Innovation, in 2017, is a buzzword that’s lost its meaning. It’s used as a descriptor for anything the tech industry touches, from the mundane, like grocery aisles, to generation-defining achievements like private space travel.
The cannabis industry is no exception.
Every so often, however, a truly innovative product lands in your hands. And that’s what the Davinci IQ is. A revelation in handheld form, the vaporizer makes the shoddily-rolled joints in Woodstock documentaries seem like the dark ages.
Davinci’s name isn’t an accident: It’s meant to evoke Leonardo, the polymath of Renaissance fame.
Vaporizers have come a long way in their short history. The pioneering Volcano, a desktop appliance, was the pinnacle of vaping technology when it debuted in 2000 for $US599. Then, the handheld Pax — which hit the scene in 2014 for $US199 — was quickly dubbed “the iPhone of vapes,” and set a new industry standard.
The market has exploded since and the options can be overwhelming. There are “dab pens” which are highly portable but only use difficult-to-find oils. There are disposable vaporizers, sold in retail stores in legal marijuana states. And there’s a dizzying array of handheld vaporizers of varying qualities that use old-school flower, oil, or a combination of both.
I did the due diligence so you don’t have to: The Davinci IQ, high-priced but stocked with features, is right one to buy.
The IQ, which retails at $US274, is a slick piece of technology. It fits nicely in the palm of your hand, and has a weight to it that screams quality compared to other vaporizers I’ve handled — like a Rolex, compared to a cheap knockoff.
It’s not only aesthetically pleasing: The IQ shines where it matters. It produces some of the highest quality vapour I’ve experienced from a handheld. Best of all, there’s little-to-no learning curve, unlike a lot of vaporizers on the market. While I tested with loose leaf tobacco (I live in New York City, where marijuana isn’t legal for adult use), the vapour was unparalleled from the first hit. Some vapes take a specific technique to dial in the right way to hit, a learning curve that most casual users don’t want to deal with.
The IQ is built with an all-ceramic zirconia vapour path, meaning that every internal piece your herb touches on its way to you is free from the burnt metal or plastic after-taste that many other vapes produce. It tastes really good.
Packing it is a breeze as well. The oven at the bottom of the unit is surrounded by a smooth metal slope. All you need to do is grind your chosen herb and drop it into the oven. There’s no trick to it, like with other handhelds I’ve tested. And, the shape of the oven ensures you get an even burn, with no material wasted.
Like an iPhone, the IQ has only a few simple buttons. Click the power button five times to turn on, and five times to turn off. Davinci says it takes about twenty seconds to heat up depending on the temperature, and I’ve found that to be true through my testing.
One of my favourite things about the IQ are the four pre-programmed “Smart Path” settings, indicated by a fancy LED display on the front of the unit. The Smart Paths slowly heat the device from a low-to-high temperature throughout your session. The lowest setting will make your herb last a long time, though you can produce much larger vapour clouds at a higher setting.
I found myself toggling between the second and third setting for most of my use, as it struck the right balance between cloud quality and burn efficiency. If you want to get extra-fancy, you can pair your IQ with an iPhone app that allows you to manually control the temperature, or even program your own Smart Paths to customise your session.
The one major issue with the IQ is its battery life. It needed to be charged after two or three decent sessions. You can use the IQ while it’s charging, but the point of a handheld vape is to be untethered. The battery is replaceable, however, and it only takes around two hours for a full charge.
It may be pricey, but if you’re in the market for quality handheld vaporizer, the IQ brings together high quality vapour, taste, precise temperature control, and user-friendliness in a slick-looking package. In my esteemed opinion, it’s the most innovative handheld vaporizer on the market right now.
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