System Information (called System Profiler in all previous OS X versions) is, more or less, Apple's version of Windows’ Device Manager. Its aim is to tell the user what his hardware consists of. It can be accessed from About this Mac by clicking “More info” but it can also be found in Utilities folder in your Applications folder.

 

 

It's a bit confusing that you still have to hit the "More Info" button to get this new, much more informative About This Mac window - why not just get rid of the first window altogether and save the user the extra click? I'm nitpicking, I know, but this kind of redundancy is annoying.

Anyway, when you open System Information, you will be provided an overview of your Mac. This includes information about your CPU, RAM, GPU, serial number and the OS you are running. It also tells you the obvious things: model of your Mac, screen size and revision. The overview information should be sufficient if you contact Apple or ask help in a forum, so the other end will know what Mac you have.

Down at the bottom, there are two links: the Check For Updates link just opens Software Update, and System Report gives you the look of old System Profiler with all the nitty-gritty details of your Mac. This hasn’t been iOS-ified (yet) so you can really see every small bit of information that you want to. This can be useful to more advanced users who want to know the speed of their SATA ports, for example.

Next tabs are displays, storage and memory:

The display tab simply tells you what is the size of your screen, the resolution (including external displays, if connected )and the basic specs of your GPU. There is also a link to display preferences.

In the storage tab, you will get an iTunes-inspired view which tells you how much space you have in total and how much free space you have left on your internal hard drive and any external volumes (including optical discs). It also briefly shows you what kind of files are taking up space on your drives, e.g. Movies and Music. In the right bottom corner, there is a link to Disk Utility.

 

The memory tab offers a simple layout of your memory and tells what kind of RAM you Mac uses and whether you have free RAM slots or not. There is also a link to RAM upgrade instructions in the right bottom corner, which is definitely helpful for newbies who want to upgrade their RAM.

 

That isn’t all. In the right top corner, there are two tabs that are called Support and Service. The Support tab offers links to software and hardware help. Help Center includes basic guides for OS X and its apps, for example how to connect to WiFi network. The remaining four links just redirect you to appropriate pages on Apple’s site. In the Service tab, you will be provided with basic information concerning your Mac’s warranty and links to check your warranty status, repair options and additional details on AppleCare.

 

I think this is a step in right direction. The old System Profiler wasn’t very simple for an average user and could be confusing to navigate. The About this Mac window (which is still hanging around for some reason) didn’t always provide enough information either. The new System Information gives a balanced mix of hardware and software details with useful links for average users.

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  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    $29 is indeed a solid improvement. However, given the Mac Store now being out there, their desktop OS should follow the formula of their mobile OS: Free to upgrade. These features are nice but I can't help shake the feeling that these are Service Packs (because they are). And with their "app" store available on the OS and the means of most of their cash inflow, it makes more sense to make this a free upgrade for everyone instead of a $29 upgrade. Reply
  • xype - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Service packs? Are you serious? Read up on the changes and try to come up with one service pack that changed as much.

    Some people…
    Reply
  • danielkza - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    XP SP3 would be a good candidate, but yes, 10.7 is a bit beyond what one could reasonably call a Service Pack. Reply
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    You're thinking of XP SP2, and if you have to go back 7 years to come up with a comparable "service pack", it's certainly fair to say OSX 10.7 is more than a service pack. Reply
  • AfroPhysics - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    I fail to see how the age of the service pack matters. Xype asked for an example and qualified nothing. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Are we really going through the tired argument that every 10.x update to OS X is just a service pack and should be free? Then at what point should Apple try to recoup costs for OS development, because even if individual point updates are evolutionary, going from the original 10.0 to 10.7 has got to be a major change in anyones eyes. And the same questions could be raised about Windows NT 6.1 aka Windows 7 where the server version is bluntly labeled Windows 2008 R2 and Windows NT 6.0 aka Vista/2008 or Windows NT 5.1 aka XP and Windows NT 5.0 aka 2000.

    Besides, even if you discount the user facing changes, Lion has seem some major security infrastructure changes. Both the 32-bit and 64-bit kernel have been rewritten with full NX-bit and ALSR support as in place in Windows Vista/7 addressing the major security complaint Charlie Miller had with OS X. Application sandboxing frameworks are now available and soon to be mandatory for Lion apps in the Mac App Store which I believe is a security feature that even Windows isn't pushing yet. With the dropping of the Core Duo, the Lion has also be rewritten to make more use of SSSE3 instead of just SSE3 as pointed out by the Hackintosh community. Lion isn't just Snow Leopard with a few features added on top, but the entire OS has seem updates at a low level even if the user might not necessary see all the differences.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    And about the App Store being a major source of income for Apple, Apple has consistently said they aim to run their stores as a break even venture.

    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/07/19/apple-reports-...

    I'm not clear if the iTunes Store in the graphic in the above link includes the App Store, but at the very least as an example of Apple's digital store, the revenue stream really hasn't increased in the last 2 years. Apple's sales growth is clearly from their hardware, iPhone, iPad, and even Mac.
    Reply
  • GotThumbs - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    $1,634,000,000 in revenue from Other Music Related Products and Services (3)

    (3) Includes sales from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore in addition to sales of iPod services and Apple-branded and third-party iPod accessories

    I'd say their goal of a break even venture is not an accurate description of their stores. Hence the creation of the MAC Store. It sounds like a nice thought, but Apple is in business to make money and it seems their VERY good at it. Perhaps their projection analysis was a bit off.

    Hey, this is good news for the investors and I understand that they are a business. Lets not be too naive and just don't drink the cool-aid.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Perhaps my finance terms are wrong, but I'd hope the Apps Store is taking in revenue. But if Apple should be offering some of their other products like OS X updates for free, shouldn't we be concerned with whether the App Store is making major profits, such that there is money to spare to pay for OS development? Reply
  • solipsism - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Revenue ≠ Profit

    They've paid billions to both developers, and music and video cotent owners. They've also spent money on the infrastructure to support their stores. I'm sure they're making a profit as all good for-profit companies should, but it's not the cash cow you've attempted to present here.
    Reply

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