In case anyone is visiting from another board, let me give you the punchline so as to not make anyone read this who doesn't want to: this review will end up favoring the TG-50 for ergonomic reasons (and is based only on ergonomics).
Okay. I finally got to play with the new bad boy on the block! The guy at Best Buy was quite gracious and allowed me to run it through the ringer. Here we go:
Screen size: okay, widescreen is cool, but the screen really is small enough for me not to feel like I have a small screen with my TG50. As for the big fat frame around the screen that everyone's complaining about - it actually does making gripping the unit in tablet mode VERY comfortable. Nevertheless, the screen is small enough that it minimizes the benefit of it being widescreen.
Movie Player: Okay. Time to rant and rave. The Sony Handheld Engine is NO JOKE!!! If only I had the magic to rip this engine out of the UX and stick it in my TG!!! I purposefully created a movie that the TG and NX80 cannot play smoothly for even 1 second at full screen without stalling: an MPEG-1 movie at 24FPS, 128-bit stereo, at 850kbps at 288x208 resolution. I stuck my memory stick with the aforementioned MPEG-1 movie into the UX, ran Movie Player, expanded the picture to fullscreen, hit the play button and... HOLY FREAKIN' MOLY!!! SOLID AS A ROCK!!! And the colors are unbelievable! When they tout 30FPS, they're clearly not talking about sacrificing color depth or resolution. I'm still buzzing! I have never seen such faultless video on a PDA of any flavor anywhere! There was a crowd of people looking over my shoulder "oo-ing" and "ah-ing"! The proof is in the pudding, and this pudding tastes gooooooooood! KUDOS to Sony on this one!!! If movie-playing is your primary feature, the UX is the undisputed champion.
Okay, on to why I will NOT buy the UX! (UX fans may want to leave now!) Remember, this is an ergonomically biased editorial, and as I've said a million times: TO EACH HIS OWN!!!
Your hands and fingers may disagree with mine, so do NOT take the following as gospel truth but as my experience, especially if you're already a UX-er, dig?
The keyboard: Man, this keyboard is wide! No, no, I mean TOO WIDE!!! I thought for sure the wideness was going to BLOW the TG out of the water. I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE MISTAKEN!!! The keys are SO spread out that my thumbs have to travel too long of a distance between keystrokes to get anywhere near the speed in typing as I do with the TG. This is a major major letdown. I thought the keyboard was going to be the single biggest improvement. I now appreciate my little TG keyboard like I never have before. Of course, the TG could use the same light touch as the keys on the UX and all the other Clies for that matter. But in terms of spacing, the TG keys may be too close to comfort for some, but the UX keys are too WIDE for comfort for me, and suddenly I appreciate the close proximity of the TG keys for speed!
The jogdial: another major disappointment for me. But first I must that say I actually found the unit thin and light enough to hold in one hand. I didn't think this would be the case. Unfortunately the jogdial placement makes one hand operation totally uncomfortable. To be sure, the jogdial placement is easily accesible when typing, but at the cost of comfortable one-handed operation. Again, if you're okay with the 2-handed paradigm, more power to ya! But I'm used to 1-handed operation with the thumb comfortably on the side.
Miscellaneous (and less important) observations:
The default launcher: absolutely hideous!
The icons and the text don't shrink and expand together like they should to present the barrel effect properly (you can see this in any screenshots). The little balls moving around the selected icon also make the display too busy. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but my eye beholds no beauty in the Launcher. Sorry!
Overall look of the unit: okay, now my eyes behold some serious beauty. If I were to put aesthetics over ergonomics, I would be a UX owner right now. However, as I've said in other zealous posts of mine, I find the TG's formfactor unparalleled - the solid feel while typing and tapping, the one-handed comfort, and the sugar on top: the clear half-cover making it possible to do many things including typing without even opening the darn thing - all of these make the TG, in my opinion the clear cut ergonomic winner in the PDA arena.
Remember, this review was based on ergonomics alone. Throw in the built in wifi and bluetooth, the built in camera, and of course, the Handheld Engine (which, have I mention, KICKS @SS?!!) and the UX is nevertheless a beauty and I'm sure a clear-cut winner for many.
Thank you for reading this novel. Well, I'd been waiting with obsessive anticipation of the UX. I can sleep now, knowing I'm still a TG man!