G Pen Elite 2 Review | Grenco’s Portable Vaporizer Upgrade
The G Pen Elite II is a portable dry herb vaporizer from Grenco Science, now commonly referred to as G Pen. Grenco is one of the original entrants into the vaporizer space and the G Pen Elite II was released as they celebrated their 10 year anniversary. The original G Pen Elite has been one of Grenco’s more popular and longest selling vaporizers. In the ten years Grenco Science has been around, they have released alot of vaporizers and their line up has changed, but none of the Grenco Vaporizers have ever been considered top tier quality vaporizers in the same camp of Storz & Bickel or Puffco. Currently their line up is mainly entry level herb vaporizers and higher tier concentrate vaporizers. They also have an assortment of pens. The G Pen Elite II is their first entry into the mid tier herb space.
The G Pen Elite 2 is priced at $249.95, a tad high in my opinion but makes sense with Grenco getting into the mid tier herbal vaporizer space. It appears the G Pen Elite II is trying to go head to head with the PAX 3 and $249 is exactly where the PAX 3 Complete kit is priced. In my opinion the Elite 2 makes alot more sense at $199 as you can get a PAX 3 basic kit for that price and there are slew of other quality portable herb vaporizers in the $150 to $199 range.
The G Pen Elite II is the new kid on the block and we anticipate the price drop will come soon enough, generally these things start high to cash in on the demand of a new vaporizer of those who have to have it, and work their way down across the life cycle of the product. Also the production costs appear to be steep on this one so Grenco needs to recoup the costs of bringing this to market.
Grenco has been elevating their package game lately. The G Pen Roam, Micro+ , G Pen Connect and now Elite II have been coming with some stylish and functional hemp cases that you would likely use if it weren’t just for you G Pen Vaporizer. The case fits your G Pen Elite II like a glove. Not that you will require a case, the G Pen Elite 2 is very pocket friendly and durable so will fair just fine without protective packaging. But without a doubt these hemp cases are great for storage or travel.
The G Pen Elite 2 is comprised of two major pieces, the body and mouthpiece. The body is made out of zinc Alloy. The body is sturdy and when not on, it is hard to even tell the device has an OLED screen on the backside. The body also houses a neat little stir tool / pick Grenco has worked in that slides out like a spy device. This is for stirring and repacking mid session.
The mouthpiece is magnetic and made of zirconia. On the inside of the mouthpiece is a silicone grommet with a stainless steel screen and a helix zirconia vapor path. The cylindrical chamber is narrow and made of standard ceramic.
G Pen Elite II Comes With
- G Pen Elite II Vaporizer
- G Pen Elite II Silicone Sleeve
- USB-C Charging Cable
- Hemp Travel Case
- User Guide
G Pen Elite II Specs
|Dimensions||4.5" x 1.1" (in.)|
Dual Heating (Conduction or Hybrid)
The dual heating feature of the G Pen Elite 2 is quite nice and the convection boost really gives that extra umpf to get more vapor. Grenco does not call this hybrid heating as you can turn off the draw activated convection boost in the settings and only do conduction, which would make it both conduction and hybrid heating, but you know how marketing semantics can be. I did notice when I did only conduction I had to exhaust alot more breath to get vapor. Yet if you wanted larger clouds conduction only may be the way to go especially if you milk the herb for 20 seconds or so between pulls.
What is the G Pen Elite II temperature Range ?
200°F- 430°F and can be dialed in to the exact degree using the temperature control buttons.
What is the G Pen Elite II heat up time ?
The G Pen Elite II heats up to 430 °F in under 20 seconds. Pretty fast but that does not mean it is ready right away. The best hits are about 10 -20 seconds after the unit has hit temp and the heat really has had time to transfer into the herb.
Sessions & Using the G Pen Elite II
To use the G Pen Elite 2 remove the magnetic mouthpiece and input your ground herb. There is not really a great design for loading, so the best method is to put your ground herb in your hand and scoop it in with the vaporizer. Ensure to do this over your grinder or storage container so excess falls into there.
Place the magnetic mouthpiece back on and hold the power button down for 3 seconds. The unit will enter standby mode. From here select your temperature with the up and down temp buttons and press the home button two times quickly to engage the heating cycle.
Once the unit heats up there will be a small vibration, you can also see the current temperature on the backside of the unit where the OLED screen is.
The G Pen Elite 2 does have a bit more draw resistance going than other herb vaporizers. It also does not really hit it’s stride until the unit has hit temperature and then some. I would say my 3rd and 4th draws were the most fruitful. Also if you give longer pauses between draws you will get much more voluminous vapor.
One hack I found to be useful for improving air flow was removing the zirconia helix piece located inside the mouthpiece. While this Zirconia piece does provide cooler and tastier vapor it also causes some draw resistance and I noticed build up on it after a few sessions which only adds to the draw resistance. When removed you can get much larger draws with greater ease.
The ceramic chamber is a cylindrical design and can accommodate up to .3 grams comfortably. You can fit up to .4 g, but this will increase draw resistance. With a fully packed chamber (.3 g) you can get around 10- 12 draws. The tricky thing about this chamber is you need to nail the pack just right. Packing only ¼ full you will not get consistent vapor production. Packing too full draw resistance will hinder vapor production. The G Pen Elite 2 is certainly not a good vaporizer to microdose with.
