The Aspire Speeder 200W mod starter kit arrived on my desk with a considerable amount of fanfare, and that’s usually when my hype detectors turn red. Thankfully, there is no hype with the Speeder, and its companion Athos tank, just really great vaping performance.
I have a confession. I have never once used an Aspire mod. Not for any particular reason, mind you. It’s just that through all of them – Archon, Pegusus, NX and Zelos, among others – I’ve always considered Aspire more of a “tank company.”
No, they’re not perfect; that’s why we write these lengthy reviews. But for all of the devices that cross my path each month, few of them are as consistent as the Speeder, and fewer offer this much value for the price. Here’s why…
A Starter Kit …. Don’t Judge a Book…
The Aspire Speeder Starter Kit packaging isn’t going to win awards for its box design, which features imagery that suggests a much smaller, less substantial device within. The black, spartan box doesn’t do much to sell the mod, which is much more elegant than the pictures imply.
Inside, you’ll see why. My deep matte black test model practically melded with the foam insert. But once I removed it, I was greeted with a sleek, mature-looking mod with just a touch of gloss amid the soft-coated aluminum exterior.
In addition to the grip-friendly texture, the Aspire Speeder has some cut-out texture on the sides of the device, which feel good, but actually serve to confuse the user. The fire key is hidden into this design element, which is identical on both sides. If not for the Aspire logo on the flush fire bar/button, it would be impossible to distinguish it within the design.In the hand, the dual-18650 Speeder has a nice ergonomic feel. It’s not weighty, but feels substantial and durable. The soft coating also feels smooth, but is just grippy enough to ensure a sense of confidence in the hand.
The rest of the visual presentation is standard. A front-placed up/down control button is located underneath the bright 0.96” OLED screen, and both are strong, if not a little predictable and boring. But, given the sleek, understated design of the Aspire Speeder, it was probably intentional.
One nice usability element is the accelerometer in the display that determines which way the display faces, depending on how the Speeder is held. It’s a minor enhancement, but at this stage of the game in vape innovation, these small touches stand out.
The offset 510 connection is press-fit, but solid, and most tanks sat flush without concern. Ironically, the included Athos sub-ohm tank did not, but we’ll cover that in a bit.
I do wish Aspire positioned the connection in the center of the device, rather than offset, since the form factor just screams for symmetry. The Vaporesso Revenger benefits from this positioning, and I think the svelte exterior of the Aspire Speeder would have been more complete had they gone this route.
Athos – a most noble musketeer
The included Aspire Athos sub-ohm tank is a bona fide flavor machine, and is a welcome addition to this package. Not only does it look amazing atop the Speeder, but it complements just about any mod with which you use it.
With the same well-machined, lightweight aluminum construction as the Speeder, the 4mL Athos is a unique, striking tank which makes for an eye-catching, matte combination that will stand out against the usual sea of polished metal finishes on your desk.
Though the top-fill cap and bottom airflow aren’t anything special, they work extremely well, even if the ARC ring is removable, and can come off when turning it. It’s not my favorite design, and was a rare black mark against the Athos.
But I loved the way the aluminum frame protects the glass without blocking any view inside the tank. Not only do you not need a vape band with the Athos, but you won’t want to use one. It’s that attractive.
The included Aspire A5 penta-coil and A3 triple-coil (both Kanthal) are thirsty monsters, but they pay back the user with thick, voluminous clouds that don’t wane until the tank is nearly empty. They’re also extremely long-lasting, as both of mine gave a solid week of consistent vaping before any muted tastes entered the fold.Of course, looks only get you so far, so I was thrilled to find that the Athos really delivers on the flavor and vapor front. In fact, I would argue this tank performs with the best tanks in this category, out-flavoring my Cleito EXO, and producing as much vapor as my OBS-V tank.
No, a week isn’t the BEST longevity we’ve seen from a replaceable coil, but in this day and age, with more moderate (read: not for testing) use, it was impressive.
It should also be noted that the recommendations for wattage were pinpoint accurate. The A5 is rated for 100-120 watts, and absolutely sang at 110. At this level, the vape was warm and flavorful, but not overly powerful, which I prefer.
The more-conservative A3 is rated for 60-75 watts, and I found its sweet spot to also be right in the middle, at 70 watts. Though this was (obviously) a much cooler vape, it was no less flavorful. Because I vape at relatively moderate wattages, this was my preferred coil, due to its reduced e-liquid consumption, and slightly more nuanced flavor. But these two coils really show off the versatility of the Athos sub-ohm tank.
