PAX vs Solo Vaporizer, Vape SHOWDOWN (07/2013)

Updated: July 31, 2013

The PAX Vaporizer by Ploom was a highly anticipated release last year and so far, it's been an incredibly popular unit. Not only was there considerable hype before the launch, but the  momentum and following that the PAX has generated has continued well after the launch of this pocket vape. So how does this unit stack up against other units in the same price class?Well, the most popular comparison is the PAX vs. the Arizer Solo vaporizer. Let's have a look at who wins this battle: the long time champion of the handheld vape market or the contender?


Comparison Review of the Solo vs. PAX



PAX vs Solo Vaporizer


Vapour Quality

This section evaluates the clarity and pureness of the vapour produced by a unit. Cooler, smoother vapour is better, as it is not only easier to consume, but also tastier. To get a feel for how important vapour quality is to connoisseurs, we ran a poll  on our website for approximately eight months, asking what people look for in a portable vaporizer. In the Canadian market alone, about 70% of the voters selected vapour quality as their #1 consideration when buying a vape. Here's how the Solo and PAX fair in this category:


Solo

The Arizer Solo produces dense and cool vapour. This category is the Solo's strength. It has been coined the Volcano of portable vaporizers, that's how good the vapour quality is and that's because Arizer's primary focus when developing this unit was on this category. The vapour quality this unit produces is linked to two things: the unique design of the heating chamber and the use of glass. Glass is very difficult and expensive to work with, but still Arizer chose to stay true to the philosophy that glass offers the purest  vapour quality.  Though the unit sacrifices a bit of portability as a result of incorporating glass pieces into the build of this vape, it didn't for a second stop the explosion of this unit on the market. The Solo is a champion portable for the very reason that is doesn't fail to provide amazing vapor quality. To this day it is still the #1 selling portable. 


PAX

Ploom had two things in mind when they made the PAX: portability and discreetness. So, the short evaluation of the PAX's vapour quality is: it could be better. What makes the vapour quality of the PAX inferior to the Solo? Well, the vapour is very hot. This is understandable considering 1) the vapour produced doesn't have a lot of room to travel, so there's no chance for it to cool down 2) the air pathway that the vapour does pass through is stainless steel, which further conducts heat and 3) the batteries are directly above the heating chamber, further creating a hot environment in general within the unit. But Ploom, just like any other vaporizer manufacturer, was aware that certain sacrifices need to be made in order to win on other fronts when they developed the PAX. So, just because the PAX does not offer the best vapour quality, doesn't mean that it is not a great vape. It means that, just like any other vaporizer, there is a tradeoff. 

Winner: Hands down and without a doubt, the Solo by Arizer takes the cake in this category. Arizer poured all of their energy into ensuring the Solo offers the best vapour quality imaginable in a portable. And their efforts paid off because it is considered to be the Volcano of portables in the vapour quality category. 



Portability

This category compares how convenient the unit is to carry around. Factors like size, form, weight and battery life are the primary considerations for this category.



Solo

The Solo does fit into a pocket or purse, but it is one of the larger, heavier units in the portable category. The glass drawing stems also makes it somewhat difficult to deal with when on the go. The Solo's portability really shines when you take it out with the ZEUS Armor Case, making travelling much easier with its hardshell, odour-proof carrying case. It also comes with pre-cut foam inserts to keep everything in place from your ZEUS Grinder to the glass aroma tubes. Without the case, the glass aroma tubes can be more fragile to carry around. That being said, the Solo's battery life is outstanding. Offering up to 90 minutes of continuous vaporization, the Solo will carry you through a weekend away from home without a problem with its heavy duty Lithium Ion internal battery. What is also important to note is that the heating chamber is insulated and isolated from the battery, making it last longer and leave the unit nice and cool while in operation. So, while this unit is not the smallest or the lightest portable on the market, it does offer substantial battery life worth considering if you're looking for a vape that doesn't need constant recharging. 


PAX

PAX Vaporizer Ploom’s unit might just be the most portable vaporizer on the market. Its small, lightweight and there are absolutely no loose parts. This unit was clearly designed with portability in mind. Even the temperature button is hidden behind the mouthpiece to make the exterior perfectly smooth and compact. Keep in mind that with such a compact unit, the battery within is not only smaller, but also packed quite close to the heating chamber. What does this mean in terms of battery life? Well, first, the lack of insulation will kill your battery faster. Second, a battery exposed to heat will not only run out faster, but it will also reduce its overall lifespan. Third, smaller batteries means less time to vaporize on the go and more recharging, more often. That being said, this unit is incredibly portable on the size, form and weight front. After all, this category was one of Ploom's primary focuses.


Winner: This is a category were most units are going to have a problem to compete against the Pax by Ploom. The fact that it's so compact and so tiny, makes it a portable dream. This vape easily wins in this category.


