Dovpo Top Gear 200W DNA250C TC Box MOD - Review

Discussion in 'Mods' started by Timbo, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. Timbo

    Timbo Well-Known Member

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    Hi Vaping Insider members, In this review i take a look at the Top Gear 200W DNA250C TC Box MOD from Dovpo. The Top Gear 200W DNA250C TC Box MOD was supplied for the purpose of this review by Dovpo.

    https://www.dovpoecig.com/collections/fr...7249850410

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    Introduction

    Dovpo have impressed ever since entering the vaping market and really haven't made a false move, just recently they have been hitting it out of the ball park with some very successful collaborations that have seen impressive build quality and the introduction of DNA chipsets in many of their devices.

    The Top Gear is powered by the DNA 250C chipset which along with the DNA 75C chipset is one on the most acclaimed chipsets available, almost all proprietary chipsets use the DNA model as a benchmark and try and emulate (although unsuccessfully many are getting closer).

    The Top Gear gets it's name from it's innovative "Top Gear" which can be used instead of the two navigational and select buttons to operate the device, this is the first innovative design i have come across on a device using a DNA C chipset.

    The Top Gear will hit the hype train and become one of the most popular devices with it's DNA 250C chipset, Innovative design, Carbon finishes and because it's from Dovpo who are becoming one of the most respected manufacturers on the Vaping Scene, let's crack on!

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    In The Box

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    Contents:

    1x Dovpo Top Gear TC MOD
    1x Micro USB Cable
    1x User Manual
    1x Battery Warning Card

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    Aesthetics and Ergonomics

    The Top Gear came in a quite modest cardboard box with outer cardboard sleeve but once removing the box lid immediately the eyes meet something rather special! The Carbon Finish is the same as on the Topside Carbon and is easily a match for stabwood! It looks delicate yet is quite the opposite being very durable and has a feel i just can't describe but it oozes quality putting devices using a "sticker" to shame. In fact the process of compressing Carbon Fibre's and coloured Resin to produce the coating is an impressive watch as Dovpo have released a Video showing "How It's Made"!!!!, which shows the CNC construction and how the Carbon Finishes are produced, a must watch!



    I received the Blue Carbon, the options are Monet, Blue Carbon, Black Carbon, Rusty Carbon or Grid Carbon. The main construction is Aluminium Alloy, the device is very boxy with tapered edging and despite not being an ergonomic form in part thanks to the really nice feel of the carbon finish it still feels great in the hand. On the face of the device we have towards the top the same round, protruding fire button as seen on the Odin's just without the Bogan logo and although i didn't mind this button on the Odin's for some reason i feel it's "jelly out the mould" wobble is out of place on such a well constructed device. Below the fire button we have the 0.96" colour TFT screen followed by the usual 2 navigational and select buttons which protrude nicely, these are followed by the micro USB port.

    The bottom of the device is the battery door which has branding, safety stamps and serial number. Moving up top and the front section is raised and has a very nice 510 plate, with Gold plated, spring loaded 510. On the lower rear section we have a circular knob that acts as a gear, aesthetically with its heavy knurling to it's outer edge it looks just like the fill cap on the Topside devices!

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    Top Gear Specs and Features:

    Size: 88.6mm x 54.2mm x 27mm
    Material: Aluminium Alloy
    Chipset: Evolv DNA250C
    Output Voltage Range: 0.2v – 8.0v
    Working Mode: Variable Wattage, Temperature Control, Replay
    Display: 0.96” Full Colour TFT Screen
    Charging: Micro USB 5V/2A
    Battery: 2 x 18650 cells (Not included)
    Temperature control range: 200°F - 600°F/100°C - 300°C
    Multiple protections to ensure a safe vape
    Central 510 connection
    CNC machined and carbon fiber covered
    Capable of taking 26mm tanks without any overhang
    Colours/Designs: Monet, Blue Carbon, Black Carbon, Rusty Carbon, Grid Carbon

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    That Top Gear

    The Innovation, talking point and inspiration behind the design is Jeremy Clarkson, sorry lost the plot there for one moment, this is no popular car show that used to be presented by the brainy one, little one and the "tosser" but a vaping device! It's that heavily knurled knob up top that acts as a gear for navigation and selecting. Turning the knob clockwise is instead of the up button and turning counter clockwise acts as a down button, the knob can also be pressed which is select.

    Because the normal 3 buttons have been kept then some might just see the gear as a "gimmick" but it actually works fantastically! It's stiff, not loose which i really like and it gives a very satisfying click as it moves to the next position, even pressing it down for selecting it gives a nice stiff click, i really like this!!!!

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    Some might have the opinion because the "Top gear" works so well why not just do away with the usual buttons and no doubt quite a few would favour the cleaner look. But i have the opposite opinion and like that the Top Gear gives you the choice. I personally have been using the Gear mainly but quite often use the select button rather than pressing the gear down so you can even use a combination of gear and buttons.

    My final point is not that i expect durability issues around the gear but if it does fail after warranty because the buttons have been retained you will still have a perfectly functioning DNA 250C device rather than if the buttons hadn't been kept it would leave you the choice of an unusable device or an expensive repair bill!!!

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    Installing The Batteries

    The Top Gear accommodates dual 18650 batteries which get installed via the bottom hatch door. Now although mainly because of the look of the navigational top gear (aesthetically like the fill cap on Topside) and the glorious Carbon finish will see similarities with the Topside Carbon they might worry about the durability of the door.

    No need to worry this is one of the most substantial doors i have seen of this type with thick durable protruding tabs that interlock to secure the door, nothings snapping off here. A pet hate of mine is poor marked orientation and here we have bright White markings which i like a lot, with batteries installed we have no battery rattle and this door is going nowhere, full marks!!!!!

