Thursday, May 14, 2009
Sony Walkman X-Series 32GB NWZ-X1060B first impressions
Here it is folks, quite possibly the single most important Walkman in Sony's recent history. The X-Series is the first Walkman DAP to feature an OLED screen, WiFi, web browser, digital ANC and S-Master digital amp. And it is a stunner. It is also their first mainstream portable OLED PMP since the Japan exclusive Sony Clie VZ90.
The X-Series I have here is the 32GB model (NWZ-X1060B), but the impression and later review also applies to the X1050 (16GB) and the US-centric models X1061 and X1051 (which has Slacker radio application bundled). The build quality is awesome. It is quite heavy (about the same weight as my Nokia E51), but feels very solid. The OLED screen here is quite simply the most brilliant screen I have ever laid my eyes on. Photographs looks stunning on it. It is a shame that the resolution isn't VGA or above as that would make this a killer PMP.
Usability wise, the UI refresh a bit slower than the S739. For example is draws the album art a fraction of a second after the screen switches. Scrolling through the album art by flicking your finger upwards or downwards is a bit of a gimmick, but it should at least satisfy people into such gimmicks. There is a more traditional approach to selecting albums/genre/artists for people who value function over form. The web browser is also a bit of a downer. I am a huge fan of Netfront browser on Windows Mobile platform, but the lack of advance options and stylus makes it almost unusable. It is also very slow. My advice to potential purchasers of the X-Series interested in web browsing is to only limit yourself to visiting mobile friendly websites.
There is a very small hint of hiss, but nothing as bad as the A818. The sound is definitely warm, quite a surprise as I was initially expecting a digital sound due to the S-Master digital amp. So it was a surprise to hear such Sony-like warm music blasting through my headphone. The amp is also pretty powerful. With my S739, I tend to listen on a 14/30 volume level. Here I can comfortably listen at 11/30. 14/30 on the X1060 is too loud for me. If it helps, I did all my listening test with all enhancements turned off (including Clear Stereo which was enabled by default) via my Sennheiser IE 8. Between the S739 and this, the bass is similar in quantity, but the X1060 is clearer overall. Everything is just clearer with the X1060. I am very impressed.
Review will be posted next week. Please direct any questions in the comments section.
You can pre-order the US versions now. UK residents can get them from Amazon UK for less than RRP.