4Sevens continues to update their product line, stuffing new LEDs into existing models to boost their efficiency. The question is, does breath new life into aging product lines, or is it simply an old dog trying to learn a new trick?
Meat and Potatoes
The new Quark X AA² is the latest iteration of 4Sevens now legendary introductory line of flashlights. They’ve been continually upping the ante and stretching the envelope (along with any other idiomatic metaphors you are applicable) by improving these lights in lockstep with the inexorable march of technology.
In this generation they have inserted the relatively large Cree XM-L LED into the relatively small head of their two celled lights. Combine this with a lightly textured reflector and you have the recipie for an excellent floody beam very well suited to EDC tasks and close range activities. This beam is very smooth and broad with a large hotspot blending into a bright spillbeam through a broad corona. Interestingly, the beam does seem to have a slight tint variation across it’s profile, but it is so slight that it is really only visible when hunting the elusive white wall. When not pursuing such subtle game, these differences remain unnoticeable.
User interface has changed very little in this variant since the origin of the Quark series. It still uses the same basic multi-line UI pioneered by Fenix. The Quarks have always been renown for having a few extra modes that other brands don’t usually possess however sporting 5 constant outputs and 3 different blinkey modes. 4Sevens has wisely chosen their output levels to be very well spaced and provide quite even coverage for a very wide range of brightnesses. In spite of not offering an “infinite” adjustment range, it is always very simple to find a light level to adequately meet your illumination needs.
Fit and finish of the Quark series has not changed one whit. End to end knurling is still the order of the day and anodizing is top notch as before. Simply put, the Quark series is a durable, basic, form-follows-function design that begs little improvement. Sure, the aesthetics aren’t anything spectacular that grabs your eye, but it has a simple beauty that just works.
Last time I reviewed this light I mentioned only one detrimental aspect. It had a distracting momentary preflash when you activated the light in moon mode. Unfortunately this is one area that the Quark X line has not improved. This preflash is still prevalent virtually every time the light is used. What I can say however is that this slight distraction is nothing more than that, just a slight distraction. It will NOT destroy your night vision. It will NOT cause pain with completely dark adapted vision. It will NOT wake up the sleeping baby that you are checking on at 3AM. Believe me, this I can attest to with firsthand experience, I used this light for weeks in exactly that role. It isn’t a game changer, but since it is so consistent and many people are very concerned about preflash, I don’t believe I can let it slide without mentioning it. I did want to make sure I clarified its real importance in the long run though.
The Quark X AA² is just about what you would expect it to be, a solid light with little by way of surprises. It is an update to what is going to before long be considered a classic. 4Sevens Quark line continues to advance. Staying modern by keeping pace with technology’s exponential growth.
Provided for review by the kind folks at 4Sevens.