Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Innokin iTaste MVP

While the iTaste MVP isn’t a new product, as something that gets used on a pretty regular basis around here, and a bit of an oddity in the vaping world, we figured it deserved a few paragraphs.

iTaste MVP with Mini-DID Clone

iTaste MVP with Mini-DID Clone

The MVP is a box mod, very roughly the size of a classic iPod, though somewhat thicker and not quite as wide.  It is available in a wide variety of colors, but there’s nothing particular fancy about any of them. The iTaste is, for the most part, a plain little metal box with a 510/eGo connector on the top, and all kinds of weirdness at the bottom.

That weirdness comes in the form of two USB connectors: one micro-USB port marked “Input,” a standard USB port marked “Output,” and a small switch labelled “On/Off (Output).”  The input port is used for charging the MVP.  It is a sealed unit and you don’t take the battery out to charge it; you plug it into any USB port.  Inside the box is a permanent 2600mAh battery, giving the MVP approximately the same charge times as a standard nod with a high-quality 18650 battery.

The larger port, and the switch, provide the MVP’s secondary functionality: In addition to being a variable-voltage PV, it can be used as an external battery for nearly any device that can be powered through a USB port. The MVP is packaged with a USB cable designed to be used for this purpose, with a standard USB interface on one side, and three different connectors (one micro USB, one mini-USB, and one iPod-style connector) on the other.

While our first impression was that combining a PV with a battery charger seemed a bit strange, we have to admit it’s been useful. While it’s not always possible to stay near a USB port for long, any dedicated vaper will never be far from his PV, and if your phone just happens to go dead, the MVP just happens to make a really good backup battery.  We haven’t found a USB-powered device yet that we haven’t been able to use it with, though some with really strange connector types will obviously be an issue.

But we didn’t buy an MVP to make phone calls: we got it to vape with. Thankfully, it does a pretty good job of that, too.  Near the bottom on one side of the MVP is a three-digit LED display with two small buttons for increasing and decreasing voltage from 3.3 to 5.0 volts.  Accuracy in our tests was fairly good, with voltage output varying from the set value by about 5 to 10% across the range of settings.

An addition to the charging cable, the MVP is also packaged with a ring to cover the eGo threading when using 510-based atomizers, and two iClear 16 clearomizers.


Build Quality: 8/10

The MVP seems to be a tough little box. Our tends to get thrown into pockets with keys, dropped and the floor, and subjected to all kinds of things we’d never dream of inflicting on a less durable PV, and while it may be getting a bit banged up, it still vapes as good as it ever did.  Although, since the day we got it, something has been rattling around inside it. We’ll be damned if we know what it is, though.

Looks: 7/10

This is definitely going to be a judgment call on the part of the owner, but the MVP is, more than anything else, a very no-frills box.  It’s got some shiny parts and some not-so-shiny parts, but it’s not the kind of thing people are going to look at and think “wow, that’s cool.”

Flexibility: 9/10

If there was a PV that was made for selling on late-night infomercials, the MVP is it.  Not only is it a variable voltage mod (with a dual 510/eGo connector), but if you’re stranded in the desert without a USB port in sight, you can still power your MP3 player with it.  But don’t, because when you’re stranded in the desert your nicotine fix is obviously more important.

Performance: 8/10

Battery life of our MVP has rivaled or exceeded that of 18650 tube mods, and power output seems relatively well-regulated, only varying from the set value by a small percentage throughout the life of the battery.

Price: 6/10

The MVP price is set by the manufacturer at $65 to $69.99, who will refuse to sell to vendors who price it lower.  While we really have no major complaints about that price, we’re scoring this one a bit lower than we would otherwise due to Innokin’ market meddling.

Overall Score: 7.6

The Innokin iTaste MVP

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