Aspire Zelos X MTL Vape Nautilus 3 (22mm) Kit
Supplied by Aspire UK for review:
Aspire have added to their popular Zelos range with the all new Zelos X and the 22mm version of the Nautilus 3 tank, do we need another kit or are Aspire being over ‘Zelos’?
In a nutshell, the Zelos X kit is a more MTL friendly version over the Zelos 3 with its smaller 22mm tank and compact 18650 mod. The ‘double barrel’ shape of it feels much nicer too, but it is still a very capable kit for RDL users, and Aspire have acknowledged this by including a 0.3ohm coil as well as a 1.0ohm for pure MTL.
Some of the highlights are:
- Convenient top fill
- MTL to RDL adjustable airflow
- New Nautilus mesh coil 0.3ohm and 1.0ohm
- External 18650 battery
- Type-C 2A quick charging
- Selectable UI colour options and adjustable brightness
- Output mode: WATT/ VOLTAGE/ BYPASS/ TC/ CPS
- 0.96” TFT Colour Screen
- Product weight: 150.9g
- Product dimensions: 132.6 x 37.5 x 24.6mm
As you can see from the photos, I received the Sample version, but I expect the final version to be pretty much the same. The box is quite tall with the tank already fitted but it is well packaged with nice presentation (orange and white).
There’s a convenient little tab to access the base layer which holds all the extras including:
- 1x Zelos X Mod
- 1x Nautilus 3²² Tank (2 ml)
- 1x Nautilus Mesh Coil 0.3Ω
- 1x Nautilus Mesh Coil 1.0Ω
- 1x Type-C Cable
- 1x Spare Drip Tip
- 1x User Manual
- 1x O-ring Pack
Again the drip-tip options cater for MTL and RDL users which is very welcome, I really like the MTL one especially.
First impressions were simply an instant like. As soon as I held the kit, it felt so damn good, and by the time I added a battery I liked it even more. The whole thing feels quality and classy, and the shape just moulds into your grip nicely.
With an 18650 battery fitted it weighed in at 199g, most of that weight is in the tank and battery but all together it feels well balanced.
Zelos X Mod
The mod feels really light at 92g, the red body is an aluminium extrusion making it strong but light. The silver base and top section are also metal, zinc alloy I think.
The 510 plate is 22mm but there’s around 1mm surrounding it so you can get away with a 24mm tank on it without overhang, I tried the 24mm Nautilus on it but for me it didn’t suit it as much as the 22mm included tank.
The base has the battery cap and the charging port which is type C and features 2 Amp fast charging.
The threaded battery cap is a good fit with smooth threading, once fitted it sits just right in the hole; as in it doesn’t protrude and cause it to sit wobbly (if that made sense?). The battery orientation is marked inside with a red cross on white for the positive end.
The screen and buttons are embedded in the darken plastic panel, the buttons all felt good with the right resistance and feel easy to press, they are contoured to match the curve which feels quite good, a small detail but you do notice it. The screen is a bit on the dim side, though easy enough to read indoors you have no chance in outdoor daylight. You can adjust the brightness, but I would more class it as adjusting the dimness as it was already at the max.
That said, I really liked the display, it is well laid out and easy to read (even with my older eyes). The controls are well thought out and it is really quick and easy to set pretty much everything without having to navigate through sub-menus.
There’s a couple of things missing, I figured out all of the above by just tinkering and it was all common sense, but I couldn’t figure out how to change the advertised “Selectable UI colour options” or resetting the puff counter. I resorted to the manual and there was no mention of either. Determined to discover how, I faffed around with any combination I could think of but it totally defeated me!
*This could be due to mine being a SAMPLE model.
Nautilus 3 22mm Tank
In essence the 22mm version is a skinnier version of the Nautilus 3 (24mm), everything is the same assembly wise. If you are already familiar with the Nautilus 3, then the only thing to consider is the 22mm diameter and the smaller capacity (though both will be 2ml on the TPD version).
It all strips apart easily by unscrewing it counter-clockwise, the glass section is plastic on the 2ml TPD version and has a thicker wall so there’s no cheating around this other than to try and buy a proper glass section.
The ‘push to fit’ coil section is pretty clever as it has a sprung mechanism that seals it off, this means you can change your coil even with a full tank. To secure the coil in place, you just screw the base back on, it all goes back together as easy as it came apart. The threads are good and it is ideal to strip down for a full clean.
To fill the tank up, there is a sliding top cap which reveals a generous kidney shaped port, the only snag is the thick walled TPD ‘glass’ gets in the way so you have to be careful to get it at the right angle to prevent it gushing back up. I will be trying to get my hands on a proper glass piece asap though and this will no longer be an issue.
The kit comes with the latest Nautilus Mesh coils (0.3ohm and 1.0ohm), but it is backwards compatible with all the Nautilus coils which is ideal if you already have a stash of older coils. The new mesh are so much better so I wouldn’t try older ones given the choice.
