The David Bowie of portable vapes
As any vape fiend will tell you, the perfect portable vaporizer doesn’t exist; size, power, design – everything is a trade off. But damn, the innovative yet gorgeous Grenco Science G-Pen Elite comes close.
The Elite arrives in an attractive cylindrical box with laser-cut foam inserts to keep the contents secure. Each Elite is individually numbered for registration, and hopefully to reduce the chances of cheap knock-offs of its brilliant design – the result of Grenco’s own research. The original, groundbreaking Pax was plagued by piracy, and there are enough decent, cheap vapes these days to make sure you buy what it says on the box.
Making an impression
Out of said box comes the device itself: super-tactile rubberized matt-finish, scratch resistant, ergonomically curvaceous yet so, so sleek – almost suave. A single recessed button on its back is the only interface at first glance; closer inspection reveal up- and –down swooshes in the side, which intuitively suggest temp control.
Right size & shape
And man, it is incredibly compact. This baby is tiny and fits easily into a back pocket. Its build and weight just feel right in the hand. And comfortable in either hand too, thanks to its ergonomic grooves. Neither too light nor too heavy, it feels solid and suggestive of longevity.
The Elite continues to live up to its name: standing upright easily, its elegance and understated good looks will appeal to both men and women; the G-Pen Elite is basically the David Bowie of portable herbal vapes!
A slimline accessories box opens to deliver a micro-USB charging cable, a flat credit card-style bud-grater (or G Card; cool), and a matt black key-ring style packing and cleaning tool (ditto). Together, they make up the most perfect everything-the-stylish-vaper-on-the-go-needs package.
The Elite’s charms are not just superficial. Under the hood, it boasts the largest fully ceramic chamber on the market, with a revolutionary 360-degree ceramic heating element that promises fast and even (mostly) convection vaporization of ground herb from all sides.
As the name suggests, G-Pen made its name with dabbing pens, and this venture into herbal territory is most auspicious.
Right out the box
Salivating to give this thing a twirl, I plug the charger into the port on its base. I later discovered I could have used it right there and then, since the Elite can be operated while charging, even with a completely flat battery.
The rubberized mouthpiece snaps off to reveal a really deep (3/4 inch) oven. Combined with the 360-degree heating, this depth means you can comfortably load around 0.3 grams of herb without needing to pack it tightly, so airflow around the herb remains excellent.
Once filled, the mouthpiece snaps back snugly (no noticeable leakage between draws).
Initiating vapor production in 15…14…
Pressing that single G button 5 times (for safety) switches the Elite on, revealing a tiny but thanks to being high-definition, clear LED readout underneath the black translucent panel (that while switched off looked to be merely decorative). Current temperature (increments of 1 degree) and battery life are indicated.
Heat up is lightning fast; less than 20 seconds from room temperature to 210-°C – unparalleled! Those swooshes on the side do indeed set the temp (and toggle Fahrenheit to Celsius). Powered by a combination of a high-grade lithium-ion battery and smart-chip, the Elite is a high-performance vaporizer that can still sustain battery life for extended use
Grenco conservatively claims 12-15 sessions of 15 minutes activation; in practice, you can bank on more.
Getting a decent draw
It’s unfair to quibble but I gots ta find a flaw somewhere in this device! That would be the draw, through a small slot. At first it was too hot – as bad as the Pax 2. Maybe a bit too much effort. But the shape of the mouthpiece makes it quite versatile and open to various inhalation techniques. I eventually found a way of sucking decent draws of not too hot vapor (setting: 200°C).
In any case, in summer 2016 Grenco will be dropping some accessories on the market, including an extended mouthpiece for cooler vaping and longer sessions.
Talking of which, once on there’s no need to keep pressing the G button for hits – which makes it feel much more casual in use and great for passing around among your co-vapers-slash-extended sessions.
With the ability to set any desired temperature between 200-428°F (93-220°C), you can play with low temperature true vaporization to explore optimal flavor profiles as well as ‘regular’ herbs with lower boiling point constituents.
Designed and engineered for portability, the G Pen Elite is the perfect marriage of form and function. Its vapor production is excellent for its size, delivered with speed and of a high quality.
It has more intuitive and clearer controls than competitors’ products, while being one of the smallest, most attractive designs to-date and incorporating features common to the best vaporizers (convenient charging, acceptable battery life).
G-Pen’s innovative technology opens up a new chapter in vaporizing experience, combining fantastic performance, taste, and effects in a discrete and beautiful device.
The Elite is aptly named.