Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Opera 10 Beta - Preview and Screenshots

The last time I had a look at Opera 10 it was in alpha state, meaning no new features were introduced, and only the rendering engine was replaced with a newer one compared to 9.x series. This first Opera 10 beta comes with various new features.

According to the announcement on the official website, the new rendering engine is 40% faster, the speed dial has been improved, the design was changed compared to 9.64, there is now a resizable search field, and a new browsing mode for slow connections, called Opera Turbo.

The first thing that jumped in my eyes was the new interface, Opera 10 beta using a blue theme, different from the black one used in 9.6x. Here's how it looks:

Opera allows now for tabs to be resized, and previews of the web pages loaded in them are shown in the tab space. Here's a screenshot to make this clearer:

Resizable tabs

Presto, the rendering engine used by Opera, has also been improved, and if we take into account what the official website says, it should be up to 40% faster compared to older versions. The Acid3 score for Opera 10 was maximum, 100/100, while Firefox 3.0 got 72/100 and Google Chrome unstable for Linux got 99/100.

Opera Acid3 Test - 100/100

The location bar (also called search field) can also be resized, leaving more space to the fast search box to the right.

Opera 10 has support for widgets too, just like older versions. Here's a crossword game, running inside Opera:

Crossroad widget running in Opera

As always, Opera provides packages for various Linux distributions, including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, SuSE or Mandriva.

Opera 10 beta comes with all the additional features its users are already used with: integrated BitTorrent, IRC and email clients, support for widgets, a sidebar which provides access to stuff like bookmarks or even notes. On top of this, Opera is highly configurable, allowing you to configure each and every aspect of it, from keyboard shortcuts to the user agent. Just like Firefox, it comes with an about:config configuration utility.

Opera 10 already looks very promising, and it's just in beta phase. Though closed-source, it always managed to keep its marketshare throughout the years, it provides very good Linux support (really, I don't know many - even open-source - projects who provide installation packages for so many distributions), it comes with Flash by default, and it's very fast at rendering web pages.


subgeniusd said...

Nice review. Opera/Linux is the primary browser I've used for the last year, on and off for the last 5 years. This promises to be another excellent release. Bravo Opera!!

Anonymous said...

I have used Opera in Linux for almost a year exclusively with the exception of my banks site it requires java which is very hard to get working. I find it funny that all the ads around this are for Google Chrome

Tim said...

I've also used Opera off and on in Linux and although I've read recent comparison tests that seem to show Opera as lagging behind the performance of Firefox, I still find Opera seems to be more polished and more pleasant to use. Mouse gestures for instance, seem to be much faster in Opera than in FF using Firegestures. I've always found FF lacks something. Maybe it's the fact that Opera incorporates it's Notes and Mouse Gestures and other "extensions" natively and not via third-party sources like FF. And Opera 10 b1 is definitely the best Opera yet.

Anonymous said...

Too bad it is not open source. It doesn't stand a chance against FF or Chrome. They are impotent in gaining more than 1% market share for the moment.

dick said...

My only problem with Opera is that there are some websites that I use all the time that Opera just cannot display. I do a lot of looking on real estate sites and on most of them Opera just displays the title of thepage and no text and definitely no photos. The rest of it is fine; just useless without the text and photos.

I wrote to the webmaster of a couple of those websites and they all said they supported Windows and Mac only with no plans to expand into Linux. I can read them in FF but not in Opera. Don't know who should be addressing this issue as it affects a lot more than just these realtor websites but it is an issue that keeps me from using Opera a lot more.

Rajesh said...


opera 10 is good,. i got it final release..

Anonymous said...

I've been an opera user for 10 years now (first windows, the last 5 years linux). Although i look at firefox once in a while (and the new release is excellent), opera is hard to beat in terms of usability. Spatial navigation, one key shortcuts, tab key behavior - pressing tab takes you to the next form, not link like firefox make it a great browsing experience. What nerves me lately (last couple of years) is the instability with flash sites. I experience freezes on flash heavy sites quite often. For that reason I tried to go firefox several times, but always come back. Firefox forces me to use a mouse, in opera my hands don't ever leave the keyboard.