Opera Software today released the beta of Opera 10.5 for Windows. The big improvement in this new release is a new JavaScript engine; Opera claims that it is eight times faster — and my tests show that claim is justified.

Opera Software today released the beta of Opera 10.5 for Windows. The big improvement in this new release is a new JavaScript engine; Opera claims that it’s eight times faster than the previous version.

As the web apps we rely on get increasingly complex, we need fast browsers, otherwise the web will begin to feel very sluggish. When Opera 10 was released, I pointed out that while its JavaScript performance wasn’t bad, it couldn’t match the speed of Chrome or Firefox — and since then both Chrome and Firefox have got faster.

So how does Opera’s latest release stack up? Running the latest versions of Opera, Chrome and Firefox through the SunSpider benchmark tests on my test laptop produced some interesting results (I’ve also included the previous version of Opera for comparison):

The chart shows SunSpider scores in milliseconds, where a lower score is better. Opera’s improvement in this release is staggering — the new beta takes roughly a sixth of the time to complete the tests. Opera 10.5 narrowly beats Chrome, so Opera’s “fastest browser on Earth” claim seems justified. It also scores a perfect 100 on the Acid3 test, which tests for compliance with web standards.

Of course, raw speed and web standards aren’t everything, but Opera comes with a nicely designed UI and some neat features, like “speed dial” (for quickly accessing commonly used web pages) and a “turbo mode” for slow or laggy connections. When Opera 10.5 beta is released for Mac (it’s only in alpha currently), it may just become my new favorite browser.

Let us know what you think of Opera 10.5 below.

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By Simon Mackie

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  1. Well, I totally like it, but I still have some display issues with Google Reader:

  2. Ooops, linking somehow did not work, so here we go:


    1. Finally, here his the screenshot which shows what I mean – sorry for the three posts, I’m a bit clumsy tonight…


  3. Nice that it’s so fast, shame that it’s so buggy.

    Normally I’m happy using Opera betas as my main browser, but this one has a lot more major problems than I expected. Hopefully they’ll all be fixed for the full release.

  4. Since I began to use the web Opera is the best out of the box browser. Espacially the UI is the most inovative. For example first with tabbing, auto search in address bar, mouse gesture and this list is much longer. It is a shame that they aren’t more succesful.


  5. How about Safari? It uses a different and faster JS rendering engine (SquirrelFish) than Chrome (V8).

  6. @NetFlexx

    Nice looking customized interface mate. Using Opera for many years now but actually never thought of putting a bookmark folder onto that personal bar.

    1. @rw
      I started this 2 years ago with firefox, I don’t need the sidebar anymore, and with a few simple hacks you can even make the menu bar disappear into a button. Only sad thing is that you can’t sync between the fox (work) and opera (home), so every once in a while i have to manually export ff bookmarks to import them to opera. total kicker for me since the early 10.5 alphas is the ability to have a totally “glassed” skin. awesome, i like it.

  7. Do they still use closed formats to store things (cookies, passwords, bookmarks) in? That’s always been the show-stopper for me. I need to be able to get my data out of the browser if I decide I don’t like it.

  8. @NetFlexx

    What skin do you use as the glassy one – Z1 Glass v. 1.52?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Actually this is Z1 Glass 1.32 – wasn’t aware there has been several updates – thx mate !

  9. @MKR

    Closed formats? Bookmarks are stored in plain text!

    1. That’s great. Now what about my cookies and saved logins? :D

      I can’t even find the file for saved logins.

      1. You want your passwords to be stored as plain text?!

      2. “You want your passwords to be stored as plain text?!”

        Yes, I would like that option. I encrypt my hard drive use good passwords, and always log out when I go away.

  10. Once you take the plunge, and actually explore what this browser can do- and just how easy, and simple, it does them, it’s hard to look back.

    Mouse gestures was the killer idea that got me reading its help files back in 2001 or so. Give it a shot and see how illuminated your surfing life becomes.

    • Also, its built-in mail client features 2 wonderful ideas – automatic indexing + filters. They make email feel beautiful with a proper Imap backend like gmail

    • OperaLink + that super-customisable UI is third.

    Using Opera is like having sex; You love it, and you keep returning back for more :)

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