PC Magazine reviews Apple’s Mac OS X 10.5.2 Leopard: ‘By far the best consumer OS available’

“After three months with Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard Version 10.5, I have three main things to say about it. First: Despite minor problems, it’s by far the best operating system ever written for the vast majority of consumers, with dozens of new features that have real practical value—like truly automated backups, document and spreadsheet preview images in folders, and notes and to-do lists integrated into the mail program,” Edward Mendelson reports for PC Magazine.

“For the average user, Leopard is the most polished and easiest to use OS I’ve tested. Second: Leopard started out with a generous share of first-version glitches, but almost all of them have now been resolved by the second of two automated updates, which brings Leopard up to version 10.5.2,” Mendelson reports.

“Finally, Leopard is extravagantly overdressed for the jobs that it’s designed to do, and its pervasive eye-candy starts out looking dazzling but soon becomes distracting. Fortunately, from the beginning, the OS started out with options that let you put it on a low-eye-sugar diet, and the latest update has even more,” Mendelson reports.

“Leopard again raises the question of whether to switch from Windows to a Mac. I’ve found Vista to be a major disappointment that tends to look worse the more I use it. I still use Windows XP for getting serious work done in long, complicated documents. But OS X is easier to manage and maintain and I vastly prefer OS X to Windows for Web-browsing, mail, and especially for any task that involves graphics, music, or video,” Mendelson reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Macs are perfectly capable of getting “serious work done in long, complicated documents.” Mendelson is writing for PC Magazine and is merely throwing his readers – the Windows sufferers – a bone. After this review, they need something, however meager it may be, to assuage the brutal assault their OS of “non-choice” has just taken. As we all know, most Mac users have slummed it with Windows; often by force in school and/or at work. Mac users have made a conscious technology choice and are therefore better informed than most Windows sufferers. Mac users execute “serious work done in long, complicated documents” daily.

“Leopard performs all such tasks even better than previous versions did—and Leopard is the only OS on the planet that works effortlessly and intuitively in today’s world of networked computers and peripherals. Leopard is far from perfect, but it’s better than any alternative, and it’s getting harder and harder to find good reasons to use anything else,” Mendelson reports.

Full review, 4.5 out of 5 stars, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Island Girl” for the heads up.]

29 Comments

  1. “Finally, Leopard is extravagantly overdressed for the jobs that it’s designed to do, and its pervasive eye-candy starts out looking dazzling but soon becomes distracting.”

    Uh, maybe it’s just me, but hasn’t OS X looked pretty much the same for the last, oh, 8 years or so? Aside from the ridiculously overblown interface of Time Machine… are you saying that the switch from brushed metal just blew your mind?

  2. @ Jay-Z

    I love your comment about having a folder on your Windows desktop called: “Mediocrity That’s Forced Upon Me”. I’m going to do that at work. I already make my office mates wonder why my MS Recycle Bin is in the lower right hand corner of my screen.

    By the way, sitting in an IT meeting at my office the other day (a totally Windows organization), I asked how many people had put Vista on their home machines and how was it going. I then sat through 30 minutes of listening to pain and agony and excuses from the Windows sufferers. I ended the conversation and meeting by saying: I wish I could say I feel your pain, but I don’t. My family uses only Macs. Silence ensured.

  3. @ChrissyOne –
    Maybe – just maybe – Mendelson (doesn’t he do some sort of classical music thing too?) ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> is so used to granite, hammer and chisel that going from the stone age to the brushed metal age threw him for a for a loop!

    @harryeddy!!! Mellel is the BEST!!! I have used it since – well the stone age… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    Cheers!

    BTW, Mendelson’s article is quite good. Very positive about OS X.V ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. About the alleged eye candy.

    I remember when Japanese cars first came on the market in the US. The dashboards were hilarious. There was one of each type of switch: here a rocker switch, there a toggle switch, over there a push-pull switch, and somewhere else one that you had to twist. It wasn’t that the car was designed by a committee, it looked like they didn’t even have a committee!

    Well, that is what Vista’s user interface looks like.It looks like they hired a geek to be an interior designer, and the interface is inconsistent. They don’t even have one type of icon!

    Coming from Windows XP with its Playskool interface, or Vista with its geek-with-interior-decorator-aspirations interface, Leopard does indeed look like it has a lot of eye candy. It takes a while for one’s eyes to adjust, particularly if you are still using Windows along with OS X. The illusion of eye candy is caused by the fact that Leopard has a well-designed, self-consistent design that involved actual artists and designers.

    After one’s eyes adjust, Leopard looks normal and Windows looks like a rip-off of an old version of KDE.

    So give Mr. Mendelson some slack. It takes a while for the eyes to adjust when you walk into the light from the darkness. He’s describing the same phenomenon that his readers will experience when they switch.

  5. jonahan: i guess i’m refering to what you call tabs – the bar for example in excel with the text Sheets… Charts… Word Art…

    for me that’s a bunch of vertical screen space i want back – it should toggle on/off with the gallery button in the tool bar

    so they have to show off the new feature (something i’ll use once a year probably)

  6. One thing that I did not find any equivalent on the Mac is the Visual Basic capability of Excel on the Pee Cee.

    I do a lot, and I mean a lot of custom macros and automation in Excel and I just don’t have the same flexibility on any Mac app.

    Can someone tell me if there’s an alternative? (the new Office 2008 is now without VB).

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