Awesome, yawn-worthy, or a bit of both? The bottom lines are in...
Ed Baig at USA Today:
Snow Leopard isn't a must-have upgrade. There's not much new in the sizzle department. Many feature enrichments are modest, such as the ability to highlight text from a specific column in a PDF. The fine Safari 4 Web browser is also included, but you don't need Snow Leopard to get it. Apple does say the browser is faster and more crash resistant. (My iMac did crash once in my testing.)... Still, Snow Leopard should delight Mac fans...
Brian X. Chen at Wired.com:
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. Stay tuned for Wired.com's full review of Snow Leopard as we continue to test it over the week.
Jim Dalrymple at CNET:
We think the interface tweaks to Expose, Stacks, the Finder, Mail, and iCal make Snow Leopard more than just a service pack and worthy of the $29 upgrade price... Though the system performs well in everyday use, many of our tests indicate it is slightly slower than the older version of Leopard in more intensive application processes. Still, we highly recommend upgrading for all the new features and Microsoft Exchange support.
Andy Ihnatko at Chicago Sun-Times:
...the price represents perhaps the most emphatic middle finger that Apple's ever extended towards Microsoft's general direction. In the past five years, Microsoft has done far less with Windows than Apple has done with the Mac OS.
Galen Gruman at InfoWorld:
When a new OS upgrade costs $29, you can be forgiven for thinking of it as a service pack... an under-the-hood upgrade whose new capabilities won't be so obvious to users, and thus not worth the usual $129. I agree with that price assessment (if only Microsoft had made the same judgment about Windows 7), but I don't agree that what Snow Leopard offers resides merely under the hood. Instead, it provides many enhancements and some new features that Mac users of all persuasions will really like.
Randall C. Kennedy at PC World:
"Where's the beef?"
Brian Lam at Gizmodo:
Some fanboys will ask, incredulously, "This is a new operating system?!" Those people are missing the point. On deeper inspection, Snow Leopard's inconspicuous aspects--performance squeezed from underused CPU multicores/GPUs and basic UI tweaks--are found to be the kind of refinement generally reserved for virtuosity. These speed optimizations are deep, reminding me of when a master martial artist puts the entirety of his weight behind a strike (while a neophyte would flails his limbs like a henchman in a Bruce Lee movie). The little UI tweaks are no different than when a great sculptor's chisel works to remove everything non-essential during the final steps on a statue.
Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal:
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.
David Pogue at the New York Times:
Incredibly, Snow Leopard is only half the size of its predecessor; following the speedy installation (15 minutes), you wind up with 7 gigabytes more free space on your hard drive. That, ladies and gents, is a first... That Snow Leopard's looks haven't changed at all, in other words, betrays the enormous changes under its pretty skin... Either way, 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.
Jason Snell at 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.
Peter Svensson at AP:
For most Mac users, Snow Leopard will likely be a no-brainer upgrade, given the low price. But early upgraders often face minor bugs and installation problems, so unless you're dying for one of the new features, waiting a month or so is a safer course... So how does Snow Leopard compare to Windows 7? Snow Leopard's benefits will be most apparent down the road, while Windows 7 promises more of an immediate payoff.
Joshua Topolsky at Engadget:
...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... If you're still on Tiger, well, you'll have to decide whether or not you want to drop $130 on what's essentially a spit-shined Leopard, but if you do decide to spend the cash you'll find that the experience of using a Mac has changed dramatically for the better since you last upgraded.
photo by Tambako