Tiablo E2A (1xAA/14500, XP-G R5) Review: RUNTIMES, VIDEO, BEAMSHOTS and more!

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
6,936
Location
Canada
Warning: pic heavy, as usual. :whistle:

E2A001.jpg

E2A002.jpg


This is a review of the 1xAA member of the Tiablo "Exquisite" EDC series, the E2A. I previously reviewed the 1xAAA E3A when it first came out.

Manufacturer's Specifications:
  • LED: CREE XP-G R5
  • Circuit: High efficiency constant current circuit, and constant brightness.
  • Working Voltage: 0.8V - 4.2V
  • 14500 battery Max Output: High/Strobe 240 Lumens for 30 Minutes
  • AA battery Max Output: High/Strobe 110 Lumen for 45 Minutes
  • 14500 battery Low Output: 50 Lumens for 3 Hours
  • AA battery Low Output: 35 Lumen for 2 Hours
  • Switch: Tactical switch and head twist
  • Reflector: SMO Reflector
  • Waterproof: IPX-8, beyond 5m depth
  • Size: Length 102mm, Diameter 21.5mm
  • Lens: Toughened ultra-clear glass with AR coating
  • Body: Hard Anodized Type III Aerospace Grade
  • Clip: Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum Alloy T7075
  • Colour: Black with stainless steel head
  • Weight: 44 Grams
  • Instructions: Press the tail cap button to turn on.
  • Mode A (head tight): Non-programmable maximum brightness
  • Mode B (head loose): Programmable three mode option, twist the bezel 1/8 counter-clockwise, for factory default Strobe. Press the tail cap button gently to change modes, Strobe> High> Low. Click the tail cap button to turn off and memorize the mode.
  • One year warranty from Tiablo
  • MSRP: ~$60
E2A013.jpg


Packaging is similar across the Tiablo line. Inside the traditional cardboard case you will find a plastic insert holding the light, stainless steel clip (attached by two screws), manual, warranty card, and extra o-rings.

E2A028.jpg

E2A015.jpg

From left to right: Duracell alkaline; Tiablo E2A; Crelant 7G1; Sunwayman V10A; Thrunite Neutron 1A; Zebralight SC51; Fenix LD10-R4; 4Sevens QAA.

All dimensions are given with no battery installed:

Tiablo E2A: Weight: 45.7g, Length: 101.2mm, Width (bezel): 19.9mm
Lumintop Silver Fox: Weight: 98.1g, Length: 94.2mm, Width (bezel): 21.7mm, Width (grip-ring): 25.8mm
Sunwayman V10A: Weight: 58.1g, Length 100.6mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
Thrunite Neutron 1A: Weight: 60.4g, Length: 105.6mm, Width (bezel): 22.0mm
Xeno E03:: Weight: 48.1g, Length 96.7mm, Width (bezel): 21.5mm

Overall dimensions are in keeping with the 1xAA class, although the E2A is narrower than most lights by a good two millimeters or more.

E2A008.jpg

E2A003.jpg

E2A009.jpg

E2A011.jpg


Sorry for all the dust particles above. :eek:

Overall build is decent, with a fluted/ridged body tube that has knurling of good aggressiveness. There are also some flutes on the head, to help with grip (i.e. can loosen/tighten the head one-handed, if you keep the threads clean). Grip is definitely better than average, especially with the clip attached (but would be fine even without it). Anodizing is a matte black finish, with no nicks or damage on my sample. Labels are bright white against the black background.

The clip – while securely fashioned - seems pretty soft for stainless steel, and may bend easily.

Light has a flat stainless steel bezel ring.

The light can tailstand (although there was a bit of wobble on my sample). Light seems to have a stainless steel base around the boot cover. There are lanyard attached points along the tail ring. Switch is a traditional reverse clicky, and easy to access with any finger or thumb.

The is a slightly raised positive contact disc in the head, so flat-top cells should work fine.

Screw threads are not anodized, so no lock out is possible. Light uses a two-stage mode structure, with the head tightened or loosened giving access to different modes (see below).

I found the thread action a little rough on my sample, but this can be improved with proper lubing.

User Interface

Basic use is straightforward: press and release the tail reverse clicky to turn on.

With the head tight against the body, this gives you Hi output.

Loosen the head a 1/8 of a turn access the other modes. Mode changing is controlled by flashing the tail button or clicking off-on rapidly. Mode sequence is Strobe > Hi > Lo, in repeating sequence.

The light has mode memory, and remembers the last setting you left it in (if you leave it off for a couple of seconds).

For a more detailed examination of the builds and user interfaces, please see my video overview: :wave:



Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration icon in the lower right-hand corner, and select the higher 480p or 720p options. You can also run full-screen.

PWM/Strobe

Consistent with the manufacturer's specs, I was not able to detect any sign of PWM on the E2A. :) There was some high frequency noise detectable on the Lo mode, as shown below:

E2A-LoNoise1.gif

E2A-LoNoise2.gif

E2A-LoNoise3.gif


The third oscilloscope trace shows a high ~10 kHz frequency between spikes. Whatever this circuit noise is, it is not detectable in actual use.

E2A-HiNoise.gif


There was some low frequency noise noticeable on the Hi mode (shown above), but this again was not detectable in actual use.

E2A-Strobe.gif


Strobe was a fairly typical "tactical" 10 Hz.

Beamshots:

E2A007.jpg

Note: the white effect in the above pic is due to reflections of the white centering disc - the reflector is perfectly clear for its whole length.

E2A020.jpg

Again, the distortions above are just due to external reflections - it is a very shiny reflector!

The E2A uses a Cool White XP-G emitter (R5 output bin reported). Emitter was well centered on my sample, which a white centering disc visible beneath the reflector. Reflector is fairly deep and smooth finish, which is likely to produce reasonable throw for the XP-G class.

