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Opera Neon: Hands On

Opera released an experimental browser called Opera Neon dubbed the “Future of Web Browsers?”, the geek in me couldn’t wait to give it a try.  After about an hour of usage, I have to say, the Opera Neon team was very brave in presenting their concept of web browser experience to the world.  Here are my breakdown of pros and cons of the experimental browser:

Pros

  • Very clean, slick user interface, feels very modern
  • Chromium based browser, means very fast engine, and up to date rendering specs
  • Side by side browsing: very similar to how you can align windows on the Windows Operating System
  • Picture in Picture Video! My favorite feature, sticky a video on the side while you browse
  • Screen capture tool out of the box, none OSX users will appreciate it very much
  • Easy migration for existing (non dev) Chrome users
  • RAM footprint seems minimal, I can open multiple tabs with media playing without noticing any lag, but I have a top of the line Mac Book Pro, so this cannot be taken at face value.

Cons

  • Not as friendly to developers, mostly missing ability to resize the browser window, and various other features developed further by Chrome Dev Team
  • Features were not as easily discovered, examples: Side by Side browsing, Picture in Picture video I had to poke around to find out how to use them
  • Auto tab ordering based on your usage.  I don’t want to lose my tab position, though AI ordering is nice, I can see some people might get turned off by it

Opera NeonJPG2

OperaNeonJPG3

Oper Neon Review Pros and Cons
Overall, this is a great start for Opera, I admire their courage to reimagine the browser experience.  I can see this browser being used by everyday none technical people who just wants cool fancy features, but as a developer, I would not use it.  Keep in mind this is an experimental idea, so I encourage you all to try it out and form you own opinions.

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