Review: Ars Technica reviews Parallels Desktop for Mac

After Macworld also Ars Technica publishes a review of Parallels Desktop for Mac. This time the conclusion is:

For all the naysayers and people who may still be unhappy with the transition to Intel chips, it’s hard to ignore the advantage of virtualization, which opens up a broad spectrum of applications and utilities that are no longer crippled by having to run in Virtual PC’s emulated environment.

People pondering the switch to a MacBook can rest assured that with the exception of USB device support and hardware accelerated 3-D applications, their needs will be well met by this little workhorse of a program. Between the networking that just works, the impressive speed and the inability of the client operating systems to know they are running within a “virtual machine,” I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find software for any x86 OS that doesn’t work within a Parallels VM. If you’re still not certain, you can always try the fully-working demo and make your decision later. Just keep in mind that the price tag jumps from US$50 to US$80 after July 15. Until then, you’ll have to send the remaining US$30 to me.


  • Fast and overall responsiveness in OSes is very good
  • Clean, unobtrusive interface
  • Seamless networking with no configuration needed
  • Additional tools for Windows make file sharing and mouse movement better
  • Disk image compacting tool saves hard drive space
  • Very good application compatibility for software within client OSes
  • Runs multiple instances of the application to use more than one core/CPU when running two or more client VMs
  • Connect image option is a time and disk saver for downloaded installers
  • Well priced, even at US$80


  • Not suitable for games or complex 3-D modeling applications
  • Limited USB hardware support
  • No option to use more than a single CPU core
  • Can’t burn DVDs and CDs within VMs
  • Improved mouse movement driver for Windows VMs only

The review is much more complete than the one from Macworld and it’s worth to read.