Extended Review of the ShengShou 5×5

I felt relatively uncomposed through the whole review of the ShengShou 5×5, perhaps it was watching all the takes I did over and over again in editing and picking which ones to include and exclude. Nevertheless I hope the information and my opinions came off well. If they didn’t they’re basically this: the ShengShou 5×5 offers more consistency, but faster solves are still possible with the V-Cube 5. So if you’re trying to set averages with low standard deviations, then yeah the ShengShou will be fine, but the V-Cube is still faster. I just did two averages of 5 on Cubemania that can show this very clearly. The V-Cube 5 average was done directly after the ShengShou average.

ShengShou 5×5 Average

  1. 2:07.94
  2. 2:02.76
  3. (2:02.49)
  4. 2:03.79
  5. (2:18.74)
  • Average: 2:04.83

V-Cube 5 Average

  1. (2:08.87)
  2. 2:08.08
  3. 2:06.52
  4. 1:56.85
  5. (1:46.31)
  • Average: 2:03.82

Sure it’s only 1.01 seconds faster, but I like the looks of those two sub-2 times in the V-Cube 5 average. Peoples’ criticism of the V-Cube 5 is that it’s slow from the box and hard to turn. So what? You do a corner mod on it, give it some time, do some averages, strengthen those wrists. You make it a good cube. The problem with ShengShou, Maru and other cubes that rip off the V-Cube 5 design or take it and slightly modify it, is that you get what you pay for (usually about $15), I’ve always found off brand cubes besides the V-Cube 5 to feel cheap and flimsy, the ShengShou not as much, but it shows in the times and the 3×3 stage, no matter how consistent it makes me.

I realized in the beginning of the ShengShou Review I pose the question if the ShengShou can really take “brand dominance” over the V-Cube 5, more simply I ask if the ShengShou is better. After a week with it, I can safely say it is not, I’ll be sticking with the V-Cube.

Switching Up Main Cubes and Deducing Use-Life

We all know cubes don’t last forever. In this day and age cubes are getting better and better, rapidly. Some of the most major cubes have come out within the last year and a half or so. The F-II, the Alpha V / Haiyan, and (currently most notorious) the Dayan Guhong. So when is it time to switch them up? You can’t simply switch main cubes every few months, it’s rare that you pick up a cube and it just works, it usually takes time.

When I first reviewed the Dayan Guhong, I wasn’t too impressed with it, now though, it’s my main cube. I’ve essentially transitioned into using it and I’m retiring my Alpha V, which I still regard highly, for the Dayan with which I’m closing in on th 16/15s barrier. My Alpha V lasted just over a year of heavy use. hmmmm

Thinking about some of my other old worn out cubes too, I think one could deduce a way to predict when one wi’ll need a new cube! Here are some use-lives I’ve seen through my other cubes:

  • Alpha V: 1 year, heavy use as a main.
  • Rubik’s 25th: 1.5 years, moderate-heavy use as a main and an OH cube.
  • Regular Rubik’s brand: 2 years light use as an OH cube.
  • Rubik’s 4×4 #1: 1.5 years moderate use.
  • Rubik’s 4×4 #2: 4 months, heavy use after I did a Squircle Mod on it.
  • Maru 4×4: 6 months, heavy use.
  • V-Cube 5 #1: 9 months, heavy use in the latter days.
  • The Eastsheen 5×5 (I used to have) and the 2×2 never really wore out, those are really durable cubes.

Cool? From this I judge how often I’ll need a new 5×5, and a 4×4 (provided I stick with the Maru). How long will the Dayan last? If it’s another year I can anticipate transitioning to using a new cube! I think this is pretty neat as someone who has less than ten 3×3’s. Tell me what you think of this below and if you have any use-lives I’d really like to know and compare them.

The Rubik’s Touchcube Review + Pics

Is this just another one of Rubik’s Inc.’s last breath, gimmicky, non-turning products like the Rubik’s 360 and the Revolution? Read on to find out. (Click on any of the pictures below for the full size. The blues, whites, and yellows didn’t come though on the camera so well I touched them up as best I could. The side that looks white in the picture below is actually very blue, it’s the LED’s I think.)

If anything tells us that we’re in the future it’s the Rubik’s Touchcube. If anything tells us that the future is imperfect, it’s the Rubik’s Touchcube.  Most people will immediately say it’s multitouch, that’s not entirely true, it only supports one input at a time (monotouch?), rather than making a two finger swipe of R L’ the quicker way to do this is to swipe M. It’s not always responsive of course, I found you can make the same move R by tapping on the top right then the bottom right sticker/square, and a U by tapping the 3 o’clock edge sticker then the 6 o’clock one. OH GOD WHY DID THEY EVEN ADD THAT GESTURE?! Seriously now, I didn’t even realize I could do U without turning the cube to another side until I read the manual more closely. I would much rather see a gesture that swipes the first layer on one of the vertical sides. But meh.

That little diagonal line you see is a small ridge on the charger I actually never noticed before, huh. Anyway while charging it’s really mesmerizing, it just does random turns as far as I can tell. When its low on battery the whole cube flashes red accompanied with a series of tones. That red light on the charger also turns green when it’s at 100%. I don’t know exactly what the battery life is yet, it charges rather slowly though. The position from when you put it on the charger to when you take it off is saved though, so if you’re trying to invent some crazy algorithm and it runs out of batter the position will be saved.

I realized I never said anything about the size of the cube in my video review. The Touchcube is off is the above picture, it’s sandwiched between a V-Cube 5 and a Type A DIY. So it’s actually somewhat of a handful.

Once again THE VERDICT: if you have $50 and want a unique item in your collection that you’ll be sure to play around with every now and then it is fun. Then get it. Otherwise if you’re not really the collector type, or you’re very serious about cubes that actually turn then don’t get it, your call this is all just my opinion.