Voopoo Alpha Zip 180W TC kit with Maat tank Review by Si Davies

Review Date: 
06.01.2020

VOOPOO Alpha Zip Kit

VOOPOO ALPHA ZIP 180W TC KIT WITH MAAT TANK Review

The VOOPOO Alpha Zip Kit is a powerful TC kit consisting of the 180W VOOPOO Alpha Zip Box mod and VOOPOO Maat tank. It comes with double metal panels which feature metal carved craftsmanship and attractive colours. It uses the GENE.Fit chip, which has been borrowed from older models of the Drag, and takes dual 18650 batteries with a claimed 0.01s firing speed and 180 Watts max output.

The kit includes the innovative VOOPOO Maat tank which features a new middle adjustable airflow system, high power MT mesh coils with PnP (Plug & Play) design for simple coil changing with top filling for easy refilling.

Purchased from Ecigone, RRP = £74.99 but currently on sale at £39.99 (December 2019).
https://www.ecigone.co.uk/voopoo-alpha-zip-180w-tc-kit-with-maat-tank

In a Nutshell

The mod looks and feels luxurious with a quality construction and smoothed edges which feels great in the hand. There is nothing new chip wise (same as Drag 2). It's not the easiest navigation and operation, but it packs a punch for high wattage tanks. TC Mode is very good, if a little complex. The MAAT tank, though good, isn’t anything amazing flavour wise although it features a superb, innovative design with a great top-fill mechanism.
One to love and I do indeed love it.

VOOPOO Alpha Zip Kit from every angle

Unboxing and first impressions

The box is bland and is one of those ‘shake the sh*t out of it’ to open (a pet hate of mine, would it have hurt to put notches in the lid?). Once opened, things brighten up when you first see the beautiful mod on the top layer protected in film covered panels. I soon ripped those off and threw some batteries in and it was really pleasing, it has a nice weight and feels high quality.

I then lifted the top layer which had a handy little ribbon to access the MAAT tank and spares. There is a little envelope with manuals for the mod and tank, a warranty card and a daft little card for the Gene chip stating Powerful Chip – Born for fever , uhh? The tank wasn’t as exciting as the mod but felt solid and functional. I primed up the dual mesh coil and left it to saturate for fifteen minutes.

Contents

VOOPOO Alpha Zip Kit contents

Alpha Zip Mod

The design and styling is one of those things you will either love or hate, for me I absolutely love it. It feels kind of old school and expensive, the edges are all smoothed off (unlike its DRAG cousin) and the fire button is naturally positioned for finger or thumb firing. The battery panel is fixed with magnets and very firmly fastened with zero play.

Features include:

  • Size: 51.3 x 25.5 x 85mm
  • Power Range: 5-180W
  • Battery: 2x 18650 batteries (not included)
  • Material: Zinc Alloy & Stainless Steel & Plastic
  • Resistance Range: 0.5-5.0Ω
  • Voltage Output: 0-7.5V
  • Quiescent Current: <10uA
  • TC Range: 200-600℉/100-315℃

VOOPOO Alpha Zip Kit with batteries

Even the battery panel feels great and weighty. It is lined for battery protection and has two powerful magnets. The battery compartment is clearly marked and has a ribbon for battery removal. Also on the inside Voopoo marked ‘GENE CHIP’. I’m baffled what is so special about the Gene Chip? It’s a decent performing yet basic chip but it’s no DNA etc.

I expected the engraved panels to be fingerprint magnets but they really aren’t too bad. The engraving helps, and I don’t feel the need to constantly wipe it clean as with other high finished mods.

The spring loaded 510 connection is screwed down so should last without loosening issues. It is offset for reasons I can’t understand without stripping it down, the connection is central to the batteries though, and this does not bother me and I still think it looks good.

