Vaporesso is a Chinese vaping company that designs and manufactures both mods and tanks. Their most popular products to date are two Gemini tanks, one a sub-ohm clearomizer tank with a ceramic head, the other an RTA. The Gemini RTA has been especially well-received.
Now they’re coming out with two starter kits: the 75W Target Pro Kit, which has upgraded temp control over the original Target and includes its own Target Pro Tank with a ceramic head; and the 40W Target Mini Kit, which has a very compact version of the pistol-grip Target mod paired with a smallish Guardian tank that uses a ceramic head. The Target Mini Kit competes in the rapidly growing marketplace of Mini mods and kits aimed to provide pocket convenience and a stealth vape. The Mini Kit is the subject of this review.
As of early June, 2016, the Target Mini Kit is still in pre-order status. I found only one site taking pre-orders at $60.00, but my guess is that the price will be considerably lower once the mod is in full production and stocked by numerous vendors.
I wonder if the unit I was sent for review is a pre-production beta version. The presentation box, which is a very slick design, appears to be full retail, but the instruction manual is clearly xeroxed and cut by hand (with scissors, no less). On the other hand, all the features of the Target Mini mod are functional — wattage mode, TC mode for nickel, titanium, and stainless steel wire, TCR adjustments for both M1 and M2 custom slots — so perhaps the only unfinished, pre-retail item is the user manual.
Given the recent fiasco with the Sigelei 213 mod, where reviewers were sent pre-production units that functloned correctly, but then the retail version turned out to be seriously buggy, I wanted to mention the possibility that the Vaporesso kit I’m reviewing might not be the actual retail model.
The Guardian Tank that comes with the Kit uses a variation of the construction of Vaporesso’s Gemini Tank. The drip tip holder is reverse-threaded and unscrews clockwise. Then the top cap unscrews counterclockwise. Both must be removed to fill the tank, which is slightly inconvenient, since the tank holds only 2ml and requires frequent refilling.
My one real gripe about the tank is that replacing the top cap after refilling sometimes rotates the air intake control ring, closing off the wide slots. Turn the ring back to open the air intake again, and the whole top cap unscrews. This has happened three times in five refills today, and it’s a pain. The top cap must then be removed, fiddled with to restore the open air flow, then reattached to the tank. As they say in Minnesota, Uff da!
The Kit package includes an additional head — a 1.5Ω MTL coil — and a smaller-bore, reduced airflow drip tip. Together, they produce a good mouth-to-lung vape. In fact, I think the Kit would be wonderful for an MTL vaper. MTL vaping is making a comeback recently, and Vaporesso is paying attention, trying to please everyone.
I feel almost duty-bound to acknowledge that the Target Mini Mod is not only very tiny, but also as cute as a button. In my opinion, it’s the most stylish mini mod on the market right now. No, it doesn’t have the whomp of say, the iStick Pico’s 75 watts and swappable 18650 battery, but the Target Mini is about one-third smaller. A 1400mAh USB-rechargeable fixed internal Lipo is about all the battery power a mod the size of a matchbook could accommodate.
Power output of the Target Mini is necessary restrained to 40 watts, which isn’t really a criticism, but does mean that the Guardian tank paired with the Target Mini mod must be designed to give a great vape at relatively low wattage. Ah, ceramic coil heads to the rescue.
The Guardian’s use of a 0.5Ω ceramic head is a good sign — at this relatively early stage of development, ceramic coil heads are not yet capable of handling seriously high-wattage vaping. In addition, Vaporesso is refining the design and quality of their ceramic “ccoil” heads. The vape provided by this new version ccoil is as good as with a regular coil, though slightly cooler. As a result, the Target Mini Mod’s 40-watt limit shouldn’t be a problem, right?
Right. The 40-watt limit isn’t a problem. The Guardian Tank produced a good vape at 35 watts in straight Power mode. Using Temp Control mode for stainless steel was even better, almost equal to many of my full-size setups with high power mods and tanks. For such a tiny setup, the vape experience was shockingly good.
Wattage can’t be adjusted in TC mode — firing always starts at the max 40 watts and is reduced from there based on the TCR algorithms — but so what? Does anyone specify less than 40 watts in TC mode?
The Target Mini/Guardian setup won’t give hours of uninterrupted chain vaping, of course, but the 2ml tank and 1400mAh internal Lipo battery are well matched. About three tank fills per charge, basically. Compared to the convenience of mods whose batteries can be swapped out, USB charging feels ancient and slow. I went from 41% charged to 100% in 90 minutes. If that ratio holds, a full charge from empty would take about three hours, which may not be lightning fast, but is reasonable. Passthrough mode works, so you can vape while charging. You’ll just be tethered to a USB cable for awhile.
The Vaporesso Target Mini/Guardian Ceramic Coil Kit is not meant for all-day, every day vaping. It’s a setup you take with you when driving to and from the grocery store or after dinner out. Slip it in your pocket, and off you go. Wherever you’re allowed to vape, you can. And as for stealth vaping on the sly, well, it doesn’t get any stealthier than this.
The Kit is not just a tiny mod with a small tank. It’s a high-quality vaping setup — well-made, very stylish, and with performance to match. Sure, it has limitations, but what doesn’t?
Two thumbs up.