Alfa Vaporizer Review

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Introduction

Introducing the Alfa Vaporizer from Goboof! The Alfa is a simple yet sophisticated, small Conduction style vaporizer that is designed for dry materials and it’s made in Ireland. Easy to operate and only about as tall as a regular Bic lighter, the Alfa packs a punch in a little package and sports some incredible, innovative features that are sure to please any vapor enthusiast.


Alfa Kit

Complete Alfa vaporizer kit: Alfa conduction vaporizer, AC charger, 1 extra food-safe silicone mouth piece, 3 screens, 3 pipe cleaners and a quick start guide. *not shown: (3 wood picks, also included.)


Features and Specifications

  • Sleek, simple and compact design
  • Rugged, reliable and safe construction
  • Fast heat-up time and good battery life (up to 2 hours)
  • Can be used while charging
  • First in class rotary dial: 3 constant temperature settings: ( Lo 374 F, Mid 410 F, Hi 437 F) and 2 automatic temperature settings: ( A/P: Automatic Heat-By-Puff, A/T: Automatic Heat-By-Time)
  • Anodized oven with heating pin that ensures even and efficient heat distribution with easy cleaning
  • Safe auto shut-off

Design / Construction

-Overview

The Alfa feels good, alfaholds well in your hand and It’s built with quality materials that provide a clean and pure experience for whatever dry blend you prefer. Discrete and inconspicuous, this small vape is perfect for people on the go and it fits comfortably in your pocket or in a backpack, so you never have to leave your vaporizer behind on adventures ever again.

Just 3 parts make up the Alfa; the vaporizer body, a removable food-safe silicone mouthpiece and a stainless steel mouthpiece screen. This makes operation and clean-up incredibly easy. The Alfa’s outer shell, top,oven and rotary dial are aluminum, making the device lightweight and durable. The device measures approximately: (3.5 inches tall x 1.8 inches wide x .8 inches thick)

-Body

Alfa is a very simple and compact vaporizer, perfect for taking anywhere and it’s definitelyalfa size comparrison-443 one of the smallest vaporizers I have tried. I am impressed with the build quality of this device and it feels really good in your hand, nothing rattles or feels flimsy. The outside of the device is made from a solid piece of aluminum or steel that makes up the devices shell, which holds and protects everything inside. The shell of the Alfa must be aluminum and it’s well finished, painted nicely and the rounded edges make for a comfortable grip and in your pocket too. I have noticed that one little screw above the charging port, appears to hold the entire insides to the shell, so when I am closing the chamber door, I can move the insides a bit with the force to latch the door. I think it’s plenty sturdy but I wish there was more holding everything inside.

The small and simple design of the Alfa makes for a reliable and easy to use vape but it also means that it’s going to heat up too. The electronics and battery are all underneath the same metal shell, so they can inevitably heat up as well but I haven’t had any issues and the vapor path is also sealed, so no real worries. Also, the charging port on my Alfa is slightly off center but I can still use the charger no problem

*UPDATE (10/11/16)* The design of the body has changed since the first Alfa I tried where it had a separate Metal top where the Temperature dial connected to but the new versions have a longer outer shell that goes the full length of the device and thus they removed the metal top all together. I think the new design seems more reliable and lighter but I preferred the metal top of the early version which added a little extra weight, balance and felt a little more high quality. This change does not effect the vapor in any way as it still has an all metal; vapor path like before, except the top of the device is now slightly different (see photos)

-Oven / Heating Chamber

alfa ovenThe Alfa’s oven or chamber is located at the bottom of the unit, which is accessed by a door that swings open on a hinge and locks with a sliding latch. Slide the latch and swing open the door open to reveal the silver-colored, anodized chamber, featuring a center heating pin. The chamber is a good size and can hold quite a lot of material given how small the actual device is and it’s unique design allows you to get away with filling it completely or just using a smaller amount thanks to that center heating pin. Loading and unloading the chamber is a little awkward at first because the door is slightly in the way and it likes to flop over if you’re not careful. A spring would be a great addition to the chamber door and it would keep it open during loading and unloading.

*UPDATE (10/11/16)*  The early version of the Alfa featured a series of small holes in the metal portion of the chamber door for air flow but the newer versions do not have any holes but it still draws just as nice so the fresh air must enter around the side of the door. Without the holes is also a benefit because material doesn’t get as stuck on the door making clean-up even easiealfa doorr.

