“I’ve been testing Snow Leopard on three Macs—an older desktop and a laptop of my own that I upgraded from Leopard, and a new MacBook Pro laptop Apple lent me for testing with Snow Leopard pre-installed. I found Snow Leopard easy to install, faster than Leopard, compatible with my most commonly used software and peripherals, and filled with a number of small, useful refinements and additions,” Walter S. Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“One delightful change: Snow Leopard takes up less than half the room on a hard disk that Leopard did, and Apple says the average user who upgrades will free up about 7 gigabytes of space,” Mossberg reports. “On my 2008-vintage MacBook Pro, I gained back a whopping 14 gigabytes.”

MacDailyNews Note: Please see: Apple’s $29 Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard disc installs just fine on Tiger Macs – August 27, 2009

Mossberg continues, “Snow Leopard comes in one version, rather than the multiple operating system versions favored by Microsoft. And that single version handles hardware and software based on both a standard computer technology, called 32-bit, and a newer one, called 64-bit, which can use much more memory and is faster.”

“Both my desktop and laptop Macs converted to Snow Leopard quickly and smoothly, in about 45 minutes each. Unlike the upgrade process Microsoft is requiring to get to Windows 7 from Windows XP, the Snow Leopard upgrade preserves all your files, settings and programs where they previously existed, right down to your desktop icons and wallpaper,” Mossberg reports. “No disk wiping, file moving, or program re-installation is required.”

Mossberg reports, “Snow Leopard’s built-in programs, like Mail, the Safari browser, and the Finder—Apple’s equivalent of the Windows Explorer—have all been rewritten behind the scenes, so these and other specific features are now a lot quicker. I found that email folders stuffed with thousands of messages opened almost instantly, and copying files was noticeably faster, even when the destination was on the Internet or a network. The Safari 4 browser, already very fast with Leopard, is even speedier under Snow Leopard, especially on more complex Web sites that use a popular technology called Javascript.”

Mossberg reports, “Overall, I believe Snow Leopard will help keep the Mac an appealing choice for computer buyers, and I can recommend it to existing Mac owners seeking more speed and disk space, or wanting to more easily use Exchange. But I don’t consider Snow Leopard a must-have upgrade for average consumers. It’s more of a nice-to-have upgrade. If you’re happy with Leopard, there’s no reason to rush out and get Snow Leopard.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Uncle Walt’s conclusion is, with all due respect, wishy-washy poppycock that comes across as tacked-on “proof of objectivity.” Which mythical “average consumers” don’t need more speed and disk space plus all of these enhancements and refinements for a paltry $29?

If you have an Intel-powered Mac and your apps are all set, upgrade to Snow Leopard. Period.