Which brings me to the white-wall beamshots. ;) All lights are on Hi on 1xAA Sanyo Eneloop or 1x14500 AW protected Li-ion, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.

Comparison of 1xEneloop-based lights:

E2A-NiMH-Beam001.jpg
E03-Beam001.jpg

SF-Eneloop-Beam001.jpg
V10A-Beam001.jpg


E2A-NiMH-Beam002.jpg
E03-Beam002.jpg

SF-Eneloop-Beam002.jpg
V10A-Beam002.jpg


E2A-NiMH-Beam003.jpg
E03-Beam003.jpg

SF-Eneloop-Beam003.jpg
V10A-Beam003.jpg


E2A-NiMH-Beam004.jpg
E03-Beam004.jpg

SF-Eneloop-Beam004.jpg
V10A-Beam004.jpg


Comparison of 1x14500-based lights:

E2A-14500-Beam001.jpg
SF-14500-Beam001.jpg

WK26-Beam001.jpg
V10A-14500-Beam001.jpg


E2A-14500-Beam002.jpg
SF-14500-Beam002.jpg

WK26-Beam002.jpg
V10A-14500-Beam002.jpg


E2A-14500-Beam003.jpg
SF-14500-Beam003.jpg

WK26-Beam003.jpg
V10A-14500-Beam003.jpg


E2A-14500-Beam004.jpg
SF-14500-Beam004.jpg

WK26-Beam004.jpg
V10A-14500-Beam004.jpg


I found the beam pattern of the E2A to be quite good for a 1xAA EDC – very similar to my Sunwayman V10A (although the E2A isn't as bright on standard batteries).

Testing Method:

All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

I have recently devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lighbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

Throw/Output Summary Chart:

My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.sliderule.ca/FL1.htm for a description of the terms used in these tables.

E2A-FL1-Summary1.gif


E2A-FL1-Summary2.gif


Overall output on standard batteries is definitely toward the low end of the XP-G R5 class (i.e. about the level of the 4Sevens Mini AA). On 1x14500, the E2A performs at a typical level for this class.

Note that reported ANSI FL-1 output measures seem quite reasonable, although might be a little overstated for Max output on standard batteries.

Oh, and in case you are curious, primary 3V 14505 batteries will work fine in the light. ;) Expect ~70% of the output of 3.7V 14500 Li-ion initially (I haven't done full runtimes).

Output/Runtime Comparison:

E2A-L91.gif


E2A-HiEne.gif


E2A-HiAlka.gif


The E2A appears to suffer from relatively low output/runtime efficiency on standard batteries, compared to other lights in the XP-G R5 class. :thinking:

E2A-Hi14500.gif


E2A-Med14500.gif


On 1x14500, the E2A now performs more in keeping with some other lights in this class (e.g., similar output/runtime profile to the 4Sevens Mini AA).

Reported ANSI FL-1 runtime specs for the E2A actually seem a bit conservative – runtimes matched or exceeded the reported specs in my testing.

Potential Issues

Included clip seems somewhat soft, and may bend easily.

Screw thread action was a bit rough on my sample, but appropriate lubing helped.

Lock-out isn't possible, due to the two-stage head design with no tailcap.

Light uses a reverse-clicky (not a problem per se, but I know many prefer forward clickies).

Light lacks a true Lo mode (i.e., E2A Lo is intermediate to Lo/Med on most lights).

Output/runtime efficiency on standard batteries is lower than competing XP-G R5-based lights. Relative performance on 1x14500 is better.

Preliminary Observations

Te "exquisite" series of ExA lights from Tiablo all seem to share a common design aesthetic - a solid but relatively slim-lined build. The E2A is certainly narrower than most lights in the 1xAA class, but it remains a structurally stable light with good knurling and grip.

No major complaints with the body, although I wish the bundled clip was sturdier and the screw threads a little smoother. A holster would also be nice. :whistle:

I personally find the beam pattern is pleasing for EDC use, with reasonably good throw and a smooth transition from spot to spill. Light supports both standard batteries and Li-ion power sources.

User interface is reasonable - the two-stage head twist means you can always have the light come on in Hi (head tight), and set the loosened state to whatever you want (i.e. has mode memory). :thumbsup: Personally though, I would prefer they dispense with "tactical" strobe and instead offer Lo, Med and Hi modes in the head-loosened state (with a true Lo mode).

Circuit performance and output/runtime efficiency is reasonable on 1x14500 (i.e. very close to the 4Sevens Mini AA). However, there is a clear drop-off in relative efficiency on standard batteries, compared to other lights in this XP-G class. :shrug:

It seems like I haven't been testing as many lights in the 1xAA class of late, so it's good to see this arrival from Tiablo. The 1xAA/14500 size is still my prefered EDC, due its relative small size and good battery capacity (especially with 1x14500). The E2A is certainly a simple, easy-to-use light, with reasonable performance on 1x14500. But I would prefer to see a wider range of output levels and improved efficiency on standard batteries.

----

E2A was provided by Kit-tronics.com for review.
 
Last edited:

dalliance

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
7
Location
Edinburgh
It looks a handy little EDC, and not a brand I've come across before. Thanks for taking the time to review it.
 

selfbuilt

Flashaholic
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
6,936
Location
Canada
It looks a handy little EDC, and not a brand I've come across before. Thanks for taking the time to review it.
Tiablo used be a more common name around here - they were one of the first to make "thwower" lights in the early XR-E days (along with Lumapower and Dereelight). They have produced a number of different models, but don't seem to have the same presence or dealer distribution network as some of the newer companies. But they are still around, and have a number of lights in different niches. I am currentlty testing their latest XM-L thrower, and will be posting a review soon.
 
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