Three hidden Chrome features you'll love

Not sure whether to try out Chrome --- or you've tried it and wonder what all the fuss is about? Then you'll want to try out these three great, not-so-obvious features that you won't find in a competing browser.

I've just finished a lengthy review of Chrome, so if you want the whole story, check it out.

Task Manager

This nifty little applet is much like Windows' Task Manager, except aimed only at Chrome. It shows each individual process Chrome is currently using, and lists how much memory each uses, how much CPU power each uses, and the current network or Internet speed of each. Get to it by clicking the Page icon and choosing Developer-->Task Manager. You can also press Shift-Esc.

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It's a great troubleshooting tool, because it'll show you if any processes are running amok. And it also lets you close down any process, without affecting any other process. So, for example, when I ran it, I noticed that a Shockwave Flash plug-in took up 31 MB of Ram, and quite a bit of my CPU, even though I wasn't any Flash videos. So I closed it down, and free up RAM and CPU.

There's more as well. Click Stats for nerds at the bottom of the screen, and you get even more statistics.

Element Inspector

HTML jockeys, Web developers, gearheads, and the just-plain curious will want to check out the Element Inspector, which shows you a great deal of detail about any element on a page. Right-click any element on a Web page, select Inspect Element, and you'll see a screen that displays the HTML coding for that element. And if you want to see the resources the element uses, click the Resources tab.

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Techies will love it, of course. But even if you're not a techie, you'll welcome this neat little look under the hood.

DNS Pre-Fetching

This clever little feature speeds up your Web browsing without you having to do a thing --- it's turned on by default. Whenever you visit a new page, Chrome examines the IP address of every link on the page, and does a DNS resolution for each. That way, when you click a link, Chrome already knows the IP address and can send you there fast.

It's turned on by default. You can turn it off by clicking the Tools icon and selecting Options, clicking Under the Hood, then unchecking the box next to Use DNS pre-fetching to improve page load performance.

There's a lot more to Chrome than these three features, of course. For details, check out my full review.

Google Chrome Browser

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