Nosecone is one of the cases where Takara probably wins out. Where their Nosecone is based on Rook, the best Combiner Wars Deluxe mold... we're at the opposite end of the spectrum with Brawl. But that's not quite the whole story.
First off, if you're basing the vehicle mode on either Brawl or how Nosecone looks as Computron's leg, you're probably doing it wrong.
This peg plugs into the top of the drill part to lodge the drill more securely in what was the back end of Brawl.
It's hard to look at this and not see anything but a backwards facing tank with a drill tacked on, but the drill does look much better integrated this way. That's one way to differentiate it from Brawl! It's a game attempt to create this character using the toolings and budget Hasbro had to work with, but the limitations are definitely felt.
Transformation is unchanged except for swiveling up the drill. I do like how you don't have to detach it to transform him.
Nosecone is not one of the better robot mode matches for his G1 self. The biggest similarities to the original figure are the treaded arms and the yellow deco on the front of the legs. It can't be helped, as there's not a lot of similarities between Brawl and Nosecone's original figures.
One thing I don't like is that the silver of the forearms is only painted on the uppermost surface. It looks shallow and odd.
But here's the main question: is Nosecone better than Brawl? Yes, a bit. The torso's locking mechanism now works fully, and while his midsection is still weird and thin, he can stand up straight and not flop around. You can easily improvise a midtorso joint, but the connectors seem shallow by design - I kind of want to treat them gingerly.
Otherwise Nosecone is unchanged from Brawl. His other articulation is limited in places by the chunky body, and his hips are a bit weak. But he's got rocker ankles.
Nosecone's nosecone also becomes a hand drill, the only new part of the figure. You can also plug it into the forearm, which I think looks better. It's not going to piece the heavens any time soon, but it looks pretty good.
Nosecone's proscribed use for Computron is as a leg. The big change is that you plug the drill where you think the drill would go instead of where the drill really goes.
One of the most common Combiner Wars problems rears its ugly ankle here again: the lower half of the leg mode doesn't lock together strongly enough, and likes to come apart. It's a shame, because the new feet play very well with this mold, not leaving an ugly gap.
As an arm, Nosecone is improved by exactly the amount that the robot torso joint accounts for. But your real nemesis here is not the waist but the legs. They do not lock together at all. The tabs are more suggestions than locking points, and the plastic is just flexible enough to allow them to misalign and not go into the slots.
On the upside, if you find another place to put the drill, Nosecone becomes a good alternate for the placement of Scrounge if you're using Strafe as a leg.
Nosecone still has all of Brawl's design flaws. But the largest of Brawl's execution flaws has been fixed. That's a plus. He's still probably the weakest overall Deluxe in this set by virtue of his problematic limb modes. On his own he's a decent enough toy, though his odd-looking if finally fully functional torso construction isn't going to help him win any hearts either. Designwise, he feels more out of step with the other limbs to me than Afterbreaker, the only solo Takara development in this set. And to compound all that, he's quite simply no Rook, and the comparisons to the TakaraTomy set drag him down further than would be evident judging him on his own. In all respects this figure is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and some of that isn't its fault. But being less than great at 50% of its four modes is - and I'd even say that as an arm it's less than good.