COSTS, INNOVATIONS & ACCOMMODATIONS
The Air Vape X by Apollo USA is the latest generation in compact, portable, vaporizers that can handle both dry herb and waxy concentrates, and it can be purchased directly via the company website for the moderately immodest price of $179 plus tax. The price of dab pens and portable, dabable vaporizers like the Air Vape X can be prohibitive for many and understandably obviates this category of purchases from their consideration. For better or worse, the high retail prices of innovative products, particularly in the earlier stages of their development, reflects the high cost of creating and producing new technology. That’s just how the system works. Some see the high cost of such items as discriminatory against those who can’t afford, but the reality is that such is the cost of technological innovation. The good news is that eventually new and shiny gadgets become more affordable and thus accessible to a larger population. This is true of old school vape batteries, which were once fairly pricy, but now sell for about ten bucks. Or you can purchase an all-in-one disposable vape pen/cartridge combo for about $30. There’s no reason not to believe that dab and dry herb pen prices will go down over time, and as the technology continues to improve.
The Air Vape folks seem to be aware of the prohibitive cost of their more advanced products and have made some interesting accommodations to help their customers in this area. There is an ongoing promotion via their website that gives customers ten percent off of their total purchase for signing up for the company newsletter. This is a savings of almost $18 right off the bat. The company, located in Los Angeles, offers free shipping, too. In addition, Air Vape does something I’ve never seen in the cannabis industry, which is to allow customer financing. That is correct, Air Vape USA gives customers the option to make four equal payments of $44.75 once every two weeks (or just over $40 / per installment after the discount is applied). Air Vape offers other promotions as well, like the option to upgrade to newer models once available at a cost of 50% of the retail price, the invitation to complete a short vape survey in exchange for a 15% discount, and an offer to take a customer’s old vaporizer (any make or model from any manufacturer in any condition) for recycling in exchange for a 35% discount. Air Vape demonstrates an understanding of and concern for their customers by making these accommodations, which is another reason to consider their products.
WHY I PURCHASED THE AIR VAPE X
There are many positively reviewed dab pens on the market, each with different plusses and minuses to consider, but my research indicated that the Air Vape X received the most positive consensus among user reviews, industry reviews, you tube demos, and more. The wide varieties of concentrates and flower now available makes dabbing and dry herb vaporizing a more mainstream approach to cannabis consumption and one worth pursuing if possible. It is better for one’s lungs, allows the user more control over each dose & leaves a humbler odor. Once you find the right vape temperature for your dose, the terpenes and their aromas become more apparent and less mysterious, making the whole experience all the more enjoyable. And in the age of terpene appreciation – again, just read through the list of aromas included in my prior post – it seems essential to find a way to experience the palate of these sensory delights. Among other strengths, the Air Vape X demystifies this subtle yet sublime terpene component and clarifies its import as a part of the overall cannabis dynamic.
AIR VAPE USA SUPPORTS ITS PRODUCTS & ITS CUSTOMERS
I’ve only owned my Air Vape X for a couple of days, but I’ve already experienced enough to know this is a company and a product worth writing about. For starters, the sleek look of the company website conveys a sense of technological advancement and state of the art product design. Each of the items advertised is presented in detail, highlighting the gadgetry and design enhancements available to the user. Air Vape also maintains a blog with helpful articles about Air Vape products and vaping, in general, and hosts a youtube channel featuring a variety of videos made by the company and by users. There is also a newsletter, as previously mentioned, that is worth signing up for to get the 10% discount. Air Vape’s website design and presentation convey a message that reinforces the look and reputation of the Air Vape X, and was an additional factor in reinforcing my choice to buy. And when, after perusing their FAQ page, I was left with a few questions I needed answered prior to completing the purchase, I filled out their web form and submitted my inquiry. I happily received a response within the hour that addressed my concerns and demonstrated the company’s attention to customers. The only quality more important to me than good customer service is product integrity. So far I’ve been very satisfied with both.
