Review: Apple's Safari 4 Web browser zips past rivals
The speedy browser is now out of beta
Since its debut, Safari has offered Mac users hassle-free browsing, standards-friendly HTML rendering, and a number of thoughtful and handy features to make surfing the Web just a little bit more fun. Its triumphant new version continues all these trends with style -- and bolts on a jumbo jet engine's worth of pure speed.
Remember the DeLorean from Back to the Future, leaving tracks of flame in its wake as it shot into another era? That's the impression one gets when comparing Safari's performance to that of its closest rivals.
In XHTML rendering, Safari's 0.54 seconds clocked in at nearly seven times faster than Firefox 3's 3.42 seconds, and still thrashed Firefox 3.5's 2.82 seconds. Even Chrome, which uses the same WebKit rendering engine that powers Safari, could only manage a respectable 1.14 seconds.
In addition to superlative speed, Safari also tops the competition in its strict compliance with Web standards. Living up to Apple's hype, Safari 4 is indeed the only current Mac browser to pass the Acid3 Web standards test with flying colors. Chrome managed to match Safari 4's perfect 100-out-of-100 score, but got a linktest error that Safari didn't. Firefox 3 scored a 71, while Firefox 3.5 got a much closer 93.
Not surprisingly, Safari also got top marks for compatibility with selectors for the emerging CSS3 standard for online style sheets, albeit in a tie with Chrome. Both browsers were able to handle all 578 selectors thrown at them by an automated online test. Firefox 3 accepted only 371, while Firefox 3.5 scored a much more impressive 576.
Apple touts Safari's ability to handle the still-in-development HTML 5 markup standard, and in most respects, it's right. Safari 4 had no trouble rendering any pages from a gallery of sites already using HTML 5, and it could even display some -- but not all -- of the cutting-edge pages from a gallery built specifically for Google's Chrome. (It did seem to have trouble with HTML 5's emerging Video and Audio tags, but that technology's admittedly still in its infancy.) Safari also does a great job with animation, drop shadows for text, and other new tricks vying for inclusion in the final CSS3 style sheet standard, feats only Chrome and its shared WebKit engine can match.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Topic Center White Papers | Webcasts