Cortex TC by Innokin Review by VapeMaster

Review Date: 
18.01.2016

Cortex TC by Innokin

The Cortex TC is the latest device from Innokin. It is a variable wattage mod that also includes temperature control functionality. Offering an output of 6.0-80W it should be ideal for the needs of most typical vapers. The Cortex uses Innokin’s high efficiency IKARNO S1 temperature control microchip. The device is designed to minimise external heat generation and features ultra-low power consumption when it is placed in standby mode. In addition the Cortex supports 5V/2A fast charging and comes packaged with an iSub-S Tank with several coils. Notably the Cortex TC is Innokin’s first Temperature Control Device.

Cortex TC features

  • Operating Wattage: 6.0-80W. Adjustable in .5 increments.
  • Operating Temperature Range: 150-315°C/ 300-600°F. Both adjustable in .5 increments.
  • Clearomiser Resistance:  0.10hm (Minimum)
  • Precision Temperature Control.
  • High Efficiency IKARNO S1 Temperature Control Microchip.
  • Direct Current - Steady Power Output.
  • Balanced Even Coil Heat-Up.
  • Ultra-Low External Heat Generation.
  • Dry Hit Detection and Prevention.
  • Ultra-Low Standby Power Consumption.
  • 3300mAh Capacity.
  • Supports 5V/2A Fast Charging (Wall Charger Sold Separately).
  • iSub-S Tank included.
  • Available in a variety of colours: Red, Silver, Black and Blue.

What’s in the box?

  • 1x Cortex Temperature Control Personal Vaporizer.
  • 1x iSub-S Tank with 1x 0.1ohm Ni200 Temperature Control Coil.
  • 1x iSub 0.5ohm Clapton Coil.
  • 1x iSub 0.5ohm Horizontal Coil.
  • 1x iSub Delrin Drip Tip.
  • Micro USB Charging Cable.
  • User Manual.

The packaging is very well done and all of the included items are well protected. In my opinion you certainly do get plenty for your money with this product. The various included coils will allow users to experiment and discover their own preference. The manual is clear and well written, in addition it features plenty of warnings about using the right coils in the correct mode so it is unlikely you will make a mistake.

Cortex TC looks and build quality

The styling of this device is really nice and it has a good form factor. It feels really good in the hand and it is very comfortable. The overall finish is a little different, it has kind of a chalkboard matte feel to it. According to reviews I watched on YouTube this does go away with continued use since the oils in your hand cause it to get smoother. In my opinion the matte surface does make for an excellent non-slip grip.

The 510 pin is spring loaded and like all Innokin devices the mounting is raised slightly so you will get a slight gap with your atomizers. Apparently this a conscious design decision that Innokin made to ensure air passes under the atomizer. To be honest it is hardly noticeable and I can’t really see it bothering anyone.

Dispergo

The main fire button has a good feel to it and is completely rattle free. The plus and minus buttons are located on the base of the device where you will also find the display. These buttons are a little small and even though they are made well I found them slightly awkward to use especially when you have to hold down one of them and the main fire button to change various functions.

The display is bright and clear and features all the typical information you would expect. It shows coil resistance, wattage, temperature and battery life. In addition it displays voltage when the device is in wattage mode and it also shows how many seconds passed while you vaped. The display also shows the coil type you are using and it is displayed right next to the resistance.

For the record I personally don’t like the display being located on the base of any device but in actual practice you are not going to be checking it that often and if I had purchased this product myself I am sure I would get used to it. The one disadvantage is if you are a heavy RDA user because you would have to make sure you had vaped off all of your juice otherwise it will just pour out when you turn the device upside down to check the display. To be fair Innokin are really marketing this device for use with their tanks and if you are a frequent tank user than it really becomes a non-issue.

The Micro USB port is located on the reverse side of the device which means you can keep it upright while you charge. The internal battery is 3300mAh capacity so you should get a good amount of vape time before recharging. Due to the low power consumption features that Innokin have included the battery should last a little longer than comparable devices. In addition the device is designed to make use of 2A fast charging but if you want a wall adapter that is sadly a separate purchase. The fact that Innokin are actively looking at power consumption levels and also the modular design of the Disrupter shows that they are taking their environmental responsibility seriously which is a real plus point!

The device supports Kanthal, Nickel and Titanium coils but not Stainless Steel. At this moment in time it doesn’t look like the firmware will be upgradeable but it is entirely possible that Innokin may offer this at some point in the future. Even if they don’t it isn’t a major deal breaker since the device works very well straight out of the box and I encountered no problems.

