In recent times, we have seen a huge increase in the interest of vaporizers which has led to the introduction of many new products to the market. Today, we have the third installment of the portable dry herb Vaporizer from Davinci - the DaVinci IQ. After launching the first model in 2012, they soon followed it up in 2013 with the popular ‘Ascent’. However, DaVinci went quiet for quite a long time until the announcement of the IQ Vaporizer which entered the market at the end of 2016 after several launch delays.
At first sight, there is some resemblance to the IQ’s older brother - The Ascent Vaporizer, but the IQ boats a completely new design, Smart-Path technology, a replaceable 18650 battery, two distinct mouthpieces, zircon ceramic bowl and vapor path. Currently, the IQ is priced just above $270 and can be found in a number of colors including Copper, Stealth, Gunmetal, and Blue. Personally, I recommend buying directly from King of Vapes™ as this will keep you safe and protected from potential scammers selling clones or unauthorized resellers which can cause issues down the line for warranty coverage. Without further ado, let’s take a deeper look into the IQ’s new features and components.
If you like collector’s editions of products, I have some good news for you because you can get your vaporizer with a bundle including a t-shirt, DaVinci glass jar, and even a carrying case. Although the prices for this haven't been release just yet, the presentation looks utterly amazing and this was the second time I was blown away by the product.
If you are happy with the standard package, you will receive a USB charging cable, zirconia flavor chamber, a rechargeable 3500mAh 18650 battery, the vaporizer, and two distinct mouthpieces - one is an extended 10mm adapter whilst the other is recessed.
Design and Quality - To start, I should probably note that I was stunned by the IQ’s size. Having seen a great number of images and banners for the IQ dating back months before its release, I must say that I was expecting a slightly larger size. The IQ is quite small and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. But, don’t let the small stature fool you, the IQ feels sturdy and is pretty heavy for its size.
In terms of the finer details, the IQ comes in at just under 150 grams which is heavier than many of the main competitors on the market today which include the TI Grasshopper and Pax 3 vaporizers which weigh in at 55 and 95 grams respectively. At first, this is something you will have to get used to but the vaporizer still fits nicely into your pocket or purse and can be used discreetly anywhere you take your sessions while on-the-go.
Truth be told, you have to hand it to DaVinci because they managed to squeeze a powerhouse of a vape into a very compact and portable size. The IQ’s weight suggests that it’s a quality build and this is something you will understand as soon as you pick one up. As you would expect, the buttons work well and the zirconia ceramic finish feels nice to the touch; immediately, you know that you have a quality piece of craftsmanship after holding it for a few seconds. As you scan the outer shell, you start to notice that every single millimeter of the IQ’s housing has been utilized in some way or another - DaVinci has packed a ton of features and quality components into a tiny frame. It’s quite impressive!
With any new vaporizer, the consumer’s main concern is the smell that the unit generates during use. This is a key factor that’s considered when purchasing a portable vape as it dictates whether or not a unit is discreet enough to use outdoors when around crowds or when vaping in the confines of your home. No one enjoys a smelly vape. Ultimately, nothing screamed at me as far as smell is concerned, the IQ produced almost the same exact smell as the Ascent, which I have also used for over 3 years now. With this being said, I can only state that it smells like the average portable herb vaporizer. Another thing you will notice right away is the beautifully designed and laid out LED display lights. No other vape on the market today has implemented this type of elegant design.
Mouthpieces - The IQ features not one, but two Ceramic Zirconia Mouthpieces. Both mouthpieces are very durable and provide unsurpassed natural flavor. More importantly, they are easy to clean. When I’m out and about I personally prefer the recessed mouthpiece. This mouthpiece also contributes to the IQ’s stealthiness as its lower profile make the IQ easily concealable in the palm of your hand. I prefer to use the raised mouthpiece at home, and it also doubles as a ‘seal’ against 10mm female or 14mm male glass pieces.
Flavor Chamber - The IQ vaporizer now comes with a newly designed insert called the “flavor chamber”. The flavor chamber is located in the vapor path right before the vapor gets to the mouthpiece and your lips. Once you load your herbs, preferably in chunks - not finely ground up, the flavor chamber will only partially heat up, enough to bring out the flavor without actually combusting or vaporizing the herbs. The herbs situated in the chamber will also be coated if you will with vapor as it passes through the flavor chamber. I wasn’t really impressed when I first tried this - I’ll explain why. After a few sessions the draw resistance started to really become noticeable, so I was forced to empty the unit. The herbs were still green, indicating that there was still material left to be vaped, but this makes the taste and smell a little harsher than usual. But, with that being said I must also mention that this made the vapor a bit more potent, which is interesting. All in all, I don’t think this is something I’ll be doing too often with this unit.You can get creative with this and maybe use some mint or other aromatherapy blend in the flavor chamber to add a little spice or taste to the vapor. I haven’t tried this myself, but I’m sure it’s something that can be experimented with.
