Honest review time: The Espion Silk with NotchCore from Joyetech

Here’s a look at the newest in the Espion line from Joyetech. The previous Espion devices have all shared a somewhat similar style, mostly made of metal with a sort of James Bond-esque spy apparel look to them. Well the latest addition to the line sheds the metal housing in exchange for a lightweight, durable and rubber padded plastic body which might sound a bit odd but once you get your hands on it you start to see or rather feel the benefits of such a design choice. I was quite surprised all around by this new kit and have been taking it with me everywhere. Here are my honest thoughts on the Espion Silk from Joyetech.

Package contents:

ItemQuantity
ESPION Silk1
NotchCore atomizer1
NotchCoilTM head5
QC USB cable1
Manual2
Warranty card1
Warning card1
Spare parts1

Listed features and specs:

  • Size: 29.5*40.0*120.0mm
  • Colors: Black, Orange, Brown
  • Battery capacity: 2800mAh
  • Kit weight: 141.0g
  • E-liquid capacity: 2.5ml
  • Screen: 0.69 inch OLED display
  • Output: 1-80W
  • Modes: POWER/BYPASS/TEMP(NI/TI/SS)/TCR(M1/M2/M3)
  • Resistance range: 0.05-1.5ohm for TEMP/TCR mode
  • 0.05-3.5ohm for POWER mode
  • Skin-friendly, soft & smooth
  • 5 horizontal NotchCoilTM inside, convenient & economic
  • Gold plated atomizer base
  • Clear & intuitive display
  • Top Fill
  • Adjustable airflow
  • 2A quick charge
  • Firmware updates

Packaging and contents:

The kit comes packed in a nice cardboard box with an image on the front of a planet being bombarded with asteroids with what looks like a galaxy floating in the space above it. On the back it has some basic info and lists the contents of the box. Inside the box everything is nicely presented with the contents being held safely in thick grey sponge. In the kit you get the mod, the tank, a manual, warranty card, warning card, a box of spare Notch coils and a box of extras. Inside the box of extras you get a micro USB cable and a bag containing a spare glass and some spare black orings. Not a whole lot of extras but you get everything you need to get started.

The Mod:

The mod is one of the most unique looking devices that has crossed my desk and at first I thought it would look and feel a bit cheap considering it’s made almost entirely of plastic and the exterior is essentially wrapped with a type of silicone. Ok so it’s not exactly wrapped and is more like a bunch of rubber pads have been affixed to the outside but the way it’s been put together makes it feel solid and comfortable in hand. The rubber pads are also hypoallergenic so they shouldn’t cause any issues for folks with allergies. Once I got it out of the box and in hand any hesitations about it’s construction were quickly forgotten. It’s simply one of the most comfortable mods I’ve ever held in my hand. It’s super light weight at only 141g even with an internal battery but still feels substantial and well made. It’s also fairly compact at only 120mm tall, 29.5mm wide and 40mm long.

Body and Batteries:

As I mentioned above the body of the mod is mostly made of plastic and re-enforced using silicone rubber pads. The pads have little divets cut in to them much like a golf ball only smaller which adds a bit more texture to the rubbery pads. They feel nice and smooth under the hand and not sticky like some rubber or silicone can. It’s got an internal battery with a rating of 2800mAh which tends to last a long time. It’s available in three different colours including black, orange and brown with each of them having a sort of two tone colour scheme. I got the orange one and I think it looks great with the black plastic body peeking through underneath the bright orange pads! Some vent holes on the bottom help keep things safe should any issues arise with the battery.

510:

Up top it’s got a nice looking stainless steel 510 connection that bears a spring loaded and what looks like gold plated 510 center pin. The few tanks and drippers I’ve tried on it have all sat flush and the threads are nice and smooth. The included tank is 22mm in diameter but the mod fits 26mm atomizers with almost no overhang off the back and that still leaves lots of space between the tank and the silicone padding that sort of wraps the face of the device. You could probably go a bit bigger but I didn’t have any 30mm gear to test with.

Screen, buttons and connection:

Down the face of the device is the 0.69″ OLED screen which is in black and white. It’s fairly easy to see but does appear a bit dim in direct sunlight. The layout of the screen is easy to read and intuitive and includes all of the necessary information we like to see. In regular power mode the screen displays a battery bar, the current resistance, the firing voltage and the current watts that it’s set to. If you switch to TC mode the screen displays the current resistance, the voltage it will fire at, the current temperature that’s set, the TC mode as well as the temperature units whether Fahrenheit or Celsius. Just above the screen is the fire button which is made of plastic and has horizontal ridges running across it for grip. It’s nice and clicky and only makes a slight rattle if I wave it around like a maniac. The +/- adjustment buttons are located near the bottom just above the micro USB port and they’re sort of crescent shaped, also made of plastic and a bit on the small side. Folks with really large fingers might have issues with the buttons but they work well for me. A micro USB port at the bottom of the face lets you charge it up quickly with 2A quick charging built in as well as update the device via firmware updates. I did notice the device tends to get pretty hot when charging but it hasn’t become an issue as of yet.

