Compact vaporizers have gone a long way from simply being small and handy. It’s the fastest-growing niche in portables, which means there’s a lot of design and development happening. New vaporizers are now filled to the brim with features and complex tech – all to make your sessions the best possible. No two devices prove this more than the G-Pen Elite 2 (review | buy) and the Zeus Arc GTS (review | buy).
The G-Pen Elite follows its successful 2016 predecessor and looks-wise, it's nearly similar, its been completely redesigned under the hood. It features a fully colored OLED display, haptic feedback, a two-part zirconia mouthpiece (with a spiral ceramic airpath), a dual heating convection/conduction ceramic chamber, and a 2100mAh battery that charges via USB-C.
The Zeus Arc GTS is part of a new 3rd generation of vaporizers that come fully equipped with not just the device itself but alongside a full suite of accessories / aka the “The Hub”. It also defines “solid-gold vaping” with its gold heatsink and vapor path.
- Minimally Designed Portables
- Straightforward Usage
- Haptic Feedback
- Internal Batteries
- The Hub Kit and Extruder
- G-Pen Elite 2 Kit
- ArcPod compatibility
- Elite: Full Color TFT Display, LED Light, and Precise Temperature Control
- Arc GTS LED Strip
- The GTS Mouthpiece
- Elite: 3-part Zirconia Mouthpiece
- Elite: Dual Heating Technology
- Arc GTS: Gold Heatsink and Convection Heating
G-Pen Elite 2 vs. Zeus Arc GTS Similarities
Minimally Designed Portables
Nearly all devices of this size follow a very similar design language. They’re some of the best-looking devices available and some don’t even look like vaporizers at all. They are almost always minimal, with everything geared towards full discretion.
Zeus Arc GTS
All Zeus devices have a box-style design and are constructed out of a hard shell anodized aluminum. The aluminum shell is pretty scratch resistant and has a dense, high-quality feel in your hand. At only 3.5 inches tall and 1.6 inches wide – it’s definitely very portable and concealable in your hand.
The Arc GTS has a rectangular body with flat sides, a slight center curve and a matte black finish, and gold “GTS” lettering on the side- which adds to the overall premium look of a simply designed device. Just like most small devices, the GTS has a single button (located at the top, adjacent to the mouthpiece) and has no display.
G-Pen Elite 2
The Elite 2’s body is constructed out of a zinc alloy and feels durable, dense, and solid in your hands. Its components have a pretty standard placement; the mouthpiece sits on top, the tactile buttons are placed on the sides, the USB-C port is located at the base, and there’s a small oven tool that slips right into the body.
One of the Elite 2’s best features is its ergonomic design. All the lines, grooves, and dips on the Elite 2 are more than just attractive. They guide your hand to the most comfortable and ideal grip, and the buttons are also shaped in descending sizes so you won’t ever have to fumble or look at them.
Both the G-Pen Elite 2 and the Zeus Arc GTS feature haptic feedback and both vibrate to let you know once it’s ready to vape. This is an additional notification on top of the Arc GTS’ LED lights.
The Arc GTS and the Elite 2 are both powered by non – replaceable, internal batteries. Since you can’t swap a drained battery for a new one, both devices do feature pass-through charging – meaning you can enjoy a session while plugged in.
The G-Pen Elite 2 is powered by a 2100mAh battery, which is good for about 60 minutes of continuous use. It charges via USB-C from empty to full in just under an hour and a half.
It’s definitely great to see more and more new devices adapting to USB-C, especially since it’s a lot more stable than the old micro-USB and is just as accessible. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the Arc GTS – which might have a bigger battery at 3500mAh and is good for about 90 minutes of use.
While the Arc GTS has more power and lasts longer than the Elite 2, it's dragged down by its outdated micro-USB charger – the Elite 2 wins.
G-Pen Elite 2 vs. Zeus Arc GTS Differences
The G-Pen Elite 2 & Zeus Arc GTS actually only have a $10 difference. The Elite 2 is priced at $249 while the Arc GTS Hub is at $239. Alongside its Hub, the GTS becomes one of the most convenient devices on the market – you wouldn’t need anything that isn’t already in the Kit. The Elite 2 is a newer, more precise device, and is best for a user who definitely wants to be in more control of their sessions.
The Hub Kit and Extruder
The Hub and the Arcpods are what define the Zeus Arc GTS as a third-generation vaporizer. The Hub is a command station for all your vaping essentials and has everything covered (except herb, of course). The Hub case itself with its custom-molded cutouts is a high-quality travel/storage solution coupled with a few functional features such as a sink made for the extraction of already vaped herb.
The entire Arc GTS hub kit includes:
- Zeus Arc GTS
- 15 ArcPods and 45 ArcPod Lids
- Zeus Xtruder
- Carry case
- Micro-USB charging cable
- Gold Flow Sink Tool
- Instruction Manual
The Zeus Xtruder
The Xtruder is probably the largest grinder you’ll ever lay your eyes on, but it serves a pretty specific purpose. It’s designed for exclusive use with the Arcpods and automatically ejects it once the pod hits capacity. It’s made with food-grade plastic and grinds herb to perfectly match the Arc GTS.
G-Pen Elite 2 Kit
The Hub is a lot to take in, so if you’re one to keep it low-key and simple, the Elite 2 comes with a relatively lean kit with everything you’ll need to start vaping straightway. The entire kit comes inside the brand’s signature smell-proof hemp hard case, which also has a cut-out for your device and holds it snugly in place.
