"Great device, but carries over some earlier flaws"4.0 starson by make_or_break
Pros: Excellent construction, superb audio quality. Really, REALLY sweet-looking screen and impressive touch capability. Noise cancellation works convincingly well. Smaller and less obtrusive than my 2G Touch. Added hardware controls a deft plus.
Cons: Still no onboard playlist generation. Sluggish transfer speeds, even after switching to UMS from default MTP mode. Accumulates smears and prints easily. Less functional capability than my 2G Touch for the same money.
Summary: I've owned MP3 Walkmans for the past 2-3 years, and had originally planned on passing on the X-series since I already owned a 2G iPod Touch. Even though I've never been happy with the Touch's average SQ, it does do just about everything else quite well, albeit in a bit larger form factor than I'd normally prefer these days. But when I played with the 16GB X1051 at the local Sony Style store, I knew I was hooked.
I've only had my X1061 for a couple of days, but my familiarity with Sony's UI from my earlier Walkmans makes it already seem like an old, trusty friend that's just learned a few new tricks. Audio SQ is as superb as always, if not a bit more so than before. The listening experience is extreme satisfying, both with the included noise cancelling buds and with my normal Sennheiser IE8 IEM set that I now swear by. Artwork (and images in general) looks great on the OLED screen, as does the two or three videos that I've so far tried. Sony's version of Coverflow works just as well as Apple's creation, if not a bit more smoothly.
Mentioned earlier that I switched my X1061 (US model number of the 32GB version) to UMS; done so to improve transfer speeds over the pokier default MTP mode that the X series ships with, and to allow me to better use file managers to run things on the X1061 if needed (I normally use MediaMonkey). Transferring files still seems a bit sluggish when compared to iTunes+2G Touch, and lags well behind transfers to any of my HD-based devices.
Biggest gripe is Sony's persistent lack of capability for on-the-fly playlist generation, just as it was with my A829 and A818. Also miss the stereo Bluetooth capability of my A829 as well; considering the number of BT headsets Sony has been introducing lately, it would've been nice to have kept that option for the X-series, even with the NC feature already installed.
Wi-Fi is a nice touch, but so far the Safari-Touch experience is a fair bit more satisfying from a usability standpoint. Still, it's a good add for Sony. The ability to install apps would've been a plus, but considering how few apps I used to use on my Touch (apps are more important on my G1 rather than on my music device), it's certainly not a deal breaker for me not having the functionality. But it would've been nice to be able to install a game or two as an occasional time waster, particularly given the great OLED screen that this device has.
So far my X1061 has been quite impressive with those functions that I'd normally use it for. It's far more pleasurable to listen to than my 2G Touch, and its form factor is considerably more desirable to me. Battery charge life seems to be on the very good side; I've yet to get the indicator to move off of Full in the hours I've been toying with it. But the lack of onboard playlist generation is a continual downer (c'mon Sony, just about everyone else worth their while has it) as is the minimal accessories currently available, either from Sony or 3rd-party vendors. At least with both of my A818 and A829, Sony had cases in place (granted that I admit that I didn't buy either of them during the first week of release--at least that I can remember).
If you truly love your music sounding superb (and appreciate additional signal processing tools to customize the SQ even further), the Sony X-series Walkman is about as great as it gets. This is the sharp end of the knife for an audio geek, not like the blunted trauma that my 2G Touch exhibits, and in the end that for me is what ultimately matters the most. Pricey yes, but for me it's well worth it in not having to put up with the middling sound quality of my soon-to-be-sold Touch anymore.