Before I give my opinion on new Sony X series walkman, I must make a disclaimer here that I am neither a techno expert nor Ipod buff. Any opinion expressed here is purely how I have felt about this particular product and the reasons why I waited since January 2009 before I bought it.
I think foremost every one wants to know if its better than IPOD. Well to answer the question very broadly speaking, in my opinion this is definitely better than any IPOD (nano, classic etc). Is it better than IPOD touch , well I will leave this to user to decide based on what I have found about Sony X series since I bought it 3 days ago(amazon).
In my opinion the sound quality is "exceptional" without exaggerating it. I personally think, on sound quality I would rate this 10/10 ( 10 out of 10 coz I do not know any other music player with such high quality sound, but then I have not tried all music player. I do acknowledge that there might be some out there but I do not know which one~). It allows you to select many options to change song quality ( e.g. heavy, pop, jazz etc,). Most digital player give one of these options but Sony's options do have remarkable differences one from the other.
Other feature every one is eager to find out if noise cancellation really works or is it a gimmick (Sony do put up some gimmicks in their products , but strangely this walkman is completely devoid of any so well done to guys at Sony).Noise cancellation works strangely near perfect cutting down on noise level. I have already tried this on a tube, packed train ( 1758 to Hays from Charing cross, honestly it is always crowded!)
in my office restaurent ( I work in a hospital, so a very busy clattering restaurent) and it worked every where giving me complete peace to enjoy my music. Noise cancellation has 3 options, bu/train, aeroplane and office. It has levels to help you decide the extent upto which you would want to cut the background noise.
To be able to use 'you tube' and internet you would need access to wifi spot. I haven't managed to find a free spot so can't commnet upon it but my office wifi opened quickly and it seems straightforward.
The supplied CD gives you three things to downloads, windows media player (11), Walkman media manager and itunes connection so its pretty good again. Advantage is that since every computer will have (hopefully) most recent window media player 11 one can carry USB and download songs from every computer one is likely to encounter.
OK now most importantly, screen is again "superb" (no exagerration) the colours look vivid, amazing quality. On the flip side the screen is 3 inches (Ipod touch is 3.5 ") but I didn't/couldn't differentiate while watching a programme.
It comes with a FM radio however my complain with radio is that it doesnt broadcast radio station's name or song's name( but there is a link to internet and you tube but agin one would need to be in an free wifi spot to use it. But this should not be much of a concern coz don't the presenters keep saying the stations name every after 10 minutes. And who wants to see a radio station's name scrolling across the screen again and again but I thought I better mention this should this be useful to some one.
Ok, to summarize:
1> Sound quality : exceptional. Way better than Ipod
2> Screen quality: exceptional
4> Youtube and internet (though need wifi access)
%> Nice black colour with designs on the side.
6> Price £180 FOR 16gb AS OPPOSED TO £215 FOR 16 gb IPOD.
Screen 3 inches (smaller than Ipod touch)
Unless you mention any one , pl will think its a new type of mobile phone. So Ipod does a little better as a recognizable product.
Overall, my recommendation to any one thinking of buying it, is to go to John lewis or a local Sony centre and try it there. I personally feel there is little to be disappointed on this product.
keep me informed of what you thought of Sony's new x series
All the best