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.

Those are the major enhancements. There's still no support for Firefox-style extensions, but Opera 10 does get a few lesser me-too upgrades: an inline spellchecker, webmail support for mailto: links, online crash reporting and automatic updates are all good things to have, although they hardly set Opera 10 beta apart from the crowd.

In fact, what does make Opera stand out is that it simply looks and behaves oddly. This latest beta keeps the distinctive white-on-black colour scheme of the previous version, maintaining a slightly baroque appearance that, like Safari, doesn't sit quite comfortably within the Windows desktop (although you can at least set it to Windows' default colours if you wish).

And interface quirks abound: when you edit your Speed Dial settings, for example, you're presented with a strange, non-draggable panel that isn't quite like anything else ever seen on Windows. Press to cycle through your tabs and an odd menu-type list appears.

Keyboard shortcuts aren't always in step with the standards followed by other browsers either. It isn't disastrously counterintuitive, but it creates an impression of Opera as an outsider application.

And that, of course, has always been Opera's problem. Its speed has attracted a vocal fan base of cognoscenti, as has its rigorous compliance with web standards. But in the 13 years since it was launched it's never felt like a mass-market browser, and indeed, it's never become one.

This latest beta release keeps pace with the likes of Google and Apple, but if you're not already an Opera user it offers very little reason to become one.

Verdict

A fast, solid browser, but there's no compelling reason to pick Opera over its rivals.

Featured Resources

Key considerations for implementing secure telework at scale

Identifying the security risks and advanced requirements of a remote workforce

Download now

The State of Salesforce 2020

Your guide to getting the most from Salesforce

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world

5 steps to secure the enterprise and be fit for a flexible future

Download now

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?
operating systems

How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?

3 Aug 2020