When comparing Slate vs Magnet, the Slant community recommends Slate for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” Slate is ranked 23rd while Magnet is ranked 48th. The most important reason people chose Slate is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extremely configurable
Pro It's free
Slate is completely free to download and use, which is a great option in a field of Mac WMs that often costs money to use.
Pro Lets you set default layouts
By using a feature called "snapshots", users can set up different default window layouts in Slate that they can switch to and from on the fly.
Pro Window hints
Slate offers window hints which are an intuitive way to change window focus.
Pro Based on hotkeys
Hotkeys can be set to re-size and focus windows, as well as activate layout presets.
Pro Allows for tiling
Slate allows for customizing the config file in order to emulate tiling windows.
Pro Intuitive handling
Just drag the window to one of the sides of the screen and it snaps there. This is especially useful for those who can't be bothered remembering the shortcuts.
At $0.99, it is not that expensive.
Pro Keyboard centric
Easy to learn keyboard shortcuts.
Pro It's often on sale
For example, at the writing of this pro it's currently at $1.
Pro Mouse controllable
Supports dragging a window along the edges of the screen to activate.
Pro Up to six external displays supported
Con Project maintainance is on pause
The developer is currently taking a pause to focus on other things as of December 2015.
Con Hard to configure
There's no graphical user interface for configuring Slate, meaning it has to be done from the command line interface or by editing a config file. This makes it somewhat difficult and time-consuming.
Con Missing features
Unable to perform all tasks of software it was meant to replace.
Can not move windows between 'Spaces' (virtual desktops).
Con Video fail
Demonstration video failed to highlight any of the advantages of the windowing system. Or at least, the advantages were so subtly intrinsic that no-one who didn't already use the system could appreciate them.
Con Cannot setup custom sizes and window positions
Unfortunately, you can only move windows to preset positions.
Con Can't hide the menu bar icon
It would've been nice to be able to hide the icon so it doesn't clutter the menu bar.
Con Can only be purchased from the App Store
Magnet is only available in App Store.
Con Interference when switching between folders
Default Folder-X app "warns" that Magnet App may interfere with it's ability to switch between folders in Open and Save dialogue boxes.
Con Causes cursor bugs in IntelliJ IDEs
Unfortunately, Magnet causes the caret to bounce around in IntelliJ IDEs, this is very annoying.