Yes! Quicken Essentials for Mac version 1.5, which is shipping in October, prints checks. This will be a free upgrade for all current owners. This update will appear automatically when you "check for updates" when it's available.
Quicken Essentials for Mac version 1.5, a free update to all Quicken Essentials customers, was posted yesterday afternoon. I know because I posted it. ;-) This update contains, among other enhancements and bug fixes, the ability to print checks. To download the update from within Quicken Essentials, make sure you are connected to the internet and then, from the "Quicken" menu select "Check for Updates..." You will see a window that describes the changes in 1.5. Click the Install Update button to download and install version 1.5.
It's quite difficult to compare the two products, since they are really quite different. While a specific report may be "missing" from QEM, for instance, it's entirely likely that the same answer is available in a different report or perhaps in the register itself (the QEM registers are much smarter than in 2007 - they can span accounts and support a bevy of previously unavailable filtering and searching options). QEM has a smaller number of reports than 2007, though the delta is shrinking. QEM also has a number of entirely new tools, like the Category Explorer, that obviate the need to run reports to answer many financial questions. That said, I'd say the key things that are still limited to 2007 would be tracking of investment transactions (QEM can track HOLDINGS but not TRANSACTIONS), direct bill pay, and business-oriented reporting. Budgeting, while supported, is not currently as deep as in 2007. Previously-missing functionality like check printing and turbotax export were both added in QEM version 1.5, as was the ability to manually add investment holdings (previously, only downloaded investments were supported). One huge advantage QEM has over 2007 is in bank support - it supports thousands more banks for downloading banking transactions.
I am HATING Quicken Essentials. The Account update feature does not function well. Every time I go to reconcile my account I find that several debit card transactions and withdrawals have not been entered and I end up having to do them manually. I never had that problem with previous versions of Quicken.
I have used Quicken for Mac for over 15 years and with an upgrade to Lion am stuck with Quicken Essentials. It is such a terrible product that I hardly know where to start. We have a basic operation that involves writing a lot of checks, making deposits and putting together a financial statement monthly as well as a year end one that goes directly to our accountant. With the new QE, you must hand enter the addresses on all checks, the split transactions don't automatically total, you can only delete a check - not void it and I haven't tried to reconcile yet but am already afraid. I have no confidence in the cash totals being displayed - this is a total nightmare. For all these years Quicken has been a fantastic product but this is so bad that I can't believe that Intuit had the gall to release it.
[[ASIN:B003PDMNCC Quicken Essentials for Mac [Download] As a long time user of Quicken, Quickbooks and Quickbooks POS, I struggled with Quicken Essentials for six months, and finally abandoned it shifting back to the older version of Quicken for the Mac, a time intensive and miserable task. My beef with Quicken Essentials is that it consistently failed to download all items from my bank accounts - I could never find a rhyme or reason why some items did not download - it wasn't consistent in the type of item it missed. It meant that I consistently had to do manual recs to see what wasn't there.
Have any of the updates done anything to improve this aspect?
Is there a full comparison of 2007 versus Essentials, so we can make meaningful decisions on buying? I was just about to buy Essentials when I found out about the check-writing deficiency; I'm glad that's finally resolved, but I'd like to know what other missing features might bite me if I convert. And the "Compare Products" button on the Essentials page at your website is worthless -- Essentials isn't even mentioned in the page it pulls up.
Sorry to say, but your fears regarding reconciliation are well placed. I struggled with this product for nine months, then finally went back to Quicken 2007. In those nine months, I never was able to do a reconciliation where I didn't in the end due a balance adjustment without knowing why I was off. Part of the problem was that when I would download data from my bank website, random debit card transactions would not be downloaded. When I switched back to 2007 I ended up having to download and redo nine months of data. I did not learn that 2007 would not be Lion compatible til after I had done that, and so at the moment have had to hold off on upgrading one of my computers.