 3.0 to 15 watts in .5 watt increments. With the SVD’s three buttons, this is relatively simple: you use the “-” button to decrease voltage or wattage, and the “+” button to increase it. The SVD uses a “press and hold” system, sometimes with multiple buttons, to set various functions such as voltage/wattage mode, access the built-in atomizer resistance meter, and check remaining battery voltage. While we’re getting used to the system with time, we’ve found ourselves referring to the manual quite a bit to figure out which ones to hit for which functions.
The SVD also uses a three-click system to turn the PV on and off, and has a locking function to prevent accidentally changing power settings. A three-digit LED display is used for user output, and the fire button will glow one of three colors when used — green, yellow, or red — to indicate remaining battery power.
Both 510 and eGo-threaded atomizers are supported by the SVD, and the connectors are set into a deep drip well to catch any atomizer leaks.
The iTaste SVD certainly has a unique look. With its brushed stainless steel finish, engraved button labels, large backlit button and a display frame with exposed screws, the SVD looks a bit like something that could have been salvaged from a submarine. While we quite like the look, some may find it a bit busy.
We should probably mention that when we received our test unit, the “+” button was stuck and for a short time we thought we had a dud on our hands. Impatience got the best of us and we tried pressing very hard on the button, and it made an audible snap as it popped back into place, and has been working fine since. This stuck “+” button seems to be a common issue with other SVDs in the batch we received, but in our case, at least, it was one that was easily solved.
Build Quality: 3.5
The iTaste SVD seems to be solidly-built, though there are a few minor issues common to mods made in China: the threads are a bit grainy, and we had a temporary problem with one of the three buttons. The finish is clean and consistent, and the engraving of the button labels is deep enough that it’s not likely to wear down any time soon.
We like the look of the SVD, though it’s a bit eclectic. The base has a clean, modern look, the middle section is a bit more retro-sci-fi, and the dimpled top cap is a bit industrial. The looks of the SVD are all over the place, but as an overall look we think it works.
The use of two bottom tubes and limited telescoping functionality allow the use of a wide range of batteries with the SVD, including the option to use a pair of 18350s, and the inclusion of 510 and eGo threading mean the SVD will work with a very wide range of atomizers. It is, however, like many variable voltage/wattage devices, a bit large. For comparison, the SVD with an 18500 is a millimeter or two longer than a Provari with an 18650. With an 18650, the SVD stands about a half-inch taller than a Vamo with the same battery, which puts it pretty solidly into pretty damned long territory. We were able to use both button-top and flat-top batteries without any problems.
The range of the iTaste SVD is pretty impressive for a variable device, with its top end of 6 volts or 15 watts. Accuracy was good, if not great, with about a .1 to .3 variance between the mod’s power output and what we’d set it for being fairly typical across the PV’s range. Interestingly, we found the SVD to be somewhat more accurate at the higher range of voltage than at the lower end.
The SVD can be found at retailers for around $100 to $120, though it’s out of stock at most of the places carrying it due to the long wait for its arrival, and stocks were depleted quickly. While this price includes both bottom tubes and a pair of iClear 30 tanks, we expect the price will come down before long. While we like the mod, we’re not sure we like it enough to justify a price quite a bit higher than most of its competition. It should be noted that the iTaste SVD is quite popular with co-ops right now, and may be available for much less — one recent co-op go them for $42 — if you can catch an active co-op, and you’re willing to wait for your SVD to arrive.