The SUBTANK range of clearomisers from Kangertech changed the tank market as we knew it. For a long time there was a choice between OK performance clearos - EVODs etc, good clearos like EMOWs, Aerotanks and the like with adjustable airflow, and then drippers and rebuildable tanks which gave you bigger vapour production and the opportunity to use sub-ohm coils, but which you had to build yourself.
It was a sacrifice between the convenience of using stock coils or the ability to get more flavour and vapour from your favourite ejuices. Until the Aspire Atlantis came out, which gave you subohm coils on a tank. Convenience and big clouds. This was closely followed by the SUBTANK and a bunch of other subohm tanks (there's about 25 in the market now) which allow you to have the convenience of a tank (large capacity juice tank and stock coils) but with the vapour production and airflow of a dripper.
The tank is only half of the story
The 'mod'/battery part of the equation is another story. Before 2014 it was all about mechanical mods if you wanted to be able to fire sub-ohm resistance coils. Regulated mods/batteries of the time had in-built safety features which wouldn't allow you to fire below 1ohm coil resistance because of battery safety (read up on Ohm's law and safe amp limits on batteries – required knowledge for any vaper).
However, mechanical mods can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing - they have no safety features at all. It's a big metal tube which acts as a switch. In educated hands mechanical mods are a tameable beast - in the wrong hands a mech is a potential pipe bomb. And most people are either intimidated by this or feel unable to scale the fairly minimal learning curve, so they didn't want to use them.
In 2014, regulated mods moved towards being able to 'sub-ohm' but also had safety features, like not firing/switching on if there was a dangerous short. Because of this, the potential market became much bigger as you didn't have to worry so much about electrical shorts. As long as you had the right batteries you could just 'plug and play' with really low resistance coils and enjoy huge vapour.
The new standard
Kangertech made the SUBTANKs towards the end of 2014 and basically took over the whole market. This was the new tank to recommend to anyone who wanted not just to move away from cigarettes (for which EVOD style devices would still suffice) but who wanted to enjoy the big clouds and lung filling hits which so many experienced rebuilding vapers were enjoying. It was the new standard in what tanks could be.
Kangertech then moved into regulated mods in February, but the device was slightly flawed as it wasn't as convenient to use as other regulated mods. It’s an ergonomic device at a very affordable price point, but the feature set made it a hard sell compared to devices from Sigelei, Cloupor, Eleaf and other Chinese manufacturers.
Hence everyone's excitement about what is effectively a new "v2" kbox mini, which has usb charging, removable 18650 battery compartment, led display, variable wattage in 0.1 increments, built in coil resistance/ohm reader, small form factor and mostly because it looks really, really sexy. Having held one in my hand, the aqueous ceramic material construction also feels great and won’t require a silicone grip/slip case.
A lot of people going crazy online for this new "SUBOX starter kit" probably already own a SUBTANK or a SUBTANK Mini, and a device with which to use it. But this is like the iPod moment of subohm vaping. It's not a new concept, just one which is executed to the best possible level for right now that also comes in a fantastically styled product with two colour options to suit and more potentially to come.
So – the question is, do you need a SUBOX starter kit. No, you probably don’t.
Do you want one? Hell yes.
In fact, you probably want two. White and Black.
Get yours pre-order now for only ¥405 until May 28th, 2015 from www.shanghaivape.com