The ProVape ProVari is widely considered to be at the pinnacle of the electronic cigarette pile, even amongst folk that has never used one or even handled it, it is still highly respected. But the question is – is it worth the dosh?ProVari

Iconic

Some products gain an iconic status; it is an enviable position for any company to be in. Often more by chance than careful planning, some consumer goods become ‘detached’ from the normal market pressures of price and design – they become desirable because they are desirable.

Unless you are a hi-fi buff, you might not know of Quad amplifiers. I don’t mean amplifiers that are quadraphonic; I mean the brand Quad. They are British made, weigh a ton and have a utilitarian beauty that is not universally appreciated. The build quality is superb, and they seem to last indefinitely, but it has to be admitted that the price is quite high for their relatively modest specifications. Interestingly Quad achieve healthy exports even to countries better known for being exporters of electronic goods to us. Connoisseurs just love them.

There are other brands too, Morgan Cars, Burberry Jackets, Dunhill Lighters… virtually every market sector has a brand that stands apart from the crowd. Oddly, the more that the manufacturer charges for these items, the higher their perceived worth rises as does their desirability, thus acting opposite to expected market forces.ProVari
ProVari

The ProVape ProVari is one of these brands. They are highly prized because they are highly priced. None of these brands would have achieved such a reputation however without being something special. The ProVari is certainly special; the ProVape website describes the ProVari as ‘The Ultimate Variable Voltage Electronic Cigarette’ and promises ‘Quality – no compromise components. Made in the USA’. I don’t know if they mean that all of the components are made in the USA or just that it is constructed in the USA, but the result is a product bordering on the sublime.
Features

In common with other VV ecig mods, the ProVari is just a tube to hold a rechargeable battery which has a 510 fitting at one end to attach an atomiser, a control board to regulate the voltage, display, and a button to set and activate it. What makes the ProVari different is it’s superb build quality – the finish of the case is simple, and hard-wearing and the overall design is subtle. The firing button has a firm and assured action and is backlit translucent hard plastic. The screw-thread on the base is a joy to use; it is long and smooth, it almost feels dampened.

All of the settings are done via the single button which is placed directly opposite the bright and clear ‘double 8′ LED display. The setting menu is fairly intuitive, maybe the best possible, given the constraints of a single button and two digit display. It gives a constant and stable voltage output and a cut-off safety feature in the case of over prolonged firing (16 seconds) or overheating.ProVari
Perfect?

The ProVari is even nicely balanced in hand, but is it, in every way perfect? It is naturally tempting to pull down an icon and rip it apart to expose a myth however even if I avoid this trap there does remain a few things about the ProVari that is.. err… Sub-optimal, especially given its premium price.

Look through the plastic window at an angle, and you will notice that the edge of the display is visible, as is the printed circuit board that it is sat on. The positive terminal on the board is ‘hard-wired’ with no spring in place to soften the impact of heavy-handed battery insertion. The model that I was testing had the (optional) blue display and button light, however, the micro-switch on the board that is depressed by the button is visibly red through the button. The (optional) extender cap that is needed if you wish to accommodate a 18650 battery has a very slightly different texture which appears brighter/lighter thus making it look like the add-on that it is.
Dismissed

You might be tempted to think that given all of the above ‘nit-picking’ that I would dismiss the prospect of owning a ProVari, especially given the lack of a variable wattage setting option, but that would not be true. ProVari owners love their device; I have yet to hear an owner make a seriously derogatory remark about them. They remain desirable, very desirable – simply because they are desired.

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