Vaporesso have been one of the most consistent names within the vape industry for as long as I can remember. They have produced various box mods, tanks, AIO’s, accessories and coils over the years but, like many, they have also focused on pod based systems in recent times.
In January of this year, Vaporesso introduced us to the Target PM80, a sub ohm, direct to lung AIO system that gave you all the benefits of removable coils and a pod like filling system within a relatively small and pocket friendly device, with a built in battery. In this review we are going to take a look at Vaporesso’s latest incarnation of this device, the Target PM80 SE, this time with a removable single 18650!
The PM80 SE and RBA were sent to me by Vaporesso for the purpose of this review.
- Vaporesso Target PM80 Pod Device
- 2 x Vaporesso Target PM80, 2 or 4ml Pods
- Vaporesso GTX 0.2 Ohm Mesh Coil
- Vaporesso GTX 0.3 Ohm Mesh Coil
- Micro USB Charging Cable
- 4 x airflow rubber plugs
- User Manual
I was also sent:
- RBA base (sold separately)
- Vaporesso GTX 0.8 ohm mesh coil
- Vaporesso GTX 0.6 ohm mesh coil
- Pack of 2 replacement pods.
- Size: 102mm × 24.8mm × 33.4mm
- 18650 battery compatible (not included)
- 5-80W Max Output
- 0.91 Inch TFT Colour Screen
- AXON Chipset with smart mode
- Variable Wattage
- Range Of Safety Protections
- 4ml Proprietary Pods (2ml within the EU)
- Interchangeable Coils
- Easy Coil Installation
Design & Build Quality
Those familiar with the original PM80 will instantly feel at home with the design of this device, because asides from being quite a bit taller (2cm in fact), it’s the same. Extremely comfortable and ergonomic in the hand and a very nice weight, not so light that it feels cheap but by no means overly heavy given the fact that it’s a zinc alloy body with an 18650 battery. I was able to slip this device in my pocket and comfortably carry it on the go.
The back of the device is nicely rounded and the front panel with the display and buttons is flat but still well rounded off on the corners. Whether you finger or thumb fire, it is equally as comfortable. There’s also some branding that runs down the side of the SE. It’s not overly intrusive though and it doesn’t have that ‘slap-you-in-the-face’ branding that we see on some devices, so I’m fine with that.
Much like the original device, it comes in a multitude of colors with a soft touch silicone sticker on the back which also varies greatly in design from faux resin to carbon fiber and other general patterns. The model I was sent is simply called ‘Silver’ which I really like: the main frame is a gun metal color with a polished finish.
Ordinarily, I’m not a huge fan of polished finishes due to them being fingerprint magnets. However with the surface area of the device being reduced, I don’t really notice it. The silicone sticker on the back of mine is silver with a raised pattern which looks good and not cheap. The paint finish is very nice. I have been using the device daily for around 3 weeks and have no scratches or chipping whatsoever.
Moving onto the display of the AXON chip, I was fully expecting the lovely vertical color display of the original PM80 however this is not the case with the SE. Instead, we have a horizontal, black and white color display that feels very old and quite dim but I’ve definitely seen worse; I’m assuming this was to allow for more room around the battery housing. It’s a little disappointing but not a deal breaker by any means as the chip offers some great detail and information.
Alongside the obvious displaying your wattage, coil resistance and which mode you are currently in, you also get a small puff counter and the battery level is shown with an actual percentage which I LOVE! My favorite feature by a long stretch is the fact that it also shows a ‘best’ for the currently installed coil. This is fantastic, especially for newer vapers who may be unsure of where to set their wattage and great for those that cannot remember which coil is in there. Looking through the pod with squinted eyes is not needed and I wish more companies included this on their chips. Kudos to Vaporesso on that!
Equally as impressive is the smart mode on the chip. This will allow you to install a coil and the device will automatically set a recommended wattage based on the resistance of that coil. This can still be manually altered, however. When removing the pod to fill and re-inserting it will default back to the recommended. Again, for newer vapers this is an incredibly user friendly experience.
Moving onto the buttons of the device, they all have a nice and satisfying click and the response time of the fire button is incredibly quick. It fires immediately and has a nice groove to it which is comfortable whether using your finger or thumb. There is a bit of movement to the buttons and they’re all made of plastic but its not awful. The up and down buttons to adjust wattage are equally tactile and easy to use.
Overall the build and finish is really nice on the PM80 SE: the battery door feels strong with very little wiggle and it has venting holes and gives you a satisfying snap when you close it. On the side of the device you will find a micro USB port. Whilst I never recommend to charge an external battery this way, it’s good to know that if there are any firmware updates it can be carried out that way or if you are in an absolute pinch you could give the battery a small boost.
Vaporesso PM80 SE Features
The AXON chip performs really well indeed. As I’ve already stated, it feels very ‘old school’. Alongside the display and functional options we have already covered, the chip is super efficient. Battery life lasts well providing you are using a reasonable wattage; I’ve never actually needed to hit the 80w maximum (although I did for testing and the 0.2ohm coil held up but, wow, it’s a warm vape).
With the RBA base that we will cover shortly, it’s been rocking at 22w with a Sony VTC5 which I find will last me around 2 days of fairly heavy use. I didn’t find the premade coils much different but obviously the higher your wattage the quicker the drain.
