[Update: Aug 31st, 2016] Since writing my review of the G Pen Elite theirs been many other reviews written online. I want to add a few points that I’ve figured out since using my G Pen Elite for over 5 months now. First, I’m still very pleased overall with this vaporizer. Some people are hating on the Elite simply based on Grenco. I admit that I’m not a huge fan of the G Pen or some earlier Grenco vape pens but the Elite is different in my opinion. Some have said the Elite has a slow heat time. I beg to differ. I feel that the unit heats up very quickly and produces huge clouds very fast after turning it on. Also I keep hearing about how much flower to put in the chamber. The Elite says you can fit .75 grams but I tend to pack around .40 to .5 grams. This allows the chamber to fully heat the flowers which produces excellent clouds of vapor.
The G Pen Elite is an improvement in many ways on earlier G pen designs. The battery life is very long and can last days with out a charge. It has a new, sleek design, a black, scratch-resistant rubber coated body, and it is exceptionally easy to use. The precision range of temperature settings is also an outstanding feature of this new vape pen release. The pen fits perfectly and comfortably in your hand, and Grenco spent a full twelve months designing the special features and look of this vaporizer pen.
Let’s take a look at the parts and features of the G Pen Elite vaporizer.
What’s In the Box
Before we get into what’s inside the box, let’s look at the box itself. The G Pen Elite comes in a sturdy, cylindrical package with laser cut foam in the lid that keep the contents from rolling around. The lid fits securely and tightly onto the top of the cylinder. The box feels like it will last as long as the pen, and it is compact and portable when everything is put away inside.
Inside the box, we find the vaporizer and a second box containing the accessories. The package contents are:
- 1 G Pen Elite vaporizer,
- 1 standard USB charger cable,
- 1 G Pen herb grinding card,
- 1 Quick start guide,
- 1 G Pen tool.
The G Pen Elite vaporizer is a very compact unit, measuring approximately 4.4 inches by 1.2 inches by 1 inch (112 mm by 31 mm by 26 mm) and weighing .6 lbs.
Grenco obviously spent a lot of time working on the ergonomics of this vaporizer, because it fits perfectly and comfortably in your hand, and the buttons are easily accessible whether you are using your left or right hand.
The mouthpiece on the G Pen Elite is made of soft, but durable, rubber. It is also molded for an exceptionally comfortable feel against your mouth. The opening is large enough for getting satisfying pulls each time.
The mouthpiece simply snaps into place on top of the chamber. To remove it, grasp it firmly on both sides while holding the pen in your other hand, and pull. It takes a little effort, but the snug fit means the mouthpiece will not come off at the wrong time.
The mouthpiece should be cleaned after each use by brushing around the edge with the cleaning brush and removing any debris. Heating the unit briefly before doing this makes it easier to clean completely. Cleaning this area assures that the mouthpiece will fit correctly onto the chamber, and there won’t be any air leaks.
The mouthpiece also comes apart into three pieces for more occasional cleaning of resin build-up inside it. This cleaning can be done by disassembling the mouthpiece parts and soaking them in isopropyl alcohol then drying them thoroughly before reassembling. The mouthpiece can also be rinsed out with water, but it should always be completely dry before you put it back together.
With the mouthpiece off, you have access to the chamber below it. This pen is specifically designed for dry herb, and it should not be used with concentrates or oils. Happily, Grenco Science will soon release a G Pen for concentrates, but use this pen for dry herb only, until that day comes.
The chamber on the G Pen Elite vape pen is one of the largest in a vaporizer of this kind. It is three quarters of an inch deep and can hold up to .75 grams of herb. The chamber has another unique feature. It heats up evenly on all sides for a full circle of heat around the herb. This produces better vapor and flavor and allows for even vaporization of the herb.
The chamber is also solid, high-quality ceramic. This clean, smooth surface lets you get the full range of flavors from your herb without any off taste from the vape pen chamber material. The roominess and ceramic lining in the chamber also make it easy to clean and to fill.
For the best flavor, the chamber should be cleaned out with the small brush provided in the kit. It can also be cleaned out more completely by using a cotton swab and a little isopropyl alcohol to remove resin build-up. Let the chamber dry completely before using when cleaning it with alcohol.
The heating element resides directly below the chamber and is controlled with sophisticated, smart chip electronics. These components are protected by a one year manufacturer warranty. The heating element controls the temperature range, and this pen has the ability to precisely dial in any temperature you want between 200º F and 428º F (93ºC – 220ºC). This kind of temperature control lets you explore the full range of flavors in your herbs, because different aromatic compounds in herbs vaporize at slightly different temperatures.
