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Monday, February 6, 2023

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Go back to basics with the AirVape X

This handy home vaporizer has few bells and whistles and is a welcome blast from the past.

Like a slightly spoiled cannabis consumer, I have had the pleasure of putting many vaporizers to the test. Some come out of the box and are ready to jump into action, while others need serious study before real fun can ensue.

Lately I’ve been running a test that yielded telling results. I don’t have a double-blind study or a control group, but these days when I open the package of a new vaporizer, I start with one simple thing: I try to use it.

If this seems absurdly obvious, I agree, and yet it’s nearly impossible to pack a vaporizer, turn it on, and take a hit without a deep dive into its instructions. Figuring out how to adjust the temperature, scroll through settings, or in some cases even turn on the damn thing isn’t always as easy as you might expect.

So it was with great pleasure that I met the AirVape X. This device is far from the thinnest vaporizer on the market, but the size of a deck of cards, with a protruding mouthpiece. I’ve previously touted the benefits of vaporizers that maximize discretion, but in this case it’s simplicity that serves as the AirVape X’s signature offering.

In the center of the device is a 1.3-inch screen. Having a screen that can be read with the naked eye is a godsend. Many of the most popular vaporizers on the market try to cram as much information as possible into small displays while other users have to scroll through screens. The AirVape X may be retro in its choice to go big, but I was delighted to see remaining battery life, current temperature and more all clearly visible.

For a vaporizer the size of the AirVape X, it’s a little surprising that the chamber isn’t deeper. While that makes cleaning easier, prepare to cycle through bowls with a fairly stable clip. I tried a handful of different strains and even played with how finely I ground the buds, but the results were essentially the same. However, if the hits are limited, they are certainly high quality. The ceramic chamber makes sure you don’t leave a horrible metallic aftertaste – a total let down if you’re looking for really tasty buds.

Aside from the room size, the only other downside to the AirVape X is its battery life. I was surprised at how quickly my unit demanded a charge – after five or six short sessions. While you’re at home it’s hard to see this as a big deal, but it does mean that this probably isn’t the vaporizer you’re looking for for extended trips without a power outlet.

On the plus side, I love the simple up and down arrows to regulate the temperature, and the vibration feature that notifies users when the AirVape X has reached your ideal heat. Both features are fairly common on current vaporizers, but again, the simplicity of arrow-shaped buttons and a single vibration is refreshing compared to the rainbows of light cycles and vibration patterns that you have to remember to use other models.

As someone who doesn’t consume concentrates often, I haven’t tested that element of this device, but the AirVape X offers the option and comes with a concentrate insert in the box. It also comes with the X Shell, an addition I love. This carrying case has a form-fitting plastic exterior that provides protection from both water and unwanted odors that can reveal what lives in your pocket.

I’m the cautious type, so I haven’t doused the case in water, but I can confirm that the odor-resistant component works quite well. It’s also nice to have something to store your vaporizer that doesn’t grow ten times its size. Some cases are built to house extra items — like cleaning tools, charging cords, and so on — but I like how the X Shell is as slim as possible.

Overall, the AirVape X is a great option for the casual home user, and arguably one of the best models out there for someone new to cannabis. I would be sure to give one to my 77 year old father (and maybe I will!). For advanced users who enjoy all the bells and whistles that vaporizers offer these days, this may not suit you, but if you don’t need Pink Floyd-caliber light shows when you’re smoking, the AirVape X will cover you admirably on the important stuff. .

Rating: 4/5

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