Using the 0.2ohm coil at around 60 watts will give you around half a day which means when you start to hit the lower percentage of a battery the performance will drop, which is a given. I have started to notice this when the battery hits around 25-30% remaining. The fact remains that you are ultimately only dealing with a single 18650.
The AXON chip also has a ‘pulse’ mode, Vaporesso say that this allows the chip to keep giving you a steady level of power throughout the duration of your inhale and it is definitely up to the task. Hitting the SE gives a very satisfying vape indeed. Sometimes with a device that performs a pulse mode you can almost feel it and hear it but I don’t with the SE. I am someone that will often carry multiple vape devices when out for the day but on occasion I found myself only grabbing this which means I like it… a lot!
- On/off is 5 clicks of the fire button
- Locking the device is 3 clicks of the fire button
- Fire button and up will rotate the display
- Fire button and down will show the Axon chip information
- Holding both up and down will take you into the device power options.
- Smart variable wattage; standard variable wattage; variable voltage; default; exit.
Pod & Coils
The pods for the SE are identical to that of the predecessor which is amazing as they are interchangeable and the fact that you get two in the box is a big pro. They hold 4ml or 2ml of juice respectively, depending on where you are in the world.
The shape is a little like a teardrop, with a flat side, a fixed mouthpiece, and a press fit coil installation. I would have loved to see a removable 510 drip tip however it’s extremely comfortable in use and after a while I wasn’t bothered about not being able to swap it out for something else. Most of the devices available that compete with the SE are the same and I guess it is nice to know you don’t have to worry about a loose drip tip falling out.
The pod has a nice clear plastic bottom making it incredibly easy to see your juice even with half of the pod being submerged into the device itself.
The connection of this pod is the best I have experienced and that is no understatement! The magnets are very strong and the pod clips in with an authoritative like strength and a great sounding click. I tried a flick test on the SE which is basically where I hold the device and wave it around to see if the pod comes out… no movement at all! The pod stays like it’s built in, no wiggle, no rattles and no leaking.
The bottom fill on the pod is also good. It’s a nice thick rubber bung fill which can be swung to the side and a large fill port means no fiddling with the bottle tip. As a test I filled the pod and let it sit for a day expecting at least a little leaking like you might find with their Xtra pod system but I was pleasantly surprised when there was none whatsoever! In fact, it takes a couple of days for any condensation to build during use and even then its such a small amount. This is a huge pro!
Coil compatibility on the SE is phenomenal. The vast range of GTX coils available means there will be something to suit everyone and the flavor from all of them is pretty outstanding.
I have tested the 0.2ohm, 0.6ohm and 0.8ohm coils. My favorite aside from the RBA base was the 0.2ohm coil. They all feel like DTL coils to me with the higher resistance ones feeling like a super restrictive DTL. Now that’s not to say that MTL isn’t achievable, I just think there are better suited devices out there if MTL is what you desire.
In the box you get the 0.2ohm and a 0.3ohm coil. These are for regular nic and subohm vaping which is where this device sits best in my opinion. All coils handled 70/30, 80/20 and 50/50 juice perfectly. None gave me any hint of a dry hit or any spit back for that matter.
Airflow on the SE is non adjustable and sits on both sides of the device. Vaporesso include rubber airflow plugs in the box in order for you to cut the airflow down if needed which isn’t ideal. I don’t like this idea at all as over time they may fall out or get loose and in testing I found that they cause the airflow to become a little turbulent.
Thankfully though I find the airflow on the SE virtually perfect as it is! Really quite smooth for a pod and the restriction is just right for a subohm vape! Airflow differs on the coils too. Worth bearing this in mind when deciding which one suits you.
I was also sent out the Vaporesso RBA base for review, this is a separate purchase so let’s take a look at what you get!
RBA Box Contents:
- 1 x Target PM80 GTX RBA Coil
- 1 x Screwdriver
- 1 x User Manual
- 1 x O-ring1
- 1 x O-ring2
- 1 x Cotton
- 2 x Screw
- 2 x 0.7ohm FeCrAI Coils
As with most devices released at the moment there is a desire for an RBA base. This provides flexibility for users to install their own coils rather than buy premade.
This particular base is a dual post single coil setup and the first thing to note is that it’s incredibly small. So if like me you were thinking you could squeeze a 3mm premade MTL Clapton in there you would be wrong. Think small gauge spaced round wire build and you would be along the right lines.
The posts have two very small top secured Philips screws. It can be quite tough to get the wires to stay in place but once you do everything stays solid.
The biggest issue with the RBA base is that it doesn’t come with a 510 adapter which in turn makes it very difficult to build on and you can’t pre burn your coils hence why I suggested spaced.
Once you do manage to get it built it’s actually really nice to use and the flavor is good. Go easy on the wicking, you only need to make sure that the juice channels are covered but I have had zero dry hits and the airflow is smooth. Again, a restricted airflow but I quite like that and it gives a nice warm vape. My coil came out at 0.72ohms and I have it set to 22watts which has been perfect for me.
All in all I really like the PM80 SE it’s very well suited to new vapers moving onto a subohm setup or experienced vapers just looking for a small out and about device. The fact that you can use an 18650 battery means you can swap out easily when your battery dies, the coils are long lasting if not pushed to the limit, easy to install and the flavor is great.
The SE has user friendly written all over it, just a shame that the RBA base feels a little incomplete and would really benefit from a 510 base to build the coils on a mod or build stand. On the whole though this device is great and I for one will be using it for a good long while!