Opera 10 beta review
Opera was a real innovator in the browser space, but its desktop offering is something of the forgotten man in the industry. We take a look at the beta of its latest release.
That sees Opera pulling ahead of Internet Explorer 8 (4.1 seconds), but it still lags behind Firefox 3.5b4 and Safari 4 beta, which took just 1.0 seconds and 0.8 seconds respectively. The crown in our tests went to the latest release of Chrome, version 18.104.22.168, which completed the benchmark suite in just 0.6 seconds.
A different sort of speed enhancement is offered by the new Opera Turbo mode, a system that serves up compressed versions of web pages, with slightly reduced graphic detail, to reduce load times. Although Opera doesn't set out the full technical details, this is a server-side technology, so be aware that any pages you access in Turbo mode are passing through a compression proxy.
At any rate, we're not sure how useful this feature is: few of us are still on dial-up connections, where shaving a few hundred kilobytes off a download page might make a real difference. Ditto the one-click button to show or hide images on the page. These considerations might be welcome in the smartphone browser Opera Mini, but it's hard to get excited about them on the desktop.
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