Aspire Plato - another first impression!

Just received my Grey Plato kit this morning along with some Clapton coils and various other spares I needed.

First impressions - very good. It feels solid but not too heavy and the fit and finish and engineering seems top notch.

Having washed the relevant bits and pieces (although it all looked spotless) I fitted a primed Clapton 1.8 ohm coil, a Nautilus drip tip, filled with my favourite mix and away we go.

Now used it for a few hours whilst experimenting with wattage and airflow settings and my sweet-spot, with my Flue cured + a few drops of French pipe mix, seems to be about 12 watts with the air flow closed to about 20% - I am a totally MTL style vaper.

I must say it works very well, the flavour has now really shone through (always takes a while with a new coil) and the vapour production is good but maybe not quite as dense as I expected after using other products recently?

Thankfully, at the moment at least, I am glad I took the risk and purchased one because it seems a quality item and hopefully I can use up some of the packs of Nautilus BVC coils I have as unfortunately although the Nautilus WAS my all-time favourite tank, a while back, it just does not have enough air for my vaping style these days. I was very wary to be honest in view of the "stone wall", zero response I had from Aspire with regard to various BVC Coils, Pegasus and Triton defects and problems in the past. Indeed I sent a customer service email a couple of days ago enquiring when I might expect my Plato order and I have yet to receive a reply (as normal) BUT I have now received the goods - it actually took just 2 days to get to the UK - impressive!

Overall, I am pleased with the Plato, it fits my needs very well as I have been using an eGrip OLED (very good with a CLR coil or excellent with the RBA) as my out and about, in the shirt pocket, mod and this will give me another option - yes it IS a bit bigger but as it has a larger tank, battery and screen then that's expected. In fact it is only marginally bigger than my Cool Fire IV (slightly wider and without the tapering body) but then that needs a tank added on top as well!

PROS
Very compact - considering the tank and battery size internally
Nicely finished and appears to be of quality construction
Simple operation and menu system (unlike the Pegasus V1 !)
NO rattles
Excellent airflow control
Absolutely zero leaks - so far
Firmware upgradable - mine is showing "V03" at the moment and I have already replaced "Aspire" with my forum name using the PC software

CONS
The viewing window on the back of the cover has very sharp edges - needs a bit of a chamfer applied BEFORE it's painted
Would have been nice to have a Clapton coil in the kit as well - if necessary instead of the BVC coil?
It's a shame the sub-ohm coils are a "special" and hugely wasteful of materials when they have to be thrown out - rather surprised that there is not an adapter for the Cleito coils on which they are based?
Tank has to be empty to allow change of coil

Anyway, that's my thoughts so far.
Comments
  • 14 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Nice review! I gotta agree with you on the sharp edged juice viewing window. However IMO they should have just left it off altogether as it's so easy to slip off the cover to see the tank contents.
  • I slip the cover too ... they could either remove it or make it a bit wider.
    Not really sharp edges on mine here at that window but more at the edge around the airflow.
  • Yes, I think you're right - did not really need the window.

    I had not noticed the sharp edge around the air-flow - I guess I am so used to keeping my pinkie away from that area as I got fed up with it being singed using my eGrip which is a similar arrangement when using the RBA!

    If you turn the Plato around and fire with your finger, instead of your thumb, then you don't really detect the sharp edge of the viewing window - but the whole thing does not seem to fit the hand so well then?

    I might try and find a small rubber grommet and cut a section out to see if I can blank off the window - might even provide a bit more "grip" to the case?
  • edited March 2016 Vote Up0Vote Down
    A few more thoughts on the Plato now I have used it for a few days.

    I was still not convinced with the vape quality the 1.8 Clapton coil was producing, just a bit thin? So I fitted the 1.8 BVC Nautilus style coil that came in the box - Ah, that's better - all the flavour and vapour I used to get from the Nautilus BUT with a looser airflow and only using 10 watts!

    I wondered what to do with the part used Clapton coil - so I dug a "mothballed" Nautilus out of the vape drawer and fitted it to that - strangely it seems to work far better in the Nautilus (compared to the Plato) and is producing the density of vapour at around 12 watts that I was expecting as well as allowing a bit more airflow, presumably because the coil diameter, and I suspect the bore in the bottom pin, is larger than the Nautilus coils.

    So it seems the 1.8 ohm Clapton coils (Triton Mini) I ordered with the Plato will allow me to start re-using my old favourite Nautilus tanks and I can use up my 1.6 and 1.8 BVC Nautilus coils in the Plato - worked out quite nicely for a change! As a bonus, the BVC coil has not started gurgling yet which was a definite possibility as these are all the later style with the larger juice ports.

