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Snow Leopard Review Roundup
Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 4:29 AM EST
Posted by: Glenn

Well, some of the early reviews of Snow Leopard are starting to roll in now. This includes reviews from AllThingsD, CNET, Engadget, Gizmodo, Macworld, New York Times and USA Today. Down below you'll find an excerpt and link for each review. We'll also continue adding to this roundup over the next few days, as new reviews are released, so please check back for updates. I would also note that most of the reviews have been favorable to this point.

  AllThingsD - "Apple already had the best computer operating system in Leopard, and Snow Leopard makes it a little better. But it isn't a big breakthrough for average users, and, even at $29, it isn't a typical Apple lust-provoking product," writes Walt Mossberg.

  CNET - "Intel Mac users will like Snow Leopard's smartly designed interface enhancements, and its Exchange support is a must-have (especially with Outlook for Mac on the way). With a ton of technological improvements, Snow Leopard is worth the $29 upgrade fee," writes Jason Parker.

  Engadget - "Here's the thing about Snow Leopard, the single inescapable fact that hung over our heads as we ran our tests and took our screenshots and made our graphs: it's $30. $30! If you're a Leopard user you have virtually no reason to skip over 10.6, unless you've somehow built a mission-critical production workflow around an InputManager hack (in which case, well, have fun with 10.5 for the rest of your life). Sure, maybe wait a few weeks for things like Growl and MenuMeters to be updated, and if your livelihood depends on QuickTime you might want to hold off, but for everyone else the sheer amount of little tweaks and added functionality in 10.6 more than justifies skipping that last round of drinks at the bar -- hell, we're guessing Exchange support alone has made the sale for a lot of people," writes Joshua Topolsky.

  Gizmodo - "The changes here are modest, and the performance gains look promising but beyond the built in apps, just a promise. If you're looking for more bells and whistles, you can hold off on this upgrade for at least awhile. But my thought is that Snow Leopard's biggest feature is that it doesn't have any new features, but that what is already there has been refined, one step closer to perfection. They just better roll out some new features next time, because the invisible refinement upgrade only works once every few decades," writes Brian Lam.

  Macworld - "Snow Leopard is Apple's lowest-priced OS update in eight years. Granted, it's a collection of feature tweaks and upgrades, as well as under-the-hood modifications that might not pay off for users immediately. But the price of upgrading is so low that I've really got to recommend it for all but the most casual, low-impact Mac users. If you've got a 32-bit Intel Mac (that is, one powered by a Core Solo or Core Duo processor), the benefit of this upgrade will be a little less. But for most Mac users, especially the kind of person who reads a Web site devoted to the subject, the assorted benefits of Snow Leopard outweigh the price tag. I'd pay $30 just for the improved volume ejection, the ability to create services with Automator, and the improvements to the Dock and Expo se-though I admit I'd pay slightly more to not have the misguided QuickTime Player X as a part of the package. If you're a user who connects to an Exchange server every day, upgrading to Snow Leopard really is a no-brainer. For everyone else, maybe it's not quite a no-brainer-but it's awfully close. Snow Leopard is a great value, and any serious Mac user should upgrade now," writes Jason Snell.

  New York Times - "The big story here isn't really Snow Leopard. It's the radical concept of a software update that's smaller, faster and better - instead of bigger, slower and more bloated. May the rest of the industry take the hint," writes David Pogue.

  USA Today - "In my experience, Mac OS X was already a superior operating system to Windows. With Exchange and other technologies, Snow Leopard adds bite, especially for business. But as upgrades go, this one is relatively tame," writes Edward C. Baig.

 New! Ars Technica - "Snow Leopard is a unique and beautiful release, unlike any that have come before it in both scope and intention. At some point, Mac OS X will surely need to get back on the bullet-point-features bandwagon. But for now, I'm content with Snow Leopard. It's the Mac OS X I know and love, but with more of the things that make it weak and strange engineered away," writes John Siracusa.

 New! Chicago Sun Times - "Impressive and important, it's an update that will revitalize your existing Mac even though you'll be stumped for a quick five-minute demo that convinces the people around you that much of anything has changed at all," writes Andy Ihnatko.

 New! PC Magazine - "The latest version of Apple's Mac operating system, OS X 10.6 (codenamed Snow Leopard), is Apple's fastest, most functional, and feature-rich operating system yet," writes Edward Mendelson.

 New! Slashgear - "In all, it's for the larger part an evolutionary upgrade, but in the best possible way. The tech industry is so used to looking for revolutionary change that we sometimes forget that shiny new paradigms bring with them hours -or longer- of learning how to do things in the new system. In contrast, Snow Leopard demands no retraining for its headline functionality, and delivers its invisible changes with minimal day-to-day fanfare. At $29 it's frankly a no-brain decision for OS X Leopard users; that's why we're calling it the bargain of the year," writes Vincent Nguyen.

 New! Wired - "This upgrade won't deliver any radical interface changes to blow you away (not that we would want it to), but the $30 price is more than fair for the number of performance improvements Snow Leopard delivers," writes Brian X. Chen.



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