Testing Opera – first impressions

A friend of mine whose tech savvy is usually worth listening to waxed religious about Opera the other night. When he does, there’s usually a good reason, so I decided to check it out.

Setting it up
Setting up a webbrowser shouldn’t be a complicated process, and Opera is as simple to install as most other browsers. When you open it, you get what Opera has decided to call “Speed Dial”, basically a page with nine “buttons”, previews of nine websites, to be defined by the user. Here’s what it looks like:
Speed Dial

Using it
I’ve used earlier incarnations of Opera, but it’s been a while, and they’ve gotten very far since then. Opera has a decent ease of use, but utilizes different hotkeys than comparable browsers Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, which makes crossing over a bit difficult. Nevertheless it presents itself as an intuitive and simple webbrowser.

One of the major features of Opera has since its inception back in 2000 been tabbed browsing. As an extension of this, Opera now features a preview-function of open tabs, which is activated by simply hovering the mouse pointer over the tab you wish to see as shown below:
Opera Tab Preview

All in all, Opera, like Safari presents itself as an impressive, intuitive and helpful addition to the family of webbrowsers. I’d like to have seen a higher degree of standardization when it comes to hotkeys, but mostly it’s a good browser, even though I doubt it will replace Firefox as my standard browser



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