Apple has been content to issue minor periodic hardware updates to the 13-inch MacBook, but the modest performance gains and new Leopard OS keep it in our top tier of laptop recommendations.
Intel Mac users will like Snow Leopard's smartly designed interface enhancements, and its Exchange support is a must-have (especially with Outlook for Mac on the way). With a ton of technological improvements, Snow Leopard is worth the $29 upgrade fee.
The grace of Leopard's interface enhancements makes productivity more pleasurable with a Mac, as more than 300 functional and fun features top off this update.
Users of OS X 10.6 will find that Apple has unexpectedly updated Safari 5.
Following a recent addition of Java to its plug-in blacklist, Apple has issued an update to its supported Java versions.
While Apple's iCloud services are officially supported only in OS X 10.7 Lion or later, you can get some working in Snow Leopard.
Although Lion will be priced at a modest $29, current Leopard users must first upgrade to Snow Leopard, then Lion.
The Mac App Store program can be removed from Snow Leopard, but once updated past OS X 10.6.6, reinstalling it may require a little more than simply installing a combo update.
The finding that Leopard and Snow Leopard users were affected more by the Flashback malware suggests Apple's approach to security on OS X has a notable impact, even if it is an indirect one.
Updates to Snow Leopard and Lion (Server and Client) address bugs and enhance features.