Also, since the vapor travels a greater distance before reaching your mouth and lungs, the vapor produced by the IQ has a really smooth and cool feel compared to other similarly priced vaporizers I have tried. Furthermore, vapor normally builds up in the mouthpiece but it is now somewhat absorbed in the vapor path which means that I don’t have to clean it nearly as often as previous models I’ve owned. Even when I did clean, it took just a few minutes before it was ready for the next session.
Vapor Quality and Heating - Ultimately, this is one of the most important points because if the vapor quality is poor, you would be put off the product immediately. Luckily, the IQ is very good and I think it produces some of the best vapor compared to most portable vaporizers on the market today. Notably, I think their decision to go for ceramic zirconia was a touch of magic. With the heater, it is powerful enough to do the job but without actually combusting your materials; which is a problem we have seen with various other vaporizer models. Assuming that you don’t cut the session short, I have also found the IQ to be perfect for herbs as it produces an even AVB. If you need to bring the session to an early end, simply use the stirring tool to stir up your materials and the process will be sped up.
In terms of temperature, the IQ nearly covers the whole heating spectrum from 250F to 430F and takes around 45 seconds to reach the desired temp after being set. Also, you can benefit from three different heating options. Depending on your needs or experience, you can choose a specific temperature using the precision temp controls or you can select a preset smart path.
Precision Mode - As mentioned, this is a setting that will allow you to choose your own precise temperature and the IQ will remain there for each 10-minute session. If you notice that the temperature is too high or too low, it can be adjusted with the tap of a button.
IQ Smart Paths - If you would prefer a preset and no hassle program, the Smart Paths should be your desired choice as they will increase your desired temperatures in increments as your session progresses. Using the DaVinci app, you can actually customize these sections to your desired preferences. If you don’t want to be bothered with the technical details, I have found settings one and two to be perfectly fine for my needs. With settings three and four, you will immediately notice robust clouds but the taste is better when you vape at the medium and even lower temperatures. Essentially, this feature allows you to find your best experience and this is something I respect greatly. In order to find your ‘sweet-spot’ just experiment with the different settings using different types of material. Once you narrow that down you can take things one step further by choosing your very own precise temperature.
In the first Smart Path, the temperature ranges from 350F to 370F and they then it goes up in 20F increments after this. Despite being slightly different, the Smart Paths all have the same goal; which is to reach the optimum temperature around halfway through your session. Once there, it should stay in place for the duration of your session.
Boost Mode - Besides the Smart Paths and Precision Temp Controls, the IQ also features a ‘boost’ button which engages the heater at a full power. On the front of the IQ, the LED lit arrows show that it is heating up and it will slowly work its way towards the max temperature which, as I mentioned earlier, is 430F. To reach the max temp simply hold the boost button till the temp is reached. If you want a lower temp simply let go of the boost button when the desired item is reached. Above all else, this allows you to heat things up a little (excuse the pun!) and get extra juice from each draw.
Also, I have mentioned that the IQ operates in ten minute sessions and this is true. However, you can switch it back on by pressing the control button a couple of times. The auto-shut off is simple a safety feature to preserve power and prevent accidental overheating.
DaVinci App - In today’s world, there is an app for nearly everything and vaporizers aren't any different. Of course, you won’t need the app in order for the IQ to work, but it does allow you to customize your experience and it makes your vaping session more enjoyable. In the past, I have been somewhat skeptical about apps for vaporizers but I was impressed by the DaVinci App because you can experiment with the settings pretty easily. Rather than feeling like a heavy and complex program, you will notice that it is light and only takes a few seconds to learn navigation and adjustment of settings throughout the app.
When you open the app for the first time, you are promoted to pair the device and you can choose from the four default Smart Paths and adjust the temperatures for your sessions. Additionally, ‘Stealth Mode’ will turn down the LED lights which is something I recommend since the standard setting is quite bright; this mode can also be achieved by holding down the top and bottom buttons together.
As I have said, you don’t need the app in order to use the product but you will have to put up with the standard Smart Path options. Furthermore, you won’t have access to turn off vibration alerts nor will you be able to assess statistics including your favorite path, usage time, average temperature, and average session length. If you want the complete DaVinci app experience, I recommend downloading the app. If you find that you won’t use it, simply delete it and use the IQ as is.
Chamber and Packing - For best results, I recommend packing the oven quite tightly and this is relatively easy to achieve. Remember, grinding your herb down too finely has a downside of more draw resistance but it will have denser vapor. On the other hand, coarse herbs offer less draw resistance but there won’t be as much vapor production. Therefore, you will need to find what works for you but the IQ can handle coarse grinds just as well as fine grinds.
Recently, DaVinci also released glass spacers and I recommend these because you can shrink the chamber if you want to use less herb. With the glass spacers in place, you can achieve this without losing quality or performance.
