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Logos 5 Review: Initial Impressions

November 1, 2012

Logos 5 has arrived.

I started using Logos 4 two months ago for a review I finished last week. Now version 5 is released today. But 4 had been out several years, so v. 5 has been in the works for some time. Having had and used Logos 5 for a few days now, I want to offer an initial set of impressions by way of review.

As I installed Logos 5, it was nice to know that I’d have access to all of my same resources, layouts, and highlights in books from Logos 4 when version 5 downloaded. This is one of my favorite things about Logos, and a feature that sets it apart from other Bible software. Logos works best with Internet enabled; you use a log-in that works across multiple computers and devices. After using Logos on a Mac, yesterday I opened it on my PC, and it opened exactly as I had left it on the Mac–all the same windows opened to all the same pages, like I had never stopped working. This is an immense time saver and a great feature.

Knowing this made the thought of installing 5 in place of 4 easier to deal with. And, sure enough, when I opened Logos 5, even though I had a new Logos engine, all was as I had left it the last time I had used 4. The installation itself took 2.5 hours (on a machine with no Logos 4 on it at the time), with a long indexing process of some 5 hours or more to follow.

The icon in my dock for Logos 5 is the same as Logos 4 (unless this is still to be updated?)–I would have expected a change here to set apart the new product even more.

Logos has also changed the structuring of their base packages, so that I am reviewing something called “Silver,” a new combination of resources. There are, in fact, seven new base packages in Logos, as noted in their table below. The sale price is offered in conjunction with the new release.

Full Title Resource Count Print List Prices Retail Sale (15% off)
1 Starter 207 $3,500 $294.95 $250.71
2 Bronze 426 $8,000 $629.95 $535.46
3 Silver 699 $13,000 $999.95 $849.96
4 Gold 1,037 $21,000 $1,549.95 $1,317.46
5 Platinum 1,327 $28,700 $2,149.95 $1,827.46
6 Diamond 1,993 $52,500 $3,449.95 $2,932.46
7 Portfolio 2,563 $78,000 $4,979.95 $4,232.96

The Silver package is certainly an upgrade from the Original Languages Library I reviewed in Logos 4. The Silver package includes Swete’s Cambridge Septuagint, the entire New American Commentary series, a ton of preaching/illustration resources, and more. My library expanded significantly upon downloading Silver.

The default font changed (across resources) to a font I found less readable. It took me all of 30 seconds, though, to figure out how to go into preferences and change it back to a font called “Default (Logos 4).”

What’s new in Logos 5? The two most obvious changes are visible below (click image for larger). For one, the icons and command bar at top are joined by three additions: “Documents,” “Guides,” and “Tools.” This gives the user quicker access to more features and tasks in Logos.

The second big noticeable change is the addition of more “Guides” (it becomes obvious why it has its own place right next to the command bar). Note above the “Topic Guide,” Bibliography, and “Sermon Starter Guide.” (These join the Exegetical and Passage Guides.) The Bibliography is especially helpful to this occasional writer of academic papers, and can be adjusted to various styles.

Note also a neat customizable reading plan guide (below at bottom right, how I could read the Septuagint in a year) and a “Bible Word Study” (at top right) with graphic, among other results that come up.

I have mixed feelings about the additions of new Guides in Logos. Though my initial skepticism about the Exegetical and Passage Guides changed to appreciation the more I used them in Logos 4, it’s hard to know at this early stage of using Logos 5 whether these guides will prove helpful or just seem like clutter. The Sermon Guide holds promise, as it gathers resources in one place that would take time to compile by hand. However, the Exegetical and Passage Guides already do this, albeit with a slightly different focus.

The Bible Facts feature (new in Logos 5) is pretty cool, and could be useful in teaching settings. See here:

Whoever does graphic design at Logos is aces. Follow them on Facebook and you’ll see well-done graphics for verses each day. Bible Facts incorporates that. This is a good addition in Logos. It auto-suggests search terms and returns results quickly.

More about Logos 5, including full details of what’s new, can be found here, with some brand new videos here. I’ll provide an additional review installment once I’ve had chance to spend more time with the program.

UPDATE: A bit more from me on Logos 5 here.

UPDATE 2: A week later, further impressions on Logos 5.

Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 5 with the Silver package, provided to me simply with the expectation that I offer my honest impressions of the program.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Kielsmeier Deborah permalink
    November 1, 2012 8:49 pm

    Wow, this sounds fantastic Abram. AND how cool to get this in exchange for your honest impressions. You are my very favorite Bible nerd. (0:

  2. jrmiller777 permalink
    November 1, 2012 11:21 pm

    Good summary. Thanks.

  3. Dominick Sela permalink
    November 1, 2012 11:35 pm

    You don’t have to uninstall Logos 4, it will install on top of it in-place.

    • November 2, 2012 6:29 am

      Thanks very much for the correction, Dominick–I misunderstood the instructions (my fault) that I received from Logos about the install. I’ve made the change in the post.

  4. November 17, 2012 12:34 pm

    I have been using the various formats of Logos for years – back to the PC days. I’ve always been impressed with the power of this software – massive. One criticism, however, seems not to be answered through various versions/upgrades. It is sloooow to boot up. I had hoped my upgrade cost of nearly $250 from Mac Logos 4 to 5 would improve this (at least that’s what the sales guys suggested). It hasn’t. It’s a full 4 minutes from boot up to doing a command search. I’m running a MacBook Pro with OS X 10.7.5 (2GHz, 4GB memory). I’ve addressed this problem with tech – and find little help. I don’t keep this program open since I prefer to close everything now and again. The program, once it’s up and running, is amazing. Haven’t yet decided if the v5 “Bronze” upgrade was worth it.

    • November 17, 2012 1:25 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Wayne. That’s a long boot up time. At 2.7 GHz and 8GB memory, I’m up and running in under a minute. It does seem like tech support or at least the upgrade to 5 (which really does improve on 4 in Mac, I think) should have been able to fix that for you… sounds frustrating.

      I understand there’s a 30 day money-back offer from Logos, so I suppose you could always go that way… though that’s a toss-up, if you really like the program once it’s open…

    • November 26, 2013 11:50 am

      I am running a PC and have Logos as the only program on a SSD. Helps a lot.

      • November 27, 2013 9:52 am

        That’s an interesting idea! Thanks for the suggestion.

Trackbacks

  1. @Logos 5 is here…. | Unsettled Christianity
  2. Review of Morris Proctor’s “What’s New?” Manual for Logos 5 | Words on the Word
  3. Review of 1,500 Quotations for Preachers, with Slides (5 vols.) | Words on the Word
  4. First Look at Logos 6: New Features and Screenshots | Words on the Word
  5. Logos 7: Review, Screenshots, Video | Words on the Word

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