As with most vapes, it’s important to grind your material finely and evenly to increase its surface area to get a good extraction. With Conduction vaporizers like the Alfa, it’s better to pack your material on the tighter side but not to tight that you can’t take a good draw, unlike Convection style vaporizers where it’s better to leave your material fluffy. The capacity of the chamber is comparable to the original DaVinci Vaporizer or the Elevape SV but maybe a little larger. The chamber’s size and design means a little material will go a long way and it heats evenly and efficiently, leaving you with a rich dark brown ABV (already been vaped). An chamber load produces well over 10-15+ good hits of thick, cloudy vapor. The chambers heating pin makes it a little difficult to unload the device but it’s not really an issue and the anodized surface makes it fairly non-stick so most material falls out, especially if the chamber is still warm. This vaporizer may appeal to those who still like to smoke because your able to hit this thing like a pipe where you can puff and puff.

-Vapor Path / Mouthpiece

Tvapes-for-reviews-1201he Alfa has a great design and I really like how simple everything is, including the vapor path and mouthpiece. Basically, the vapor path is a straight shot from chamber to mouthpiece, which is connected by a Stainless Steel tube. This seals off the vapor from all the electronics and battery inside, so no funny business. This also makes cleaning easy and effortless, just run one of the included pipe cleaners in and out a few times with a little ISO and it’s good to go. The early versions had a mouthpiece screen only, so particles would sometimes find themselves up and around the mouthpiece which made things a little dirtier and messier than the new chamber screens. The new chamber screens do a great job keeping the vapor path clean and clear.

The mouthpiece is Silicone and seems to be high quality and cured correctly, so it does not add any flavor to the vapor. The mouthpiece drops into place and has a decent snug fit, so it’s not going anywhere but they give you an extra in case it ever did fall out or something. I would prefer if the mouthpiece retracted inside the device or had a cover because it tends

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Alfa Mouthpiece with Atmos Ceramic Filter

to collect dust and lint, especially if you keep it in your pocket. The mouthpiece is on the shorter side to keep everything tight and compact, so there’s not a whole lot to draw on but it can be pulled out a little to give you some more area to inhale from. I like to use my Ceramic Filter from my Atmos Pen’s mouthpiece which fits perfectly in the Alfa and it helps filter the vapor slightly and also seems to help smooth out the vapor a little.

 

-Battery

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New version Alfa: Solid shell without a separate metal top.

The Alfa features good battery life, especially considering its small size. Roughly 3-5 hours to fully charge from a drained battery and on a full charge, I averaged 5-7 sessions on the MID setting, with each session lasting around 10 minutes each. The LED will turn Amber when the battery is low and needs to be charged but the Alfa can be used while it’s charging. Battery life can vary greatly depending on the setting used, but for this review, I preferred the MID setting for the majority, so it should be in the middle range of the battery life, more sessions on LO and possibly less sessions on HI. My biggest problem with the Alfa is the fact that you can’t remove the battery. All vaporizers should have removable, replaceable batteries because they don’t last forever and it’s really nice to have back-ups on adventures incase you run out of juice. Goboof is developing a battery replacement program that will solve your battery issues if one should arise. The Alfa also allows users to use the device while charging, which is always a great feature and the LED will signal the current charge of the battery while the temperature dial is in the off position.

-Control / Temperatures

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New version Alfa without holes in the Chamber Door

Simple settings make vaporizing with the Alfa fun and easy. The design of the temperature dial reminds me of a camera function dial and its a nice way to control the device simply and effectively. Each temperature setting has a slight “sweet spot” when your turning it, so you know when your locked into a temperature, no guessing and the dial also  has a fair amount of resistance which is important to keep it from turning on when you don’t want it to.

You have 5 settings to choose from: LO 374 F, MID 410 F, HI 437 F and two auto settings A/P and A/T ( Auto Puff and Auto Time ). A/P gradually heats your blend from lowest temperature by 3c after every puff until it reaches max temperature. A/T gradually heats your blend from lowest to highest over a 20 minutes cycle. The rotary dial selects your temperature and an LED starts blinking signaling that the Alfa is heating up and becomes solid Green when its reached temperature.

