Opera is really nice

February 13, 2014

I really like the Opera browser.

A couple of months ago I got a bit tired of using Google Chrome, it was just a bit sluggish sometimes and I fancied a change. So I switched to Firefox, which I enjoyed using for a month or so until it too became irksome - it used a hell of a lot of memory and was also often very sluggish (moreso than Chrome was). In desperation I decided to give Opera a spin and to my surprise I really liked it.

Opera had always been something I was aware existed but had never looked into. To be honest I didn't really consider it to be a real browser (how could it be with less than 4% market share?) and when one of my business partners told me he used it I felt a feeling of contempt: this guy hasn't seen the light that is Chrome and is stuck using some dated crummy browser. What a chump.

How wrong I was. Opera is fast, clean, responsive and is a pleasure to use. Since 2013 Opera has used the Blink layout engine which is the same one that powers Chrome and so it inherits some of Chromes features like a multi-process model, it's dev tools, sandboxing and even compatibility with its extensions. Talking of extensions I was pleasantly surprised at the number available - over 600 are listed on the add-on site with all of the popular ones (Adblock, LastPass, Reddit enhancement, Ghostery, etc).

It's not all roses though, I installed the Opera Next edition which is slightly more bleeding edge than the standard Opera release. The only issues I have had so far is when I have a large number of tabs that use Flash open. That tends to kill the browser, but it promptly restarts and re-opens all my tabs. Oh, and dragging a tab from one window to another is a little bit tricky, I think it has latched onto the new window but when I release it a new window opens (you just have to hold it there a bit longer than FireFox or Chrome). Neither of those are particularly critical and I can live with them.

If you are a bit tired of Chrome and want to try something different then I highly recommend Opera. Go give it a try.