The vapor quality in the beginning of the session is more flavorful and goes south pretty fast about draw 4-5. This is not like the Firefly 2+ where you get some amazing flavor consistency. The G Pen Elite II provides more voluminous vapor and with the mouthpiece helix removed you can get some pretty large clouds. Grenco does include a little pick tool which comes out the bottom of the unit and can be used to stir and repack mid session to offer more consistency.
Battery Life & Charging
The G Pen Elite II has an internal 2100mAh lithium-ion battery. It charges full in an hour and fifteen minutes with a standard USB-C Charger. In our G Pen Elite 2 review we didn’t use the one Grenco includes and that is one weird thing about USB-C – Certain cords charge faster than others. The Mighty+ charges slower than the OG Mighty which uses an AC wall charger if you use the USB -C cord included by Storz & Bickel. However Storz & Bickel sells an aftermarket fast charger which can charge it about twice as fast.
On a full charge we were getting 7-8 sessions of a fully packed chamber. This varies based on temperature but you should expect about an hour of solid run time. The device can also be used while charging should you find yourself with a dead battery before a bedtime session.
Settings & Controls
With the unit powered on, clicking the home button 5 times rapidly will bring about the settings screen which you can navigate using the temperature up and down buttons and then select with one press of the home button.
Here you can turn off convection boost, set your session timer ( between 30 seconds and 5 minutes), turn off vibrate, adjust the OLED brightness should you need to be totally discreet, change from °F to °C or update the firmware when a new version comes available. I am uncertain how the firmware update would happen since the G Pen Elite 2 does not have Bluetooth app capabilities. Likely via a USB synced download.
The settings are not anything spectacular, but this is just a portable vaporizer and we have criticized companies like Davinci in the past for trying to over complicate an herb vaporizer for adding app features very few will likely use.
Cleaning the G Pen Elite II
Cleaning the mouthpiece is the most involved part of cleaning the G Pen Elite 2. The silicone grommet which holds the Zirconia swivel must be disassembled and hit with an isopropyl dipped brush to keep the airflow going. Same for the mouthpiece screen which collects alot of herb particles. The chamber is easy to clean and can be wiped out with an isopropyl dipped Q-tip. The mouthpiece is what requires cleaning, what feels like an unusual amount compared to other vaporizers in order to keep the airflow optimized as best as possible. Even hitting the stainless steel screen with a brush between sessions will pay dividends for keeping that airflow unobstructed.
While you do have to clean the mouthpiece often, what cleaning you do have to perform is not tedious like disassembling the Mighty Cooling unit or taking apart your Firefly 2+ to get remove airflow blockages. for all intent and purposes you could knock out a decent clean of the G Pen Elite 2 with an alcohol wipe sitting down watching the basketball game.
Comparing the Original Elite to the Elite II
The G Pen Elite 2 is one of the biggest upgrades from the originals which we have seen, however the second edition is $130 more. Meaning you can get two original G Pen’s for the price of the II. The original G Pen Elite is an entry level herb vaporizer if you just need something that gets the trick done. The G Pen Elite II is a tad more refined on the quality scale.
The body and mouthpiece on the original G Pen Elite are both heat graded plastics. The Elite 2 body is much more durable of zinc alloy and a magnetic zirconia mouthpiece with zirconia helix swivel. Zirconia is not cheap and this does add to the production cost. Being a more durable vaporizer of superior materials the G Pen Elite 2 will undoubtedly outlast the original, but for how long ?
The vapor on the original does provide the same volume of vapor but it comes hotter and less smooth compared to the Elite 2. Oddly enough airflow is better on the original G Pen Elite. This could be due to the wider, less deep herb chamber.
The G Pen Elite II is an upgrade in every sense. Better user interface, functional and stylish hemp case, more durable, superior vapor quality, faster charging. It is good to see Grenco with an upgrade of this caliber given that many recent upgrades from other vaporizer manufacturers are lackluster.
Final Thoughts on the G Pen Elite II
The G Pen Elite II is a good, not great, vaporizer and at the $250 price point there is some tough competition. I would say the price is one of the biggest hang ups here especially when you can get something like the Crafty+ for only $30 more at $279.
The Arizer SOLO 2 provides better vapor than the G Pen Elite 2 and that vaporizer is only $164. While the Crafty+ and Arizer SOLO 2 are goofy looking contraptions, The PAX 3 provides durability and sleek design (even coming with app functionality for only $199) in a more portable unit. There are just alot of portable vaporizers I would buy over this one despite all the upgrades.
This is a good vaporizer if you want something that will pump out adequate vapor and is durable for on the go if you will mainly needing to be using discreetly and would rather not screw around with an app. The device is easy to understand and use. If you have the money and don’t collect vaporizers for fun then it could be worth it. But I would even say buy the original G Pen Elite over the Elite 2 if I was talking to the soccer mom who wants something she can run outback with while the kids play inside.
We can review the G Pen Elite 2 until we are blue in the face. Your experience may differ and we don’t like to give recommendations one way or the other. We like the G Pen Elite 2 enough to carry it and it has worked it’s way into my routine for the time being.
We do offer a 60 day trial period which lets you buy any vaporizer and return after use, only paying for the time you used it. This peace of mind is a great way to try a vaporizer for yourself and decide.