The Top Bond Novae is a no nonsense, value for money, portable vaporizer. It performs well enough for most people and packs features normally reserved for premium portable vapes – namely convention vaping and a removable battery. Its metal case and good looks belie its low price. How does it stack up? Let’s take a look.
Top Bond Novae Performance
The ceramic heating chamber and glass mouthpiece keep the taste clean. The powerful rechargeable battery produces as much clouds as you can expect from a one battery device. Performance does not seem to be an area that is impacted by the low price. I did find that if packed too tightly the draw was restricted so don’t put in too much herb.
Top Bond Novae Value For Money
Value for money is where the Novae excels. It’s solid – the case will last. It offers convection vaping and a removable battery. It comes with a USB cable, a couple of cleaning tools and five screens. Everything you need – except a bag of weed and a grinder – to get you vaping. The box is nice enough to keep for storage.
Top Bond Novae Build quality
The metal cased Novae is solid. Though the finish is not perfect. The base of my test unit quickly became scratched just from moving it around to photograph. There are a few bumps on the surface from bits of dust that got under the paint job. When you open it up there are blemishes around the opening to the heating chamber and the treatment of the magnets in the mouthpiece don’t look as attractive as the more pricey competition.
However, none of these cosmetic issues will have an effect on your vaping – unless this budget build quality also applies to the interior components. It worked for me during my testing period and if bought in Europe the shop selling it must legally provide a two year warranty. Given the price, even if it lasts two years and a day it’s no great loss.
It’s clear that Top Bond are not trying to match the finish of the Pax 3, DaVinci IQ or even the Linx Gaia. If they did – you wouldn’t be looking at a sub €100 portable convection vape. I wouldn’t say it appears cheap but it is definitely not high end.
Top Bond Novae User friendliness
The Novae is easy to use and is very functional.
To load you remove the magnetic mouthpiece. Some vapes that close this way worry me that the top will drop off when transporting – not so with the Novae it feels secure in place.
The entrance around the chamber is smooth, allowing you to drop in your ground herb and push it into the chamber with ease. There is a raised barrier around the “loading bay” that serves as a scoop to take the ground herb from your hand. I wish all portable vapes could be loaded this way. I also appreciated the flat base – this allows you to stand it as you load.
– Setting Temperature
The Novae has five preset temperatures. Once on, hold the button to cycle through the temperatures. One light shows the lowest temperature 175℃. It goes up incrementally 10℃ for each light all the way up to five lights at 215℃. I like having a readout – like in the Mighty – but I tend to increase the temperature by 10℃ at a time so could live with the Novae happily.
There is a “stealth mode” – press the button twice to turn off the lights and twice again to turn them back on. But, without the lights (and no haptic feedback) you don’t know if it has hit your temperature so you’ll need to deactivate stealth to check before taking a draw. You could also press the button twice thinking that you have turned off the device but it still will remain heating for five minutes until it automatically cuts off. I’m not sure how useful that feature is.
– Ease of Use
As with all one button devices there’s a learning curve and reading the instructions is necessary. The device starts to heat at the previously selected temperature as soon as you turn it on. There is no haptic feedback so you need to wait for the lights to be on solid as a sign your temperature is met. For a budget portable vaporizer this is all perfectly acceptable.
The Novae does well in the power department. You charge via USB which is the best solution at present. You can swap out the battery if you wish – though an extra one must be bought separately. The lights change colour to indicate the remaining charge; green is full, blue is medium and red means a recharge is needed.
Top Bond Novae Maintenance and Cleaning
Should your battery give up on you it is easily replaced and cleaning is about as easy as it can get. There is no place to store a poker on the device. You do get a poker and a brush in the box though.
Who Is It Good For?
Novae’s selling point is its fantastic value for money. Naturally that is going to appeal to those wanting a decent vape on a budget. Maybe you are looking for an inexpensive vape as a backup. The fact that you can swap the batteries out make it a great choice for someone going off grid for a few days.
- great price
- performs well
- convection heating
- easy to load
- easy to clean
- durable metal casing
- removable rechargeable battery
- minor faults with cosmetic finish
- no haptic feedback
- limited to the five preset temperatures