4Sevens Quark MiNi Series Review : Beamshots, Runtimes, Pics, and more!

csshih

csshih

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Hi Everyone,

Up for review is the Quark Mini series of lights, an affordable line based on diminutive size.

Here are some of the specs from his site.

MiNi123:

  • LED: CREE XP-G R5
  • Max Output: 189 Out-the-front (OTF) lumens
  • Material: Type-III Hard-anodized Aircraft-grade Aluminum
  • Lens: Optical-grade glass lens with anti-reflective coating on both sides
  • Battery: One CR123A
  • Low: 3 OTF lumens, 150 hours, Medium: 40 OTF lumens, 8 hours, High: 189 OTF lumens, 1.2 hours
  • Length: 2.3 inches, Diameter: 0.80 inches, Weight: 0.62 ounces (w/o battery) (TI is 0.9 oz)


MiniAA

  • LED: CREE XP-G R5
  • Max Output: 90 Out-the-front (OTF) lumens
  • Material: Type-III Hard-anodized Aircraft-grade Aluminum
  • Lens: Optical-grade glass lens with anti-reflective coating on both sides
  • Battery: One AA
  • Low: 2.7 OTF lumens, 60 hours, Medium: 25 OTF lumens, 8 hours, High: 90 OTF lumens, 1.3 hours
  • Length: 3 inches, Diameter: 0.70 inches, Weight: 0.67 ounces (w/o battery) (TI is 0.8 oz)


The lights were supplied by 4Sevens for evaluation.

here is the light:


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4Sevens continues to excel in packaging and presentation.. the minis are no exception. The AA and 123 Model are packaged the same way (besides the larger spaces for the larger light)

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The specs are presented on the back.. TI models have a "Limited edition" sticker

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The cases themselves are very high quality :thumbsup:

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Included are O-Rings, instructional manual, a battery, and a very nice lanyard. There is a split ring on the lanyard clasp.

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Models are pretty obvious, so I'll hold off of commentary ;)

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The minis are lit by a Quark RGB (currently in white light mode)

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Engraving is very well done, the previous standard quark models had mediocre engraving.

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The split ring attachment point is very strong, but a bit small. it is hard to attach rings!

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Size Comparisons:
more to follow (or by request)
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Comparison Beamshots:
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White Wall Shots:
Shutter Speed is not specified -- the white wall shots are meant to show artifacts, rings, etc in the beam, not for brightness comparison.
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Outdoor Beamshots:
4Sevens MiniAA 1xAA
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4Sevens Mini123 Primary 1xCR123A
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4Sevens Mini123 Li-Ion 1xRCR123A
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Runtime:
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Impressions:
The quark mini series consists of lights that focus on a diminutive size, and a good balance of brightness. The mini123 at 180 lumens is extremely bright for its size, but the mini AA with 80 lumens is much more on the conservative side. Battery technologies are important here, and I think the quark aa is at a reasonable balance of output, with a reasonable runtime.Those who want the brightest while keeping with more commonly used battery types will have to look elsewhere.
There are a few variations of the 2 models available, a neutral tint variation(which is not covered in this review), a titanium bodied variation (which has already been pictured in the above pictures), and of course, the standard cool white model.

Benefits of the TI model are aesthetics ;) and overall durability. The hard anodized layer of aluminum is harder than titanium, but once that layer is worn through(which may or may not happen eventually) titanium wins. Titanium can be polished up to look like new but aluminum can't, short of reanodizing it. Otherwise, aluminum has a much better heatsinking capability. I originally feared that the titanium minis would have the rough thread issue found in the quark (full size) ti models and the ti preon models. Surprisingly, these models had smooth threads. Looks like 4sevens cracked down on that problem :thumbsup:

My models of both titanium and aluminum still came with a slight bit of adhesive on a side, which cleaned up with some rubbing, though. build quality in general on these lights is very high, anodizing was done very well, with knurling rough enough for good grip.

The rear ends of these lights have been laser etched with the 47s logo very tastefully, if I may comment.

I feel like 4sevens hit the UI right on the spot, pleasing both the "stobe/sos blinky mode" lovers and haters. The blinky modes are hidden, and they can't be acessed unless you twist the head 6 times in rapid sucession. The lights are easy to twist, but I don't see the chance of anyone accidentally getting into those modes.

Overall, I personally love the new 4Sevens MiNi series. I feel that they are great EDC light with a very good no-frills UI.

As of [2/2/2010], the price of the standard minis are 39$ and 69$ for the Titanium ones.

 
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Sector7

Sector7

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Nice Job :thumbsup: I love the MiNis for its small size, simple UI and price point...
 
Burgess

Burgess

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Good Work, as always, Craig !

