iTP A1 EOS - another tiny Pocket Rocket delight

matrixshaman

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I just got the A1 EOS from iTP and it is another fantastically bright tiny light utilizing Cree's XP-E Q5. This light is basically identical in size to the new Quark Mini 123 with the exception of the small nub on the tail for the short chain and clip. It also has a body clip that is a nice addition. To my eyes the hot spots of these two are very close in brightness but the A1 is smaller by far. Overall the Mini 123 may have more total brightness - i.e. on a ceiling bounce you'll probably have a bit more light with the Mini. The A1 is does not have the greenish tint that the Mini's seem prone to have in many cases. The A1 also has a smaller hot spot than the Mini. Both the tint and hot spot size are primarily due to the different emitter (XP-E vs XP-G). The A1 has 3 brightness levels and no strobe, SOS or other functions. It always starts on Low and goes to Medium and then High. Levels listed by iTP are:
Low 1.8 lumens (150 Hrs)
Med 35 lumens (8 Hrs)
High 190 lumens (1.6 Hrs)

The A1 is very smooth in it's twist action and appears to have very fine threads. I thought initially the lack of knurling like the Mini 123 has might make the A1 more difficult to twist one handed but I was gladly wrong as it's buttery smooth to twist even one handed. I'll post some pics soon of the light and will also do some beam shot comparisons between these two excellent tiny pocket rockets.
 
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madmook

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Interesting impressions, matrix.

According to CampingLED in this thread: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/250312

the A1 should have a pretty floody beam. Is his beamshot very different from yours? Or is the Quark MiNi 123 just even more floody?

I've been interested in the A1's since I saw that floody beamshot from CampingLED, but if the MiNi 123 is floodier then I can skip the A1 because I want a floody CR123A light.

I'm also interested to see medium mode runtimes, as both manufacturers state 8 hours on medium mode.
 

matrixshaman

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PWM - didn't even notice it. I tried my usual test upon seeing your question and it must be quite high as all I see is a blur rather than a strobe like I see with lower frequency PWM.
Hot Spot - compared to most lights with slightly larger reflectors this would be fairly floody but as I was comparing it to the very very floody Quark Mini 123 with it's even floodier XP-G it seems small but only in comparison to that light. I'll do some beam shots later tonight or tomorrow. CampingLED is comparing it to an XR-E in a light with a somewhat larger reflector. So in that case it's going to be more flood. But if you want a like a whole lot of flood the Quark Mini 123 is going to be better for you. You can find some beam shots I posted of it comparing it to the Surefire L4 (with it's Luxeon V) which in it's time was known for it's very bright 'wall of light'. The Mini 123 has nearly the same size spot as the L4 but is even brighter by quite a bit. Right now I think the iTP A1 EOS and the Quark Mini 123 are two of the best deals going and major 'WOW' lights that every flashaholic should have. So in CPF tradition I just gotta' say Get 'em both!
 

Joe Talmadge

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I don't think I've ever seen a side-by-side shot of the A1 and mini ... if you're shooting beamshots anyway, would you mind snapping one of those?
 

sol-leks

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Interesting impressions, matrix.

According to CampingLED in this thread: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/250312

the A1 should have a pretty floody beam. Is his beamshot very different from yours? Or is the Quark MiNi 123 just even more floody?

I've been interested in the A1's since I saw that floody beamshot from CampingLED, but if the MiNi 123 is floodier then I can skip the A1 because I want a floody CR123A light.

I'm also interested to see medium mode runtimes, as both manufacturers state 8 hours on medium mode.

I agree with everything you've said.
 

matrixshaman

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I don't think I've ever seen a side-by-side shot of the A1 and mini ... if you're shooting beamshots anyway, would you mind snapping one of those?

I'll be doing both side by side beam shots and side by side shots of the lights themselves. Other than the shape and finish they are extremely close in size.
 

mikeinrancho

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I received my A1 today and after playing with my MiNi123 for a few days and comparing the A1 to it, if I had to do it again, I would get 2 Mini123's rather than one MiNi and one A1. The beam on the A1 is nice, visually as bright as the MiNi on my ceiling, just a different tint. I actually thought my MiNi was fairly white until seeing the A1 beam. The A1 will not tailstand (that was known ahead of time - the keychain is nice though) and on my light the clip fits loose and moves around when you try to one hand the light, making the grip difficult. Coupled with the lack of knurling it's a pain to instinctively turn it on or off with one hand. Also... the part of the clip that presses up against the body will eventually wear a line on the body (through the logo) as it spins around. Even if you were tighten the clip up so it didn't rotate, the body will turn underneath the clip just turning the light on or off. I'll probably remove the clip. I wish it did have some knurling though... it's just not as 'grippy' as the A3, even though the A3 doesn't have knurling either.

