Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Review - 4Sevens Preon ReVo

FOURSEVENS recently released a few new flashlights: the Quark Mini M2A - Gen2 (formerly the 4Sevens Quark Mini AA²) and the Preon ReVo. Both flashlights are interesting in their design and function. I promise you guys that I will get to reviewing both, but today I'll be reviewing the Preon ReVo.

The Preon ReVo by FOURSEVENS is a great EDC Keychain Light.
The Preon ReVo is the newest flashlight in FOURSEVENS' Preon line, which is known for its brightness despite its small size and light weight. The ReVo is no exception. It weighs in at only 0.4 oz without a battery and with a AAA battery, it weighs 0.8 oz. This light is a featherweight, with the battery weighing as much as the light itself!

The size of the ReVo is as impressive as the weight. The light is 2.8" long and 0.5" thick. The body is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum with a durable Type III hard anodization, giving the light a black color. At the end of the body is a hole which is perfect for attaching a keyring (included), allowing you to use the ReVo as a keychain light.

The ReVo's lens is made out optical grade glass, protecting a CREE XP-E R2 LED. This high-powered LED emits a maximum of 82 lumens for 0.9 hours, all out of a single AAA battery. To conserve battery life, the light even steps down 20% from 82 to 66 lumens (a barely noticeable decrease) when on for an extended period of time.

The reflector on the ReVo is textured, giving a nice, soft beam pattern. It shines adequately far, making it good for short to medium ranges (0-100 feet). The flashlight has a knurled body to aid in gripping the light. The knurling is slightly too smooth for my liking. However, it is functional and should be adequate for most situations. I mean, come on, how much can you ask of a light this small?

What makes this flashlight so unique?

According to FOURSEVENS, the Preon ReVo is the world’s first mass-produced, “smart” multi-level and current-regulated, single-AAA flashlight. I'll explain what this means by going into the different lighting modes that the ReVo has to offer.

The ReVo uses a CREE XP-E R2 LED emitter with a textured reflector.
The ReVo has six different lighting modes. These consist of three regular modes (Low, Medium, and High) and three special modes (Strobe, S.O.S. and Beacon). The way that you get to the modes is quite simple. When you turn the flashlight on, by twisting the head tight, you start off in Low mode. If you turn the light off and on quickly, by slightly loosening and tightening the head, you get to Medium mode. If you do that again, you get to High mode.

Alright, now how do you get to the special modes?

Getting to the special modes is just as easy. To get to the special modes, you have to cycle through the regular modes twice within 2 seconds. So twisting and untwisting the head, you cycle through: Low, Medium, High, Low, Medium, High. After cycling through the regular modes twice, you then get to Strobe, S.O.S. and then Beacon. Cycling through the special modes is just like cycling through the regular modes.

I will explain the special modes for those who are unaware. Strobe is a mode in which the light flashes rapidly. It would be good for confusing someone you are shining the beam at, or just for fun. S.O.S. mode is a timed flash that whose flashes mean S.O.S.

Below is a list of the modes, along with their brightnesses and run times, according to 4Sevens:
Low (1.5 lumens, 2.8 days)
Medium (19.8 lumens, 5.7 hours)
High (82 lumens, 0.9 hours)
Strobe (2.5 hours)
Beacon (48 hours)
S.O.S. (2 hours)

The tailcap on the ReVo makes it great for attaching to your keys.
There is another feature on the ReVo not found in other flashlights. This flashlight is current-regulated, which gives it much longer runtimes than other Preon flashlights. For example, the runtime for a Preon P1 on low mode mode is 23 hours, while outputting 1.8 lumens. That's a respectable runtime. However, the Preon ReVo has a runtime of 2.8 days, while outputting 1.5 hours. That's slightly less brightness for a drastic different in runtime. According to FOURSEVENS, "If you use the ReVO 30 minutes a day, one tiny AAA battery will last you 4.5 months!"

So, the flashlight's modes and runtimes are impressive, what about its usefulness?

The Preon ReVo is small and light, as mentioned earlier. This makes it very useful as an every day carry (EDC) flashlight. It is small enough to be put on your keys or thrown in a pocket and forgotten about. Whenever you come across a situation that requires light, you'll always have a flashlight with you. That's one of the amazing things about tiny lights like this. In the past, the only flashlights like this were cheap and would output only a couple lumens of light. Nowadays, the flashlights that are small enough to throw on a keychain rival some of the larger lights on the market. It's a great time to be a flashaholic (flashlight enthusiast).

This newest product from FOURSEVENS is definitely a hit. I haven't seen a flashlight from FOURSEVENS that I haven't liked, but this one definitely ranks higher than most due to its small size, brightness and unrivaled battery life. If you don't have a flashlight on your keys yet, take a look at the Preon ReVo.

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