Apple Mac OS X Lion
Mac OS X Lion review: a shock to the system
- Great price
- Many features are different to Snow Leopard
In the past, Apple has charged $129 for upgrades with far fewer improvements than this, and that price upgraded just a single system. At $30 for all the Macs in your world, the only reason not to upgrade to Lion is because you rely on old PowerPC-based apps that won’t run on it. Otherwise, it’s a more than fair price for a great upgrade.
Price$ 31.99 (AUD)
In a decade, Mac OS X evolved from a curious hybrid of the classic Mac OS and the NextStep operating system to a mainstream computer operating system used by millions. It was a decade of continual refinement, capped by the bug-fixing, internals-tweaking release of Snow Leopard in 2009.
But the last four years have seen some dramatic changes at Apple. In that time, while Mac sales have continued to grow, Apple has also built an entirely new business around mobile devices that run iOS. Combine the influx of new Mac users with the popularity of the iPhone and iPad, and you get Lion.
Can Apple make OS X friendly for people buying their first Macs and familiar to those coming to the Mac from the iPhone, while keeping Mac veterans happy? That would be a neat trick--and Apple has tried very hard to pull it off.
(Before you read any further, you need to know that Lion isn't right for one particular group of users: If you're using an early Intel Mac powered by a Core Solo or Core Duo processor, you can't run it. And if you rely on PowerPC-based apps that run on Intel Macs using the Rosetta code-translation technology, they won't run in Lion. For more on the fate of older software, see Chris Breen's series on Lion-incompatible software.)
A new kind of upgrade
Even before you boot into Lion for the first time, you'll feel just how different it is from previous versions of Mac OS X. That's because Apple has decided to release the upgrade primarily as a $30 download from the Mac App Store. After a 3.5GB download, there's a new Install Lion app in your Dock and Applications folder. Double-click that, and the installation begins.
Back in the day, getting an OS X upgrade involved going to a store or ordering online and getting an optical disc. With the release of Lion, Mac users can get near-instant gratification. And the $30 price is remarkable--in the past Apple would've charged $129 for an upgrade of this scale.
However, relying on downloading alone for an OS release has its drawbacks. While the experience is clean and simple for the most common installation scenarios, things can get weird if yours isn't one of them. What if you have a really slow Internet connection or low bandwidth cap? Downloading 4GB of data could be painful. What if you aren't running Snow Leopard, which is required for the Mac App Store? What happens if your drive crashes and you have to reinstall Lion onto a new, blank hard drive?
Apple has answers to many of these questions, but the rules of the game have definitely changed. Company executives told me that users without access to a high-speed connection will be able to bring their Macs to an Apple Store for help in buying and installing Lion. And despite all the talk about Lion being available only via the Mac App Store, the company plans to release a $69 version of Lion on a USB stick in August.
Apple doesn't provide an easy way to burn a DVD or format a USB drive as a back-up installer, though even Apple execs admitted that technically adept users will be able to figure out how to create a bootable installer from the contents of the Lion installation package. Wiping your hard drive entirely and re-installing Lion will be a different (and potentially more complicated) process than it is today with Snow Leopard, but for most users, installing (and restoring) system software under Lion will be a simpler process.
The good news is that, once you've got a Lion installer, you can copy it freely to all the Macs in your house (so long as they're running the latest version of Snow Leopard) and upgrade them to Lion. Not only is that convenient, but it's legal: The Lion download license covers all of the Macs in your household, making that $30 an even greater deal. If you're planning on updating multiple Macs to Lion, though, be warned: the Lion installation app self-destructs after use. After you download it, move a copy somewhere else before installing, or you'll have to re-download the installer from the App Store before using it on another Mac.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Google's new AI aims to end abusive online comments using 'Perspective'
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior Java Developers (Several positions available)QLD
- TPDeployment Specialist (DevOps)QLD
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 requiredSA
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- FTSenior Security Sales SpecialistVIC
- FTSalesforce AdministratorQLD
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- FTInfrastructure Solution ArchitectSA
- FTPerformance TesterACT
- FTInfrastructure Architect (Adelaide Based)VIC
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTData Conversion LeadNSW
- TPSOE AdministratorQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCData Engineer (Java/ Data/ Big Data Developer)VIC
- CCCrystal Reports DeveloperSA
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- CCData Migration Consultant - LeadNSW
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT
- TPSenior Analyst Programmer - ContractQLD