Sep 062009
 

1. First things first

The browser scores high on all vital parameters like speed, stability and security.I used it for hours at stretch and it did not eat up my system resources.It didn’t hang for a single time and seems to be quite responsive.

It has all standard security features as well as an option to delete all browsing data when Opera closes.Firefox 3.5, IE 8 and Chrome users may miss the “Private browsing” feature here. Opera 10 has Fraud Protection and Extended Validation (EV) Certificates which gives added layer of security.Its pretty fast and surfing speed is comparable to Firefox though slower than Chrome. For more on speed comparisons see here.

2. Revamped Tabbed Browsing


Opera pioneered tabbed browsing and it has injected some freshness again into this feature.In Opera 10 you can drag down the tabs bar to see thumbnails instead of plain tabs.Not only it jazzes up surfing experience but increases your tab finding and switching speed too.

3. Opera Link

This feature is mainly for people who virtually live online.Those who are permanently tied to the web will find this feature immensely useful.With Opera Link in it doesn’t matter where do you surf the web, you will always be using your updated browsing data like bookmarks, history etc.Basically its a service where you have to log-in once and from then on, all your bookmarks etc will be automatically synchronized with a common database.That is if you bookmark a site at home computer with Opera Link enabled, you will find the same bookmark in your office computer if it also has an active Opera Link service. What’s more, If you happen to surf the web from public computers then you can use the web version of this service.Also, you get to choose what things to synchronize.

4. Native Bittorrent support

Anybody hooked to internet has used torrent applications to find download and share files.Now Opera 10 has native support for Bittorrent client.The moment you click on a torrent file this bit torrent feature gets active and handles your torrent downloads exactly like a standalone application like utorrent or bitcomet.

5. Opera Turbo

This is one feature which surely other browsers will take a serious look at. As the name suggests it boosts up slow internet connections (Dial-up,Wi-Fi,GPRS etc.) to speed up your internet surfing.It uses server side page compression technology to do so and the results are pretty good.The service has to be enabled (which is a single click on the icon in the lower left corner) and effects are visible in a few moments. However,there is a downside that such acceleration services are discouraged on firewalled and proxy dependent networks (you may not be able to use it on your office network). But nevertheless its a great feature for an average home user.

6. Sleek and intuitive Design

Its difficult not to talk about Opera 10 design as its feature.I have been used to Firefox and IE browser interfaces (Most of us are!! isn’t it?). Period. Using Opera 10 has been a fresh and entertaining experience.Design is pretty simple but intuitive and customizable.

A cool feature is Panel where you can choose to see commonly used utilities like bookmarks,history,page info, widgets etc.When clicked, a left pane opens up to show the contents.It can be shown or hidden by clicking on a button in the main bar which makes it pretty simple and clutter free.Tabs are easy to work with as described earlier.You have customizable search bar in the main bar and standard buttons like back,forward and home are placed conveniently around.One thing I miss here is a “bookmark it” button like in Firefox/IE.There is a Personal Bar to show your favorite bookmarks.There is a fit width button (Good addition!!) to help you re-size and fit horizontal or vertical scrolling pages.For many other common functionalities like social networking sites etc. Widgets are available and they work pretty well too. Though we mustn’t expect a Firefox like addon warehose in Opera, almost all common services and functions can be used via inbuilt widgets.Opera 10 also has some innovative additions like Mouse Gestures and Opera voice to voice control your browsing.

7. Notes

You can take notes while surfing the net using inbuilt Notes function.Simply select the text you want to copy and right click to save it to Opera notes.Notes can also be accessed via Opera Panel.You can send your notes to anyone using default mail client (like outlook) or using a web service.Unfortunately option to add your favorite web service is not there so you can’t use Gmail,Rediff,Hotmail etc. here.Opera developers must give that option as this “sending notes via webservice” functionality is pretty much useless right now.

8. Bookmarks

In Opera 10 you have the option to import bookmarks from Firefox,IE,Netscape and konquerer.Also bookmarks can be imported/exported in HTML format.Managing bookmarks is easy and standard.Users will miss single click bookmarking like Firefox/IE.Bookmarks can be used portably and dynamically using Opera 10′s synchronizing features.

9. Productivity

Well, Its a lot of fun using Opera 10 for general browsing, but what about productivity?
A serious user will expect blogging tools and simple file manipulation functionality integrated into Opera 10.Unfortunately Opera has not paid much attention to this aspect which otherwise would have made it an all-in-one solution.From productivity point of view good things are – Opera Link and Sessions manager (which lets you save your sessions without losing data like an unfinished mail on Gmail etc.).Other great services that you get along with like Opera mail and Notes also help you a lot.But lack of apps to blog directly from Opera 10 decreases the attraction as I will have to look towards Firefox to accomplish this task.WordPress blog widget is available but its also very basic.May be functionality may be provided later using widgets but Opera needs to push developers to do so.Until then it gets a thumbs down from me on this front.

10. Developers Tools


If you liked firebug and Aardvark addons in Firefox you can find similar functions in Opera 10 as Opera Dragonfly available in the browser as “Tools>Advanced>Developer’s tools” .You can have full functionality of Firebug and Aardvark here.Moreover, Page source info is available from menu as well as via Panel.It comes in quite handy if you want to access CSS and java scripts used on a page.You can see the scripts and stylesheets as well as download them.You can also have greater flexibility and functionality by downloading the Debug Menu available for download on Opera Site.

Overall, Opera 10 is a good product which just fells short of being a complete one-in-all solution to your browsing needs but it still serves excellently for average internet surfer.Opera needs to push developers to add functionality through widgets or scripts.Meanwhile you can download it here and experience the novelties.

  • vbb

    I fail to understand why you say "Notes" functionality is "Useless".What I think is- it is a common task for people to take Notes while browsing.

  • Sid

    Well i just meant to say that "sending notes via webservice" functionality is useless at present as almost all popular web services are absent and there is no option to add them.Notes as such is quite handy while browsing.I have edited the post to make things clearer.Thanks for pointing.