[HOT] : Parallels Desktop review: full review and 2021 part two review
The easiest way to install the preview version of Windows 10 based on ARM is from a disk image. If you are not already a member of Microsoft’s Insider Preview program, follow the instructions provided by Parallels, and then drag the disc image you download from Microsoft into the Parallels window. Parallels then gives you the choice of setting up your system for productivity or just for full screen gaming. In testing, Parallels created and started the Windows guest system in less than a minute. Windows then installed itself in under five minutes, which isn’t much slower than the process on real hardware.
Host and guest integrations
Like VMware Fusion and VirtualBox, Parallels offers tight integrations between the macOS host and the virtual guest systems it manages. For example, you can drag and drop files between your Mac host and your Windows or Linux host, and, for Intel Macs only, your macOS guest system. You can also share the clipboard between the two operating systems and optionally launch applications on your Windows system to open files on your host Mac and vice versa.
By default, when Windows starts up in Parallels, the folders on your Mac’s desktop also appear on your Windows desktop. The same setting is now default in VMware Fusion. For me this setup is a bad idea as I keep some Mac apps on my Mac desktop. Mac apps are technically folders (called app packages) that the Mac displays as if they were individual files. Windows cannot properly handle application packages and simply displays them as folders on your desktop. You can easily disrupt your Mac apps if you start exploring these folders on your Windows machine. I always turn off the option to share the desktop between my Mac and any guest system. However, even if you do, Parallels still has a handy Mac Files shortcut on the Windows desktop that allows you to access all of your Mac folders on your virtual Windows system.
Parallels, like VMware Fusion and VirtualBox, allows you to run Windows in three ways: with the Windows desktop running in a window on your macOS desktop, in full screen mode, or through what Parallels calls Coherence mode. In Consistency mode, Parallels shows only one Windows application on your Mac desktop in its own window and hides the rest of the Windows desktop. As I explain in a later section, Parallels Desktop switches in and out of these modes quickly and easily.
Other aspects of day-to-day computing are working as expected. For example, the same printers installed on your Mac appear in the print dialog box of your Windows applications. When you attach a USB device, a clear menu will appear for you to choose whether the device will be accessible in your Windows or Mac systems. You can send Windows-only keyboard shortcuts, such as Break or PrintScreen, through a menu on your Mac. All of these functions are also available in VMware Fusion (for Intel Macs only at this time), but Parallels does them better, with more lucid dialogs and better organized menus.
Additional functions and customizations
One of the major advantages of Parallels Desktop for Pro subscribers is the ability to start a virtual machine in Rollback mode. In this mode, you can run a Windows, Mac, or Linux guest system as a kiosk. In other words, every time you restart the machine, it will revert to its original state. This is a useful feature for those who like to experiment with software without making permanent changes to the system. All other emulation applications support snapshots that allow you to preserve the current state of a guest system, but Parallels is the only one to offer this valuable kiosk-style mode.
Related to this article: LG Gram 17 (2021) review: full test and 2021 review
Parallels Desktop, by default, powers up in your Mac with features that you may or may not find useful. For example, your emulated system’s drives appear in the Finder sidebar, and applications you run in Windows appear in the dock. You can control all of these integration functions, but you’ll have to spend some time exploring Parallel’s option menus to get everything working the way you want it to.
Another minor drawback is that the app brings up dialog boxes prompting you to purchase a utility suite called Parallels Toolbox. This is a set of various tools for reading barcodes, taking screenshots, etc. Although the software is published and sold by Parallels, it has nothing to do with virtualization and does not add anything to the virtualization experience. Fortunately, you can disable the advertising dialogs, but you cannot remove the Install Parallels Toolbox menu item.
Speed and performance
The most impressive aspect of Parallels Desktop is its speed during testing. On my Intel-based MacBook Pro, Windows 10 booted into the desktop in 30 seconds and took less than three seconds to resume the system after hanging it up. On the same machine, VMware Fusion took about 40 seconds to boot Windows 10 to the desktop and four seconds to resume the system from a suspended state. VirtualBox started Windows 10 in 46 seconds, but found its performance to be unusually slow once I hit the desktop.
Parallel’s various display modes also work faster and smoother than similar competitor modes. For example, when I ran a Windows application in Parallel’s Coherence Mode, I moved its window to my Mac’s desktop without having choppy or slow responses as it did with competing emulators. When I switched from Coherence mode to the other mode, Parallels did the job smoothly and without visual distraction. VMware Fusion and VirtualBox switched between modes more slowly and with distracting partial windows appearing and disappearing on the screen.
Perhaps the price Parallels pays for its speed is its reliability. The current version is much more stable than the previous ones, but, even with the new version, I experienced a crash while Parallels was updating their host-guest integration tools – I had to close the app from from the Quit menu on my Mac. This will not prevent me from using Parallels when I need to run Windows applications, but it will make me cautious about frequently backing up those applications. VirtualBox is much less reliable, with frequent crashes during installation. However, I have never experienced a crash with VMware Fusion.
Transparent virtualization software for Mac users
Parallels Desktop is the obvious first choice for any home and small business wanting to run Windows on an Apple Silicon- or Intel-based Mac. It’s awfully fast, smooth, and, despite a few minor issues, reliable. Parallels Desktop once again wins our Editor’s Choice award for emulation software.
VMware Fusion may be a better choice for large enterprises and educational sites that need absolute reliability and the option to run virtual machines on Windows and Linux platforms, in addition to Macs.
- Running ARM-based Windows on a Mac M1;
- Faster than its competitors during tests;
- Smooth graphics performance for games and support for DirectX 11;
- Installing macOS from the recovery partition on Intel-based Macs;
- Kiosk-style rollback mode
Parallels Desktop is the best and fastest emulation software for running Windows, Linux, and even older versions of macOS on Intel-based Macs.