First Look: Opera 10 arrives, sleeker and even more useful
The venerable browser adds a slew of clever features that anyone who browses the Web will welcome
PC World - Opera has always been a try-harder browser packed with features. Despite this, it has not yet managed to get the same kind of publicity that Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome garner. And that's a shame, because version 10 of the venerable browser adds a slew of clever features that anyone who browses the Web will welcome. (I tested release candidate version 10; the final version is now available.)
As with previous versions, Opera 10 is fast, configurable, and clean-looking -- and offers just about everything you'd expect in a modern browser, including a pop-up blocker, plug-ins, RSS reader, anti-phishing tool and more. Unlike competing browsers, it also has a surprisingly good e-mail client built into it, with support for POP3 and IMAP servers, the ability to create incoming message rules, and a spam filter. And, as with previous versions, Opera 10 bristles with features too numerous to mention in this short review...yet manages to pack them all in an elegant, simple-to-user interface.
Version 10's new features don't clutter up the browser or make it more difficult to use. In fact, Opera 10's design is sleeker-looking than previous versions.
New features, though, go more than skin deep. Tab handling has been improved, for example; you can now configure the browser so that thumbnails of all of your tabs appear above each tab. The thumbnails are resizable as well.
The new Speed Dial feature is also worthy. Similar to Safari 4's Top Sites feature, Speed Dial improves on Top Sites by virtue of being more configurable. Whenever you open a new tab in Opera, you can customize the page that appears to have anywhere from four to 24 of your favorite Web sites displayed as thumbnails. That way, you can more quickly get to the sites you visit most often by clicking on a thumbnail. The feature is turned on by default, and there appears to be no way to turn it off -- not that you'd want to, because there's no downside to it.
Opera always displayed pages fast, and the newest version displays them even more quickly, particularly on interactive sites that use a lot of resources such as Gmail and Facebook. Opera claims a 40 percent speed bump, although we couldn't verify that.
There are lots of other new features as well, such as an inline spellchecker that will be particularly welcome to bloggers; and Opera Turbo, a compression technology which Opera claims allows you to surf faster on slow connections such as via dial-up. As a broadband user, I was not able to test this feature, and so I can't vouch for it.
Surprisingly, given how many features Opera has, it is missing one feature that IE, Firefox, and Chrome all have: A privacy mode which lets you surf the Web and then have all traces of a session vanish after you close the browser. If that feature is important to you, you won't want Opera.
So should you replace your current browser with Opera? Browser choice is exceedingly personal and idiosyncratic, so we can't give you a one-size-fits-all answer. But anyone who wishes his or her current browser were faster and had more features will certainly want to give it a try.
- Google reverses field, promises to restore Chrome's scrollbar arrows
- Update: Google ships Chrome 33, patches 28 bugs
- Mozilla's top exec defends in-Firefox ads, revenue search
- Mozilla taps in-Firefox ads as it searches for more revenue
- Mozilla ships Metro Firefox beta for Windows 8
- Mozilla defers Firefox's new 'Australis' UI to April
- Mozilla resets Metro Firefox ship date to mid-March
- Mozilla ships Firefox 26 with opening click-to-play move
- Mozilla banked $274M in '12 from Google-Firefox search deal
- Google trumpets Chrome's SPDY gains
- 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
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Government Agency Webifies Outdated COBOL Applications Let this CTO tell you how his agency converted 1980s-era green screens into an e-filing portal for the 100,000 cases handled each year...
- 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,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts