Opera

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Opera

A refreshing web browser that is fast and efficient

3.5

Our rating: 

3.5

Pros & Cons:

Fast, feature rich, cross platform support, tab stacking, web standard compliant, built in mail & torrent client, extension & themes support, visual tabs & mouse gestures, Opera turbo, account syncing.
Limited Extension gallery, key features layered in extensive menus.

Our Review:

Opera, was released in 1996 and for a few years was the most popular mobile browser. Opera has been credited with originating many features, like their Speed Dial, that other web browsers have adopted under a different name. In more recent times they have been adopting features from other browsers, adding Firefox's Pinned Tabs and the multi-search engine select feature but without a separate search bar. Simply type a search term and the address bar expands by dropping down with suggestions. At the lower right edge of the drop down list are the optional search engines Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon and Wiki.

Opera started out using their own engine called Presto until version 15 when they began using Google's Blink to provide the browser with more power and options. In the long term it is a smart move to build on Blink because there is so much innovation coming. But in the short term I cannot recommend Opera because it currently lacks so much.

I had not used any of the Blink-based versions of Opera so it was a considerable surprise to find that latest version 24 has stripped the features right back and lost many useful and, in my case, essential functions: no ability to import bookmarks, no bookmark manager, more limited support of HTML5 standards including character entity support, no print preview and no page setup, difficulty changing search engine, plug-in problems, and many other smaller issues. Apparently, many Opera users are sticking with an older version until the features they rely on are restored.

I agree with previous editor who said, "I feel Opera is a refreshing browser. It's fast and efficient, providing tools to optimize a true web "browsing" experience. Using the Speed Dial and Stash features provides a different yet unique prospective. After the initial installation Opera opens with two tabs, Speed Dial and Welcome to Opera. The welcome does not provide any guidance as such. It's more of a road map to the essential icons and features of the browser. For additional detail click the "help is here" hyperlink."

Of all the browsers, Opera is the one that I have found easiest to use in the past and even today with the current failings. That is a subjective assessment but it does make a difference when you feel comfortable using a browser. That's why I am looking forward to a new release of Opera that resolves the issues that prevent me using it.


Opera was reviewed by on

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Comments

If only because of the way they emasculated the browser's bookmark manager, Opera from 15.xx on doesn't deserve the name.

Also, the company was (at some time in the past) sold to a Chinese company, which does NOT reassure me regarding security.