    I might even treat myself and order the weathered Gold Plato as well - although I just counted and I already have 12 box mods sitting here on the shelf plus about 4 tubular ones in the drawer! But the Plato + BVC is my favourite, at the moment - and I did not expect to be saying that after having both the mediocre ESP30 and the Pegasus V1 disaster!
  • @woodbar I did have some gurgling with the BVC that came with the Plato and switched to the 1.8 Clapton with much better results....so keep an eye on that BVC that you are using!
  • @woodbar thank you so much for sharing this amazing review with us.
    I have passed your suggestion to our products development department.
  • @charlzrocks Well I guess that's a good example of the "different strokes for different folks" saying!

    I could not find a satisfying result from the Clapton in the Plato - it was OK, but not good, I just could not find a combination of air and watts that I liked?

    Using the BVC I instantly had the result I expected and the performance is even a small improvement over the Nautilus - primarily because of the better airflow. I have run 2 tanks through the Plato and BVC and have had no gurgling other than just after the initial fill, which is expected. I have even kept the device vertical in my shirt pocket for a few hours, under a jumper so nice and warm, which would have resulted in a flooded coil in the Nautilus without a doubt.

    Of course, my thoughts are based on the experience of only one example of each coil - it could be the new BVC I got in the Plato kit has a slightly different construction than my older ones, which are left over from last year, especially as there were lots of complaints about flooding after the juice ports were enlarged? I think as soon as I deplete this current tankful I will fit one of my older coils just to make sure! Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

    Again, it could also be the case that the Clapton coil I tried was not 100% although it is giving excellent results in a Nautilus at the moment so probably not?

    I mainly use 70% PG by the way.
  • Further thoughts on the Plato......

    I still like it very much, in fact I have not really used any of my other devices for weeks, so I ordered another one, some Clapton coils as well as a spare glass (just in case) direct from Aspire but very disappointed to find out the Antique Gold finish has been shelved?

    Over all I still find it works best with the Nautilus coils (1.6 or 1.8 ohms) and gives me all the flavour, and more, I used to get from the Nautilus tank BUT with a bit more air. I have never had a leak (that was not my own fault) from it. The later Nautilus coils very occasionally just have a little gurgle to them especially if the Plato has got warm in my shirt pocket or I have just filled it but I find that a single O ring (from the base of an old coil) fitted around the body over the juice ports completely cures this.

    The Clapton coils I use in my Nautili where they perform even better than the BVC variety - I still don't like them so much in the Plato.

    When I have fitted a new, well primed, coil and filled the tank I always remove the drip tip, hold the Plato upside down over some kitchen towel and blow though the air intakes at the base - this completely clears any excess juice from the coil and chimney and the device is then perfect from the first vape.

    The only cons I have found so far is that the vape "drops off" rapidly when the battery is showing about a third on the display - so it does not seem to be able to use the full capacity of the battery properly - and I am generally using 10-12 watts so not exactly taking a huge current from the cells! Not a big problem as it is so easy to slip a new battery in but still a bit disappointing.

    The main problem I have had is with the actual delivery of my last order. Normally the orders arrive extremely well packed inside a sealed cardboard box. This last one arrived a couple of days ago and the items had just been thrown into a DHL plastic sack - there was a bit of thin plastic padding included BUT that was separate in the bag and had not been taped around the items! The Plato box, the coil packs and the little box containing the glass were totally bruised, battered and squashed but the contents (I thought) seemed OK.

    I notice this was sent by ATL Co Ltd. in Hong Kong which seems unusual? Whoever Aspire has appointed for distribution they certainly need some training on safe packing! To add insult to injury they also put a much higher goods value than normal on the label which meant I had to pay and extra £15 to DHL for "handling and VAT" before they would deliver it - not happy!

    Finally, I decided to give my original Plato another good wash out now I had the new one. This can be a bit of a messy exercise so I thought I would dismantle it over the sink - BAD MOVE! For the first time ever, when I had taken the chimney out, the glass just fell out straight into the sink and ended up in several pieces - #*#$%*!

    Never mind - I now have a spare glass - open my new little box with the spare glass in - sod it - this has a crack in it - compliments of ATL Hong Kong and their absolutely crap packing.

    So I am now the proud owner of two Plato devices but only one is usable until I get another glass - perhaps I had better order two just in case - but are they gong to be packed the same way?