Usage, functions and performance:

Using the device is quite simple and if you’ve ever used a Joyetech device the menu and functions will be old news. Five clicks of the fire button turns the device on and off, three clicks will bring up the mode menu and let you cycle through options for Wattage, Bypass, Temp Control(Ni/Ti/SS) and TCR(M1-3). Pressing both adjustment buttons at the same time will lock the device from making adjustments. It’s got a max output of 80W and it’ll fire as low as 0.05ohms and as high as 3.5ohm depending on the mode you’re in. Pressing fire and + will bring up the sub menu with options for SUBPARAMS(my name for it), STEALTH mode, PREHEAT, TIMEOUT, VERSION and BATTERY. SUBPARAMS lets you chose between PUFF, TIME and Volt which will display the Puff count, puff time or fired voltage on the live screen depending on which one you chose. STEALTH lets you fire the device without the screen lighting up, PREHEAT lets you set a preheat value for up to 2 seconds, TIMEOUT lets you set the screen timeout values, VERSION shows the current device and software version and BATTERY shows the batteries actual voltage and not just a battery bar.

In my time with it the Espion Silk has performed perfectly. It’s got fantastic battery life thanks to the internal 2800mAh battery and with the Riftcore tank and low wattage requirements of the notchcoils the thing tends to last me all day, all night and then some. That is of course running at only about 22W so results will obviously vary depending on what you’re using it with. The power output appears pretty accurate while temp control was a little bit flaky but did work for me in SS mode. It fires quickly and consistently and in the weeks that I’ve been using it I haven’t had any issues whatsoever.

The tank:

The tank that comes with the device is called the Notchcore and it’s brought back a coil technology we saw rise and fall about two years ago called Notchcoils. They’re little stainless steel cylinders with notches cut in to them to essentially form coils. When first introduced they were immensely popular but quickly faded as these shooting star technologies do but now Joyetech has refined them a little bit, made them smaller, less power hungry and easier to manage. Now the 0.5ohm coils come pre-wicked like little tubes that you just drop in to a friction fit deck as opposed to having legs soldered on to them that you mount like a traditional coil.

The tank itself is pretty simple at just 22mm in diameter and 49.5mm tall including the drip tip. It comes equipped with a fairly standard delrin 510 drip tip and that’s about it. It does include a spare glass and orings but no extra tips or adapters are included in the kit. It holds 2.5ml of liquid and uses a slide back top fill. A little red arrow indicates where to push on the lid to open it. I found the hole a bit on the small side and occasionally some juice can sort of block it up which could lead to a bit of a mess when filling but for the most part it’s worked fine. The tank has a nice enamel looking finish but one accidental drop and it chipped off pretty easily. Airflow is adjustable via the bottom airflow control ring, it stops at either end and is pretty easy to slide around. I haven’t had any issues with it sliding around unwanted though. It’s probably best suite to direct lung vaping and I’ve been rocking it pretty much full open for the majority of my time with it.

Maintenance is pretty simple with the Notchcore, just uncrew the upper portion of the tank, pop out the old coil and pop in a new one. The coils sit in a little gold plated trough on the deck and little golden clamps on either end clip onto the little matching golden rings on the ends of each coil. They don’t really friction fit in, they sort of use tension to keep them in place. If you find one is a bit loose, just take it out, stretch it a tiny bit and pop it back in. You can also re-wick the coils if you so feel inclined which I found to be an equally easy process. Really, working on this thing couldn’t get much more convenient and the experience I got from it was nothing short of fantastic. Flavour and vapour production were great and the fact that it performs so well at such low power is even better. I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant with the clamp system but haven’t experienced any jumping resistance, shorts or anything like that.

Likes:

  • Look and feel
  • Build quality
  • Comfort
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Great flavour and vapour
  • Ease of use
  • Can re-wick the coils
  • Top fill

Dislikes:

  • Gets hot when charging
  • Flaky TC
  • Screen a bit dim in sunlight

Overall:

I was a little bit surprised at how much I enjoyed the Espion Silk with Notchcore and even brought it with me to the last CVE if that says anything. The battery life when running at 25w is fantastic, the performance I got from the Notchcoils was spectacular and the thing just feels really comfy in the hand. So far I really haven’t been let down by the Espion line of devices and the Silk may even have become one of my new favorites as I’ve barely wanted to set it down. I’m sure like everything I review this won’t be for everyone but would be a great setup for someone just starting out or any experienced vaper just looking for something that’s easy to use, lasts a good long while and performs like an absolute champ!