I’ve been meaning to review the latest vaporizer from DaVinci, the DaVinci IQ for a long time now. I put this task off for many reasons. One of them was the fact that I loved my previous vaporizer, the DaVinci Ascent. Like the IQ, it is categorized as a dry herb and wax vaporizer.
First off, the DaVinci IQ is the best dry herb, portable vaporizer I have come across since I started vaping. While most of the manufacturers seem stuck in the past, (At least from an innovation point of view.) the DaVinci comes as a breath of fresh air – literally. The folks at DaVinci have taken the vaping experience to an altogether new level. A level of extreme satisfaction.
The first thing which immediately catches the attention is its sleek design and perfect fit. In fact it fits most palms, as if magically shrinking and expanding according to the need. The heft quotient is amazing. It feels solid in hand and the grip is unmatched. Three colors are available, each with its own unique character. My choice, though, has always leaned towards dark tones, and therefore I prefer stealth. The other two colors available include Gunmetal and Blue.
Interestingly, while writing this review I questioned several users about the product name. Why did DaVinci choose "IQ"? What was the reason behind such an innocuous name? No one seemed to offer a logical answer. I checked the official website. And there was the answer for such an ordinary naming convention. This latest vaporizer is highly intelligent.
How you may ask? Well, the IQ offers “smart paths”, which allows users to tailor sessions as per their preference. It simply means the quality of vapour can be tweaked through temperature control. It gives you power over how the session should begin and end. The combination of Smart Path technology and Bluetooth app integration sets this vaporizer in its own league. This is what DaVinci claims and I fully agree with this statement.
As mentioned above, the IQ is a combination of several innovative components. Each part a great example of fine craftsmanship. Leonardo Da Vinci would have appreciated the magic of nano-technology which has gone into this masterpiece. Even at high temperatures the metal alloy shell doesn't trouble the user. This is because most of the state-of-the-art components of this vaporizer are built from specialist materials. The heating chamber and the flavour chamber are made from zirconia. As is the connecting passage, through which the vapour is harnessed. In spite of such a complex design, the IQ still feels light and handy. The reason is zirconia is one of the toughest stress and scratch resistant materials known to mankind.
The real magic is the blending of all these parts into a cohesive and beautifully sculpted piece.
The design has innovation written all over it. So, no more mess while loading the dry herb in the oven. This is possible due to the unique, concave shaped metal piece at the top of the heating chamber. It makes sure the ingredients slip through the edges and inside the chamber without trouble.
This is not all. The heating chamber boasts a flip cover with a Zirconia ball attached to its base which makes sure the herb fits snugly inside the housing. This also ensures an even roast. This typically enhances the vapour quality and vaping experience. With a Zirconia ball and a complementing chamber, the dry herb roasts uniformly. Moreover, there is no need to juggle the ingredients. It’s a flawless approach to an exhilarating vaping session, and that too over several hours.
The capacity of heating chamber varies from 0.3 grams to 0.5 grams depending on the type of herb, the fineness of the grind and how tightly it has been loaded.
Before I talk about various elements located at the top of the unit let me first tell you the tools and goodies included with the IQ package. The package itself is a masterpiece. The design is well thought out. The finishing is smooth and the box reflects the product's class. It contains a USB charging cable, alcohol wipes, chimney brush, keychain tool, 10mm adapter and of course the IQ. However, the price point can be deflating. At the time of writing this review DaVinci IQ was available for around $275.
Coming back to some of the components located at the top of the unit. Once the lid is flipped open the insides have a couple of interesting parts. The flavor container made from Zirconia, and a well designed metal pick, setup close to this cylindrical tube are some of them. The pick tool is used to ease out the flavor cylinder from its housing and also to spread the dry herb uniformly in the heating chamber. It is also comes in handy if you want to separate several complex assemblies such as mouth piece. The pick is also useful for;
As mentioned above IQ is a dry herb, convection vaporiser. It simply means IQ cannot process liquid ingredients. This can at times be a little harsh on the throat of sensitive people. However, there is a solution. The outward bulging of IQ’s mouthpiece can easily be connected to a water filter or aqua bubbler. The mouth piece can be attached to a 10mm female cut. Bubblers provide the necessary moisture to prevent the throat from getting parched. I have tried this personally. It actually offers a soothing experience.
Once the dry herb is roasted inside the oven, the vapor is then forced into the flavor chamber, which as mentioned above is made of Zirconia. The flavor chamber cools the vapor and enhances its taste further. It then rises up towards the mouth piece.
