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Opera 10 Beta Launched With Turbo Booster and Tab Improvements

Minnow Browser maker Opera has presented the beta version of the tenth version of its eponymous browser and promises auto update plus new tabs features on top of a massive speed improvement.

The alpha version had been around for a while and managed to impress us enough to replace Firefox as our preferred alternative browser. Opera is still free for Linux, Mac and Windows users and introduces a new feature that promises to boost speed especially if you are still using dial up, have a bandwidth cap imposed by your ISP or operate in a crowded WiFi hot spot.

Opera Turbo is actually a compression technology that allows you to compress content (like HTML pages), bringing up content 3 or 4 times faster than slower connections and according to Opera, offers broadband-like speeds on dial up. Part of the magic is also achieved by compressing images.

We noticed that (a) Turbo does not like Flash adverts very much and (b) works best when you access a site several times. Furthermore, using turbo mode on a fast network will actually make your browsing experience slower because of the lag associated with the compression.

Version 10 promises a much faster browsing experience compared to the previous release, version 9.6, even without the Turbo mode.

Tabs on Opera 10 are also different and are now resizeable and allow you to view the content of the tabs themselves which is absolutely brilliant. Furthermore you can pack up to 25 webpages on the speed dial page if you have a bigger screen.

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Our Comments

Opera still keeps the other features that make it a special browser. It comes standard with an email client, a newsfeed reader, native Bittorrent support as well as supporting 51 languages. Bu we did notice that opera appears to be a bit heavy when it comes to resources. With two tabs opened, it is still consuming 118MB worth of memory,

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.