If you already own or have tried the Nautilus 3 tank, then unsurprisingly you will know how good it is. The airflow adjustment goes from a restrictive DL to a tight MTL draw, the adjustment ring is reasonably tight and I’ve yet to accidentally adjust it during use.
I filled it up with some ‘Fluffy White Clouds’ from Drip Drop Vapour and let the coil soak for ten minutes before vaping. I went with the 1.0ohm mesh coil to begin with, and started off around 10 watts and the flavour was instantly good and got better around the 12 watts mark. It kept up with chain vaping and RDL without a hint of a dry hit, I can’t fault the 1.0ohm coil for MTL and it will be the only coil I will use in this kit.
I only tested the 0.3ohm coil briefly as I have used this coil a lot on the Zelos 3 kit, the flavour is superb and it suits RDL perfectly at around 25 watts. It also lasts ages before the flavour drops off or begins to give any burnt taste.
Battery life was about average for a low wattage 18650 setup, it will vary depending on which battery you use and obviously the wattage. The chipset did a decent job without draining the battery. For me, the beauty of an external 18650 mod is you can simply swap the battery with a spare rather than having any downtime with recharging.
The charging time again will depend on your battery (mAh) but using a 2500 mAh 20Amp cell it took around 40 minutes from 30%, the charging screen has the usual battery animation along with a percentage.
But for me, the main appeal of this kit was the handling and looks of the Zelos X, it just feels so right and is natural in your grip. It mostly suits index finger firing but depending on how you hold it, the fire button was always easy to find and comfortable in multiple firing positions. The adjustment buttons never got in the way but they are easy to lock anyway.
Locking the Fire button was effortless, just 3 clicks of the fire button to lock/unlock and I got into the habit of this quite soon, though there’s a slight delay with the screen showing the locking status.
There’s no innovation that I could find but that didn’t seem to matter with a kit like this, it has all the functions most vapers need and is user friendly in every way. But it’s the charm factor that makes this kit stand out for me, I simply loved using this kit, more so than the Zelos 3 for some reason. Actually I think that reason is how it feels in the hand, it feels grown up and very ergonomic.
Compared to the Zelos 3 & 24mm Nautilus 3
Which one is best for you will mostly be down to personal tastes, they essentially do exactly the same thing and use the same coils so the vape will be pretty much identical.
There’s not a huge difference in it size wise, in fact the Zelos X is slightly taller, obviously the tank is a larger diameter. The screen is brighter on the Zelos 3, but it doesn’t feel as comfortable due to the shape. The Zelos X is a touch heavier due to the lighter LiPo battery that’s built into the Zelos 3, but that difference somehow feels better and more balanced and makes the Zelos X feel better quality somehow.
One of the main differences is that the Zelos 3 has a physical On/Off switch on the base, I was initially disappointed to find that the Zelos X didn’t have this, but in use it made little difference in the end as the 3 x Fire to fully lock became instinctive and less faff than the switch.
Some people might be looking to compare the Zelos X as a poor man’s Dani Box mod but I think that is only in the looks, the Dani just feels more solid and has more advanced options chipset, but that comes at a hefty price. The Zelos X should be judged on its own merits and relative pricing.
Earlier I mentioned ‘was it worth another Zelos kit?’ and the answer for me is YES, especially for MTL in my opinion. The double barrel styling has made more of a difference than I expected and it feels so much better in the hand and during vaping. While there’s little going on innovation wise, it didn’t matter as the kit offers most of the functions experienced vapers want and more than enough for beginners, and the user friendly controls make it suitable for both.
Aspire have designed an elegant and classy looking mod that should appeal to a broad range of users, if you like the look and style of the Zelos X, I can’t see you being disappointed once you get one in your hand. From the moment I first picked this kit up, it has won me over as one of my favourite Aspire kits to date. The 22mm Nautilus 3 tank is also just right for MTL/RDL users and suits the kit.
Should it have been a 21700 mod? I don’t think so and I’m glad Aspire have focused on this kit being MTL, it always feels counter intuitive having a large mod for low powered MTL. The Zelos X is just right, and it’s good to see Aspire still rolling out ‘proper’ mod and tank kits.
- Ergonomic ‘double barrel’ shape
- Classy styling
- 22mm Nautilus 3 tank is well engineered
- Slide top fill
- Fast and efficient controls
- 2 Amp fast charging
- Lightweight mod
- Nautilus Mesh coils are the best Aspire coils so far
- Suitable for MTL and RDL
- Screen is a bit dim
Had the screen been brighter, this would have been a zero cons kit, but in everyday use the screen won’t matter once you have your settings dialled in and locked, I only really check the battery status.
Aspire have produced a worthy addition to the Zelos range with the X. While there is nothing new innovation wise, it didn’t matter for me once I got to use this kit, it just does the job well and feels great to use. It’s one of those kits that ‘brings joy’ as Marie Kondo would say. I have quite a few Aspire kits but this is will be a firm favourite for some time, actually ‘timeless’ fits the Zelos X well.
Score: 9/10 – Classy Chassis