I’ve been wanting to write this review for some weeks now, but for some reason things kept coming in between. The good news: it bought me extra time to test out this portable vaporizer even more thoroughly.
Agreed, it might not be the best name for a portable vaporizer. The specific model we are reviewing goes by the (again) not-so-attractive name ‘INH004’. An upgraded version, which is released at the end of 2012, will go by the name ‘Inhalater XP’, where XP stands for ‘EXtra Performance’.
The Inhalater is a marker shaped portable vaporizer, albeit somewhat bulkier in its outlines. Weighing just over a 100 grams, the Inhalater is easy to carry around.
The housing consists of hard plastic and has a sticker wrapped around it to give it a brushed metal-like look. The XP will be available in multiple colours. To reach the mouthpiece, the cap can be taken off with a (firm) twist motion. Pulling out the mouth piece reveals the herb chamber, which is shaped like a capsule and is made out of what appears to be some kind of flimsy plastic. It actually is made out of polyimide, a thermally stable resin that is also used in high-heat medical applications. A tube for the mouthpiece is optional, it does come included.
The side of the device has ‘INHALATER’ written on it, which doesn’t exactly add to the stealthiness. However, this is be printed less conscpicious on the Inhalater XP – a positive change in my opinion.
A temperature dial (that duals as on/off switch) is located at the bottom of the Inhalater. While this dial turns quite loosely, I didn’t have any problems with it.
Ease of Use
When I first received the Inhalater it took me a few minutes to figure out how to reach the mouthpiece/herb chamber. I soon learned that the cap at the top requires quite a bit of force to take off (it is a pop cap), and for that same reason it also offers good protection.
Filling the herb capsule takes some effort, as it is quite narrow. Folding a piece of paper makes this somewhat easier. It must also be noted that is important to grind the herb very finely – not only does this make filling easier, it also allows for more even vaporization. The performance is not affected by the size of the load, which is a plus. The bowl holds about .3 grams of (finely shredded) herb.
Overall, the Inhalater isn’t difficult to use, as long as you’re not in a hurry. It may not be the easiest vape to load, but once loaded it’s very easy to operate. All you need to do after filling the capsule is select the temperature, take the cap off and inhale vapor. It is fairly easy to take nice draws, there is little resistance. A moderate draw seems to give the best results.
Heating up takes between 60 seconds and 3 minutes, depending on the temperature setting. According to the manual, a three minute wait is in order before starting to vape, and I usually stick to this for optimal results on the first hits.
This is where the Inhalater really stands out. After the first hit I couldn’t help but notice that the vapor is a) full of flavor and b) very smooth on the throat. After toying around with the temperature settings for a bit I found the perfect setting for me where the vapor tastes just right. After some time I did notice that this really varies depending on personal preferences (most of my friends prefer higher temperatures) and the type of herb you are using.
The Inhalater does a great job at vaporizing your blend nice and evenly, and stirring is not required – it also wouldn’t be very convenient given the size of the capsules.
A downside of the capsules lies in the design. Given the shape I found cleaning to be somewhat difficult, with small particles becoming stuck in the small metal gauze that sits near the mouthpiece. This is particularly frustrating when you are on the road and are unable to thoroughly clean it.
Like most modern portables, the Inhalater is equipped with a built-in lithium Ion battery. This battery is user replaceable and can be charged via (micro)-USB. Personally, I’m a big fan of USB-chargeable devices, so I’m not complaining about this.
To get a full charge takes about 5 hours, but it is not recommended to let lithium batteries completely run empty. At temperature setting 5-6, the battery lasts about 3 to 4 sessions. What’s also nice is that the vape can be used while it is being charged – I’m happy to see more and more portables incorporating this feature (ie DaVinci, Solo).
What slightly worries me is the durability of the polyimide capsules. The material seems to crack quite easily, and I can see it breaking after extensive use. An additional capsule is included, but it’s a clever idea to order a bunch of replacement capsules right from the start.