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Google Chrome 3 review

In seemingly no time, Chrome has made the leap from version 2 to 3. We see if Google's latest version should be your browser of choice.

Of course, JavaScript isn't the be all and end all of web browsing, but if you do spend your time in JavaScript heavy sites, such as say, Google's Gmail, you will certainly notice the difference. In general there's no doubt that Chrome feels snappy all around the web, and all pages we loaded felt pretty fast.

Chrome 3 now takes in HTML5 video standards. This supposed standard is still up in the air thanks to arguments over the codec, but at least Chrome as a browser now matches up to Firefox in terms of support readiness.

It also turns in a full 100/100 in the Acid 3 web standards compatibility test. But the previous version of Chrome stood up to that test too, so it's little surprise.

Themes

Reliability, a major issue previously, appears to have been greatly improved. When we tested the beta, sites were falling over more often than a drunk celebrity on a bender but, after two days of use, we only had one aw snap' crash to bother us. Chrome loads each tab as a separate process, so if one does go down, it won't take the whole browser with it. This is a really smart move on Google's part, but it does mean that extra memory is of great benefit.

When it comes to security, Chrome has the basics covered, with SSL support, and a basic phishing and malware detection option available in the Options menu.

With the introduction of Chrome 3, it's clear that Google is making steady and solid progress on making Chrome a damn fine browser. However, there's no doubt that the lack of plug-ins and extensions means that it's still a browser to use alongside your main one - probably Firefox - for when you're feeling a little impatient.

Verdict

The lack of major new features is perhaps not a surprise for a browser that prides itself on being lean and mean. It's also faster than ever, comfortably retaining its overall speed crown.

Even so, it does struggle to justify the leap from version 2 to version 3. There are pleasing touches of polish that add to its usability, making it easier to use for longer periods for example, but with extension support currently held at developer-level, it seems as though its big moment is still to come.

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