Vandy Vape Pulse AIO Mini
Really there’s no pleasing some people, release a 21700 mod and everyone will moan it’s too big, release an 18650 mod and they’ll say they really wanted a 21700 mod after all! This is exactly what happened last year when Vandy Vape and TonyB released their take on the Boro mod as it used a 21700 battery and there were the obvious complaints from some quarters that it was too bulky. Well fear not because they listened, and now we have the Pulse AIO mini, which the detractors were asking for, with a smaller form factor centred around a standard 18650 battery, and our friends over at Healthcabin have been kind enough to send one over for review, and for bonus points they sent the full kit with the updated Pulse RBA included.
- 82.5 x 52.2 x 26.2mm (excluding drip tip)
- Single 18650 battery
- 1 amp charging via USB-C
- Power 5~80watts / 0.5~6.0volts
- Resistance range 0.05~3.0ohms
- Wattage / Temperature control / Bypass / Voltage modes
The Pulse AIO mini comes in a wide variety of colours as with the earlier 21700 versions, and this time around I asked Healthcabin if I could take a look at one of the frosted versions rather than the black ones I’ve looked at previously. This comes with the round button panel installed, but if you turn the box around, you’ll find that Vandy Vape has also included a square button set with more colourful panels. The Pulse AIO series is all about customization with a wide array of extra button and panel sets being available for purchase.
These square button panels are quite gaudy this time around and they actually have a weird textured surface which I immediately took a dislike to so I’ll be sticking to the standard panels for now. In this full kit you also get two tanks (more on those later), the awful white plastic nipple drip tip from previous kits, and the usual spare O-rings etc.
This new Pulse AIO mini is a fraction smaller than a billet box top to bottom and side to side, but it is a few millimetres thicker. Placing it next to a Pulse AIO.5 shows what a good job they did keeping the size down on the 21700 version though as it’s only 4.6mm shorter and 3.5mm narrower from side to side and 2mm thinner. I have fairly small hands and didn’t have any issue using the larger devices, but anyone complaining about the size should be much happier here, and I must admit that this is just that bit more comfortable to use.
Aside from the reduced size and the swap to an 18650 battery, everything remains the same as earlier versions of the Pulse AIO….it’s a Boro device! Your Boro tank and battery go in one side with the controls located on the other side to give a degree of separation from the board and any leaks or condensation common on these devices. The board and screen are identical to the earlier versions with the same 80 watt output alongside TC, bypass, and voltage modes. You have on board charging via USB-C as well which is rated at one amp, but in my test, this peaked at around 0.85 amps.
This is made from a Lexan EXL1434T polycarbonate reinforced body seen in the later Pulse AIO.5 which is supposed to be more robust as some people were experiencing cracking issues around the flush nut on the original release. You get the redesigned area around the flush nut as well to further spread out the load and prevent cracking of the main chassis. There is an adjustable positive pin at the base of the Boro chamber as well for those stubborn bridges that need a longer positive pin. This is extremely light as you might expect, coming in at 88.5grams empty and still only hitting 170grams fully loaded with a battery and a Boro tank.
The redesigned side panels have additional airflow slots cut into them this time around to complement the traditional airflow cut-outs on the side of the chassis so if you prefer airier builds, this should suit you well. One unexpected benefit of this frosted blue colour was that I could actually see the liquid levels in my tanks as well.
With longer term use on the Pulse AIO.5, I started having issues with the magnets falling out of the side panels, these then started developing cracks at the corners which I put down to the glue I’d used when fixing them back in place. Imagine my disappointment when I noticed that the panels on my Pulse AIO mini had started developing cracks on the corners after around a week of use, and this now looks like the cause of the magnets falling out in the first place. Whilst you do get that extra set of panels in the box, you may want to factor in the possibility of having to buy extra panels further down the line!
There are two main variants of the Pulse AIO mini, the “with RBA” version which comes with an updated Pulse rebuildable tank and the stock coil tank, and a “without RBA” version which just has the stock coil tank. If you’re budget conscious, don’t fancy tackling a rebuildable, or already have plenty of rebuildable bridges, then the “without RBA” version is a good place to start.
The stock coil tank uses the tried and tested Vandy Vape VCC coils and these are great for lazy days when you just want to set up and go, and those coils perform extremely well… I now have three of these as they’re included with every Pulse AIO! I’m more about my rebuildables though so I was more excited to try out the updated version of the Pulse RBA.
This comes with its own separate tank, but this time Vandy Vape have gone down the Billet Bridge route rather than an integrated tank/build deck design. This means that you can now use the Pulse RBA in standard Boro tanks with the second chimney section included in the spare parts baggie, sadly the reverse isn’t true, and you won't be able to use the tank for other bridges as they don’t fit. This is something of a missed opportunity as this would have made an excellent source of replacement tanks had this have been the case.
The Pulse RBA now has a three part design with a removable chimney, atomizer chamber, and build deck. The build deck has the same honeycomb half pipe airflow as its predecessor, but the wicking channels have now moved to the side rather than being gravity fed, a necessary concession when having to work within the size constraints of a bridge design.
This once again uses the dreaded 510 adapter rather than having an integrated 510 connector, yes, another one to keep track of or lose. I was initially flummoxed by this as I spent a good five minutes trying to unscrew the collar at the base of the build deck before realizing that the 510 adapter simply screws into the base…and yes, I did feel like a dumbass at that point!
Installing a coil was a breeze with the postless deck design that can accept coils wound in either direction. Wicking was also easy as I simply cut the wicks at the edge of the deck, tucked enough cotton into the wicking channels to cover the wicking ports, and then gave what was left a buzz cut. This has worked well and wicked consistently for a week without issues.
Flavour was good so this is a great budget option if you’re new to rebuildable boro devices but as before, stay clear if you’re a strict mouth to lung vaper as this won't appeal to you in the slightest. I’m not seeing this available separately anywhere, so this version only appears to be available in this kit, the original Pulse vessel RBA is still widely available and is just as good a choice though, plus it’s heavily discounted at a lot of places right now, including Heathcabin, and is well worth seeking out if you don’t have one already.
- Smaller 18650 version of the Pulse AIO
- A budget friendly Boro device for newcomers
- Those side panels don’t seem very robust
This is just as good as the previous versions of the Pulse AIO in a smaller and slightly more pocket friendly package. I’m currently seeing three versions of the Pulse AIO mini, one with just the stock coil Boro tank, this edition which has the stock coil tank and the rebuildable Pulse vessel tank, and a new version which includes the excellent Kylin Mesh rebuildable tank, so you have plenty of options. My choice would be this kit with the resigned Pulse vessel bridge. If the Kylin M looks like your kind of thing, I’d recommend purchasing that separately as it really requires more power than a single 18650 can supply and is much more suited to a 21700 device.