The long-awaited DaVinci IQ aims to be the best high-end portable dry herb vaporizer on the market. It’s the third in the DaVinci range, starting with the DaVinci Vaporizer in early 2012 and followed by the Ascent in late 2013. This current model sees a dramatic update, with a replaceable 18650, smart path technology, and a zirconia ceramic bowl, vapor path, and mouthpieces. It comes in four colors: blue, copper, gunmetal and stealth.
The DaVinci IQ is not cheap. It currently retails for $274.99 but aims to provide a quality experience that justifies this high-end price tag. The vendor site has a useful offer, restricted to one per customer, whereby if you already own the Ascent or DaVinci Classic vaporizers you receive $51 of in store credit, once your IQ is marked as shipped. If you’re a fan of this brand of vaporizer, this will come in useful, although this offer might be off-putting for first-time buyers.
First off, you’ll notice that it’s impressively small, putting it firmly in the portable vaporizer bracket. But it also has a substantial weight, giving a feeling of quality. If you’re going for ultimate stealth, this item can easily be disguised in the palm of your hand, making it much more discrete than its rivals in the portable vaporizer world. As the name would suggest, it’s a superbly-designed product and feels solid and sturdy as well as appealing to the eye. The finish is pleasing to the touch, and the elements made from zirconia ceramic have a futuristic, ultra-smooth sensation. Everything fits together neatly and with top-class precision. This is not a cheap piece of kit, rushed out to market, far from it.
It arrives in a large wooden box, full of hay. This contains the DaVinci IQ box itself, along with a bunch of useful accessories, including smart-looking items such as a glass jar and metal carry can. The IQ itself is about the size of a mobile phone, and uses LEDs rather than a digital display. Usually, this would be off-putting as I prefer to see facts and figures, but the DaVinci’s unique LED system is a pleasure to gaze upon.
The instructions are clear and concise, ideal for beginners. Many vaporizers make the mistake of assuming their customers are well-versed in how vaporizers function but happily, the manual included with the DaVinci IQ spells everything out in simple, easy to understand terminology. It uses three buttons to switch between various modes, pressed in combination. Don’t worry, they’re simple and easy to remember. The LED light grid quickly shows which mode you’re in. It also employs haptic feedback, meaning it vibrates to inform you of certain functions. Again, this isn’t necessary but it adds to the overall experience, confirming that it is a high-class item.
The extra features push it into a league of its own. Key among these is the zirconia pearl that seals the chamber. Zirconia is a material much more resilient and heat-resistant than the more commonly-used ceramic, and it makes all the difference. 360 degree conduction heating ensures all the herb is heated evenly, reducing the likelihood of hot spots and making for a far more efficient heat technique. The loading zone is funneled, making it remarkably easy to pack with your herb of choice.
It comes with a smartphone app that can replace these buttons if you desire. It’s worth exploring this app as it allows you to adjust the built-in heat profiles to your specific tastes. If you like to get down and dirty with the inner workings of your kit, this will prove ideal.
The vape on this product is truly next-level. The above-mentioned zirconia pearl vaporizes your herb better than any ceramic-based rival, providing heat from all angles without charring or leaving certain sections untouched. You can vape away, confident that all the active ingredients of your herb are being extracted with 100% efficiency. It provides substantial clouds straight off the bat, with very little ramp up time required, and the throat hit is astonishingly smooth. Even better, you can also purchase water filtration accessories to make the vape next-level silky.
There are two ceramic zirconia mouthpieces, and both feel great on the lips. The recessed mouthpiece is best for stealth, but if push came to shove, I’d say the raised mouthpiece provides a better experience. Either way, after trying either of these, you’ll never go back to plastic or metal again.
One other brand new feature is the flavor chamber. This sits in the vapor path, just before the vapor reaches your mouth. This is where you can put chunks of herb, where they’ll be gently heated. The aim is to provide flavor rather than cook – you can add all types of flavored herbs here, such as mint. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but it comes in handy for those dry herb connoisseurs who want to give a subtle change to the taste.
Overall, this is an impressive upgrade on previous models, and it’s hard to think of any other portable vaporizers that come close to this level of quality, both in looks and overall experience.
The DaVinci IQ is a triumph of both form and function. It’s one of the best-looking portable vaporizers on the market (to my eyes), and it’s just as impressive beneath the hood. The use of zirconia means smoother, thicker clouds and less wastage of your previous dry herb, and a greatly superior feel when it comes the mouthpieces. The extra features aren’t all essential (the flavor chamber is slightly gimmicky) but will come as a delight to certain users. The only problem is the price. All this doesn’t come cheap, but if your budget allows it we can’t recommend the DaVinci IQ enough.