Since its introduction last year, the PUFFiT has been a somewhat controversial vaporizer. It seems that users either love it or hate it, and this is reflected in many online reviews. Some users mention a plastic taste, others are dissapointed with the thin vapour that this inhaler-shaped vaporizer produces. I personally think the PUFFiT should be treated mostly as a super-stealthy device that allows for use in places where this would otherwise be impossible. We now take a closer look at the recently released PUFFiT-X, which is touted as 'the world's first forced-air portable vaporizer'.
A forced air portable sounds like a great idea. But at the same time it makes me wonder if there really is demand for this. It kind of reminds me of the Extreme Q's remote control. Nifty, but not necessary.
If you're new to the PUFFiT, then I suggest reading our PUFFiT review first. After all, the PUFFiT-X is pretty much a standard PUFFiT with a built-in ventilator as well as some other small adjustments.
To my surprise, the PUFFiT-X comes in a variety of eye-catching colours. No more 'ventolin' blue, which I always believed contributed greatly to the stealth factor of this vape. Instead, one can now choose from 'Passionate Purple', 'Cool Camo' and 'Get Down Grey'. After asking the manufacturer about this, I was assured that a blue edition will become available again at a later time. Phew.
The box is somewhat larger than it was before, and holds a bunch of new accessories. For one, the protection case is more rugged and spacious. Also new is a charging stand, allowing you to gracefully position your PUFFiT upright while it is being charged. A'filling tool' is also included. This plastic cup can be placed on top of the bowl and creates a larger opening (much like a funnel) to simplify the tedious task of loading your bowl with shredded herb.
Next to a mini-USB (to USB) plug, an AC adapter is included, and promises a 1 hour rapid charge of up to 80%, with an additional 30 minute trickle charge. Like the original PUFFiT, the unit still has the older micro-USB port, whereas I would've preferred micro-USB (also used by most modern smart phones).
Other than the new colours, no visual changes can be observed from the outside. Once the metal cap at the top is removed, the (revamped) bowl becomes visible. While remaining gold-plated, a blue silicon part has been added near the top. The spring ('vapor enhancement thingy') that previously had to be placed in the cap for improved vapour is now integrated in the cap and cannot be removed.
So apart from these minor changes, the major difference is to be found under the hood, where a ventilator assists with blowing vapour into your lungs.
Important to know prior to using this vape, is that the speed of the fan can be adjusted (using the temperature dial). This actually makes a great difference, particularly when it comes to the sound produced by the built-in fan. At the highest setting, I find the sound of the fan rather disturbing - resembling that of an electric toothbrush or worse, a dental drill.
While the battery life is reduced through use of the ventilator, it is still very acceptable - a fully charged PUFFiT-X will last several (2-3) bowls - depending on the temperature and ventilator setting. I also get the impression that the vapour production has slightly improved compared to the original PUFFiT.
Unfortunately, there is still a rubber smell and taste noticeable. It did fade after using it for some time, but by no means can the PUFFiT-X compete with the clean taste of other popular portable vapes, such as the Solo or DaVinci's Ascent.
At higher fan settings, the PUFFiT-X produces a steady flow of hot air, which - admittedly - is super easy and convenient to inhale. The main trade off however, is the sound. This is by far my biggest concern (or complaint, if you will) about this vape. The high pitched sound of the ventilator completely takes away the stealthiness, and will actually have faces turning to see where this noise comes from. Luckily, use of the fan is optional, so you may decide not to use it under certain circumstances.