Introduction to beginner or Starter e-cigs
Beginner e-cigs, AKA vapes or vaporisers, generally fall under the classification of “Starter Kits”. Although they’re geared toward those beginning their vaping journey, they’re also fairly common among more experienced vapers. Whilst they offer fewer features and flexibility than their more advanced siblings, mods, more recent models have improved significantly in terms of performance and satisfaction.
Not too long ago, a heavier smoker would have been best sticking with mods and sub-ohm tanks. Today though, many beginner devices are enabling smokers to complete transition, and thus quit smoking for good. For those that use mods as their primary device, these make perfect secondary or back up units, and being pocket-friendly, they’re handy when you’re heading outdoors.
Beginner or starter e-cigs are generally sold in a kit form, and often come with an extra atomiser coil, a manual and a USB charging cable. Pretty much all you need to get started, minus the e-liquid.
And for around the price of a premium packet of smokes, I strongly recommend you take a closer look.
Types of Beginner Starter Kits
Whilst there are a variety of shapes and sizes, most are either a Pod system, an All In One -AIO or a Stick Mod. These are similar to the older Vape Pens, but they offer far greater performance and battery life.
Although Mods are generally the first choice for more experienced vapers, it doesn’t mean that they’re the right fit for everyone. Most smokers I meet want simplicity coupled with an acceptable level of performance (sufficient power, vapour and flavour) and look toward something that satisfies and keeps them off the cigarettes.
Irrespective of how heavy a smoker you are, or were, these e-cigs mirror smoking extremely well. The sensation is the same, the hand-to-mouth action or fixation is covered, as is that somewhat odd pleasure of inhalation.
Similarities to the Smoking Experience
Many models offer a very similar draw to smoking, what is known as MTL or mouth to lung. This is what most smokers need, and anything that offers a closer experience to smoking, increases the likelihood of switching or transitioning to vaping.
Other important aspects are size, performance and flavour. Thanks to innovation, even entry level devices such as Pod Systems and AIO’s or All In Ones, cover the needs of most smokers; this past year alone we’ve seen great improvements.
Simplicity and Performance
Beginner vaporisers tend to be fairly simplistic, again, offering fewer features than Mods. Pod systems and AIO’s house just a simple single fire button, so learning how to use them can be as easy as filling a tank and pushing a button.
Irrespective of a devices simplicity, one should have an understanding of how and why they work, so please visit our post-Introduction to Vaping
Advantages of Beginner Starter Kits
- Simplicity in terms of features and operation
- The learning curve is far less than with most Mods & Tanks
- Many of today’s models provide sufficient power & satisfaction to help you quit smoking
- Cost of kits are generally less than that of a complete Mod set-up
- Many make perfect stealth devices
- Size and portability
Recommended Pod Systems
Pod Systems are the latest edition to the starter category, and given that many are small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hand, the level of performance is quite impressive. Many now offer higher mAh batteries, meaning they last longer before recharging becomes necessary, some are even suitable for a pack a day smoker.
The models above, for me at least, represent the best that Pod systems offer, and they’re extremely satisfying when using nicotine salts, although by no means is this necessary. This is one of the main reasons more advanced vapers use them, as well as being perfect outdoor, stealth and or back-up devices.
Pod System vs AIO’s
Many smokers are on the fence deciding between Pod systems and AIO’s, given there are benefits and disadvantages to both. Personally, I use both on a daily bases and wouldn’t want to be without either. Most AIO’s, such as the impressive Aspire PockeX, will produce a little more oomph, slightly better flavour, and offer longer battery life. The downside compared to Pod systems is their size and weight, although certainly nothing extreme.
The big advantage of Pod systems, apart from offering surprising good performance, is their size, weight, and the fact that one can easily stealth vape without being noticed. In the office, on a plane, or anywhere where one is not supposed to smoke or vape.
However, if I had to choose only one of the two, it would be an AIO, and it would be Aspire’s PockeX. It’s not large and offers superb performance. It happens to be one of my favourite devices as it’s the perfect compromise.
AIO’s or All In Ones, sit firmly in the mid level range of vapourisers, offering outstanding performance coupled with simplicity. Although mods can offer all the bells and whistles, including the ability to swap out tanks, these devices have nudged a lot closer in terms of performance, and are being used more commonly by more experienced vapers.
The majority of smokers I meet tend to be drawn to these devices, more so than mods. Why? Well, they offer the perfect balance of performance and satisfaction, perhaps even more so than the best Pod systems.
Performance is governed by the type of coil or atomiser, and its ohm or resistance rating. Many of these devices offer sub ohm capabilities, offering exceptional vapour production, great flavour, and long battery life.
Recommended Stick Mods
Many Stick Mods are as close to the performance of a more advanced Mod set up as you can get. One of the advantages is the ability to unscrew and replace the compatible tank in case it breaks or cracks; this is unlikely though. One may also be able to purchase an additional battery section, this way you always have a spare, and one can be charging.
Whilst I own both of the above devices, and both are fine examples, the newer Tigon Kit is superb, and for me, offers a superior vape. This unit also happens to have the longest battery life, rated at 2600 mAh, almost double that of most.
As I’ve mentioned, most beginner vaporisers perform very well, but depending on the actual device, there can be an issue relating to battery life. This is due to the fact that virtually all of these devices support built-in or internal batteries.
This is a concern not just for those that spend a lot of time outdoors, it’s also an issue if you happen to be somewhere without access to an outlet or a USB charging source. If your battery dies, then what? Given the low price point of these devices, the solution is to buy two, and keep one fully charged. I’d recommend having one from each category.
Batteries have a mAh rating, (milliamp hour) and the higher that number, the greater potential for increased battery life. Try and aim for the highest mAh possible. 1000 mAh is what I would consider a minimum, but if you’re outdoors a lot, it’s unlikely to get you through the day unless you’re a light smoker. A single AIO is the safer bet for lengthy outdoor use. But again, just grab two devices.
Try before you Buy
As with most things vaping related, finding the perfect set-up comes down to trial and error. If you wish to test drive these product types, (we have all of the above mentioned and more) or even a few mods, please see our Vape It Forward- Try Vaping page. A free service where we help smokers make the switch. Alternatively, visit The Vapers Table’s list of Recommended Vendors Page.