Touchscreen Mods: Trill or Frill?
If you keep up on the most current hardware, you may have seen something new starting this year. Touchscreen Mods are a thing, and they’re coming to a store near you. The indisputable question is, “Do we even need that?” Well, today we’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of such a feature and you can decide for yourself.
When I first started looking into these, I came across a Reddit post whose title was basically “Is anyone excited for mods with touchscreens?” and was surprised to find a resounding “NO!” throughout the entire thread. Apparently people are unwilling to accept this feature for various reasons.
The first reason is pretty obvious: battery life. Battery capacity has plagued vapers since the beginning. Vaping technology moves at the speed of light, surpassing the classic example of the computer industry. Sometimes your vape is old news by the time you’ve researched it, waited for a paycheck to splurge, and it arrives at your door. But battery technology has not moved as quickly. We have seen minor improvements in capacity and amp limits, but our devices also crave more power than they once did, creating a cycle of daily charging (in my case, whether it’s a single or dual battery mod, about 3 batteries a day).
Think about your cell phone and how quickly that dies. When we’re already being inconvenienced by the battery life of our devices, do we really want to incorporate a huge, flashy screen? Granted, the screen part is the main function of a phone, so its screen is used very frequently. How much battery would be drained in changing menu settings a few times a day? My guess would be not a lot, but that depends on the design. What if the screen is on at all times, or every time you press the fire button? It’s definitely a valid concern, but I don’t think any screen on a mod will automatically turn it into a power-hungry beast that dies in an hour. It’s all about how they implement it.
The next main concern is durability. This is a concern I can get behind. Bad 510 connections, faulty wiring, fried boards, magnets that fall out…. we already have a bevy of things to worry about, and this is just one more. One good drop and you can’t adjust your wattage anymore due to a spiderweb across your screen? No, thank you! “But I take care of my things and would NEVER drop it.” Well, have you ever had a leaky tank? I think everyone has. This would no longer be a simple wipe-it-down-and-everything-is dandy situation. This would have the potential to ruin your mod completely. Even if it’s not one of the many things a user could do, it could just be another possible manufacturing defect, leaving your device DOA. When we already have a system that works, why change it?
I can think of a few reasons. For one, most menu systems range from clunky at best to completely infuriating. No one can seem to agree on what combination of button-presses should do. Knowing how to do each function of various devices from a ton of manufacturers is like remembering cool cheats for a video game. “Was it fire button+up for 3 seconds to get into temp control? Nope, that’s stealth on this one, now I can’t see my screen, great.”
Unifying these commands under an icon-based touchscreen menu would increase the user experience greatly. A coil-calculating app on the device may be handy. Yes, we can all go to the internet for this, but you have to admit it’d be pretty gosh-darn convenient to have it right on your mod. Using our standard up, down, fire setup, even if you could fit this on a screen navigating, it would be awkward and time-consuming. You could preload it with coil/tank compatibilities and even just general information about vaping.
In the end, I think it’s going to come down to a case-by-case basis on whether or not the touchscreen is useful or implemented well and, more importantly, how much cost that adds. We’re just now getting to the point where they are churning devices out smaller and cheaper every day without sacrificing quality, and this would be a step in the opposite direction. The mod I’m vaping on now is 3.5” x 1.5” and does 90 watts. You can’t fit a touchscreen on that, and I’ve been quite happy with it. Do I really want it to be bigger and cost more, just to fit a screen on it? If the features justify it and the price is right, I’d say yes. But, just like taste, style is subjective. While some may find the screen gaudy and unnecessary, others will find it the must-have feature that completes their set-up. You be the judge. Until next time, vape on!