The kit comes with:
- G-Pen Elite 2 vaporizer
- USB-C charging cable
- Instruction Manual
- Silicone Sleeve
The Zeus ArcPods are capsules that hold around 0.3g of herb and may be pre-filled and popped into the oven. Each ArcPod is made from energy-efficient aluminum for rapid heat transfer from the chamber to the dry herb inside. Each kit comes with 3 boxes of 5 pods, which you can use to store filled ArcPods with different strains.
With the pods, there is only a very slight, nearly unnoticeable change in the amount of flavor in the vapor, but it’s a very small trade-off for the level of convenience that they deliver.
Full Color TFT Display, LED Light & On-Board Controls
The G-Pen Elite 2 has onboard controls and several device menus. Toggle and select any temperature within its 200–428°F (93–220°C) range. The buttons are shaped in descending sizes so you won’t ever have to fumble around looking for the firing button.
Located on the rear bottom of the Elite 2 is a full-color TFT display that shows the current device status, operating temperature, and battery level. There’s also a settings menu that shows session durations, turn off/on convection boost, haptic feedback, toggle between C/F, and adjust the brightness. To make it even more discreet, the screen is completely invisible as soon as it shuts off and then that whole shiny section just looks like a design choice rather than a display.
Since the screen is on the backside, there’s a small LED light in the front that blinks during heating and becomes solid when it’s good to go. The light sits at an angle so it's only visible when you’re looking down on it, but not from any other direction.
Arc GTS LED Strip
On the opposite side of the gold lettering is where the 3 horizontal LED strips that indicate the current device status and current battery level. The lights are an intuitive enough visual cue since the number of lights indicates the cycle that’s currently active.
The GTS Mouthpiece
The Arc GTS’ top lid/mouthpiece sits flush at the top of the device and is fully removable to expose the gold heatsink. It’s secured by strong magnets and is made of medical-grade plastic instead of the former silicone (on the GT). This plastic is also heat-resistant, which is great for when you’re cranking it up to the highest temperature level.
The mouthpiece vapor path is removable and has also been moved to optimize surface area – which makes it possible for the Arc GTS to deliver vapor with a better flavor profile than the original GT and it’s also much easier to clean. Though the plastic does resist heat better than its predecessor, it certainly doesn’t change the fact that your bottom lip is bound to feel some warmth coming from the device itself as your draw. It is also a bit more prone to scratches, especially when used with the included pick.
3-part Zirconia Mouthpiece
Grenco Science seems to be getting into multi-part mouthpieces in 2022 – their other recent release, the G-Pen Micro+ (review | buy) has a two-part mouthpiece while the Elite 2 has a three-piece mouthpiece. The entire mouthpiece connects to the main device body via strong and snappy magnets hidden under the housing. For better control; the air intake holes are located above the screen and double as a carb, which can be covered with your thumb to control the airflow.
The mouthpiece is comprised of 3 parts:
- The Outer Zirconia Shell: Zirconia is a strong material with low thermal conductivity – which simply means it’s not going to get uncomfortably warm, nor is it fragile.
- Inner silicone sleeve: This sleeve has a screen to filter particles, protects the helix encased inside, and keeps heat from dissipating outwards onto the mouthpiece.
- Zirconia helix: The helix is designed to effectively lengthen the vapor path, ensuring that you get only the coolest and purest results.
Dual Heating Technology
Dual Heating is what sets the G-Pen Elite 2 apart from the crowd. Dual Heating is a patent-pending technology (currently exclusive to the Elite 2) that harnesses the capabilities of both conduction and convection heating. Meaning that the two heating systems can work independently of each other. It uses conduction to heat up the herb in the oven, and it uses a draw-activated convection system that generates heat outside the oven and pulls it in with every inhale.
Vapor Quality: The first draw is a little thin, which is typical of small devices – yet, once the temperature builds up in the oven, the vapor becomes thick and dense – as you’d get on a conduction vaporizer. But it’s also flavorful and very nuanced – which is obviously the result of conduction heating.
Gold Heatsink and Convection Heating
Other than the Hub, it’s the gold heatsink and vapor path that make the GTS unique. When it first appeared on the Zeus Arc GT, many definitely thought it was all marketing – but it's not. The gold-lined parts of the Arc GTS allow for the rapid heating of your material, but a near-instant cooldown of the vapor.
The temperature cycles on the Arc are also an interesting shift from the usual pre-set settings we see on most devices. Basically, the cycles allow you to use the same load at different times or you can opt to have a long session in one go.
Vapor Quality: The Arc GTS whether used with the pods or the conventional way – delivers terpene heavy, rightfully dense, and balanced vapor. This vapor quality is pretty impressive especially when you consider that the Arc GTS is a conduction vaporizer with a flat mouthpiece – a combination that rarely results in vapor this good.
The Zeus Arc GTS and the G-Pen Elite 2 currently show off the best directions compact vaporizers can go. The Zeus Arc GTS is part of a new, third generation of devices that is heavily reliant on its accessory package, while the G-Pen Elite 2 is self-sufficient and has everything you need, all within the device itself.
There’s no debate whether these two deliver quality vapor because they do – but if you were to choose one, go for the G-Pen Elite 2. While being able to use the Arcpods and the Xtruder may be a cool thing, the lack of precise controls and that Micro-USB charging cable gives the Elite 2 an advantage over the Arc GTS. To read more about the best devices available and all our in-depth reviews on each one, check out our list of the best dry herb vaporizers of 2022.