Knowing the company is located fairly close to home, I was hopeful for an expedited delivery of the Air Vape X. It did arrive quickly – I think I ordered it on a Tuesday afternoon and it arrived that Friday. Company policy is to ship within 24-48 hours of ordering. In anticipation of my imminently arriving Air Vape X, I had stopped off at the local dispensary on concentrate discount day and purchased a gram of Juice County Extractz OCD wax and a half-gram of Kan-Ade White Widow hybrid crumble. I was hoping to find another gram of the incredible Juice County Extractz Glookies Budd’r, but they were out.
UNBOXING THE AIR VAPE X
It was thus with much comfort and confidence that I joyfully retrieved my package from the front porch and proceeded with the unboxing. Like the website, the Air Vape X packaging materials are sleek, modern and designed to emphasize the tech gadgetry of the device. The box has the look and feel of an apple product, like an i phone or tablet. This was a smart move by the manufacturers, as it dials into our collective consumer consciousness about modern technology and gadgetry – particularly the sort that fits in one’s hand. The Air Vape X arrived snugly housed within, its hard shell case situated next to a little accessories box. The accessories accompanying the Air Vape include concentrates pad (to use when dabbing), tweezers, a dab tool, a cleaning brush, extra screens, charging cable, manual and warranty card. My only complaint at this point was the lack of detailed information in the user manual. There were indications that a more detailed guide was available on the website, but if there is, I can’t find it. The good news is that because this is such a popular and successful product, there is plenty of available information on the web with an assortment of tips, tricks and general instructions. And the Air Vape X is very user friendly!
SET UP, BATTERY LIFE, CHARGING & USE
Although not mentioned in the user manual, one of the reviews suggested running the Air Vape through 3 heating cycles at 400 degrees (temperature can be shown in fahrenheit or celsius) to eliminate any potential machine oil residue from the manufacturing process. The Vape arrived partially charged and the manufacturer strongly recommends against using a wart or i phone type wall charger due to the variations in voltage and potential of overloading the battery. Charging via computer is recommended, or you can use any source emitting 5 volts or less. Back up portable cell phone chargers will work. So far the battery life has been acceptable, but less than ideal. I’ve been getting two to three 5 minute sessions from each full charge. That isn’t much, and it takes a good hour to recharge. There is good news, however, because the Air Vape X can be used for vaping while plugged in to charge. In other words, even if very low battery, the Air Vape X will work as long as it is plugged in. This vastly ameliorates the short battery life and long charging time and makes it a non issue.
There are different factors affecting the battery life of the Air Vape X that the user can control. First is temperature. You have total control over the vaping temperature which ranges from 200 – 428 degrees fahrenheit and can adjust by depressing the up or down arrow on the face of the unit. If you tend toward higher temperatures to produce more vapor, then the battery will run down more quickly than if you prefer lower temperatures for more flavor. I have found over the past few days that my ideal temp range goes from about 380 for dry herb to 395 for concentrates. It is ballpark and subject to change. A downside to vaping at higher temperatures is that the unit can get very hot. It has never been too hot to touch, but it has come somewhat close. Vaping at higher temperatures also may release harmful chemicals not present at lower temps. Different users have found the temperature ranges that suit them. It is largely a matter of taste.
SESSION LENGTH, DAB SIZES & CLEANING THE CHAMBER
The other big factor that affects battery life is vape session length. The Air Vape X comes with a 3 minute per session default auto-shut-off setting, which can be enough time to consume a chamber-full of ground flower (about one-half to one gram), but ultimately falls short. Four minutes is a better session length for dry cannabis. Concentrates are a little bit different, and the amount of time it takes to vape a dab of wax depends largely on the size of the dab. My first waxy dab was fairly small and, perhaps because I had the temperature set too low, didn’t produce much of an effect. So all subsequent sessions have involved larger dabs, closer to the size of a pea than to a grain of rice. It takes some practice to figure out the right dab size and temperature. After 3 minutes the dab has dissolved into the concentrates pad leaving residue on the sides of the chamber. This is no different than concentrate being left in a bucket after a dab. But the Air Vape X chamber is more difficult to clean than a dab bucket, which is another challenge when using the unit.
