Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: CE2 Clear XL Cartomizer

I've spent a month vaping on some CE2 Clearomizers and now feel nominally qualified to at least give my impressions. Well, sorta. They take some practice, that's for sure. Let me splain...

The CE2 cartomizer may be a pain-in-the-ass sometimes, but it really has revolutionized the cartomizer to a large extent.  Vapers either love them or hate them. They tend to have various problems, from slow wicks to leakage, that inspire tinkering deluxe. Despite any particular issues, though, they simply deliver a better vaping experience than traditional filler-style cartos.  When they work, that is.

I ordered a box of five Clear CL CE2s from one of my favorite vendors, Vapors Heaven, to put them to the test. You can get these from many places, of course (but buy them from VH anyway!). This is how it went.

As you can see from the pictures, these look wicked funky. Kind of complex, too, which explains the higher price over traditional filler cartos.

Disassembled CE2 Carto

Looking at the picture*, we have:

1. Mouth piece.
2. Silcone cap.
3. Atomizer/filler cap.
4. Atomizer.
5. Center air tube/post.
6. Wicks.
7. Conductor wires.
8. Base connector (808).
9. Plastic tube casing.

* The CE2 on the left has been slightly modified with it's wicks trimmed and the filler cap removed. We'll get to modding so they work better in a separate post.

First thing you'll notice is the atomizer coil is up at the top instead of at the bottom or running through the filler. Of coure, the next thing one notices is... there's no filler.  Instead there are two wicks that are looped into the atomizer cap that feed the e-juice into the atomizer. Pretty slick, right?  Yup.

You pour in the juice using a syringe, screw the carto onto the bat, and blast off.

Seems pretty simple.  And for the most part, it is.  What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty. Unfortunately.

The first problem is juice flow. Depending on the juice you're vaping, it can be a big problem. Heavily VG based juices just don't wick well, so the atty goes dry pretty quick. Take a puff and you get that nasty dry atty taste. Most unpleasant. Even some PG liquids I tried just didn't wick well in the CE2.

Second up, these guys just seem to get hot real fast. The atty will burn the crap out of your juice. My fully charged VGo has to settle down a bit before these cartos are even usable.  Had the same problem vaping on a regular old KR 808-D1 bat, as well.

This is surprising for a 3.0-3.2 carto.  The VGo and 808D-1 aren't regulated, so they'll supposedly range from 3.4 (or so) to 4.2V. Grated, part of it is learning to vape on a new style of carto and you might have more success using a regulated or variable voltage mod to find a sweet spot. Just don't take a big honking pull on these.

Thirdly (which is apparently really a word), they can break and leak. The clear CE2s are made of a plastic tube casing. This is not a carto you can just jam in your pocket and go.  They're fine in a case, but leaving it attached to your bat is asking for trouble.

Finally, they're a pain-in-the-ass to fill and clean. I just can't get into carrying around a syringe with me. Bad idea. Can you say trip to HR? I knew you could.

Granted, at home when no one's watching, just plunge in the pipette and fill 'er up. No big deal. Still... As for cleaning, you've got to take it completely apart, then figure out how to get it back together and reseal it to the connector without it leaking all over you. Not fun.

With all that said...  what's the good news?

If you've been vaping solely on generic cartos (I'm looking at you Boge) then the CE2 Clear is a dream. It'll just change the way you enjoy your juices. Nice clean flavors, and big piles of vapor. Can't go wrong with that!

These work best with PG juices that are a bit thinner. I just couldn't get pure VG juices to wick properly in these CE2s even with the various mods that are suggested (see YouTube). If you try it, ya might need to water them down a bit to avoid that lovely taste o' burnt atty. Gak. Several of the 80/20 PG/VG and 70/30s I tried worked pretty well.

Don't suck. I mean don't pull on it hard. Wait, I mean... oh hell just vape it gently and mostly it's fine.

I think this is about a close as you can get vaping directly off an atty with a cartomizer. Despite it being finicky with voltage and heavy juices. With no filler material to mess with, the juice wicks up to the atty clean, which produces superior flavor and vapor, if you can find the right e-juice to put in it.

Are the CE2 Clear XLs worth the trouble?

For me? No.

They're good, but there's better things out there (such as the CE2 r4). For the modest improvement and price increase (almost $1 more each), I can stick with plain Kanger cartos and get a lot of vaping for my buck. And put just about any juice a like in them.

I can whole hardheadedly recommend trying a CE2 carto. It might just be your thing. It might be perfect for your juice. It's definitely something you'll want to try for yourself. Particularly if you prefer to drip, but sometimes need the convenience of a carto. If you hit the sweet spot, you'll never go back to filler-style cartos.

Angel's Luck & Electric Dreams,

1 comment:

  1. gx2/4 is high quality cheap e cig atomizer tank, that produces more vapor than you'll ever need. On the other hand, it is quite a simple product as well, really easy to use. To sum it up, joyetech penguin works great and lasts for a long time. Definitely our #1 pick and we vape it all the time.