The LED signals battery level and current state:

  1. Blinking Green: The vaporizer is heating up and the battery is charged
  2. Solid Green: The vaporizer is up to temperature and the battery is charged
  3. Blinking Amber: The vaporizer is heating up and the battery is low on charge
  4. Solid Amber: The vaporizer is up to temperature and the battery is low on charge
  5. No light: Automatic shut-off has powered down the device -or- the battery has no charge
  6. Solid Red: The vaporizer is charging it’s battery

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Vaporization

-Usage / Operation

Thw Alfa’s easy operation is great for people who are new to the world of vaporizing as well as vaporizer veterans.  In 3 simple steps, you can be vaping like the pros and blowing thick, tasty clouds!

1) Load the oven

2) Turn the dial to select your setting

3) Wait for the light to stop blinking and inhale!

-Vapor Quality / Production

Heat up time is fairly fast and on a full charge it can reach the MID temp in 40 seconds butalfa and box as the battery level drops, the heat up time increases and nearing a drained battery, it can take over a minute to reach MID temp. The Alfa does get warm after a while on the MID setting, which is inevitable with a vaporizer this small but it never gets hot or uncomfortable to hold. A Silicone sleeve that could slip over the body of the Alfa or the chamber area would be a nice accessory to keep the unit cooler, especially during extended sessions.

The vapor quality is good, tasty and pure without any off tastes coming from the electronics or materials. The short vapor path is good because it means the active ingredients will get to you faster and at full strength but on the other hand, it doesn’t allow for the vapor to expand and cool very effectively, making the vapor somewhat on the hotter side. The vapor can be a little harsh and hot at times, especially if you take a really huge draw but isn’t necessary with this device. I found it is better to take slow, short drags or puff, puff as opposed to most vaporizers, mainly convection style, that require a slow, long and drawn out inhale to get a decent cloud.

I enjoyed and preferred the MID setting which produced thick, flavorful vapor that was potent and mostly smooth but not too hot. The LO setting had great flavor but not really much visible vapor, although I really enjoy this setting for light, smooth and extremely flavorful vapor and a milder effect. The auto setting, A/P is really interesting and is quickly becoming my new favorite setting because it starts off slow and low, producing wispy vapors after 1-2 hits and gradually gets thicker and thicker. Another great aspect of the auto settings, A/P and A/T, is the fact that it takes your blend through a wide range of temperatures so it is more likely to release all those different active ingredients that require different temperatures for vaporization.


Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleanup is a breeze and after a satisfying session with the Alfa, your ABV falls right oualfa airwayt of the chamber if it is still warm, leaving behind a clean chamber, ready to go again. The anodized chamber makes it practically non-stick, so I rarely have to clean the chamber at all but again a spring on the chamber door would do wonders to help make cleaning and loading easier. When the unit requires a deeper clean, it really doesn’t get much easier than with the Alfa, thanks to its simple and brilliant design. The chamber and mouthpiece are connected by a stainless steel tube that completely seals the airway from the electronics inside the unit, so the entire path from chamber to mouthpiece can be cleaned to like new condition with one of their included pipe cleaners or your own apparatus. Just a little ISO on a pipe cleaner will get the vapor path clean in just a few strokes. The only other thing left to occasionally clean, is the mouthpiece -or- chamber screen and the mouthpiece its self.


Pros

  • Small, discrete, stealthy and lightweight
  • Simple and easy operation
  • great build; safe, high quality materials that provide a pure experience
  • easy to clean and anodized oven is almost non-stick when warm
  • vapor path is completely visible, clean able and sealed off from electronics
  • rugged and reliable
  • Good battery life with fairly fast heat up
  • Even and efficient
  • Good draw resistance
  • Unique auto modes

Cons

  • Battery is not user replaceable
  • Loading and unloading is a little awkward
  • Oven door may be easily broken
  • Gets warm after a while
  • Only 3 constant temperature settings
  • Vapor can be a little hot and harsh depending on the setting
  • Only for dry goods

Conclusion

The Goboof Alfa is a great, rugged, reliable and highly portable vaporizer. This is a perfect vaporizer for people on the go, people who are looking for something to get the job done well without a lot of distractions, bells or whistles and without adding a ton of weight to their load. I found the Alfa produces thick, flavorful vapor that was satisfying and enjoyable while feeling similar to the smoking experience without the smoke. Overall, I would recommend the Alfa to anyone, people new to vaporizing because this device is so easy to use and its hard not to get good results and I would also recommend this vaporizer to experienced users, as it offers everything you need in an extremely portable design. I would have liked to see more temperature settings or a removable battery but for the price, your getting a great value and a great vape!