Nitecore T4K flashlight straps 4,000 lumens to your keychain
It wasn't quite eight years ago when Nitecore was getting buzz for introducing what it billed as the world's smallest 3,500-lumen flashlight, a little something dubbed the Tiny Monster. Flashlights have only increased in claimed lumens per gram ever since, and now Nitecore is able to pack that much power into a flashlight a fraction the size. The all-new T4K soaks the foreground in up to 4,000 lumens of light from the comfort of your keychain.
There was no denying that the Tiny Monster TM26's output was impressive back in 2013, but its stubby, squared-off quad-lamp design was never the sleekest thing on the market. Since that time, Nitecore has continuously sculpted slimmer, more compact housings around increasingly powerful lamp internals, making its various flashlights easier to carry and brighter to use. The T4K debuts this week as its latest triumph, the flagship of its keychain lineup and a torch it calls the world's smallest 4,000-lumen flashlight.
Like the 2013 TM26, the new T4K uses a four-LED array, this time packed into a single head instead of individual lenses. The user can shuffle between five output modes to throw light up to 686 feet (209 m) forward.
Diving deeper into the spec sheet, the news here is really a 4,000-lumen "turbo" mode, not so much a 4,000-lumen flashlight. That can be said of many flashlights from Nightcore and others, but the T4K experiences a particularly large cliff-drop when dialing down from limited-run turbo mode to the highest standard mode, which puts out only 200 lumens. Similarly, beam distance drops down to 148 feet (45 m).
Turbo boost or not, the T4K certainly packs a lot of power into a pocket-sized everyday carry (EDC) torch package. It measures 3.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 in (8.2 x 3 x 3 cm) and weighs in at 2.7 oz (77 g) with the pocket clip attached.
The T4K borrows its dual lockout modes from the larger Tiny Monster series, ensuring it doesn't flash on accidentally and drain the battery while in a pocket or pack. An OLED display on the front shows information about battery life, mode and remaining runtime. The 1,000-mAh lithium-ion battery lasts up to 67 hours on the lowest single-lumen brightness level.
The T4K is available for preorder now at the Nitecore US online store for US$89.95. While the 4,000 claimed lumens grab attention, we're not sure they make up for the extra size and price over Nitecore's other keychain torches, as the T4K looks a little larger than anything we'd want to carry on a keychain. The $64.95 TUP that sits the next step down in Nitecore's keychain light family has a slimmer 53-g (1.9-oz) construction and even offers longer runtimes in certain modes, but only "turbos" up to 1,000 lumens. The $39.95 19-g (0.7-oz) TINI2 that Nitecore introduced two months ago (pictured just above) puts out 500 lumens in turbo and has the same four lower outputs as the T4K and TUP, albeit with shorter runtimes.