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Gan Air M Review

Zubin Park

Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
98
Gan Air M
  • Overview
  • Unboxing
  • OOTB
  • Tensioning system
  • Corner cutting
  • Turning
  • Lubing
  • Comparing to other GAN cubes
  • Final Thoughts

Overview: The newly released Gan 356 Air M is the most recent "second tier" cube in the Gan lineup. A rehash of the popularized Gan Air, this cube has the feel of a smooth cube, while containing the newest mechanisms and qualities of Gan's flagship, the Gan XS. The Gan Air is intended to be a mid-tier cube designed for people who would like the feel of a flagship feel at a lower cost. The Gan Air M comes in both stickered and stickerless (frosted plastic), and has non-adjustable magnets. The magnets are medium strength, good for cubers who don't have a need for stronger or weaker magnets. If non-adjustable magnets are a deal-breaker of you, I would suggest the Gan X (V1 or V2) and the Gan XS.

Cost: $46.99 on Amazon
Weight: 66 grams
Size: 56 mm
Released: 6/22/2020

Unboxing: The Gan Air M, or the Air M for short, comes with a GAN bag, a tensioning/customizing guide, the cube, and its additional tension nuts.

OOTB: The Air M OOTB was a bit dry, which is a good thing, because some cubes come dripping with lube. The Air M feels similar to the XS, as it is light, fast, and a touch uncontrollable. The difference, however, is in the turning. The turning feels more like the Gan Air series, my personal favorites at the time. The cube is very similar to the XS, but it has a handful of changes, enough to influence people one way or the other. OOTB, it feels good, a bit dry, and comes with OK tensions set. I main the Gan X (V1), and before that, the GTS2M. However, I was expecting an uncontrollable cube, with too many tensions for me to play with. Obviously Gan heard me, and this cube is the number 1 contestant to be my new main, which is a shock to me.

Tensioning System: The Air M has the Pro Duel Adjustment system, identical to the Gan XS and X V2 system. If you have had or have a Gan cube, you've probably heard this a million times, but for those who need explanation, there are 2 customizable options, as opposed to one GES nut in previous GAN cubes. The clear nut on the outside controls the tension of the cube, and has 6 settings. You have to twist counter-clockwise to change the tensioning, and as the number on the nut goes up, the nut moves down, which makes the cube tighter. There is a blue nut inside of this clear nut, and this one controls the center piece travel. Basically, it controls the balance between corner cutting and anti-pop/anti-twist. There are 4 settings, numbered 1, 2, 3, 4. Numbers 1&3 are on a light blue nut, and numbers 2&4 are on a dark blue nut. As the numbers increase, the corner cutting increases, and the anti-pop/anti-twist lowers. Settings 1, 2, and 3 are ideal for the regular cuber, but there are always some who like their cubes really loose, and that is where setting 4 comes into play. Overall, nothing special, but interesting nonetheless.

I set my cube with the blue nut on 2, and the clear nut on setting 3 (in the middle).

Corner cutting: The corner cutting for the Air M is about 45 degrees for forward cutting and around 1.5 pieces for reverse. However, this is subject to how you customise your cube, as a higher blue nut setting will yield a higher amount of c-cutting. Again, nothing different or exciting. The corner cutting is not soft, however. It is noticeable and effortless, which is perfect for me, as I want reassurance that my cube is c-cutting.

Turning: The turning of the Air M is smooth, sleek, and just enjoyable to turn. Because the cube is so light, the turns require less effort, as it is lighter. M flicks, and really any turn is great, consistent with Gan cubes. The turning gives me a hint of nostalgia from the Air series, and I think older cubers will enjoy that too.

Lubing: The cube came factory lubed, and mine was a bit dry, so I added some DNM-37, Silk, and a hint of Martian on the pieces, and Weight 3 on the core. However, the cube should respond well to other lubes. To be specific, I tried most, if not all of the Cubicle's premium and silicone lubes, as well as the cosmic lubes at Speedcubeshop. Of course, I'm not advertising whatsoever, I'm just naming the shops that I normally but from. IMO, all lubes will work, so don't worry about lubing.

Comparing: I will compare the Air M to the 356 X V1 (my current main), as well as the 354 M and the XS

X: The Air M is better in most categories, but a main positive of the Air M is the frosted plastic finish, as opposed to the slippery matte finish in previous Gan cubes. The Air M beats the X in almost every category. However, the X is more controllable, which is good for me, so unless I can control the Air M with lube/tensioning, I would stick with my main for now.
354 M: The 354 M has a different tensioning system, which I won't get into. however, the difference in the two is the size. If you have big hands like me, or even average hands, the 354, although only 2 mm smaller, would be a deal breaker for most cubers. However, the 354 is cheaper, and that influences some people that can't afford high-tier flagships from Gan.
XS: The XS is almost identical to the Air M, but the Air M has non-adjustable magnets, which accounts for the cheaper price. IMO, if you have the XS, there is no need to get the Ajr M unless you're curious, but if you don't have a Gan cube, the Air M will come out on top. The XS feels more uncontrollable than the Air M, so if I had to choose between the two, the Air M would be my pick.

