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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

New Opera browser touted as "fastest on Earth"

The battle between the Google Chrome and Opera web browsers continues with the latest version of Opera, 10.60, being advertised as the "fastest on Earth." After giving the Mac version a go today I have to say it's very zippy but doesn't seem faster than Chrome. I'm partial to Firefox and lately have found that it gets pretty bogged down, but I suspect that's because I have too many gadgets and add-ons installed. So for me any fresh browser install seems snappy. With that said, a brief exploration of the Opera feature set left me wanting to stay with it for a few days. Here's a video with some highlights.

The Integrated Web Search is a great feature that I also like in Chrome. Just type your search terms in the URL field and go. The Visual Tabs feature places thumbnails for your tabbed pages at the top of the browser. It's a fast way to navigate but on smaller screens it will use too much screen space. Speed Dial is a better option, providing a customized page of thumbnails for all your favorite sites. Opera Turbo compresses pages before downloading them in an attempt to provide more speed on slow connections. And Opera Link syncs your bookmarks, Speed Dial entries and other data between computers, phones and other digital devices.

Many more features are listed but these two caught my eye. Opera is enhanced for emerging web standards HTML5 and WebM video and with geolocation support it can be set to prompt you for your location to take advantage of supported sites.

And what about those add-ons I like in Firefox? Opera has them too, called Widgets, and because they run as independent applications Opera developers claim they won't slow things down.

To add some levity to the debate, here's another one of those subtitled videos using the scene where Hitler goes ballistic in the movie Der Untergang.

So the war continues. Like I said, Chrome is fast too so I'm not sure Opera's claim is true, unless they're including time saved from the various features as part of the overall speed. I do find Opera's feature set to be more robust than Chrome so I plan to give it a try.

[Last modified: Monday, July 5, 2010 2:29pm]

    

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