The first reviews of Mac OS X Leopard are beginning to emerge in the mainstream media, and while they agree the new OS is evolutionary, there's plenty to recommend it.

"In my view, Leopard is better and faster than Vista, with a set of new features that make Macs even easier to use." writes Walt Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal.

Mossberg notes the easy to understand single price of the product, which he compares unfavourably with Microsoft's overly-complex pricing strategy.

"My old Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer, for which Vista lacks the proper software, worked instantly in Leopard, even over the network. And, unlike with Vista, it was able to print on both sides of the page," the veteran technology pundit observes.

Time Machine, Boot Camp and Cover Flow navigation all win praise from Mossberg, who concludes: "Leopard isn't a must-have for current Mac owners, but it adds a lot of value. For new Mac buyers, it makes switching even more attractive."

Similar sentiments echo from UK newspaper, the Telegraph, whose Claudine Beaumont remarks: "This week, we got a sneak peek at the full retail version of Leopard, and on the whole, liked what we saw. If you're familiar with Mac computers, then the changes will be subtle rather than earth-shattering."

Time Machine wins great praise: "It's simple and intuitive, and the clever graphical user interface makes restoring files much easier than rifling through root directories or complicated menus. This feature is worth the money on its own, especially if your usual "housekeeping" routines leave something to be desired."

The Telegraph's overall positive review concludes, like Mossberg, that: "Leopard represents evolution rather than revolution", but sees it as appealing to new and existing Mac users - and, potentially Apple's killer punch - to Windows users considering switching platforms.

Also in the UK, gadget-focused website Pocket Lint has published its review of Apple's new OS, declaring: "At £80 there is plenty here to justify the expense and unlike going from Windows to Vista the experience isn't anywhere near as bad or confusing."

The report notes no problems with applications working and observes slightly faster launch times for all apps. It also notes the many usability features of the operating system, declaring it a "thumbs up" release with a 9/10 score.