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    Using The Top Gear

    Once a battery is fitted any press of a button or pressing down the gear wakes the device up and the lock screen is displayed that shows the time, date and battery percentage. 5 clicks of the fire button unlocks the device and takes you to the main screen, 5 clicks again locks the device, as with everything else on the device this can be changed using Escribe to 2,3 or however many clicks you want to lock and unlock the device, you can even choose a different combination of buttons if you wish to stop people unlocking the device and having a vape without your permission.

    The screen is very bright and vibrant but with not that much use of colour with the default theme, of course the theme can be changed or you can design your own using Escribe. The device has a select button as well as the 2 navigational buttons or you can use the top gear for navigation and pressing down becomes select so using the device is a breeze. Using the navigational buttons (or gear) moves you to different fields on the screen which is shown by the field you are on having a background colour surround. When you are on the field you want pressing the select button (or gear) highlights the field, now you use the navigational buttons (or gear) to alter the field to what you want, pressing the select button (or gear) again sets your changes. On the main screen as well as having fields you can alter you also have settings, but with different themes you might have other fields present acting as short cuts to various screens, selecting settings takes you into the guts of the device.

    All screens are navigated and altered the same way as the main screen it is a very user friendly interface in my opinion and the Top Gear with it's DNA 250C chipset has all the features you would expect from a modern device as well as the replay feature and Boost which i will cover in the next section.

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    Replay and Boost

    The Replay feature i love, i would say when i am using any of my 250C or 75C devices i have it on Replay about 80% of the time. To use Replay you need your coil to be using a temp control wire or include a temp control wire in it's make up but temp control as we are accustomed to it's definitely not and temperature is only part of what's going on.

    As well as using Replay and watching videos about it i'm still trying to get my head around how it actually works, but from my own experience, work it certainly does. The idea is when you find your flavour sweet spot while vaping you can record that vape and then vape in Replay mode and you should get that same flavour with every vape with that juice and coil combination regardless of things like how saturated the cotton is etc. I am still not convinced about the explanation given in interviews with Evolv it just seems too clever yet my experience of using it convinces me it actually works and is my favourite way of vaping, with replay you also get dry burn protection.

    The DNA 250C and 75C chipsets also brought us a boost feature which can be set within escribe and allows the initial power to be boosted (i know some people don't like the terminology but it gives an harder hitting vape).

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    Changing Things With Escribe

    Using the Top Gear with the Escribe software allows you to alter so many things, as already mentioned you can change how the device can be locked and unlocked but so much more can be done. You can set up profiles, alter boosts, set up temp control wires and even change the colour of the LED on the fire button. I am only just touching the surface and many reading this that are use to owning DNA devices will be far more advanced in using the software than me, there is even a mod section which is an area a novice like me should stay clear of as if the manufacturer has set the device up properly you can only possibly do more harm than good in this section unless you know exactly what your doing.

    The one part of Escribe which really appeals to me and will many is the theme designer that allows you to change the backgrounds, where things are positioned on the screen, add extra screens etc. When i have pictured other DNA C devices in atomizer reviews they have one of my own designed themes but for this review i thought the pictures of the device should show the default theme that came installed on the device, which is the Evolv standard theme.

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    Protections:

    Atomizer Protection
    Short Circuit Protection
    Weak Battery Protection
    Temperature Protection
    Low/High Resistance Protection
    Reverse Polarity Protection

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    Charging

    As well as using the micro USB cable for any upgrades and using the device with the Escribe software it also supports 2A charging although as always i personally never recommend charging the batteries in the device unless it's your only option.

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    Performance And Final Thoughts!

    When it comes to performance it's a DNA 250C device, enough said! The Carbon finishes are outstanding and overall build quality excellent with just that wobbly fire button letting it down. The fire button functions fine and gives a nice enough click, i just would like it to be tighter as a fire button which has movement feels cheap which is in contrast with the rest of the device! Although it would make it a much larger device i also would of preferred a dual 21700 device and feel Dovpo have missed an opportunity in this regard but maybe i am being over critical especially when looking and using the end product!

    I absolutely not just love the design innovation shown with the "top gear" control but also how well it functions, it works great!, and i hope Dovpo revisits the design on more future devices. Knowing the issues around the battery door on the Topside devices i am also impressed with the battery door on the Top Gear which isn't just an improvement but one of the best doors of this type i have come across!

    Being a DNAC device i find messing about with the device using Escribe really enjoyable especially the theme designer and the Replay feature i find the most innovative performance feature vaping has seen in the last few years! The DNA 250C board doesn't give a Type C option so nothing can be done about that but we do have 2A charging. The device will comfortably accommodate up to a 26mm atomizer up top but if you don't mind if the front bevelled section has overhanging you can even go another couple of mm's and it won't look too bad!

    The overall performance, build quality and design innovation of the Top Gear makes it the best dual battery device i have used this year, but could be even better if it accommodated dual 21700's and had a tighter fire button!

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    Likes

    Excellent build quality
    Superb Carbon finishes
    Innovative "Top Gear" control
    3 Button navigation or use "Top Gear" or combination of both
    Colour Screen
    Great Performance
    Dual battery
    200W high powered device
    DNA 250C Chipset
    Replay Feature
    Boost Feature
    Easy to use interface
    Upload themes or design your own
    Taylor device using Escribe software
    Excellent battery door
    Bright White marked orientation
    Fit up to 26mm atomizers without overhang
    2A Charge rate


    Cons

    Fire button has movement
    Would be even better if could accommodate dual 21700 batteries
    Not Type C USB (DNA 250C Board doesn't accommodate Type C)

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    I would once again like to thank Dovpo for supplying the Top Gear 200W DNA250C TC Box MOD for the purpose of this review, thanks for reading and stay safe!

    https://www.dovpoecig.com/collections/fr...7249850410

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