Final thoughts: This cube comes with little changes from other Gan cubes. However, I there are subtle changes, such as the noticeable rehash to the Air Series, which I cannot get over yet! The cube remains unchanged in terms of customizable options, with the removal of magnet swapping or adjusting. I am fine with the medium strength magnets, so I do not have a problem with this. Below are my opinions on whether or not you should get this cube. This cube is geared toward those who cube, but want a flagship feel at a lower price. However, I split this into 3 groups, so you can put yourself in one of these groups to see my opinion.

Have a Gan Cube: Like I mentioned, I wouldn't recommend it for this group of cubers. For one, you are probably comfortable with the cube you already have, and there are not ground breaking changes that require an immediate change of cube, like the Gan XS was when it first came out.
Don't have a Gan Cube: If you use a budget cube, I would recommend this cube. Although it is a hefty price to pay, I feel that it is better, per say, than other options at this price. If you main a cube from MoYu, DaYan, etc. you can switch if you want to experience a flagship-feeling cube, but without the insane price tags.
Just starting cubing: If you don't have a cube yet, I wouldn't recommend this cube, unless you feel bold or have a thick wallet. This is because you won't get the full potential out of the cube, and by the time you get good, another one worth buying may come out.

Thank you for reading this review, and let me know what you want me to review next.

Happy Cubing!
 

Zain_A24

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
264
Awesome review. Looking forward to seeing some more great content.

Great review, but please don't buy cubes on Amazon.
GAN also operate on Amazon, and it is perfectly reliable depending on which seller you buy from. A lot of stores on Amazon are great, it's just the one or two stores that gives cubers the idea that Amazon is a bad place to buy from.
 

Mo_A2244

Member
Joined
May 11, 2020
Messages
49
Gan Air M
  • Overview
  • Unboxing
  • OOTB
  • Tensioning system
  • Corner cutting
  • Turning
  • Lubing
  • Comparing to other GAN cubes
  • Final Thoughts

Overview: The newly released Gan 356 Air M is the most recent "second tier" cube in the Gan lineup. A rehash of the popularized Gan Air, this cube has the feel of a smooth cube, while containing the newest mechanisms and qualities of Gan's flagship, the Gan XS. The Gan Air is intended to be a mid-tier cube designed for people who would like the feel of a flagship feel at a lower cost. The Gan Air M comes in both stickered and stickerless (frosted plastic), and has non-adjustable magnets. The magnets are medium strength, good for cubers who don't have a need for stronger or weaker magnets. If non-adjustable magnets are a deal-breaker of you, I would suggest the Gan X (V1 or V2) and the Gan XS.

Cost: $46.99 on Amazon
Weight: 66 grams
Size: 56 mm
Released: 6/22/2020

Unboxing: The Gan Air M, or the Air M for short, comes with a GAN bag, a tensioning/customizing guide, the cube, and its additional tension nuts.

OOTB: The Air M OOTB was a bit dry, which is a good thing, because some cubes come dripping with lube. The Air M feels similar to the XS, as it is light, fast, and a touch uncontrollable. The difference, however, is in the turning. The turning feels more like the Gan Air series, my personal favorites at the time. The cube is very similar to the XS, but it has a handful of changes, enough to influence people one way or the other. OOTB, it feels good, a bit dry, and comes with OK tensions set. I main the Gan X (V1), and before that, the GTS2M. However, I was expecting an uncontrollable cube, with too many tensions for me to play with. Obviously Gan heard me, and this cube is the number 1 contestant to be my new main, which is a shock to me.

Tensioning System: The Air M has the Pro Duel Adjustment system, identical to the Gan XS and X V2 system. If you have had or have a Gan cube, you've probably heard this a million times, but for those who need explanation, there are 2 customizable options, as opposed to one GES nut in previous GAN cubes. The clear nut on the outside controls the tension of the cube, and has 6 settings. You have to twist counter-clockwise to change the tensioning, and as the number on the nut goes up, the nut moves down, which makes the cube tighter. There is a blue nut inside of this clear nut, and this one controls the center piece travel. Basically, it controls the balance between corner cutting and anti-pop/anti-twist. There are 4 settings, numbered 1, 2, 3, 4. Numbers 1&3 are on a light blue nut, and numbers 2&4 are on a dark blue nut. As the numbers increase, the corner cutting increases, and the anti-pop/anti-twist lowers. Settings 1, 2, and 3 are ideal for the regular cuber, but there are always some who like their cubes really loose, and that is where setting 4 comes into play. Overall, nothing special, but interesting nonetheless.

I set my cube with the blue nut on 2, and the clear nut on setting 3 (in the middle).

