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Sunday, July 28, 2013

CE4 & CE5 - Stardust Review

UPDATE: Please participate in our anonymous POLL.  It's for a really good cause!

If you started Vaping within the past 2 years, there's a really good chance that you started out with a "Stardust" Atomizer.




I consider this my "most overdue" review, because I left these puppies back in the dust ages ago.  I left them in the dust because I could never get a CONSISTENT Vape out of them and I most certainly was never able to get ENOUGH Vapor out of them either.  However, for millions of people, these either are or were the very first Atomizing device they purchased.


If you're using one of these today, you've either just started Vaping or your taste buds are so dead from years of smoking, that you don't realize how awful they actually are.

And let's go beyond flavor and Vapor production and let's talk about the cost...  These things average between $3 - $5 each!  That's too much!  Use 4 of these and you've spent about $20.  Or you can take that same $20, buy one Kanger Protank and you can replace the atomizer for about $1.50 each AND have a better Vape.  Of course, if you get a KamryTech X10, for $20, you can get the device and around 11 atomizers!





But today I really want to focus on FLAVOR and VAPOR production.  For my test, I don't want to "waste" a really good eLiquid, so I've decided to use the Hangsen Fruit Mix eLiquid.  Don't get me wrong, it's a good eLiquid, but it's no Boba's Bounty!


For my comparison, I'll be using the following equipment:


a) eGo-C 1100mAh battery

b) KamryTech X10 w/2.5Ω Atomizer
c) CE4 - Stardust Atomizer w/2.4Ω coil
d) CE5 - Stardust Atomizer w/2.4Ω coil

I feel that by using a "standard" eGo-C battery and 3 devices of similar resistance, that I can give you a relatively close estimate of how they perform, relative to one another.


The X10 - Since the X10 and the ProTank are essentially the same (they both use the Kanger made atomizer head), you can substitute one for the other.  In my original review for the Hangsen Fruit Mix, I gave you my honest opinions of this eLiquid, in both flavor and Vapor production.  I'm using it right now for the sake of reminding myself precisely how it tastes and performs.  Excellent flavor, awesome Vapor production and the perfect throat hit for a 12mg eLiquid.  I really love the ProTank atomizer heads and I'm grateful to KamryTech for giving me a device that's both affordable AND lets me use 4.5ml of eLiquid!

The CE4 - I used about 4 of these (when I first became a Vaper) before I got frustrated.  Every eLiquid I ever used in these things either burned or tasted very "airy" to me.  And beyond how they performed, they LEAKED like crazy too.  I hate to even think about how much eLiquid I wound up having to blow out of the eGo connector, in order to "un-flood" the Vaping tube.  For $5 a piece, these are the biggest ripoff in the eCig world and you generally only find new Vapers using them, generally because they don't know any better.  Some of you will compare these to the iClear 16's, and rightly so.  They both cost around $5 and are both "CE4 type" devices, except the iClear is a dual coil device.  While those may TASTE better (from what I understand), they are still plagued by the horrible design and (from what I've read) leak, leak, leak!


First of all, if you look at the picture further up, you can clearly see fill marks printed on the side of the tank.  I put in 1.3ml of eLiquid and it's already half-way up the silicone sleeve.  Clearly, the markings are wrong.  I know some of you won't care about that, but I mention it just for completeness.  I put the drip-tips back on and let the wicks absorb for about 30 minutes.  I found that when I was using these, that it took a bit of time for these top-coil atomizers to properly wick.  Trust me, if you have sensitive taste buds, your patience will be rewarded.  Also, before I Killed my VAMO 2, I had measured the resistance of the CE4 and it tested out at 2.5Ω.  Which by the way makes me really happy, as the reviews will really be more similar that way.


One of the things that I don't miss about these, is the burnt taste of the first 5-10 Vapes.  Which of course is something you DO NOT have to worry about with the Kanger ProTank heads.  With those, you just give a couple of Vapes to get the eLiquid flowing and then it's just perfect, perfect, perfect until the head fouls, at which time you just replace it with a new one.


Ahh, I'm about 10 Vapes in, and I've just noticed the "dry mouth" feel which I seem to have forgotten about, which is something else I don't miss.


Next, we have the draw.  Really, really tight draw.  Much too tight to be used comfortably over long periods.  Now that I think about it, I can't help but wonder if this device is what caused my gums to bleed when I first gave up smoking.  I looked up bloody gums on Google and found a wealth of information out there claiming that it was my gums healing and getting better from improved blood flow.  Maybe that's true, but I can't help but be reminded of it and want to mention it to you, just in case you're experiencing it.


