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Gan Air M Review

Jun 8, 2019
A Pineapple Orbiting Neptune
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Basic Info:
Cost: $46.99 on Gan's Amazon Store
Weight: 66 grams
Size: 56 mm
Released: 6-22-2020

Packaging: The Air M came in a hard white box with a picture of the cube on top, and GAN356 Air M printed on the side. There are also some cool bubble designs on it, which is nice. The cube itself came in a clear plastic box, and was wrapped in plastic wrap. The box is the same type as the box from the 354 and X, not the type from the XS. I prefer this type of box, as it is much easier to open.

Accessories: In the accessories box, there was a pamphlet on how to use the GES Pro, a CFOP pamphlet with algs for all of the cases, an blue Gan bag, and the GES adjustment tool with other tension nuts.

First Impressions: Out of the box, the cube felt a bit dry and scratchy, and was on the light blue nuts on setting 1 with the elasticity was set to 0.

Plastic: It has frosted plastic, which is annoying at first, but after a couple hundred solves goes away and becomes very grippy.

Tensioning and Elasticity System: The Gan Air M uses the GES Pro system, first used in the Gan XS, and also used in the Xv2. It is adjusted by hand, and has 4 tensions: 1, 2, 3, and 4. 1 and 3 are on the light blue nut, while 2 and 4 are on the dark blue one. 1 is the tightest, and 4 is the loosest. I think that setting 1, 2, and 3, are viable, but setting 4 is too loose for me. However, some people like really loose cubes, and an extra setting doesn't hurt. The clear part is the elasticity system. It has 6 settings and is adjusted with the tool that sort of looks like a trident. It is turned counterclockwise to increase the spring strength. When it is flush with the GES, it is at setting 0, and when you have gone all the way around, it will make a loud click and jump to setting 0 again.

Cornercutting: The cornercutting on this cube depends on the tensions, but on reasonable tensions it will cut easily over 45˚ forward and past line-to-line reverse.

Edgecutting: The edgecutting on this cube depends on the tensions, but on reasonable tensions it will cut line-to-line forward and 30˚ reverse.

Magnets: The magnet strength on this cube is comparable to that of the strong Gan XS and Gan X magnets, though it might be a bit stronger.

My Setup: I have my GES on setting 2, with the elasticity on setting 4. I lubed it with Lubicle Silk, Lunar, Compound X, and Cubicle Weight 5

Comparison with Other Gan Cubes:
354 M: Compared to the 354, it feels very different. The Air M is much rounder feeling, and is 2 millimeters bigger. It is much lighter, and the tensioning system is much better. It is faster, but not as smooth. I don't really see any reason to get the 354 instead of the Air M, as I think that the Air M is superior in every category.
356 X: The Gan X is much smoother than the Air M, but sacrifices speed. The X has adjustable magnets, which is a nice customization feature. The X's tensioning system is a bit easier to understand, but requires carrying around a case on 21 extra GES. The Air M is lighter than the X, and is also not as clicky. I would say to get the X if smoother and more controllable cubes are your thing.
356 XS: This is really interesting, as when I heard about the Air M I thought it would just be the same as the XS, but just without the adjustable magnets. I was wrong. The XS feels much more swishy, but is slightly less stable. It has adjustable magnets, which might be a deciding factor if you like weak magnets. The mechanism looks exactly the same to me, so the feel could have to do with setup and break-in.

Final thoughts: The Air M is a good release from Gan, though I think it is too similar to previous releases, and I hope Gan tries something different next time. It is my favorite Gan cube because of the stability, and the edge cutting is good. This cube will probably be my BLD main.

Do I Recommend This Cube: It depends on who you are. If you are sure you want a Gan cube, I would recommend the Air M as it is cheaper than the XS, but is probably better for most cubers because it is more stable. If you already have a Gan cube, you don't need to get this cube, as all modern Gan cubes are essentially the same thing but with different customization options. I think the Air M is a bit overpriced, and would fit better in the market at the $35 range. If you have the money, and want a good cube, then you should consider get this, but also look at other cubes, as cubes in any price range can be good depending on you turning style and personal preferences.

Thank you to Gan for giving this to me for free to review

Zubin Park

Did you lube the core of your cube, and if so, what lube did you use?