Discreetness

This category compares how stealthy a unit is. While design plays a key role, odour is also a consideration for discreetness. Units that are small, look like other devices and/or emit very little odour rank very well in this category. Here's how the Solo and PAX fair in this category:


Solo

The Solo fits perfectly in your hand. When you hold the unit, it barely shows, so carrying it around is easy and effortless. That being said, when the vape is in use, the glass stem is clearly visible and while it is barely noticeable from more than 4-5 meters away, discreetness is not one of the Solo's strengths. If discreetness is your #1 purchasing consideration, the Solo is not likely to be the best option, as there are other portables on the market that dominate in this arena.


PAX

And when it comes to dominating a category, the PAX definitely ranks high on the discreetness scale. It easily fits in your hand for carrying around, but more importantly when in use. This means that once the mouthpiece if popped up, you have the ability to take discreet draws. What's more is putting the unit away right after taking a draw is quick and effortless. Use aside, the design and look of this unit screams discreetness.  Most people won't even know what this gadget actually is and when this unit was taken on a field test, it attracted no attention. Now, in terms of emitting odour, the PAX does emit a stronger odour that quite a few other portables, which primarily has to do with how high the temperature gets within the actual heating chamber. So, while the PAX is very discreet, it is recommended for airy, outdoor use.

Winner: The PAX comes out on top yet again. So, if discreetness is again the #1 thing you're looking for in a vape, the PAX is definitely one of the best Portable Vaporizers  in that category. Keep in mind that if you intend on using this vape primarily outside, it shines with all its glory. 


Manufacturing Quality

This category compares how well a unit is manufactured in terms of build quality, material quality, etc. The reliability, customer satisfaction and low defect rates are also taken into account.



Solo

The Arizer Solo is assembled in Canada with the highest quality components available. The heating chamber is a patented, one-of-a-kind, offering a hybrid conduction and convection vaporizing experience for superior vapour quality. The exterior sandblasted, anodized aluminum finish boasts a strong, quality   feel and the glass pieces used are all custom and of the highest grade available, to again ensure supreme vapour quality. The internal semiconductors in the Solo also have simple functionality. And the general rule of thumb is that the simpler the design of a unit, the more reliable the unit will be over time (you can also see this in Volcano’s new handheld unit the Plenty, which has no digital components, making reliability its competitive advantage). This reliability component further adds to the customer satisfaction scores and low defect rates, making it a natural choice when contemplating the longevity of units across the board.  


PAX

Ploom has received accolades for their product design. Also boasting an anodized aluminum shell, the PAX offers a pretty, delicate, stunning appeal. The PAX's manufacturing quality shines in its beautiful, compact figure. With intuitive technology like a built-in motion sensor, Ploom is certainly ahead of the competition when it comes to features.  Ploom did a great job at making a product that directly appeals to connoisseurs on a number of fronts. So, the indisputable fantastic design and unmatched 10-year warranty certainly adds a few points to the PAX in this category. However, the components used within the PAX are not as high quality as the Solo and since hitting the market last year, the PAX has is known to have quite a few defects (the one of main concern being the mouthpiece getting constantly stuck and in effect rendering the unit unusable over time). 

Winner: Despite it's great design and 10-year warranty, the PAX doesn't offer enough in this category to out shine the Canadian giant: the Solo. This Arizer Solo has an edge when it comes to manufacturing quality and reliability.


Showdown

So who wins? Overall, both the PAX and Solo are great portables, well worth their price. Keep in mind that these units are catered toward very different people. The PAX is the obvious choice if you are primarily concerned with discreetness, design and style. Whereas, the Solo would be your pick if you're looking for the best of the best when it comes to vapour quality, battery life and reliability.

That being said, it's not too difficult to pick a winner. The Solo Vaporizer produces better vapour quality, runs about 3-4 times longer, is built to work and last longer, and requires a fraction of the time to clean and maintain. The Solo is much more geared towards functionality and generally connoisseurs find functionality to be a more critical factor in a vaporizer than design. So, while the PAX is definitely prettier, the Solo is just a better overall performer. 



Arizer Solo Review


Thanks for reading today's PAX vs Solo, vape SHOWDOWN post. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the section below.


Take care for now and keep on vapin'!



30 comments:

  1. Your pax light isn't broken. It's not 4 separate lights, but just one, lit up from a circuit board on the right side, which makes one side brighter than the other. Also, I'd like to point out that the pax has a 10 year warranty. I think that backs up any minor problems in the early manufacturing stage you mentioned.

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    1. Correction: we were under the impression that one side of the PAX lights had stopped working on our sample unit. We did not have another unit to compare it to as all the PAX we got in sold out. We corrected the section in the blog post that mentioned it.

      Luckily the gentlemen at Ploom left a comment on our blog and we corrected our mistake in the review post.

      Our thanks for the feedback,

      TorontoV Team

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  2. Thanks for the review; It was very helpful in my decision making process

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  3. Great review, since the PAX is not available in Europe yet the choice was easy! A'dam vibezzz!