:goodjob::kewlpics::thanks:


Note: your MiNi-AA listing states that it uses a CR123A battery. :whistle:
 
csshih

csshih

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doh! whoops, thanks! :)

thank you all for reading!
 
SuperTrouper

SuperTrouper

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Thanks for the great reviews of these lights, you're not alone in having trouble getting the split ring onto the mini.... I was struggling with it a good few minutes myself!
 
I

IMSabbel

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I really love the lights, got an neutral white AA here, and a neutral white Ti on the way.

There is just one almost emberassing issue i have with them: High is just not really that bright. The hotpot is quite concentrated for a light that size, which kills night vision and makes the spill totally useless to see anything.

Also, if i put it next to my preon 2, its astonishing just how much it gets blown away.
As 1AA should be able to provide more power than 2AAAs, and the head of the mini is bigger than the one on the Preon, shouldnt it be possible to drive the mini harder?

Or is this just an issue with the XP-E using neutral white one? (smaller die -> smaller hot spot, less efficient, etc.)
 
V

v188

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Very nice informative write up.
 
pjandyho

pjandyho

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Not so with my titanium MiNis. I ordered a MiNi 123 and MiNi AA, both neutral whites. Both had very gritty threading. The AA being the worst.

The titanium MiNi AA I had was too gritty which resulted in mode skipping while changing modes. I had already applied a fair bit of DeOxit provided by 4Sevens but it just fail to loosen up. One handed operation is really a pain unlike the aluminum version which I loved so much. Glass fogs up within seconds of switching it on using Energizer Lithium AA primary batteries.

Had the AA version returned to 4Sevens for a full refund and kept the MiNi 123 since it is not as bad as the MiNi AA although the threading too is gritty, just not as much.

So, your review pieces are very smooth?
 
csshih

csshih

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The review piece are smooth, but not as smooth as aluminum.
still one-hand-able.

by the way.. deoxit isn't really a lube, it's for cleaning of contact points.

glass fogging up?! I haven't seen any moisture in mine. odd :thinking:
 
carrot

carrot

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Great pics...

Gotta love that Ti.

Seems to have surprisingly good regulation for the AA model... not that I'd ever buy or admit to buying an AA light ;)
 
pjandyho

pjandyho

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The review piece are smooth, but not as smooth as aluminum.
still one-hand-able.

by the way.. deoxit isn't really a lube, it's for cleaning of contact points.

glass fogging up?! I haven't seen any moisture in mine. odd :thinking:

Yes you are right. I know DeOxit isn't a lube but it seems to work well. I used it for cleaning the contacts as well as double as a much more fluid lube even though it is not made to. Anyway, since 47 gave it to me I might as well use it.

Anyway, you are either lucky or 47 made some corrections to the machining of the ti AA lights. Btw, mine was the neutral white version, both aluminum as well as the ti ones.
 
AlphaZen

AlphaZen

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Thank you for taking the time to do this review. I appreciate your efforts. Well done:thumbsup: Your reviews and beamshots have been very helpful to me. I have a mini AA on the way, hopefully waiting when I get home today.
 
Kif

Kif

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How about the Quark Mini AA compared to Quark AA, R2/Quark AA, R5/ Quark AA tactical, R5?
Whats the major difference except the OTF lumens?
Thanks~~
 
R

reflecyion

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check out the reviews, dude. there's plenty of info already posted here if you use the search function.

r2 versions have a tighter hotspot, more throw. the newer quarks are more floody, with a larger hotspot.
 
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csshih

csshih

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sometimes it's hard to search through all the information available.. it's overwheming, I understand.

Reflecyion is correct, the quark mini AA uses a Cree XP-G R5 LED, which has a bigger die (or chip), which makes the light floodier. I have not had the chance to compare those lights with the rest of the quark line, but the XP-E quarks (R2) will throw a bit more.
 
L

LightShine

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Thanks for the great review, very well done. I love my mini AA and it has become my first EDC that I really do carry every day. I use it both at home and at work. The size and brightness, the UI, the hidden modes, the quality of construction, I just really like everything about it. I think for the price it's hard to beat.

I wonder if they have considered making a mini - mini, a AAA version that would be even smaller. :poke:

Anyway great flashlight and great review.
 
J

Jida

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Just got mine that I ordered a couple of days ago.

Very very nice.

Well made and it meets all the expectations that I read about.

It is (and probably a few more like it) going to end up being my emergency lights in the house.

Figured out that with a (50) pack of CR123's 1 of thse little buggers could give you 8 hours of light a night for 2.5 years. With its small size and the great shelf life of the CR123's this is a great combination for backup solutions.
 
csshih

csshih

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I wonder if they have considered making a mini - mini, a AAA version that would be even smaller. :poke:

how about a preon I? same UI, same twisty style.. unless you like the knurlings.. :thinking:
 
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