Innokin

Overall the build quality of the Cortex TC is excellent and it feels highly durable and well put together.

Cortex TC ease of use

  • Three clicks of the main fire button switches the device on and off.
  • Press and hold the main fire button and the plus button down for one second to enter Temperature Control Mode or Wattage mode.
  • To calibrate the Cortex for Nickel or Titanium Coil usage attach the atomizer to the device and hold down the plus and minus buttons for three seconds to enter the calibration menu. Then select the correct coil mode using the plus and minus buttons.
  • Make sure the coil is at room temperature when calibrating or you will not get accurate results.
  • When in Temperature Control Mode press and hold the main fire button and the minus button down for one second to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
  • Wattage and Temperature can be adjusted by holding down the plus or minus button until the setting starts flashing then pressing either the plus or minus button to adjust in .5 increments.
  • To adjust the Coil Material Type when using Temperature Control Mode press and hold the plus and minus buttons for three seconds to display the Coil Selection Screen. Press the plus or minus button to cycle between Ni200, Titanium and Wattage.

Performance

I tested the Cortex TC with the included iSub-S tank which comes with a 0.1ohm pre-fitted Ni200 coil. I found the tank to be excellent and you can check my thoughts on that in a review later this week.

I primed the coil and filled the tank up with Black Note Sonata which is an excellent tobacco E-Liquid. I set the device to 240°C and took my first vape. The Cortex TC works extremely well and I got a consistently good vape! There didn’t appear to be any odd ramp up times and the temperature control functionality was excellent. At all times I got a warm and very flavoursome vape. The only strange thing is that the coil resistance does fluctuate but according to Innokin this is due to the nature of the microchip and you firstly have to fire the tank initially for it to lock the resistance into memory. In actual operation I encountered no problems and despite the resistance changes the tank worked very well!

ALD

I did notice that the wattage does not seem to be adjustable when using temperature control but the device does apply a sufficient amount depending on what temperature you set it to. It actually works so well that I felt individual wattage tweaking would be entirely unnecessary but this might bother some people. If you want hassle free vaping then this might be a plus point because it is one less thing to think about.

I later tried the tank with one of Innokin’s Titanium coils and the Cortex also performed flawlessly in that mode. I did find adjusting settings to be a little awkward due to the small buttons but I would get used to it in time.

To test wattage mode I used my Achilles II RDA because it is practically non-leaking and I can get away with tilting the device upside down without juice ending up in my lap. I encountered absolutely no issues when using this mode and it performed extremely well.

The Cortex TC battery life seems very good and I heavily vaped the iSub-S using the pre-fitted Ni200 coil for about three hours with only a small reduction in battery charge. One nice feature is the device itself does not get hot so I think it is fair to say that the low external heat generation is a fact.

Bear in mind that this device will only fire down to 0.1ohm so if you are someone who enjoys making your own coils then do keep this in mind before purchasing. Battery life is rather good and I got at least eight to ten hours worth of modest to heavy vaping using Temperature Control Mode. The device does support 2A charging but you will need to purchase a seperate wall charger with 2A rating. If you charge this device via the USB port on your computer remember that you will only achieve 1A charging. I used my 2A phone charger and the Cortex took about 2.5-3 hours to fully charge.

The Electronic Cigarette Company

Conclusion

The Cortex TC is an excellent device that offers trouble free vaping. The temperature control mode is definitely one of the best I have used outside of the realms of the DNA 200 and for a more affordable device the Cortex TC offers a great temperature controlled vaping experience whether you choose to use Nickel or Titanium coils. The low heat generation of this device is another plus point and it never gets warm while vaping.

The only slight down side for me is the location of the display which is entirely a personal issue for me and the rather small plus and minus buttons. The resistance fluctuation might worry some people but this is apparently quite normal according to Innokin and I personally didn’t encounter any problems just make sure that you have calibrated the coil correctly before vaping.

The Cortex TC is priced at about £75 and while it is a little pricier than comparable mods it does come with an excellent tank with numerous spare coils and the device itself has an excellent small form factor which makes it a very attractive purchase!

Many thanks to Innokin who kindly sent this device to Planet of the Vapes for us to review, you can check it out on their site here - http://www.innokin.com/vaporizers/cortex/.  There are plenty of UK stockists of this device, check out our discount codes and site supporters pages to find a vendor with this item in stock.

If you are a manufacturer, distributor or vendor and have an item that you would like reviewed by our team please contact us here.


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