The adjustment and fire buttons feel superb and smooth. It has traditional up and down for menu and power setting functions, the menu can be complex or simple depending on whether you use TC or not. It does everything I need for a mod like this, but it has one annoying flaw. When you go into the menu by clicking the fire button three times, you enter the preheat settings ‘FIT’ from 1 being the least powerful to 3 the most powerful which is fine, but you can’t go back, you have to triple click again which takes you into temp control material options. You have to select one which then takes you to the home screen but you are now in TC mode! To go back to power mode you have to triple click again which then displays wattage. This still annoys me every time I go through it, whoever GENE is, he’s pretty thick!

VOOPOO Alpha Zip Kit screen

That annoying flaw aside, the basic operations are:

  • Lock and unlock the mod: press and hold the UP and FIRE button for a couple of seconds.
  • Power off/on: click the fire button five times.
  • Flip the screen: press and hold the DOWN and FIRE button for a couple of seconds.
  • To enter the main menu: press and hold the UP/DOWN buttons which will take you into a basic menu with Wattage, TCR, Memory Setting (five of them), serial number and firmware version.
  • To enter the preheat (annoying) menu: click the fire button three times.
  • Adjusting the FIT preheat with the UP and DOWN key. This screen remains so you can try each setting and the mod is able to fire in this screen. **You cannot exit this screen back to the main screen – see above**
  • TC (temperature control): click the fire button three times while in the FIT mode, select the material with the UP/DOWN keys, press the FIRE button once on the desired material which exits to TC mode (Grrrrrrr unless you actually want TC mode).
  • Adjust the temperature to your desired temperature with the UP/DOWN keys which half round robins to C and F by decreasing the TC to minimum then click the DOWN button.
  • Wattage adjustment while in TC mode: click the fire button four times, then adjust the wattage to your desired amount but maxes out at 80 watts.
  • To exit TC mode click the fire button three times.
  • To adjust the wattage click either the UP/DOWN keys which doesn’t round robin.

One of the features I like is when you pop an atomiser onto the mod and it asks if it’s a new or old coil. Select new, and the mod estimates the suitable wattage for you. It’s not exact but a safe starting point and superb.

That is pretty much it functions wise, quite minimal though confusing to navigate. Annoying TC loop aside, you are unlikely to need the menu if you are just going to use wattage only and once you’ve chosen the preheat (FIT), which I just left on No2.

Temperature control is probably the best feature once you get used to the confusing double menu system, by holding down the UP/DOWN keys you can set Ohms memory settings and power curves.

The memory functions I personally don’t find useful unless you have specific TC setups. 

VOOPOO Alpha Zip Kit with maat tank

So onto the tank……..

MAAT Tank

First off the tech specs:

  • Size: 55.75 x 28mm(Standard)/ 55.75 x 24.5mm (TPD)
  • Coil: MT-M1 0.13Ω Single Mesh Coil (60-85W)
  • Coil: MT-M2 0.2 oHm Dual Mesh Coil (55-80W)
  • Material: Stainless Steel & Glass
  • Air Intake: Middle Adjustable Airflow
  • Way to Refill: Standard: Top fill with top button; TPD: Top fill without top button
  • Thread: 510

VOOPOO Alpha Zip Kit fitting the coil

The tank strips down easily enough, especially the base which is a quarter turn twist off base. With the tank upside down, the coils are ‘PnP’ (Plug & Play) which means they are simply a press fit rather than unscrewing. Not only that, you can change your coil without emptying the tank as it has a chimney section that covers the coil which is a nice feature.

The top fill cap has a spring loaded button that flips the top to reveal the single kidney shaped fill port, a little small but does the job. I do like the flip button which springs open to a stop, a little thing but strangely enjoyable to use.

All good so far but Voopoo dropped the ball when it came to the mouthpiece which is a propriety sleeve style so you cannot use your own. You can see why they took this route though as the flip lid is too thin to take an 810 drip tip and if they made it thicker it would look too chunky.

It’s a heavy tank and very well constructed. The aesthetics really suit the mod, and the hexagonal airflow control ring feels good though a little on the loose side. It does feature a hidden path which also helps with any potential leaks.

