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How Vivaldi compares with, and improves upon, other web browsers

Former Opera exec offers up a Chrome-based browser with some power-user features.

020415 vivaldi browser screenshot

We have four main browsers, three on the PC (IE, Mozilla, Chrome), and one also-ran (Safari) that's mostly a Mac product, and all four have varying levels of bugs and security issues. So does the world need another browser?

Vivaldi Technologies says yes. Its founder, Jon von Tetzchner, is a co-founder and former CEO of Opera Software, the Norwegian company behind the lightweight browser of the same name. Von Tezchner told Tom's Hardware Guide that Vivaldi aims to pick up where Opera Software left off when it abandoned the Presto engine for Google's open-source Blink and Chromium software.

The thing is, Vivaldi uses Chromium as its rendering engine. It also uses a lot of Node.js modules, Chrome's Javascript runtime, and the React Javascript library. But it also has some nice new features, such as thumbnails of the websites you have open and stacking tabs at the top. This way, instead of a whole bunch of tabs across the top, you can group related ones, much like the way you can make folders on an iPhone by dropping one app on top of another.

You can also pull down the menu bar and, instead of tabs, the whole site is rendered in a small box at the top, so you can see the site, not just its name.

The new browser also comes packed with a "Notes" feature that allows users to mark down notes about a site. So you can leave a note to yourself about why you came to a particular site in the first place, or something you want to remember about it.

There's also a "speed dial" feature that allows users to quickly access sites from one place, and you can make multiple speed dials for different groups of sites.

The browser itself is rather bare bones and not terribly elegant, owing to its early state. But it is fast. Look at these benchmarks below. The test machine was a Core i7-4770, 16GB DDR3 2133MHz RAM, OCZ Vertex 4 SSD C: drive, Nvidia GTX670 video card on a 64-bit Windows 7, and used the latest versions of all three browsers.

020415 vivaldi chart2 Andy Patrizio

As you can see, it is competitive with both browsers and beats them in some cases, even though it is still in technical preview state. So there is a lot of room for improvement. The company plans to add syncing, email and extensions. You can download the preview here.

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