Corner cutting: The corner cutting for the Air M is about 45 degrees for forward cutting and around 1.5 pieces for reverse. However, this is subject to how you customise your cube, as a higher blue nut setting will yield a higher amount of c-cutting. Again, nothing different or exciting. The corner cutting is not soft, however. It is noticeable and effortless, which is perfect for me, as I want reassurance that my cube is c-cutting.

Turning: The turning of the Air M is smooth, sleek, and just enjoyable to turn. Because the cube is so light, the turns require less effort, as it is lighter. M flicks, and really any turn is great, consistent with Gan cubes. The turning gives me a hint of nostalgia from the Air series, and I think older cubers will enjoy that too.

Lubing: The cube came factory lubed, and mine was a bit dry, so I added some DNM-37, Silk, and a hint of Martian on the pieces, and Weight 3 on the core. However, the cube should respond well to other lubes. To be specific, I tried most, if not all of the Cubicle's premium and silicone lubes, as well as the cosmic lubes at Speedcubeshop. Of course, I'm not advertising whatsoever, I'm just naming the shops that I normally but from. IMO, all lubes will work, so don't worry about lubing.

Comparing: I will compare the Air M to the 356 X V1 (my current main), as well as the 354 M and the XS

X: The Air M is better in most categories, but a main positive of the Air M is the frosted plastic finish, as opposed to the slippery matte finish in previous Gan cubes. The Air M beats the X in almost every category. However, the X is more controllable, which is good for me, so unless I can control the Air M with lube/tensioning, I would stick with my main for now.
354 M: The 354 M has a different tensioning system, which I won't get into. however, the difference in the two is the size. If you have big hands like me, or even average hands, the 354, although only 2 mm smaller, would be a deal breaker for most cubers. However, the 354 is cheaper, and that influences some people that can't afford high-tier flagships from Gan.
XS: The XS is almost identical to the Air M, but the Air M has non-adjustable magnets, which accounts for the cheaper price. IMO, if you have the XS, there is no need to get the Ajr M unless you're curious, but if you don't have a Gan cube, the Air M will come out on top. The XS feels more uncontrollable than the Air M, so if I had to choose between the two, the Air M would be my pick.

Final thoughts: This cube comes with little changes from other Gan cubes. However, I there are subtle changes, such as the noticeable rehash to the Air Series, which I cannot get over yet! The cube remains unchanged in terms of customizable options, with the removal of magnet swapping or adjusting. I am fine with the medium strength magnets, so I do not have a problem with this. Below are my opinions on whether or not you should get this cube. This cube is geared toward those who cube, but want a flagship feel at a lower price. However, I split this into 3 groups, so you can put yourself in one of these groups to see my opinion.

Have a Gan Cube: Like I mentioned, I wouldn't recommend it for this group of cubers. For one, you are probably comfortable with the cube you already have, and there are not ground breaking changes that require an immediate change of cube, like the Gan XS was when it first came out.
Don't have a Gan Cube: If you use a budget cube, I would recommend this cube. Although it is a hefty price to pay, I feel that it is better, per say, than other options at this price. If you main a cube from MoYu, DaYan, etc. you can switch if you want to experience a flagship-feeling cube, but without the insane price tags.
Just starting cubing: If you don't have a cube yet, I wouldn't recommend this cube, unless you feel bold or have a thick wallet. This is because you won't get the full potential out of the cube, and by the time you get good, another one worth buying may come out.

Thank you for reading this review, and let me know what you want me to review next.

Happy Cubing!
Great review. I'd love to see more amazing content and reviews from you in the future.
 

Nmile7300

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
351
Location
Arizona
WCA
2019MILE04
GAN also operate on Amazon, and it is perfectly reliable depending on which seller you buy from. A lot of stores on Amazon are great, it's just the one or two stores that gives cubers the idea that Amazon is a bad place to buy from.
The problem is that even if a store is reliable, that doesn't mean it is fairly priced. Basically anything besides a GAN cube is almost certainly more expensive on Amazon than on an actual cube store. It is technically fine to buy certain cubes on Amazon, but it is much better to buy all your cubes from an actual cube store.
 

Zubin Park

Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
98
Well, I got the cube off of Amazon because it was one of the first ones to be for sale, as most other places release on 6/22
 

EvanTheCuber

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
206
Zubin, can you tell us your A05 with your main(GAN 365 X) and your Ao5 with the air? Thanks :) really nice review
 

Zubin Park

Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
98
Zubin, can you tell us your A05 with your main(GAN 365 X) and your Ao5 with the air? Thanks :) really nice review
Sure, Evan. Just got the cube today, but here are my times (usually sub 9)

Gan X (Ao5 9.07)
1. 9.12
2. (7.91)
3. 8.78
4. (12.34)
5. 9.32

Gan Air M (Ao5 9.50)
1. (7.36)
2. 7.97
3. 9.23
4. 11.29
5. (12.02)

Times were close, but the Air M sometimes overshoots a bit, and thats what led me to my 11 and 12. Two 7's saved my average tho. If you want me to talk about anything specific regarding the cube, let me know!
 
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