Maintenance - After every time you use the device, you will probably want to empty the bowl and get any residue or left over herbs out of the chamber. If you do this, it helps to keep the deep- cleaning process to a minimum. The flavor chamber is the area that needs the most attention but it slides out and you can use isopropyl alcohol to soak it and clean thoroughly. The mouthpieces can also be soaked and cleaned in the same manor. As far as the ceramic parts are concerned, they are more resilient and I tend to clean them after around 10-15 uses.
Battery - As mentioned before the IQ comes with a removable and rechargeable 3500mAh 18650 battery that has been lasting anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half for me with the settings I prefer. Having the ability to remove/replace the battery is a great idea. You can have a spare handy at all times to ensure you never run out of juice during those extended sessions. The included battery takes about 4 hours to charge, which I think is a bit too long honestly, but the battery life is good enough to offset this minor set-back. However, I have found that a Nitecore external charger has the battery up and ready in just two hours so having two batteries and an external charger means that you won’t ever be waiting around for batteries to charge.
Comparable Vapes - So we have seen all the key features for the DaVinci IQ but what about comparisons to other products in the market? In the grand scheme of things, how does the DaVinci IQ compare? Below I will compare the IQ to it’s most popular and likely competitors - The Pax 3 The Crafty, and Grasshopper Vaporizers.
Grasshopper - Found at an average price of $200, the Grasshopper is slightly cheaper than the IQ as well as the next option we have and it looks very discreet. Easy to conceal, it heats up in less than 10 seconds and uses much smaller batteries - 750mAh. Also boasting a lifetime warranty, it offers the full spectrum of temperatures using a rotary dial. The unit is available through Pre-Order and is expected to be delivered within three weeks of ordering.
Pax 3 - Next, we have the Pax 3 and this is a favorite for many and it falls within the same price range as the IQ. If you’re a fan of outdoor activities, the Pax 3 will be perfect because it fits in the pocket, can heat up in less than 20 seconds, and is durable. Utilizing conduction heating, the Pax 3 also has an app and a 10-year warranty so you can start to see the similarities between this and the IQ.
In terms of vapor quality, I would suggest the IQ over the Pax 3 and the removable battery on the IQ is a huge bonus. However, portability is the key word for the Pax 3 as it can go with you anywhere. For the battery itself, it is more efficient than the IQ since it lasts for up to 100 minutes and takes the same amount of time to charge from being completely dead. If this is a big factor for you, the Pax 3 really shines in this area but the extended charging time seen from the IQ can be eradicated through the use of an external charger.
Since both products are significantly priced above the norm, you could always look into the Pax 2 which falls under the $200 mark. Although the Pax 2 does not have an app so you lose your customizable options and it takes longer to charge, and the battery doesn’t last as long, it is still a Pax product so offers simplicity, durability, and reliability.
Crafty - Finally, we have a The Crafty Vaporizer. The Crafty is a bit more expensive than both the Pax 3 and the DaVinci IQ. For around $330, I actually thought that this product was underwhelming to say the least. As far as the Crafty’s battery, it only lasts for about an hour - sometimes not even that long, and it takes over a minute and a half to heat up. Even with those shortcomings, it does boast super tasty and smooth vapor which is something all Volcano Brand Vapes are known for.
Options for Glass - Back to the IQ. The IQ works very well with most glass products such as hydratubes or bubblers. I have found that the best to one to use is the Honeybird, which is an upgrade from the hydratubes in my opinion. Regardless of angles, it very rarely spills and you can keep passing it around with one hand without worrying too much as you normally would with other vapes. In addition to this, it allows for the biggest rips and you can moisturize your vapor with ease. To make things even easier, the Honeybird can actually be bought at King of Vapes™ as well.
Conclusion - All things considered, you can probably tell how impressed I was and still am with the DaVinci IQ. Although we had to wait some time for the latest DaVinci model to be released, it was well worth the wait and I’m just happy that I now have it in my possession. As we continue to move forward, we are seeing more efficient and well-designed portable vapes in the market and the IQ is a prime example of this. Alongside the Pax 3, this is the best product you will find available and it is well worth the investment just for the sheer amount of use you will get from the product.
On the other hand, I wasn't too impressed with the charging time because I thought the days of charging something for four hours were gone when I replaced my Nokia many years ago. :) However, the external charger is a perfect solution for that problem. If you are into concentrates, this also probably isn't the vaporizer for you but herbs work perfectly. If we were to nitpick a little, we could also say that the unit gets unnecessarily hot after long period of use but what else should we expect from a product that covers the heat well for a good period of time?
If you have any opinions or anything I might have forgotten, let me know down below. In truth, I would love to hear your opinions if you already have the vaporizer. If you have the IQ and the Pax 3, I would also love to hear your preferences.
Thanks for reading and have a great day! Please leave comments or questions below.