I’ve been curious about the Alchemy Z5 for a while, mostly due to the radical atomizer design. It looks like a big improvement over the eRoll! I must say that it was a bit hard to find – I had to purchase it from FastTech , and shipping (predictably) took a few weeks. But at last, it’s here!
- The portable charging case (PCC)
- Two complete e-cigarettes
- One Lightning to USB cable (!)
- Instructions (in Chinese)
Wait, what? A Lightning cable? You read that correctly. So instead of using a standard micro-USB cable, as used by virtually every manufacturer out there, you get a cheap version of what Apple is using for its iPhone.
That just doesn’t make any sense to me – I have an iPhone, and I never was able to find a cable when I needed one. Now I have the same issue with two devices instead of one.
And it gets worse: I needed considerable force to insert the cable into the PCC. This could be a minor defect with the unit that I bought, but it doesn’t exactly inspires confidence.
Speaking of the PCC – while it closes with a convincing “click”, it’s rather hard to open. However, there’s a trick: press hard on the side lip, and it’ll open. Unfortunately, it took me a while to figure this out. It can charge one e-cig at a time, and that leads us to another minor annoyance: the spare e-cig will invariably fall out of place whenever you open the PCC. Extremely frustrating. And while the spare won’t stay in place, the charging e-cig is rather hard to remove from the case.
Overall, the portable charging case looks and feels very cheap indeed. Let’s move on to the e-cigarette itself!
As I’ve said, the Alchemy Z5 has a very interesting atomizer design – the atomizer head screws in the tank, and the whole assembly screws on the battery. Unlike the eRoll, this shouldn’t leak all over the place after only a few refills. The whole package looks and feels like a slightly thicker eRoll-C – and that’s a great thing.
How does it vape? I fully charged a battery, filled up a tank and fired it up. I then noticed two things:
- It makes an annoying whistling sound when you inhale.
- It hardly produces any vapor – you must pull really hard in order to get anything, and then you’ll get e-liquid in your mouth.
I really wasn’t expecting that – but vapor production is really terrible. And of course, there’s no throat hit whatsoever.
On a positive note, it’s really inexpensive at under $20 for the starter kit (including free shipping). But that’s still a $20 that could (and should) be spent on a better product!