June 5, 2009 at 11:19 pm
The Opera 10 Beta is now been released for public consumption. For those of you that have steadfastly been happy with Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari or even Internet Explorer, now is the perfect time to take Opera for a test drive. The reasons to do so become even more important to a netbook user when you consider the improvements that have been made.
One of the biggest is Opera Turbo, which uses special compression technology to boost browsing speeds when using dial-up connections. How this works is that web pages are sent to Opera’s own servers first which compress them by up to 80% before they hit your browser. One obvious area where this will come in very handy is in mobile devices and netbooks.
Opera is claiming that using Turbo will increase web surfing speeds by up to four times. However, a side effect of the compression technology used means that some images may have resolutions that appear “considerably lower” than they would otherwise.
Cnet put this feature to the test and the results presented speak for themselves. They loaded up a number of websites, once with just standard Opera and once with Opera Turbo enabled. You can see from the bar chart below that using Turbo boosted loading speeds every time. This could have significant benefits if using the internet on your netbook whilst out and about.
Another new feature on the Beta, is that the Speed Dial now supports up to 25 favourites, and the ability to set custom backgrounds for each. Other improvements allow users to integrate their web mail service with the web browser, and include a spell-check function that works when typing in Facebook, a blog, or a web-based e-mail. If that wasn’t enough incentive, Opera states that the revamped browser is over 40 percent faster than Opera 9.6.
I’ve been using Opera for a number of years now and whilst I’ve tried other browsers, I always end up coming back. It’s the fastest browser I’ve used and I always find it using the least CPU overhead when opening multiple browser tabs. This v10 Beta is worth a download, even if you only use it as a secondary browser on your netbook whilst mobile. You can download it here and it is available on Windows OS X and Linux.