That imitation is the most sincere form of flattery is an obstacle for novelists who do not want to flatter their predecessors. Every time I add a few careful lines to my autobiographical novel, “The Tiger’s Revenge,” I have to revise previous passages, from Kipling to King, to ensure my originality. By the time I’ve found the rules I was thinking about, the boringly pleasant day in San Francisco is over.
Today, as 20 minutes past four o’clock approached, my monkey and footman, Stephan, fulfilled his daily duty and delivered a new vaporizer to my desk.
QuickDraw’s 500-DLX is an imitator, arriving a few months later than San Francisco’s own PAX 2. Conveniently, it offers about the same experience for a lower price.
It has a similar shape: too wide to be called a vape pen, but short enough to fit in the pocket. The 500-DLX uses QuickDraw’s proprietary system of cartridge nozzles, which slide in and lock magnetically.
Stephan hates his red organ grinder uniform, especially the jacket’s cap and epaulettes. He popped the cap to pick lice as he watched me unfold the 500-DLX’s complex packaging.
He really liked the glossy card with clear instructions. (Yes, he can read: he’s my editor. He came with me from India, where he nursed me back to health after the tiger found me.) Even he squinted a bit at the small font, but the directions were clear: three clicks to unlock, then hold to start heating and two clicks to choose one of three heat levels.
The latter is essential because the high position of the 500-DLX chars dry flowers. My Sonoma-based collaborator, Thelonious Dapper, found that charring weed was a bit like dog food. Stephan liked that, given his shady eating habits, but for most of us, the medium setting provides the ideal flow of clean vapour.
Not long ago I reviewed the 300-DLX on these pages and found the flexibility to vape dry herbs, liquids and extracts a big plus. With the 500 series, QuickDraw only offers the dry weed option for $150, and a package with all three cartridge nozzles for $200. Both undercut the PAX 2’s $279 tag. They all offer great payload to to reduce reloading.
I had some wax and tried the extract cartridge; along with the liquid cartridge, it has a different system to hold the button to heat the product. I recommend the low heat setting here – the vapor flow on medium was too much for me. Stephan saw my reaction. With a hurt, even betrayed demeanor, he confiscated the appliance and the laundry and took them to his eyrie atop a bookshelf in my tiny TenderNob apartment.
The 500-DLX doesn’t match the flawless design of the PAX 2, but it functions. All of these devices compromise portability by requiring someone to sit to manipulate the cartridge and few cleaning tools to charge so they don’t replace the coiled joint for sidewalk action. But the 500-DLX has the payload to hit a clear peak before repacking.
I have to hurry – Stephan still hasn’t returned the device. Is it any wonder that my novel is progressing so slowly?
Cool Factor: Pretty cool. It feels pretty solid; the magnetic USB charging head glows with a green LED; the mouthpiece cartridges have a high-tech look. It’s very cool unless you know someone with a PAX 2. Then your knock-off is broken.
practical: No pocket vape is perfectly portable, but the Quick Draw’s greater payload puts it closer to the mark than most. It’s powerful enough to produce good vapor flow and the three-in-one flexibility is great. Managing the heat setting is key.
Affordability: If you don’t want to use liquids and extracts, it’s only $150. For $200, you get three-in-one flexibility: a very solid value. It’s a bit of an imitation, but not cheap; if you need cheap there are e-cig vape pens which are very cheap. I’ll also edit your unfinished novel for you, so damn cheap you won’t believe it.
General: It performs well, has solid technology and great flexibility. If the only complaint is that it’s an impersonator, it’s not really a complaint.
QuickDraw DLX 500, $30 Available at Vape World.
Photo by Natasha Dangond