The empty flavor chamber can also be stacked with small bud of dry herb to increase the flavor quotient. Typically, the aromatic vapor passes through this chamber and over the bud of dry herb enhancing its quality further. I tried several combinations and every time I experienced a new joy.
The flavor chamber along with customized temperature settings can make any vaping session guarantee to offer top class satisfaction. Personally, I like to load the heating chamber to the hilt and create my own vapor quotient. The optimum temperature according to several users seems to hover between 190°C degrees to 210°C.
One of the crucial metric of an enjoyable vaping session is temperature. By manipulating this unit you can create “sensational” stimulations, literally.
Smart Paths allow you to do just that. I believe it to be one of the major deviations from classic vaping devices. Of course there is a catch. Fine tuning Smart Paths can only be done through a dedicated app which is available for both iOS and Android.
I tried several combinations and tricks, and every time I was offered a unique experience. For example you can set the temperature to rise to a certain degree every ten minutes and then ease back to the original setting. There are two points within a Smart Path which can be tweaked. Moreover, the app provides four such Smart Modes.
I would highly recommend Smart Path 1. The temperature typically moves in the range of 176°C to 188°C, a perfect setting for complete relaxation. The effect is light and refreshing.
Smart Path 4 is for experienced users. The temperature in this mode moves between 210°C to 221°C, and offers full body relaxation, unlike mode 1 which just provides that light sensation in the head.
Incidentally, Smart Path 2 and 3 offer temperatures in the range of 188°C - 198°C and 198°C to 210°C respectively.
Tweaking these modes is a great way to spend some time with friends. Trying out different combinations over several sessions of varying temperatures and dry herbs.
I also feel the Precision Mode of the IQ is a great option. It allows me to experience what I demand. The “precision mode” allows you to set your desired temperature, typically between 250-430 degrees.
If you are looking for a fuller cloud and taste I suggest you go beyond 350°C. I hit my sweet spot at 370°C. The sweet spot may vary from user to user and the dry herbs used. It also depends on whether your flavour chamber is sprinkled with the same herb or not.
DaVinci IQ boasts a 3500mAh and 18650 replaceable battery which in turn offers four hours of sensational vaping.
Vaporizers demand a certain set of rules before the first draw. I suggest you take this seriously. Following these pre-use suggestions could increase the life of the vaporizer and the battery.
Battery – After unpacking the vaporizer make sure you give it a full charge. This is to enhance the life of your battery. I had a bad experience with my earlier vaporizer battery. I mad the mistake of charging only after a few uses. Within a couple of months the battery lost a lot of its holding power. It simply became useless. So make sure you charge the battery to its full capacity, every time.
Vaporizer – Before your first drag, make sure you clear the system of any foreign material / ingredient that might be stuck in the heating chamber, tubular passage or the flavour container. Getting rid of it is super simple. Switch on the IQ and activate the boost mode. This will instantly bring the vaporizer to 220°C. Keep it active for a couple of minutes so that all the unwanted manufacturing lubricants are vaporised. Do this a couple of times and you are ready to go.
Remember, the burn-out has to be carried out without dry herbs.
Here the overview of the DaVinci IQ. I’ve done my best to find some nitpicks, but IQ seems too perfect.
Except for the price, and the fragile hinges at the top, the DaVinci IQ has impressed me with its flawless design, innovative thought process, unmatched build quality and the company’s thirst for perfection. It is like they are paying a tribute to the great painter, engineer and the architect of the bygone era - Leonardo Da Vinci.
The IQ surpasses all the vaporizers I have reviewed till now which include PAX 3 and the Firefly 2. I should reiterate once again about its App based Smart Mode feature. This is simply outstanding and in the long run such thoughtful inclusions in other devices will push the manufacturers of DaVinci IQ further. All this means better products, design and features for the end users in the coming years.
There is something which I have kept for the last. What you may ask? The vaping capacity of IQ! Although the oven is small and holds about 0.3 to 0.5 mg of dry herb. It can still manage to provide a small group of vapers a dozen sessions each. And the reason is because of the use of Zirconia ball attached the lid of the heating chamber, the Zirconia flavor chamber and the vapor path. The ceramic Zirconia helps maintain the herb’s sweet taste while the other parts make sure the user is fed with a perfect vapor which is easy on tongue and throat.
So, if you are looking for a long lasting, portable and technology based dry herb vaporizer then I highly recommend the IQ. I am sure you will easily recover the extra money spent vis-à-vis other makes and models such as Ascent, PAX 3 or Firefly.
Go for it and enjoy some happy sessions all by yourself or with your friends.