• June 5, 2020

The summa

A reliable all-in-one box mod to rival Kanger’s Nebox

by Mike Huml

Artery Vapor is once again making the smart play by looking at the current market to determine what is popular. The Kanger Nebox took a cue from the Joyetech eGrip and improved upon it, making it larger and more suited to the enthusiast vaper, while still remaining a viable starter kit. Now, Artery Vapor looks to improve this integrated box design even further by increasing build quality, performance and versatility while correcting some of the issues that plagued the Nebox. Enter the Summa.

In a nutshell, the Summa is an integrated box mod, incorporating the “tank” into the mod itself, which results in a compact device that only requires an additional battery and e-liquid in order to function. The Summa uses proprietary ASC coils that utilize top-down airflow similar to the Cubis to eliminate leaking and airflow obstruction due to hand placement. A single 18650 cell powers the device. The cell can be charged internally or removed and charged in an external charger. Maximum output power is 70 watts, which is more than adequate to produce a hot vape with any of the ASC coils. Additionally, the Summa offers temperature control functionality with both nickel and titanium wires.

The box itself feels fantastic to hold. It’s a relatively hefty piece of hardware that radiates quality. The buttons are clicky with nice tactile feedback, without any rattling whatsoever. Both the battery and juice compartment are easy to unscrew, with no crunching or binding. Airflow originates at the top of the device so the user’s hand doesn’t get in the way. As a result, a slight breeze can be felt on the user’s mouth when inhaling, which can be jarring at first but ends up being a pleasant side effect of top-down airflow. In addition, the airflow can be adjusted to a wide degree, with the Summa being capable of both wide, open airflow for lung hits and extremely tight airflow for mouth-to-lung drags, and anything in between. The coils are replaced, again, in a similar fashion to the Cubis. By unscrewing the airflow ring past its stop point, the entire coil/chimney assembly can be removed and the coil replaced. Unscrewing the opposite end of the e-liquid reservoir allows for fast and easy filling. Four holes are set approximately 1 centimeter down, allowing the user to literally dump liquid into the chamber. At maximum capacity, the Summa holds just over 5 mL of e-liquid, which is a downgrade from the Nebox but still above average compared to most modern tanks.

How does the Summa stack up against the wildly popular Nebox? In short: It’s better in every way. One of the most common questions that a retailer will undoubtedly encounter is, “Does it leak like the Nebox?” No! It doesn’t! That fact alone will surely sell the Summa, particularly to Nebox sympathizers who have been willing to put up with the leaking in order to enjoy all its other features.

If leak resistance isn’t persuasive enough, simply holding the Summa in one hand and a Nebox in the other will serve to demonstrate the quality difference. While the Nebox feels light and fragile, almost like a toy, the Summa feels solid and durable—a device belonging to a higher echelon of vapor products for the discerning, professional vaper. Regardless of which color appeals to a customer, the overall aesthetic sets it apart from many other devices originating in China. It’s bold, slick and looks exactly like it belongs in a well-lit display case. Underneath it’s eye-catching exterior, the Summa has the performance to back it up.

What makes the Summa truly great is its versatility. Regardless of a user’s vape style, the Summa pulls it off with gusto. This is mainly due to its incredible airflow range and coil quality. Each coil uses a vertical coil design with organic cotton wick, which is no revelation in the age of sub-ohm tanks. However, the ASC coils last for much longer than Kanger’s coils and have virtually no break-in time. Provided that the user has either primed the coil or let it sit in a full tank for several minutes, the flavor is true from the first hit to the last. As for airflow, lung hitting is no problem at all. Because of the exceptionally long chimney and distance from the coil heating element, spitback is nowhere to be found. It’s a smooth draw with nothing unsavory of notice. What’s truly impressive is how well the Summa can be used to mouth-to-lung hit, especially when used with temperature control. At its most restrictive, the Summa’s airflow is reminiscent of a full-flavor or filterless cigarette. It’s extremely tight, and brings back memories of Vivi Novas and DCT tanks, in the best way possible. Out of all the modern systems that try to replicate the draw of a cigarette, the Summa not only comes closest but flat-out nails it. Any user should be able to easily pick up the Summa and vape however they prefer.

The menu system is basic, functional and concise. By pressing the plus and minus buttons simultaneously, the user can quickly access the menu and change settings such as the mode, temperature, auto shut-off time and screen orientation. This is also where one would go to update the firmware or check the current version. In an era of ever-expanding features and clunky key combinations, it’s a relief to see a menu system like the one found in the Summa. It’s straightforward and gets the job done.

In addition to correcting some of the issues inherent to the Kanger Nebox, it improves upon every other aspect as well. Build quality is top-notch, performance is stellar in terms of both vapor production and flavor, and it has the potential to appeal to each and every vaper. If there were a single word to describe what makes the Summa an excellent addition to any store shelf, it would be “versatility.”

As a starter kit, it’s extremely easy to use and performs well for those looking to replicate a cigarette-style experience or produce formidable clouds. E-liquid of any viscosity will work, and for beginning users, the 5 mL capacity should last a full day or longer. The Summa also lends itself to experimentation, allowing a new vaper the opportunity to try out multiple vaping styles. Internal charging eliminates the need for a separate charger and helps to mitigate the cost of entry. For a first-time customer looking to invest in a device that will last, this might be the best option available.

For an intermediate user, the Summa could be sold as a flat-out replacement for his or her Nebox. It’s a similar experience with a better aesthetic, improved performance and no leaking. Anyone who liked the Nebox but has grown weary of its quirks will jump on this opportunity right away. Nothing is more tempting than holding an inferior device and staring its arguably better competition in the face. Anybody who is using or has used a Nebox, or anyone using a single 18650 device for that matter, will immediately be drawn to the Summa, and getting a bite out of them may only require that you let them hold it for a moment.

The toughest customer will most likely be the enthusiast. To see a device that only uses a single 18650 with no rebuildable option might immediately be a turnoff. They’ve heard of the Nebox and they’ve passed on it. If they’re going to buy a device, they want to use what they already know they like, and not be limited to a device with no 510 connection. That being said, never forget that enthusiasts don’t own just one device. The Summa may not be their daily driver, but it could fill a need, such as a backup or travel device. Even advanced users grow tired of carrying around large mods, extra batteries and a bottle of liquid to drip everywhere they go, but they grin and bear it in order to always have the best vape experience. A retailer simply needs to show that the Summa is a great vape experience and, although it may not replace the customer’s staple setup, there is value to be found. The trick is to listen to the customer and find a way in which the Summa can fill a gap in the enthusiast’s arsenal. It may be convenience or simply aesthetic design, but the gap is there, no matter how small. Find it, and you’ve got a sale.

Artery Vapor couldn’t have produced a better sophomore introduction to its lineup. Banking on the popularity of the Nebox and improving every facet of it is a slam dunk. As such, the Summa has a definite place in the vape community, and as a store owner, it would be wise to capitalize on that. With a wide potential market, excellent performance, superior quality and a proven demand, there’s no reason why a space shouldn’t already be prepared on store shelves.