You are unable to see your coil as it is covered by the chimney section. This, at first, seemed strange as you can’t see the usual ‘minimum fill line’, but when I realised how the coil sits low in the tank, it became evident that this was a superb and innovative feature. You can pretty much vape until the tank is empty yet juice is still reaching the coil – superb innovative engineering.

A feature I am not too keen on, (especially with the single bore coil), the base is designed to capture any excess juice rather than leak from the airflow slots. It is supposed to come back up into the coil when you vape but I found it caused spit-back and found unburnt juice in my mouth on a few occasions. This mostly happened after leaving the tank unused, such as overnight. I found myself not drawing as hard as I usually do which seemed to prevent it, other than that, once it expelled the excess juice, it performed well.

Coils

The two provided coils have lasted me ages and still look fresh after three weeks of high use (a benefit of the PnP is you can swap easily), which is excellent, but I found the lower range far too cool and lacked flavour. Both coils performed their best at the higher 80–85 wattage range.

  • Coil: MT-M1 0.13Ω Single Mesh Coil (60-85W)
  • Coil: MT-M2 0.2Ω Dual Mesh Coil (55-80W)

The wicking ports are huge which is ideal for fast wicking and constant juice flow.

VOOPOO Alpha Zip Kit mesh coils
(As you might have spotted, I was in idiot mode while messing around exploring the menu and dry burnt the dual coil. Fortunately my local vape store had a spare)

Out of the two, I preferred the dual mesh one, it gave better flavour and less spit-back. Overall, the flavour and vapour is very good and keeps up perfectly when chain vaping. I haven’t experienced a hint of a dry hit and, as mentioned, the coils are lasting very well.

Overall I like this tank a lot, it is one of the most innovative designs I have come across. It's not perfect, but ranks highly for me.

Conclusion

This kit has really won me over. I am not a fan of the menu system but since I won’t be using most of the functions, it won’t be an issue for me. But if you want all those features then, with a little patience, it should reward you. The MAAT tank is where most of the innovation comes in, a superbly engineered design. The low coil position is genius and means you don’t have to constantly watch your juice level and only refill when it is empty.

Its form factor is really pleasing and has an expensive look and feel to it. It may not be to some peoples' tastes so if it appeals to you visually, I think you will soon forget its flaws and enjoy its innovations.

One of my favourite new toys.

Pros

  • Innovative MAAT tank
  • Classy chassis
  • Fast ramp up
  • Engraved panels
  • Solid high quality construction
  • Smoothed edges make it comfortable to use
  • Leak free lowered coil design
  • Spring loaded fill cap
  • Smooth action buttons
  • Visually superb (subjective)
  • The tank suits the mod
  • Zero panel rattle
  • Plug & Play coil change with full tank
  • Nice & weighty (a con for some)

Cons

  • Spit-back issues when left unused for a while
  • Proprietary drip tip
  • Flavour is good but not amazing
  • Confusing menu system (a rare time I had to RTFM – Read The F**king Manual)
  • Slightly loose airflow control ring
  • Found myself saying “I’m going for a poo” when taking it out for a vape :p

Final Thoughts

The cons aside, it’s a kit I am glad I own. I often find myself admiring it between vapes and it also stands out in my vast collection. If the coils had given a bit better flavour, this would be a kit that’s hard to beat. This time last year I would have said the flavour was amazing but better tanks have evolved with the Mesh and have raised my expectations accordingly.

That said; it’s not ‘Poo’ and I genuinely love this kit.

Score: 7.5/10 – Superb love or hate design with brilliant innovative MAAT tank

 

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 Si Davies
Article by Si Davies
Now into my 50's I smoked ciggies for most of my life, I used to smoke tailor mades for 20+ years then onto rollups for 15+ years, as much as I enjoyed smoking I was forced to quit after an operation, started vaping in 2017, managed to quit the ciggies in 4 days, plodded along vaping using local shop naff vape gear until I discovered POTV then learned so much and enjoy vaping far more than smoking.