Join Date: Mar 2003
TG50 Hands On First Impressions
I went to Ginza to have a look at the TG50 for myself today. The Sony Building is undergoing a major renovation, I made a mental note to return there next month! When I came across the PDA display I was interested to see that there were no NX models on display anymore. The Japanese Sony sites have also reduced their coverage of the NX range. Make of that what you will.
The TG50, without doubt, looks great. The construction and finish are both excellent. The size difference compared to the T650C (which was still on display) was clear but marginal in my opinion. The flip cover is sprung which gives a most satisfying *snap* when opening and closing. This does prevent you from being able to position the cover in just the right spot to help block light shining on the screen though. The buttons are more solidly built and easier to use than those on the T650C, especially the rocker. Even so, they are hardly perfect.
The keyboard looks wonderful especially when lit. I was expecting it to be very similar to the one on the NZ, actually it's a complete new design and I'm afraid it is not as good. The keys were rather smaller than I thought they would be and I hit the wrong key on several occasions. It is perhaps slighty hampered by its positioning, you need to spread your fingers along the back of the unit in order to get a nice balance. The natural balance of the NZ became much clearer when I compared keyboards side by side. Still, I would rate the feel of the keys higher than the NX but, along with almost all the people who had left messages on the machine, I felt somewhat dissatisfied even if sure it wouldn't take long to adapt to the design. I'm certain this is going to be a divisive area, it is something that you need to try out for yourself.
The screen does appear a touch smaller but I have to say the difference is negligible to the point of being irrelevant. I held up the TG50, T650C and SJ33 side by side and genuinely had a hard time deciding if the difference was real or imagined. The one thing that did strike me was how much nicer applications look running under OS5. Unless you want a 320*480 display the screen size is a non issue.
I went to Ginza certain that I was going to buy the TG50 this weekend. I left wondering whether I shouldn't still consider one of the NXs instead. The perfect Palm continues to elude us.