It would be fantastic to be able to save an unfinished dab by leaving the residue in the chamber, but the across-the-board emphasis is that the chamber must be cleaned after each use, preferably while still warm. This will enable the unit to continue to function properly and continue to produce flavorful, aromatic vapes. The chamber cleaning process is similar to cleaning a quartz nail — q-tip, ISO rubbing alcohol, diligence, patience. The mouthpiece can be disassembled and soaked in rubbing alcohol as well. In the event you’ve got a few friends over and are sharing a larger dab of concentrate, you do have the option of increasing the Air Vape X session time to four or five or however many minutes you need. But again, the longer the session time, the greater the battery drain, so plan accordingly. Even if you run a 3 minute session and run out of time to finish the bowl, it is better to launch into a 2nd session immediately and vape the remainder than to wait for the chamber to cool all the way down and then start a new session.
It is the little tips and subtleties like these that affect the Air Vape X’s performance. Another nifty feature is that the Air Vape X gives a vibrating buzz when it reaches your desired temperature so that you know when to hit it. You can also watch the thermostat rise as the digital image of a fan spins on the screen. During the session a countdown timer appears on the screen and runs all the way down, until the unit buzzes again and says “ciao” on the screen and the battery shuts off. To turn the unit back on, you push the button on the front three times quickly; you do the same to turn it off. One of the nice features of the Air Vape X is that there are only 3 buttons – temperature up, temperature down, on/off.
CONCENTRATES, CONCENTRATES PAD, PARTS, SCREENS & TOOLS
The concentrates pad is a fascinating innovation and has worked well. My biggest concern is that at some point I will forget to load it in and ruin the Air Vape X by dabbing without it. Vigilance is key! The pad does get extremely hot during vaping, so handle with care when the session is done. You can nudge it a few times with the tweezers and then it should come right out when you turn the unit upside down. The pad can also be sticky with wax, so take care where you deposit it. The included tweezers are very helpful, although they are made a tad too tight for an easy grab of the concentrates pad, and require a slight adjustment. The mouthpiece is ceramic at the tip and connects to the body of the unit magnetically, which makes it so much easier to avoid messy spills or a lost mouthpiece. In addition to the standard accessories, which include a few extra screens, I ordered a second package of screens for about ten bucks. Not yet sure how how much use will precipitate the need to change screens. The included brush works well for post-session cleaning, and the screens, filters and mouthpiece components can easily be disassembled and cleaned, as described above. One of the reviews I read suggested doing this every few days, but I haven’t seen enough residue to make this necessary. But it definitely should be done at least once a week will work.
I’ve read different things about how to pack the dry flower but so far have had the most success by moderately tamping down a fully packed bowl. Dryer herb will vape more quickly than moist, sticky herb, and you can always remove the mouthpiece to check to see how brown the flower is or whether there is any green left to vape. Just stir it up, mon. If the dry herb when vaped smells like burnt popcorn, the temperature is too high. Try dropping it down five degrees. The included hard shell case for the Air Vape X is smell proof and water resistant, so the odor can be masked during travel and won’t succumb to the rain if you’ve got it in your pocket.
SUPPORT GOOD COMPANIES LIKE AIR VAPE USA
The Air Vape USA people offer a number of other vape products, all of which look worthy of closer inspection and trial runs. If money grew like sativa, I’d own one of everything listed on their website, but it doesn’t so I’ll just have to make do with what I’ve got. If I’d had another $60 or $70 last week, I would’ve purchased the Air Vape X SE, which comes with a water bong attachment (also sold separately), a mAh power bank, extra mouthpiece base, etc. I still may go for the water bong attachment to see if I can inhale more vapor with each draw. The Air Vape X comes with a limited lifetime warranty, too.
The point is that Air Vape USA seems like a shining example of a company seizing opportunities presented with legalization by investing in technical innovation and creating sleek, modern, quality products that meet a growing consumer need. They also understand the importance of good customer service and stand behind their products with lifetime warranties. If you are seeking a reliable, high functioning vaporizer, look no further than Air Vape USA and the Air Vape X. Make sure to take advantage of their discounts and make an investment in the quality of your cannabis experience and in the future of cannabis technology, which, in the end will benefit us all. Happy vaping!