The G Pen Elite vaporizer only has three buttons. One is on the back for turning the power off and on. This button is also used when toggling between Fahrenheit and Celsius readings on the LED and for activating the pen once you have selected the temperature setting. Two other buttons are located on the side of the unit next to the LED display and are used for temperature selection and control.
Like most vape pens, the unit turns on by pressing the power button rapidly five times. The ‘G’ symbol on the front of the pen lights up, letting you know the power status. Once the pen is on, the temperature is selected using the buttons on the side. When the LED reads the desired temperature setting, you hit the power button once, and the pen starts heating. The temperature is clearly visible in the LED, and you can watch it going up until it reaches the setting you have chosen.
Besides showing the temperature, the LED shows how much charge is left in the battery. The temperature reading toggles from Fahrenheit to Celsius by holding the power button and then pressing either the up or down setting button on the side. Up switches the display to Celsius, and down displays Fahrenheit readings.
After turning the unit on, you select the desired temperature. The large range of precision temperature settings is as good as it gets for being able to extract all the complex flavors from your herb. The pen can be set to any temperature from 200º to 428º F. (90º – 220º C.) To turn the unit off, tap the power button five times, the same as is done for turning the pen on.
The G Pen Elite seems to produce the most smooth and flavorful vapor at about 375º. Your results may vary. The body of the pen does not heat up, even with extended use, as some pens do. The mouthpiece also stays cool, even though the chamber is located directly beneath it. After an extended session, there is a little heat in the bottom area of the mouthpiece, but not enough to be uncomfortable.
The G Pen Elite for dry herb has an excellent heating time and reliably reaches 375º F. in about 30 seconds, according to Grenco. But, depending on temperature, it can be ready for vaporizing in even less time.
Once the unit is at the desired temperature, you can draw on it for multiple hits. It works great for passing around with friends, because you don’t have to keep re-hitting the heat button every time you draw vapor.
Battery Life and Charger
The long-lasting, lithium ion battery is built into the unit and charges with a standard USB cable. The battery specs are 2200 mAh, 7.77Wh, and 3.7 to 4.0 Volts. A USB cable is provided with the unit. Grenco says the battery lasts for 12 to 15 vaping sessions, lasting five minutes each, on average, but this is conservative.
The length of the battery charge also depends on the temperature setting you are using, the dryness of the herb, and the condition of the coil. Fully charging the pen takes about three hours. But, it has a pass-through feature that lets you keep using the pen while it is charging.
Charging is done simply by plugging the pen into a laptop, iPhone, or car USB port. The USB cord provided with the pen is about sixteen inches long. Charging the battery fully takes about three hours.
Charging the battery fully before the first use is important for getting the most life out of the battery.
G Pen Elite Accessories
The G card is a unique addition to a vape pen package. The sturdy, credit card-sized card is impressed with holes in the shape of a G, and it works as an herb grinder, making the herb the right texture for vaporizing. You rub the herb gently over the holes, and it breaks it up, working a bit like a cheese grater works.
Grinding herbs before vaporizing them is important, because vaporizing happens on the surface of the plant material. When the herb is clumped up, the heat cannot penetrate into the herbal mixture as much, and less vapor is produced.
The G card is a unique solution for having an ultra- portable grinder which can become an addition to your wallet and go anywhere with you.
The G Pen Elite also comes with a little tool for cleaning the chamber and packing it with herb. The tool is ground to a chisel point on one side, making it work really well for scraping resin off of the sides and bottom of the chamber. It is also useful for pushing herb down to the bottom of the chamber and keeping a good airflow. The tool comes with a keychain clip.
- Counterfeit protection. Each G Pen Elite vape pen has a unique serial number printed on the bottom of the box. This feature helps protect against counterfeit products and is also used to register you for customer service and warranty. Log in at the Grenco Science website to register your product as soon as you get it.
- Light-weight, compact, attractive, and easy-to-use,
- Exceptionally wide temperature selection range,
- One year warranty on electronic components.
- No wall charger option,
- Cylindrical case is nice looking, but a little harder to pack than a square box.
The G Pen Elite is priced in the mid-range for vape pens at $169.95, but for ease of use, attractive design, exceptional ergonomics, and precision functionality, this pen feels like it should cost more. This pen is very reasonably priced for a pen of this quality.
This is an exceptional vaporizer pen for dry herbs. Newcomers to vaping and seasoned vapers alike will appreciate the ease of use, attractive and natural look of the pen, and wide range of temperature control this vape pen offers.