Eleaf iStick 200W Review

Bill takes the new Eleaf iStick triple 18650 mod for a vape.

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Eleaf iStick 200W Side

Eleaf iStick 200W Intro

Eleaf — a subsidiary of Joyetech — kicked off the resurgence of box mods (after some years where tube mods dominated the market) as well as the movement toward higher-wattage vaping in 2014 with the iStick 20W. Since then, the mod market has been dominated by increasingly powerful boxes, now all with temperature control. Along the way, Eleaf has produced a line of steadily more powerful iSticks — 30W, 50W, 100W, 40W TC, 60W TC, 120W TC, and now the 200W TC. Despite some missteps (the 20W and 50W mods had serious flaws), Eleaf has kept pace with their strategy of making easy-to-use, inexpensive box mods that include all the features that most vapers want.

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Eleaf iStick 200W Specs and Features

  • Dimensions: 3-1/4″ x 2-1/4″ x 1-1/2″
  • Spring-loaded Contact Pin
  • Stainless Steel 510 Threads
  • Variable Wattage Range: 1.0W – 200.0W
  • Temperature Control: Nickel (Ni200), Titanium (Ti), Stainless Steel (SS316), with user-adjustable TCR Modes (M1, M2, M3)
  • Temperature Adjustment Range: 100-315°C / 200-600°F
  • Resistance Range for Temperature Control: 0.05 – 1.5 ohm
  • Resistance Range for Variable Wattage: 0.1 – 3.5 ohm
  • Requires (3) High Amp 18650 batteries (Sold Separately)
  • **All (3) batteries must be the same brand and model. Discharge and recharge the (3) batteries together for maximum efficiency**
  • **We recommend an external charger for optimal charging**
  • OLED Display Screen
  • Innovative Flip-Open Battery Cover
  • Micro USB Charging Port
  • Upgradable Firmware
  • Stealth Function
  • Built-in Protections/Alerts
    • Dual Circuit Protection
    • No Atomizer Protection
    • Atomizer Short-Circuit Protection
    • Atomizer Low Alert
    • Low Voltage Protection
    • Temperature Protection
    • Temperature Alert
    • Weak Battery Alert
    • Imbalanced Alert
    • Check Battery Alert
    • Charge Error Alert
    • Check USB Alert

Notable Remarks

Thoughts

Eleaf iStick 200W Flat Side

The iStick 200W TC follows the trend toward box mods that are rated for higher power than the vast majority of vapers will ever use. While mods powered by dual 18650s cannot exceed 150 watts with most setups, Eleaf’s adoption of a triple-18650 design, similar to the Wismec RX-200, takes care of that problem.

Some vapers feel that the entire iStick line is designed mainly for beginning or, at best, intermediate vapers. I don’t share that assumption, in that I feel almost any vaper could use and enjoy an iStick. One thing’s for sure, though: a 200-watt box mod is not aimed at a target market of beginners.

Wismec’s DNA-200 and simpler RX-200 mods are among the most popular and highly regarded temp control boxes of the past six months. Although Wismec, like Eleaf, is a subsidiary company within the Joyetech family, Eleaf’s iStick 200W TC takes clear aim at the RX-200 as its primary competition. Similarities to and differences from the RX-200 (now 250W after the most recent firmware upgrade) are noteworthy. Both mods use the same chip with the same menu options. Both are firmware upgradable. Both use three 18650s in a hexagonal design, although their ergonomics differ: The RX-200 is hexagonally symmetrical, with the firing/adjustment buttons and display screen on one of the two short sides, while the iStick 200W puts the buttons and display on the wider front, with a more rounded profile on the back.

Some vapers have mocked the design of the iStick 200W, protesting that it’s ugly and not ergonomic. They seem to hate the placement of buttons and screen on the front. I think most of these people probably haven’t used the iStick 200W. While both mods are heavy — with batteries and a full tank, they approach one pound each — they’re remarkably compact for triple 18650s, and both are comfortable to hold and fire (for average-to-large hands).

I own and like both — performance is effectively identical — but I actually prefer the ergonomics of the iStick over the RX. Although either can be trigger-fired, they’re both designed more for thumb-firing, and I feel that the iStick’s fit in the hand is more natural than the RX-200. With my pinkie supporting the bottom and resting the back of the mod against my other three fingers, my thumb falls perfectly at the firing button. Don’t get me wrong: The RX-200 is fine, but the iStick 200W is even better for comfort, at least in my opinion. It may appear to some as an ugly ducking to the RX-200s swan, but it feels great to me.

Eleaf iStick 200W Front

The hinged battery cover on the bottom plate is designed much like the Joyetech Cuboid, with a sliding switch that secures and releases the cover. Unlike the Cuboid, however, the switch snaps into place when closed and doesn’t need to be pressed firmly to make sure it doesn’t inadvertently snap open. That’s a good example of learning from mistakes.