I have only two real complaints about the Athos. First, the installed plastic top cap, while attractive and cool on the lips, is far too wide. The included Delrin alternative is much more comfortable to use, and doesn’t have the scratchy plastic threading (which is just bound to wear away with frequent fills). Plus, Aspire didn’t include a 510-adapter, so if you’re going to use the Athos, you’re going to do it the way Aspire intended.
Secondly, the loose airflow control ring doesn’t do a very good job sealing off the vacuum, meaning the Athos leaks more than most modern tanks. Several presumably successful refills quietly became sticky, flooded disasters – usually when the coil was still breaking in. Over time, the problem dissipated, but the sticky memories remain.
These are minor quibbles, because when the Athos fires, it does so on all cylinders, and provides an amazing vape. If an RBA head was included, it would be a perfect package in my eyes. And I’m confident many of you will agree.
A match made in heaven…
Too often, we receive “starter kits” that are little more than random groupings of products. The Aspire Speeder Starter Kit truly feels like a cohesive pairing, and yes, they do work better together, than they do with other devices. No, it’s not significant, nor should it prevent you from using either the Speeder or the Athos with other elements of your collection. But there’s something about a well-matched pair that just works.
The Speeder itself vaped well with any tank or dripper I through at it. In fact, I HAD to try other tanks, because the afore-mentioned A3 and A5 coils are both Kanthal, meaning temp control was off the table for the Athos.
Using a collection of MTL and sub-ohm tanks, I found the Speeder to work best as a straight wattage device. It’s not that the temp control was difficult to use or control, but rather because it seemed a touch underpowered when compared to wattage mode. Perhaps Aspire knew this going in, and made the decision to only include Kanthal coils as a result.
Using TCR mode, I had the best experience in temp control, and the nickel and titanium RDA coils I threw at it performed admirably. The Speeder seemed to throw a touch more power in these modes, than with the preset Ni/SS/Ti settings. Again, not a huge difference, but worth noting nonetheless.
Moving back to wattage mode, I tried a bunch of unique tanks on the Aspire Speeder mod – which I admit I chose as much for their own aesthetics as their vape quality – and the results were outstanding.
Using such relics as the Kayfun V3 Mini, the UD EZ post-less RTA, the OBS Engine and the Digiflavor Pharaoh dripper tank, all vaped smoother than warm butter. And they all added something to the Speeder’s look and feel.
More importantly, they all showed off how well the Speeder vaped. The device easily reached and achieved 200 watts on two 18650 cells, and didn’t stutter once. Plus, the Speeder’s aluminum chassis stayed cool throughout, even when consistently pumping out 150 watts or more throughout an evening.
Battery life on the Speeder is also quite good. Not the best I’ve seen, mind you, but nonetheless impressive for a high-wattage mod. I have taken the Speeder out for several day trips and had no problem making it through an evening without swapping batteries.
Perhaps my only minor complaint about the Speeder is the afore-mentioned cutouts on the side of the device, which occasionally make it difficult to locate the fire button. And we’re talking about a three-second dilemma, folks – barely worth mentioning here.
Aspire Speeder Starter Kit – Wrapping up…
The Aspire Speeder Starter Kit is a fantastic offering from a company I admittedly never credited for innovation. Between the Speeder’s looks and performance, and the Athos’ tremendous flavor and vapor production, I can see the Speeder replacing a lot of scratched up, aging Aliens and Sigelei 213s.
With its ideal form factor, performance to spare, and a great price point, the Aspire Speeder Starter Kit should be on the short list of anyone looking for a new, powerful palm- and pocket-friendly device.
Aspire Speeder MOD Specs:
- Size: 88mm (H) x 31(W) x 46mm (L)
- Screen: 0.96-inch OLED
- Variable voltage: 0.1 – 8.4V
- Variable Wattage: 1 – 200W
- TEMP Range: 200 – 600F/ 100 – 315℃
- Modes: VW / VV / Bypass / TC – Ti / TC – Ni / TC – SS / TCR / CPS
- Thread: spring loaded 510 thread
- Charging port: USB charging port
- Battery: 2x 18650 cell (not included)
Aspire Speeder Kit contents
- 1x Speeder MOD
- 1x Athos Tank
- 1x Extra A3 Kanthal AF Tri-coil head
- 1x Extra drip tip
- 1x Glass tube
- 1x USB cable
- 12x O-rings
- 1x Warning card
- 1x Manual
- 1x Warranty card
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