Dayan PanShi Review

October 19th, 2013

cubo

The PanShi is a combination of daring and lazy. On one hand they were trying to make some thing new and better. On the other hand you can see exactly how the designers just copied the ZhanChi CAD file and made a few small modifications. These modifications include wider “wings” on the edges, and a higher “lip.” Both do a really good job of keeping the pieces from popping, but at the expense of wide corner cutting margins and hence speed.

ZhanChi corner on the right, PanShi on the left.

ZhanChi corner on the right, PanShi on the left.

ZhanChi edge on top, PanShi edge on bottom.

ZhanChi edge on top, PanShi edge on bottom.

This doesn’t mean it’s a bad cube. I can certainly get sub-15 times on it, however not very consistently. (For context I consider myself to average a mid-14 with a ZhanChi). I’ve been trying to get better at blind solving and I think this is a really good cube for my practice. It’s hard to make accidental moves on it and the sides click in such a way that is very distinct. It gives the same kind of good feeling the clicks from a mechanical keyboard give, that is I get tactile and audible feedback from a turn.

You can see the mechanisms that keep the edges in here.

You can see the mechanisms that keep the edges in here.

I can see this being a really good cube for people still over 25-30 seconds. It encourages clean turning, and it doesn’t pop as frequently as a Rubik’s brand might. However in the end this is a prime example of the innovator’s dilemma, it just doesn’t stand up to its predecessors at all.

 

The Dayan PanShi can be bought on Lightake.com for $13.08 USD and they have they have free shipping anywhere in the world.

The stickers are actually pretty nice.

The stickers are actually pretty nice.

42mm Dayan ZhanChi Review

October 11th, 2013

iso

I said it twice in the video review: it’s just a ZhanChi. But when you hold it and play with it, it feels like so much more. I imagine it has something to do with our perception of small things being cute? The stickers are pretty decent actually. Historically DIY’s specialty cubes from China have had really bad greens, yellows, and oranges.

front

It’s not a main cube, you’d be crazy to use this as a main cube. The ergonomics of it just don’t work either, my thumbs end up feeling tweaked after a short session with the cube. One thing I didn’t mention in the video review is how you physically have to push less, to be precise: the arc length your finger travels to turn a side is shorter.

hands

If you’re looking for a good small cube, this is most likely your end all solution. The 42mm ZhanChi can be bought at Lightake.com for $8 and the ship anywhere in the world.

pieces

Presenting FiveTimer for Android

August 12th, 2013

cubeI’ve been wanting to port FiveTimer to this platform for a while and it’s finally here. It has all the features that it has in iOS:

  • Scrambles for all WCA puzzles.
  • Puzzle support for all WCA puzzles, 2×2-7×7, Megaminx, Pyraminx, Square-1, and Clock.
  • Hold to start or tap to start.
  • 15 second countdown.
  • Export full session, current, or best average of five or twelve.
  • Session saving and restoring between puzzle.
  • Arbitrary puzzle profiles.
  • Contrasted, minimal interface.

So it’s a port, (ok minimal mode is missing). Same old same old right? Features that are not in iOS:

  • Session exporting. In iOS you can only email the session, in Android you can send the session string to any app that will receive it. My favorite is Dropbox in this instance.
  • Drop to stop. Kind of a silly name in retrospect, but if your device you’re timing with is on a table, you can slam the cube down as if you’re timing with a stackmat and the timer will stop. This uses the device’s accelerometer to detect a sudden Z change and stop the timer. I’m really psyched about it. The tweet above was an accidental reference to this. Wait until you see a video, you’ll be wowed I’m sure.

It’s $0.99 on the Google Play Store. I feel like some one is going to complain instantly in their head about the price to which I have this response. It’s a dollar, you pay once, you own it forever, you’ll get all future updates, you can use it whenever you want, you can uninstall and resinstall it indefinitely. Consider for a second the things you buy which cost more and you get much less out of, a candy bar, a soda, a movie ticket. It’s just a dollar. Thanks, I hope you enjoy it.

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