I like the three-button system for up, down, and mode menu. The buttons are plastic and reverse embossed with “+”, “–”, and “mod”. To my way of thinking, this is more user-friendly than entering the mode menu by pressing the fire button three times or pressing some combination of two buttons simultaneously. The less I have to memorize, the better. The firing button itself is clicky and gives definite positive feedback. Firing is instantaneous, with no delay.

Despite the occasional product glitch, the current generation of box mods is generally much improved over mods of 2014-2015. They have more power, better accuracy in temp control mode, adjustable TCR, firmware upgradability, better design/build quality, and at prices that keep shrinking. No, they’re not bullet-proof or built to last forever, but they’re considerably more dependable than the mods we vaped in years past. The much more expensive top end of the box mod market, whether from Yihi or smaller custom manufacturers using Evolv chips, will no doubt continue to attract a select percentage of hard-core, expert vapers who swear that you get what you pay for, but the less expensive end of the marketplace — which includes the iStick 200W TC — serves the bulk of intermediate and experienced, enthusiast vapers very well.

Interestingly, many of the pros and cons of the iStick 200W are identical, varying mainly in the eye of the beholder: design, appearance, ergonomics, buttons, battery cover, heft, and triple batteries. These are pros for some vapers, cons for others. In my opinion, they’re all pros, and I don’t find any objective or substantial cons. Heck, there’s not even any button rattle.

Verdict

The Eleaf iStick 200W TC box mod is yet another solid entry from a company that understands its mission and how to achieve it. Performance is flawless, ergonomics are innovative, and the price is eminently reasonable. I liked Eleaf’s 120W TC mod, and the 200W TC is arguably even better. What can Eleaf do to top themselves next?

Highly recommended.

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Check out this product via the button below

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Bill Herbst
My name is Bill. I’ve been a dedicated vaper for five and a half years, having ended a 35-year addiction to tobacco cold-turkey on my first day of vaping. I live on the Oregon coast, in the tiny town of Florence, one huge sand dune away from the Pacific Ocean.
  • KillingTime

    One big plus (IMO) for the iStick 200W over the RX200 is that with the iStick, removing and replacing the batteries carries zero risk of damaging the battery wraps. I wish more mods would use a similar style of battery compartment.

    • Matt Tallywhacker Acton

      That’s exactly my favourite thing,had 100w eleaf and that just chews battery wrap.

    • Dirtrider129

      True, thankfully they fixed that with the 200S , batteries pop in and out like a dream no worries of torn cases. Polarity protection is built in to the board so you don’t have that protruding plastic that tears them.

    • Bill Herbst

      Yes, yes. I really like the way the batteries load into the iStick 200W. It’s like the Cuboid, but better. With the Cuboid, I have to make sure that the switch on the hinged battery door is fully closed after snapping it back into place. Otherwise, the battery door sometimes pops open during vaping. The iStick 200W switch secures nicely and doesn’t seem to need a double-check.

  • Papertigress

    Got mine a week ago. I’m a chick, small hands. Not awkward…versatile! I fire that shit however I pick it up. Not like the RX. You hold JayBo’s tool like JayBo said! Hahahha! I just TODAY got a boatload of 316L off lightning vapes sale, couldn’t be happier. Loved titanium, hated theconstant fear of pushing the heat envelope. I’m still fiddling with settings, like we always are, but getting really close to the warm, dense vape I’m after. I’m at 52w/420°, dual coil 28G 316L @.16 ohms in a TFV4. P.S., tell Mrs. Rodriguez from 5C to stop calling the fire department.

    • Bill Herbst

      I use 316L stainless wire for all my building now. Yeah, I know that some people swear by the exotic compound wires — Clapton, Twisted, etc.— or Notch coils. Well, more power to them! I just stick with simple, spaced coils with stainless steel.

      • Papertigress

        I’m gonna be on spaced parallels for a long minute. Machine screw hack is genius

      • janna

        You should really try SS316 or SS317 27g twisted. One can to twist 27g wire in less than 3 minutes. My twister(from 27g 316L), 7wraps, 3mm coil gives 0.46 ohm, sweet spot vaped 18-22W for 50/50 vg/vpg liquid.

        Absolutely fantastic, and yes, i’ve tried nickel, titanium, canthal, simple, claptons(ridiculous power needed)…Stainless steel is simply the best.

  • Jasmine Lissette

    Does anyone else have a problem with closing the battery slot once the batteries are in? I bought 18650 cell barteries any advice?

  • roy

    Anyone have any battery gage issues ? I’ve noticed a lil gap at the top of battery icon and my batteries are brand new and fully charged externally

  • Mikhail Krutikov

    Have the same issue.Need to press the cover extra hard to see the screen turn on.Problem is in the cover.Does anybody know how to solve this?