After 20 Vapes, I'm getting plenty of Vapor, but the burning taste still hasn't gone yet.

After 30 Vapes, I'm getting ready to throw in the towel... I can't stand the burning!

Of course I'm using the "tilt method" to keep these wicks wet, so don't get any funny ideas that I don't know how to use a top-coil.  LOL!


I'm about 50 Vapes in now and I've had it.  MAYBE it'll get better, but I can't keep torturing myself.  With a draw stiffer than an Analog cigarette and the burning taste of the cheap Nichrome wire that's being used on the coil, I can't stand any more.  It's literally starting to give me a headache (from either the draw or the burning, I can't tell).


Regardless, this is WHY I wanted to review these!  I wanted to have a written account of what an awful experience these things really are.  Just for the sake of completeness, I went ahead and reclaimed the eLiquid I had in the CE4 and poured it into my X10.  No reason to waste good eLiquid!  PLINK!  That was the sound of the CE4 being dropped into the wastebasket.


The CE5 - Truth be told, this is going to be a new experience for me.  I never actually used a CE5.  I'd used both a CE4 and a CE4+ (which is the same, but has a replaceable top-coil).  I've never heard any positive reviews on the CE5's, but that's not going to stop me from putting in my 2¢.


The biggest difference between the CE4 and the CE5, is that the CE5 is sort of like a Carto-Tank device.  It doesn't use the silica wick ropes to wick eLiquid to the coil, instead it has a couple of small holes on the Vaping tube and uses a wicking material similar to what you'd have in a standard Carto-Tank.  To be honest, I loved using my Carto-Tank.  If it wasn't for the ridiculous amount of leaking, flooding and muted flavor, I might have still been using them.  I'm expecting to have a similar experience with the CE5.


So this thing has been wicking for about an hour now (had to test the CE4 and write about it).  As with the CE4, the imprinted level on the side of the tank is wrong.  I was able to fit 1.5ml of eLiquid into the tank, but it made it half way up the silicone stopper in order to fit it.  Again, this isn't a big deal, it's just here for completeness.  So the first thing that I notice is that the draw is REALLY STIFF.  Stiffer than the CE4.  I don't know what they've done to these things, especially when I'm using them on an eGo-C battery!


Next, I'm about 10 Vapes in and there's much less burning taste than I expected, Vapor production is okay, but because the draw is so stiff, the flavor is suffering.  I expect that the minimal Vapor production and minimal flavor is being caused by an airflow issue.


So do I give up here?  NO WAY!

I pulled out my Dremel and my 1.7mm drill bit and I begin to tinker...

The first thing I did, was try to increase the depth of the air-vents at the bottom of the eGo cone.  That didn't do anything.  Next I went ahead and drilled a hole all the way through towards the bottom of the eGo cone.  That didn't get me anywhere either...




So as you can see from the below image, I decided to make one last attempt and drill a hole on the other side that was as high up as I could get it, without penetrating the polycarbonate tank.  Guess what?  No dice.  I'm absolutely stumped on this one.




So as with the CE4, I poured the eLiquid into my X10 and PLINK!, into the garbage it goes.


Should you go out and get one of these?  NO!  Why on Earth would you want to???  Unreliable, bad design, high cost, bad performance, burning taste, burning smell, burnt eJuice, bleeding gums and poor Vapor all equals JUNK, JUNK JUNK.


For an extra $1.69, you can buy a KamryTech X10 and have a fantastic Vaping experience.  Or for an extra 99¢, you could get an EVOD (those aren't the greatest, but they work about a billion times better than these).


So that's my Stardust review.  I hope you appreciate the inconvenience and the expense I endured to do this for you.  Remember, I want to help you get away from the nasty Analogs. If your first Vaping experience is with these things, you may quit and just go back to cigarettes.  Trust me, I know plenty of people who never made it past the CE4, because they just couldn't deal with the nastiness of these things.


As always, if you like something that I call "JUNK", please don't get angry.  Just keep on using whatever it is that you like, as it's got to be better for you than those cancer sticks!  Although I'm not too sure about this one....  Wink!  ;)



If you appreciate what I'm doing here, you know what to do....

Like it, Tweet it, Share it, +1 it, tell your dog about it, etc...  ;)

2 comments:

  1. Bollocks, I used the wick type for months with my sexy partner tracey, and just like you we had many many moments of leakage, burning and bad draws. With these new CE5's, every draw is the same, good vapour production and no burning taste. Some designs are cheap, but we paid for the better version without cheap plastic and a a better all-metal breath hole. We are not looking back now, ce5 are great..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Also did you Leave the liquid to soak before you started vaping?, we have no complaints

    ReplyDelete


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