I recently acquired a Roland SH-1, mostly because I wanted another synthesizer in the studio with CV and Gate. It's hard to believe, with how much I go on about it, that the SH-09 and System 100m were the only two synthesizer I had that possessed it. This is why the 09 and 100m make up the bulk of my recordings thus far.
The SH-1 is a bit of a step up from the 09. It has an extra envelope (just attack and release), a high pass filter, keyboard and external signal / envelope follower controls for the filter and an extra slider in the mixer section to control the noise generator independently (on the 09 the oscillator must be sacrificed for noise). It also has a feature I rarely come by called Autobend.
Autobend is sort of like portamento but rather than gliding to your note from the distance of your previous note, you set the distance to whatever you want -- with the depth slider, then you set the time you want it to take to arrive from that set distance or depth -- with the time slider. Where are we coming from? Always below. I suppose that's why they call it depth. Autobend, at least on this machine and the Roland RS-505, always bends upward. I would imagine that is the most useful anyway.
It can sound a lot like portamento and is probably often mistaken for it. It's most notable different when the same note is played more than once in succession. If it were done with portamento the gliding effect would be heard only once and then the note would sound uneffected. With autobend we would hear the gliding effect each time.
It is a nice effect and I think I like it more than portamento, at least for practical purposes. And I am quite happy with my SH-1. Anyway, here is my favorite bendy-note song: