A good cube with solid performance, with too many interchangeable settings that you will never use.
The MS3X is the new iteration of the relatively new brand that gave us the run-of-the-mill MS3-V1 that besides feeling buttery and having an overly-complex spring adjustment system, was supremely unmemorable and felt average. The new iteration is an excellent cube that looks good (get the black internals and it looks identical to the older Gans), performs pretty well and feels pretty solid overall.
Turning is not the fastest but doesn’t require too much strength. Magnets are rather clicky (a bit strong for me) and cannot be adjusted on the fly. If you have 30 minutes to spare you can swap them out for weaker or for stronger ones, I find the best for me is removing them entirely and stick to the traditional corner-edge magnets only. The choice of center-to-corner rather than core-corner magnets is an iffy one: the Valk Elite and MS3-V1 both tried some versions of that before and failed. This one doesn’t seem to be a game changer either, and switching from attracting to repelling (the only change you can make easily) has no noticeable effect. Corner cutting is excellent across multiple tension settings, and the cube, although light, feels sturdy in the hand. Plastic is blissfully not frosted, and colors are a bit muted (which suits me, but might not pop out enough for others). Overall a good cube on which I can get good times after a couple of hundreds of solves.
Compared to its predecessor, the spring system is much simpler and much better to use: easy to turn by hand with a range of compression settings that is well calibrated, and a simple screw to adjust travel distance. The MS3-V1 had an obscurely weird double springiness system where you could flip the internal parts to… do something. It ended up not being good at much. This one does what it needs to and lets you understand how easily.
However, all the engineering prowess that they DIDN’t put into screwing up the spring system was instead dedicated to bloating the rest of the cube with needless stuff. Which brings me to the interchangeable pieces and the ludicrous level of customization. There is such a thing as too much freedom of choice. Want an additional torpedo on the edges? Pull it out (and hope you’ll feel a difference)! Want an entirely new set of magnets? Here are TWO of them for you to play with! You think your core could be improved? Here is a replacement one with different colors. Don’t know what the effect will be? Neither do we!
A word of advice to the MSCube (and now Diansheng) engineers. It’s YOUR job to make design choices that make the cube perform better. Leaving it up to the user to this extent is just feckless and cowardly. If you don’t think there’s a real advantage to having torpedoes, don’t put them in. And if you can’t say whether it makes a difference, how do you imagine a layperson might be able to? In either case, drop it and reduce complexity and costs. And the fact that all other manufacturers have found a way to let you change magnet strength without spending 30 minutes unscrewing all the center pieces and pulling things out by hand means you are doing it wrong. (A side note: for all that you get a replacement piece for almost every single part of the cube internals, they could have added a screwdriver to actually change the travel distance)
But despite the shortcomings of the R&D department decision taking (lazy design is neither new nor laudable), this is a cube that performs very well, clearly part of the new generation of cubes that provide a snappy feel, high control and great forgiveness.
Is it at the level of the current beasts at the top of the ladder (Gan13, Tornado3, WRM21purplev)? No. But it’s definitely on the higher tier, and if you’re looking for something that feels a bit different, this is a good cube to have.