  • @woodbar Here DHL contracts with a local courier for end delivery. DHL packages are routinely delayed as they tend to be 'lost in transit' for anywhere from one day to a week or more. ALL courier companies charge usurious rates for their services an top of which we are forced to pay taxes. For these reasons I'll use EMS as my shipping method. I'll still be far ahead if one in six packages should go missing.
  • @Old_Salt well that's as maybe and we have a similar system here with 3rd party contractors - not DHL though.

    The main point you seem to have missed was the extremely poor packaging which meant my products were damaged in transit - NOT down to DHL but the responsibility of Aspire and/or their distributor I think and a new development as previously all my orders have been extremely well protected?
  • @woodbar Your package may have been opened for custom's inspection and re-packaged. I hope you filed a claim with DHL.
  • OK, let's get this straight.

    1) The package had NOT been opened - the plastic DHL sack was 100% intact and original.

    2) I have NOT filed a claim with DHL as they have done nothing wrong - other than charging an extortionate handling fee to collect VAT for HMRC (Her Majesty's Robbery and Customs!) - they got the package to me in 3 days.

    3) The cause of the transit damage was due to totally unsuitable and "careless" packing by Aspire / Distributor.

    4) The cause of my having to pay VAT and Handling charges was totally due to Aspire / Distributor elevating the value of the items from their normal quoted amount. I appreciate this is NOT an "officialy approved" function BUT if Aspire's policy has changed they could have told us.

    5) I have received many packages from Aspire previously and all, except this last one, have been extremely well packed and have had a suitable value marked on them to NOT trigger any payable duty.

    6) As I recall, NONE of the previous packages were despatched using the distributor they used for this last one.

    I hope that clarifies the issue and will negate any further smoke screen suggestions that the blame for my damaged goods lies with DHL, Customs, 3rd party contractor, the guy next door........ Etc.

    It might be nice to actually have some form of response from Aspire on the issue?
  • I just submitted an order. I'll let you know if I encounter a similar situation.
  • Got late to the party, since the eGrip2 checked all of my boxes.
    However, before eGrip2, I had a Cleito tank, and I missed SO MUCH the smooth vape the Cleito delivered. Add to that the fact that the eGrip2 spitted a lot.

    The Plato, it has some seriously WONDERFUL things, but there are two main things that bother me a lot, but let's start with the good:

    - Build and finish: The metal, aluminum or whatever it is sooooo smooth and perfectly finished. The slip-on-off cover just fits like a glove. Some friends actually were surprised when I slipped it off, it seems like one piece. Looks like it might weight a liiiiitle bit more, or the same as the eGrip2 (eGrip2 is shorter), but the Plato is actually lighter.
    - Refill: Refilling the Plato is just a dream come true. I can literally do it with one hand in seconds (even during a red light while driving!) and my fingers won't be oily. I love this feature.
    - The Plato 0.4 Clapton coil. Totally reminiscent of the Cleito coil, obviously designed with Cleito as a base. I adore this vape. Great flavour, great vapor production.

    Now for the bad:
    - With the 0.4 Plato coil, there's a lot of "left-over" juice when it goes blow the liquid flow hole, the holes could've easily been just a couple of milimeters lower.
    - Changing coils. It's a bit of a mess, and a lot of parts come off (orange o-rings/caps). Just need a little bit of patience and a couple of minutes, nothing to cry over.

    And finally, my two main gripes and (What was Aspire thinking?!)
    - No USB passthru charging?! This is simply a no-no. I've emailed them asking if they can allow it with a simple firmware upgrade. Not sure if it can be done.
    - No Cleito adaptor?! No one in town (around 15 Vape shoppes) carries the Plato coil. I'm basically screwed for now (I ordered a 4pack from FastTech). But even with that. It would've been much easier, both for the user and for aspire to create a Cleito coil adaptor. Sometimes I think "well it sounds easy but it must be hard for the design team", BUT NO, they did come up with an adaptor for the Nautilus/TritonMini coils!!.

    I seriously hope they're not done with the Plato yet, and they design a Cleito adaptor, because it will be a bit cheaper, easier, and better for the world, the Plato coil is a huge waste of aluminum. I can see Aspire just giving up on the Plato coils in a couple of years, and then I'll have a real problem.
    Also, with the adaptor they would be able to add the SS Temp Control feature!

    I REALLY REALLY hope Aspire still cares for their Plato users and consider this last point. A Cleito adaptor would be PHENOMENAL and would make this Mod PERFECT.
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