Ease of use
Easy on paint
Changes your markers balance
Difficult to re-assemble
Not as fast as force-fed loaders.
I purchased a clear eVLution 3 used, and as such some of the issues I've had with the loader may be due to the previous owner's care (or lack thereof) the loader. It is possible that many of these issues are atypical of new eVLution 3's.
I purchased the loader and immediately ran approximately 10 or so pods through it. It seemed to feed quickly and consistently. The eyes are break-beam, and appear to work fine with the white shells on the paint I was using. When paint is constantly passing past the eyes (in a typical feeding scenario) the motor spins at full-speed, until the stack is full. However, if the eyes do not detect any paint for more than ~1 second, the motor slows down, and then picks up again as soon as a ball passes by the eyes. This could be for 2 reasons: to prevent pop-corning (It appears to be effective -- I experienced absolutely no pop-corning whatsoever with this loader) and also, to save battery power when no paint is feeding. This appears to be very well thought-out, because the motor will slow down when you run out of paint, and then as soon as another pod is dumped in, the first ball will trigger the loader to run at full-speed, filling the ball-stack as quickly as possible. Very intuitive.
My brother and I filled it to full capacity, counting every ball, and we were able to pack a whopping 224 balls into the loader. It still fed perfectly, even when it was as fully as it could be.
Also, the build quality appears to be very solid. The loader feels "tough" -- nothing wobbles or creaks, the battery and board compartment has multiple "slats" running throughout it, presumably to support it in case you take a ball directly to it.
AT THE FIELD:
I needed to use tape on the loaders' feedneck, to prevent it from spinning around in my feedneck. Even though it's a locking feedneck, the loader has a very smooth feedneck. Rather than cracking my markers feedneck as tight as I could and risk cracking the loaders feedneck, I just used a single wrap of hockey tape and it seemed to work without issue.
Full of paint and on my marker, the loader balances nicely. Even though it took some time to get used to the new distribution of weight, it's honestly not too funky, and most players will have no issue getting used to it. The switch is easy to use, even with gloves on. Flip it away from you to turn it on, and towards you for off. It's that easy. No over-winding of springs to worry about, or blending paint, etc. Just turn it on before your game, and off afterwards.
During the first game, I noticed that I had broken some paint in the loader. This may have been from a dive, or me shaking my marker to see if the loader was loose, or it may have been the loader itself, but due to the extremely soft paddles and the loaders design (as soon as the stack is full, the paddles are designed to easily slip past the paint until the motor comes to a complete stop) I consider this to be extremely unlikely. The paint may have also been very brittle -- This was the same paint that I had run through my loader 10+ times. For this reason, I chalk it up to user error.
I also broke 2 or 3 balls during the 4 hours we played for -- I was shooting the loader on my Spyder Fenix, which caps at 13 balls/second. It is possible that the paint was brittle (breach/barrel break), or that the non-force-feed nature of the first few shots was slow enough to chop in the gun. Something to note, however -- When I first got the loader, I fired fully-automatic for at least 2 seconds straight at 13 bps with absolutely no chops.
Aside from the chops, I found I was able to lane and snap-shoot without any problems. It's light, balances nicely, and feeds fast enough for both.
In terms of durability, I slid hard and snap shoot quickly, and the loader's feedneck didn't crack or appear to be damaged in anyway after 4 hours of play. I also took two direct hopper hits, and the shell appears to be fine.
Upon cleaning up my gear, I noticed that one of the "fingers" on the motor had broken -- This may have also what caused the breaks earlier on. Because I bought the loader used, I can't say what condition the paddle was in before. It's entirely possible the previous owner abused the loader somehow, and caused some stress beyond what the paddles were designed for. Overfilling the loader earlier may also have caused this. Regardless, a little super-glue fixed the problem. If it should happen again, replacement parts appear to be very reasonably priced -- Paddles are on $5 CAD. Not a big deal to replace at all.
Although I had some problems with the loader initially, the loader is easy on paint, reasonably fast, holds TONS of paint, and is easy to use. You could get something a little nicer used for the same price as an eVLution 3 new, but I only paid $35 for mine and to me, it has been well worth the money.
8 out of 10
Last edited on Saturday, August 14th, 2010 at 5:54 pm PST