Sony Ericsson X1 – Keyboard seemingly better than TyTN II

Arc Slider Design

The X1 comes with what Sony Ericsson calls an Arc Slider Design where by sliding out the screen reveals a really neat keyboard.  The screen slides out and slightly up in an arc fashion, hence, the name.  But it doesn’t tilt upwards like the HTC TyTN II, just slightly up.  It’s somewhere between the TyTN and the TyTN II.  What you will find in the brush metal body bracing the keyboard is a set of great QWERTY keys and those keys are probably one of the best I’ve used so far.  We’ll tackle the screen in another posting.  More on the keyboard. 

Keyboard for two thumbs - my hand 🙂

The first thing that impressed me is that the keys are larger than most other keyboards.  Nice big keys make it easy for my thumbs.  Although I’ve seen people use two index fingers on such keyboards, they are actually designed for the two thumbs while the device fits snuggly in two hands.  Perhaps the production units that I hope to lay my hands on later will give me a better experience on the tactile feel of the keyboard.

Suffice to say that the keyboard is well designed and has a solid feel.  Supported by the brush metal body, the keyboard can be used with full confidence with a very good feedback.  That is very important in a good keyboard.  Otherwise, one might as well go straight to the on-screen keypad.

The keyboard is a definitive characteristic of the X1.  It separates this device from others which are fully touch screen PDA phones like the new Samsung Omnia as well as the Apple iPhone which provides only on-screen keypads.

Side View of X1 - Note the thickness and the metal body

The thickness of the X1 with the keyboard is 17mm, thinner than the HTC TyTN II which is 19mm.  Don’t look down on a 2mm thickness.  Losing that 2mm makes the X1 much nicer to hold.  The X1 is shorter than the TyTN II by 2mm and narrower by 6mm.

The X1 with the keyboard gives the feel of slim, thin and narrow as compared to the TyTN II being big, fat and thick.  The X1 opened with the keyboard is actually easy to hold because it is lighter than the TyTN II by a whopping 45 grams.  The combination gives the X1 the edge in overall feel and weight to hold, especially the cold steel.

The X1 is not for everybody.  You must have an affinity to use a keyboard and the X1 keyboard is the best in its class too.  I used to think that the ladies will shy away from a PDA with a QWERTY keyboard but I have been proven wrong.  There are many ladies using the HTC TyTN II.  The X1 will give them a good reason to upgrade when it is available.

I would classify the X1 in the same range as those with a keyboard like the TyTN II and the Nokia E90.  Given what I’ve seen, the X1 has the best specification in its class.  Certainly, if the X1 isn’t, there would not be a market for it.  Sony Ericsson must make the X1 better than all the the devices in its class that are already in the market.  By the time the X1 is launched, I hope there aren’t any other devices that will eclipse it.  Oops, I didn’t say when the X1 will be available yet.  Maybe next time. 😉

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2 Comments to “Sony Ericsson X1 – Keyboard seemingly better than TyTN II”

  1. this is a must get phone or rather gadget.

    • After using the production units and talking to people who used it, I really can’t agree that this is a must get phone. If you are seriously into a touch screen with good keypad, check out the HTC Touch Pro 2.

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