Lion vs. Snow Leopard

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OS X Lion has been available for some time now, and many Mac users have already made the switch, upgrading from OS X Snow Leopard to Lion. Many other Mac users simply have not.

There are many reasons why a user hasn’t upgraded. It seems, however, that there are some reasons that are more common than others. One widely cited reason is that a user doesn’t know what the difference is between the two OS X versions, if any. While both OS X Lion and OS X Snow Leopard have a lot in common, there are some differences that are well worth noting.


When compared head to head on identical systems, there is very little difference in speed between OS X Lion and OS X Snow Leopard. Some functions take a similar amount of time with both OS systems. Snow Leopard was designed for speed, so it is notable, but not surprising, that certain tasks are a bit faster when running Snow Leopard than with Lion.

Some tasks like opening browser tabs and compressing files are quicker with Lion. Others like launching multiple applications and booting go quicker with Snow Leopard. The differences in speed between the two systems are statistically significant, but not easily noticed by the average user.


While OS X Snow Leopard was designed for speed, Lion was designed for functionality. Apple boasts over 250 new features in Lion, and this may be the most compelling reason for an upgrade.

One notable feature is Launchpad, which makes a user’s desktop resemble the home screen of an iOS device. It opens with a gesture and makes it easier for a user to locate their apps. With Launchpad, a user can install apps, organize them, and delete them all in this space.

Mission Control is another new feature worth noting. It combines Spaces and Expose to make it easier to view all running apps, find the app you are looking for, and jump from one open app to another. This feature is designed to increase productivity greatly.


For Mac users simply interested in speed, it would seem that OS X Snow Leopard would be the best choice for them. Some power users may do best sticking with the old operating system when saving even a second is a priority.

On the other hand the increased functionality of OS X Lion will mean greater productivity for the majority. The new features, of which only a few were highlighted, will help most Mac users to work quickly, efficiently, and with greater ease.

Finally, for many consumers cost is an issue, and these users wonder if the upgrade is worth the money. It is relatively inexpensive to download OS X Lion. USD $29.99 isn’t a very steep price, but users on incredibly tight budgets should consider sticking to Snow Leopard at this time. It seems that the change in performance and increase in productivity you would experience isn’t enough to break the bank for.

Apple’s newest edition of its operating system called Lion has some nice new features and functionality tweaks. If you are still undecided whether or not upgrade to this version, try to use the people search and hear first hand reviews from tech professionals to find out which cat is faster. Will it be the Lion or the good ‘ol Snow leopard?




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