How deep are Leopard's changes?

Our review of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard last Thursday lauded its lovely interface innovations but withheld judgment about the operating system's speed until we could put it through its paces.

Tests returned from CNET Labs on Saturday show that Leopard didn't perform noticeably faster than Mac OS 10.4.6 Tiger. (See the chart in CNET's review of Tiger.). Because Leopard's improved speeds of between 1 percent and 3 percent fall within the 5 percent margin of error, it's fair to call Leopard and Tiger even.

Lab tests explored Leopard's boot time, … Read more

Lenovo quietly adds a new holiday desktop

In addition to the new Lenovo laptop we found earlier, Lenovo also has a new desktop. Micro Center has the lower-end dual core versions ($589 and $789) of the new K100, and Office Depot has a full-fledged quad core model ($1,129). Highlights seem to include a dial for balancing processor speed with noise-level/power consumption, a TV tuner on the Office Depot model, and a one-touch back-up button, similar to that on the new HP Pavilion Elite.

Aside from the TV tuner, the K100 has a home office bend to it, which means it doesn't come with the … Read more

Photos: Sony VAIO TP1 stripped

We rarely see circular designs in desktops. After all, when 99 percent of components are made for the conventional box shape, getting parts to fit a round chassis takes more investigative work than a season of CSI.

Sony's VAIO TP1 is unique in many ways. Besides being round, it is also based on a notebook platform like the iMac. Sony's product manager Katsuki Fuchu was responsible for the VAIO TP1's unique shape and met with CNET Asia to explain the inner workings of this desktop entertainment system. We took the opportunity to ask for one to be … Read more

Nvidia's new GeForce card aims to bring 3D power to the masses

Nvidia seems to be offering a steal of a video card this morning. Its new GeForce 8800 GT will go for between $200 and $250, and Nvidia claims it's faster than the $450 ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, and Nvidia's own GeForce 8800 GTS cards. We're working on our own review, and you can expect a post up shortly. Based on the results of a handful of review sites, Nvidia seems to have delivered a bargain here, taking out both its own and ATI's previous bang-for-the-buck winners.

Aside from the price-performance value, the GeForce 8800 GT … Read more

Leopard will open the Mac OS X floodgates (and embarrass Microsoft)

As many of you are aware, I think Windows Vista is a blunder. And with its annoying UAC system and horrifically slow operation, it won't take long before the majority of home users agree with me. If the recent figures showing Mac OS X is already gaining market share is any indication of the future, look for Leopard to outsell Vista by a staggering margin.

Simply put, Mac OS X Leopard is one of the most significant operating system achievements we have witnessed in years. Not only does it add functionality that Microsoft could only have dreamed of, it does so in a snappy environment that doesn't annoy you with pop-ups asking for permission or all of those security threats we have come to know (and hate) in Windows.

But my belief that Vista will soon bow to Leopard goes far beyond the operating system itself. In fact, the major reason Vista will succumb to Mac OS X has little to do with Apple, but quite a bit to do with Microsoft's current focus. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, one thing is abundantly clear: Microsoft fears Google and is doing everything it can to become the Google slayer instead of competing in its core business--software.

The company is on a slippery slope, and to be quite honest, I don't think it can get off too easily.… Read more

Apple's Leopard arrives in San Francisco

It wasn't exactly iPhone Day, but hundreds of people lined up on Stockton Street on Friday outside the San Francisco Apple store to get their hands on Mac OS X Leopard, the newest version of Apple's operating system.

About 30 minutes before the doors of the store opened at 6 p.m., the line stretched up Stockton and around the corner onto O'Farrell Street, maybe two-thirds as long as the iPhone line at its longest on June 29. Still, prospective customers waited hours in line to buy Leopard, even though they could have preordered a copy from … Read more

Rain, wind don't deter NYC's Leopard hunters

NEW YORK--On Friday afternoon at the hour that Apple launched its latest operating system, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, it was pouring rain in Manhattan. It was also windy and chilly. That didn't stop several hundred people from lining up outside the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue to get their hands on the new software, huddled underneath Gore-Tex jackets and umbrellas.

"It's the cult," commented another reporter who had also been covering the water-saturated event.

The line for Leopard appeared to be divided fairly evenly between rabid Apple fans and shoppers who'd figured they could … Read more

Reports: Time Machine needs wires

If you want to use the Time Machine feature in Mac OS X Leopard to set up automatic backups, you'll have to find a networking cable.

In the advance marketing material for Leopard, which goes on sale later today, Apple had promoted the ability to connect an external USB hard drive to an AirPort Extreme wireless router (Airport Disk) and use Time Machine to wirelessly back up the hard drives of Macbooks scattered around a home. Time Machine, one of the more universally liked features in Leopard (click for CNET's review), is designed to make backing up and … Read more

On Fifth Avenue, no Leopard fans spotted yet

NEW YORK--At about 1 p.m. EDT in midtown Manhattan, I overheard a group of suit-clad thirtysomething men talking as they waited to cross Madison Avenue.

"You know, leopards are solitary animals," one of them said. The other three or four continued musing on the characteristics of the large exotic felines, and I figured that it was actually part of a conversation about Apple's latest operating system, which launches Friday at 6 p.m. I thought, wow, if fratty midtown office types are talking about Mac OS X 10.5, there must be a huge line of … Read more

The steady advance of Mac OS X

Progress is measured in steps both big and small. The smaller ones may get less attention, but they are much easier to take.

It's been a year of big steps for Apple. The company dropped the "Computer" from its name in January as a way of showing Apple was no longer just about the Mac, and the clear priority for 2007 in Cupertino was to get the iPhone out the door and selling briskly. Then, perhaps for kicks, it decided to overhaul its entire lineup of iPods.

Later today, Apple will take a smaller step, with the … Read more