View of the clip and where it will rub over time as the body rotates under it, unless you bend it out a bit:

742906776_EPRQU-M.jpg
 
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matrixshaman

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I guess my experience was a bit different in that the clip didn't seem to bother my one hand twisting at all and it seemed small enough to not be in the way. At least on mine the clip rotates fairly easily so I don't feel it gets in the way. As far as the A1 tail standing it CAN tail stand although it's a bit like building a house out of a deck of cards. If you put it on a flat table either with the split ring removed or if you leave it on you will need to set it very near the edge of a table it will tail stand. Just don't bump the table, breath on the light or jump on the floor or it will topple. I say that because if you have a heavy rock solid very flat surface then it can indeed tail stand. But it would be more practical to get a small thick washer or thick O-ring to set it on which would then make it easy enough to tail stand.
 

matrixshaman

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Beam shots coming up but here is a very interesting discovery - The heads and tails of these two lights - the iTP A1 and the Quark Mini 123 are INTERCHANGEABLE! Perfectly interchangeable and fully functioning using either tail with either head!

Here you go - first shot shows how similar in size they are (looking at my pic here you would think the A1 head is larger but they are identical in diameter when placed head to head - I assume it was my camera angle that makes the A1 look a little bigger):

a1vsmini2.jpg


Another perspective:

a1vsmini1.jpg


Looking into the reflectors you can see how similar they look here also - sorry but limited time so this shot isn't focused where I wanted it but it will give you an idea. This also shows that the A1 can indeed tail stand.

a1vsmini3.jpg


The A1 is on the left and Mini 123 on the right. This pic was shot in the dark using only the light from the flashlights so it does not really reflect how bright these look as they are both on high. I also can see the A1 hot spot does not show up as well here and it looks a bit bigger than it is but it is also apparent they both have fairly large areas of light -- maybe more so than I thought until I got them side by side. The Mini 123 still has a somewhat larger hot area.

a1vsmini7.jpg
 
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mikeinrancho

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This also shows that the A1 can indeed tail stand.

a1vsmini3.jpg

Yeah... so can this egg. :poke:

742987597_862tP-M.jpg


Unlike the A1, the egg doesn't need to be placed near the edge of a surface... but they're both destined to topple over without care.

The tailstanding is not a big deal by itself, but the overall build quality of the MiNi, to me, is noticeably better and justifies the slightly higher price.
 

applevision

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Hmmm!

Very interesting indeed!

I'm impressed that they basically got out a competing version of the MiNi 123 so quickly...

I will say that for those who are tempted by the ITP, it might be worthwhile to wait for the Neutral Quark MiNi 123 coming out next month--it will have a warm emitter but it will be XP-E just like the ITP only warm... and from 4sevens... and I can't wait!!!
:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:
 

mvyrmnd

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Hmmm!

Very interesting indeed!

I'm impressed that they basically got out a competing version of the MiNi 123 so quickly...

I will say that for those who are tempted by the ITP, it might be worthwhile to wait for the Neutral Quark MiNi 123 coming out next month--it will have a warm emitter but it will be XP-E just like the ITP only warm... and from 4sevens... and I can't wait!!!
:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:
I think I've decided that I prefer my EDC's in cool white... I have a few warm white lights now, and after a few days swapping back and forth, I find that when crawling under desks/behind server racks/inside pc's the cool white just seems to work better.

I'm glad I have the warm whites for outside at night, but during the day where i'll be using my A1 the most, I prefer the cool whites.
 
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matrixshaman

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.... clip...

The tailstanding is not a big deal by itself, but the overall build quality of the MiNi, to me, is noticeably better and justifies the slightly higher price.

I found the build quality to be very very similar and excellent on both. However I think the knurling on the Mini and the added semi-hidden features of strobe and so on definitely make it worth the little extra in price. I consider both a great value. The fact that the head and tail are interchangeable makes one think that at least the bodies might have been made by the same place.
 

HarveyRich

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While I don't have the itP A1, I have the A2 and A3. Using these lights and others next to the MiNi123 that I've had for about a week, I find the beam to be ever so slightly more yellow. On high I don't notice it to be different from a nice white at all. There undoubtedly is some variation from MiNi123 to MiNi123, but mine is just the way I like it, not too cool and not too warm.
 

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