Review: AceBeam T36 (Tactical, 1x21700, USB-C Rechargeable)

I received the AceBeam T36 from AceBeam for review purposes.
The T36 is a tactical handheld flashlight, powered by a 21700 li ion battery that runs a XHP35 HI emitter. It is available both in CW and NW, I got the first version.

The T36 comes in this nice box

The content of the box: T36, manual, warranty card, USB-C cable, 21700 Battery, 18650 battery adapter, sheath.

The T36 (with the AceBeam 21700 5100mAh inside), with the sheath and the 18650 battery adapter.

It even has all a stick on the glass to protect it from scratches and dust

The tailcap has a protruding mechanical switch, and a cigar grip ring.

The inside of the body: double tube construction for getting signal to the 2 switches.

Anodised triangular cut threads for physical lockout.

Inside construction of the tailcap.

At the head you have on one side the electronic single stage switch and a LED indicator,

On the other side the rubber cover for the USB-C port that is used for charging the battery

The stiking bezel on top of the head can be removed and reversed.

The T36 with the 21700. Note that the AceBeam battery is protected and hasn’t any proprietary feature.

The cordura sheath

In the hand

note that only the tailcap can be removed from the light and the positive contact point at the head is a spring and flat top cells can be used.
Also, if you use an 18650 battery in the light, it will be too short and will not power the light reliably (if you hit the light it will turn off). Using the 18650 adapter (that works with flat top cells too) allows the light to work reliably and without any rattling sound.

The idea of the double switch of the T36 is the following: you use your tactical tailcap for turning the light on and off at turbo, and the electronic at the head for all the other modes.
So, the tailcap switch is a mechanical forward switch that allows for momentary on, and it turns the light on and off at turbo mode.
The electronic switch at the head turns the light on and off at the last used mode.
If you keep it pressed, you can scroll through the modes: low, medium, high, in loop.
If you keep it pressed, it will turn on at firefly mode. Double click it for turbo. Triple click it for strobe.

The integration of the two switches works well: if you have the light already on by using the electronic switch, and you click the tactical switch, the light will go to turbo mode.
When the light is on at turbo mode with the tactical switch, it will not response to the use of the head switch.
The LED indicator over the switch turns red when the battery is charging and green when is charged.

Output and runtime
Tested with the provided 21700 AceBeam battery and an unprotected LG MJ1 18650 battery.

AceBeam told me that the T36 has a thermal sensor, so I tested the turbo mode with a fan close to the light.

Beamshots at half meter from wall.

Thermal tests of the T36

My thoughts
The light is well built and finished.
I like the Idea of the interface with direct access to lowest, highest and last used mode.
The 21700 battery offers plenty of capacity and handles well the current request at turbo mode.
I like the provided 18650 adapter that allows you to use 18650 cells, although you should use only IMR batteries to get best performances at turbo.
I also like the fact that the T36 doesn’t have any proprietary feature, the charging is with a not proprietary cable and can charge any battery.

One issue I noted, is that when the light becomes hot at high or turbo mode, the USB-C battery cover pops out.
The thermal sensor doesn’t seem to help significantly the runtime pre-stepdown in situation of cooling.
Thanks to: Antoled for the camera help and thermal camera and luxmeter.

Thanks for the reviews. Why are you comparing 21700 vs lg mj1 ?? It looks 21700 better in the graph…

You should not use lg mj1 for comparison… please use samsung 30q, and sony vtc5a or something high drain to compare the tests…

Thank you.

Of course the 21700 looks better. It is the bigger cell, with higher capacity and higher discharge rating.
Whatever smaller cell you compare, it’s gonna look worst.
I am comparing the 21700 with the highest capacity 18650 that can handle an high continuous discharge.

The reason is very simple: for quite some time I got a good number of MJ1 for their low price, high capacity and ability to endure high discharges (at least in the past world of flashlights).

So, beside not owning any of the cells you mentioned (the closest thing I have are some HG2), I wanted to show how a good cell would perform in case you run out with your 21700 cell.
In my case is an event that is quite there since I don’t own any other 21700 cells beside the one coming in with the light.
In the plot you can see there’s not any significant or eye-significant difference as far as brightness, or stepdown between the MJ1 and the 21700.
If you own several 21700 cells, you don’t have any real reason to use a 18650 cell.

Nice review, thanks! :smiley:

Thanks for the excellent review.