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  4. solo vap is awesome and well worth the money. do it now before you regret it

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  5. being descrete is meaningless since anyone can detect the smell in close quarters (albiet way way less than smoking it). portability means butkis when the battery dies on you after a few usages. my solo been working perfect since june 2012 even after losing it during a doggie walk. found it a week later in perfect working order (less a wee ding from the grass cutting crew). get extra tubes, easy to be accident prone with them and easier to toss in dishwasher once in a while. cdn made - brillant (my only wish; that it remembers last setting)

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  6. Amazing post, really looking forward for the next one

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  7. Many thanks! This was a nice, clean-cut, no-nonsense comparison. (Also, I didn't sense too much bias, which is a big plus.) I have a MFLB at the moment, and love it; however, after using my friend's Solo and reading this review, I know the Solo will be my forthcoming upgrade. Thanks again!

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  8. Don't get anything from Ploom ever! They have the worst warranty policy every. They pretend like its great, but they have all these rules and regulations in order to even qualify, so it's a bunch of BS. You're device will die in 6 months and then they will give you some excuse to why they wont honor the warranty. Do yourself a favor and go with any other brand.

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    1. We're so sorry you've had a bad experience with your PAX. We also recently became aware from numerous customer complaints that is quite difficult to qualify for PAX warranty.It's unfortunate as the company boasts about an unbelievable decade of warranty service, but this is so deceiving. Be sure to investigate their policies before investing in a PAX because simply "operating the product outside the permitted or intended use as described by Ploom" will render you warranty-less. Watch out!

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  9. Bought a Solo six months ago and can;t say enough about it, reliable easy to clean, well worth the cash

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    1. Glad you're enjoying your Arizer Solo! It definitely does offer phenomenal value for your money! Enjoy & Keep Vapin ;).

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  10. I have to go with the solo, it look like it wont break easily for me.

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  11. In my opinion, the Arizer Solo takes this without a doubt. Despite owning a Solo, there is no bias in my decision . When it comes down to all the specs, I feel the Pax lacks in considerably important areas . Vapour quality, and battery life . Those are the two things I look for in a portable vaporizer, which is why I bought the solo from TorontoV. Although the Pax is very portable, I don't think I'd ever give up portability for vapour quality. Especially when you pay more for less quality .

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  12. Steve Brown: I would go for the Arizer solo for 1 reason. Its made in Canada! Plus look at the reviews by Toronto VP. The solo is hands down one of the best portable vape on the market!

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  13. I really appreciate Arizer, and the solo look very good !

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  14. The Pax honestly is designed a lot better and more appealing. The quality and flavour it ensues is also remarkable!

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  15. Solo is the way to go. When I'm Not home using my volcano, I bring my solo with me. Perfect size does not have that cheap feel to it like other portable vapes.

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  16. Id have to go with the pax its design is just awesome looks stealthy and doesnt really look like a vape which i like a lot the little leds are awesome

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  17. I have the PAX by ploom and LOVE It. The vapor is hot but i keep the heat setting on medium,the taste is great and it definitely gets the job done.

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  18. Solo vaporizer, The Solo is a champion portable xD

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  19. I would go with the Arizer Solo... Oh wait, I already have!! The Pax is beautifully designed and all, but the Solo just feels so solid and reliable, its Canadian, and I've never regretted my choice. The battery life is also HELLA long.

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  20. I bought the Arizer Solo 2 weeks ago. The manufacturing quality is indeed outstanding. I tried the PAX by Ploom the other day and I didn't like it as much as the Arizer Solo. It felt more cheap compared to the Solo, so my vote goes to the Arizer Solo! It's made in Canada and I'm also Canadian :D

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  21. My choice is totally biased because I own one, but I definitely choose the Arizer Solo. Its size is great, super easy to use and clean, and the battery life is just incredible. The vape flavour is also the best I've had!

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  22. I'd choose the Solo... sold on it with the phrase "the Volcano of portable vaporizers" because my 1st-generation Volcano is still going strong.

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  23. SOLO in my opinion is better than Ascent !! It the Arizer produces superior vapor compared to DaVinci's Ascent. I got mine new for $160.00 the Solo that is,so a almost a hundred bucks cheaper than the ASCENT. In my opinion the Ascent is really just a one function vape. Concentrates you have to put in these little jars with little tiny rubber caps that you put on. That is a terrible design for concentrates because cap on or off the concentrates leak all over you and your unit when they get hot. Ascent is harder to clean concentrates excluded. DaVinci's Ascent feels cheap compared to the SOLO. Now with me saying all these things about the Ascent it still is a vaporiser that I am glad I have it is just not as good as the SOLO and it is overpriced.

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  24. id like to point out that the solo can also be put inside of a fast food type cup and the mouthpiece fed through the top of it, so that it just looks like a drink.

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    1. That's a awsome idea

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  25. pax design is awesome, but God forbid if you ever have to deal with ploom backing their warranty. next vap will be Solo

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