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Sleeker, quicker Google Chromium-based Opera 15 hits Windows and Mac

The final version of the all-new Opera browser has hit Windows and Mac computers with a fresh look and completely new features.

A trial version of the updated Opera was released in late May, complete with a built-from-scratch refreshed design and new features for a better browsing experience. The final version is now available.

Dubbed Opera Next 15, the system swapped out its own Presto rendering engine for Google's Chromium engine, in an effort to help webpages load faster "even in the toughest of network conditions," the Norway-based browser maker said recently.

Many of the changes are aligned with the browser's recently released Android version, like the new Discover feature, which serves up articles from around the web, based on the user's interests.

To start surfing through Opera's new features, download the free browser online: "Click the download button, close your eyes and think about spectacular blue fjords," the company suggested. "When Opera finishes installing, you will be ready to explore."

Windows and Mac users can now revel in a sleeker, more modern look, as well as the ability to search directly from a newly combined address-and-search bar — just start typing a webpage address or enter a search term to look for suggestions.

The refreshed shortcuts feature known as Speed Dial now allows bookmarks to be gathered in folders and easily filtered; simply drag and drop one entry on top of another to create a folder, or use the new search field to find a specific page you once saved.

Meanwhile, Opera threw in a few new functions, like Stash, which allows users to collect snapshots of saved webpages for a preview of each page, making it easier to compare hotels, flights, and other services. Also, the new Discover feature provides an RSS reader-like feature that provides the top articles from the user's favourite categories, like food, travel, or news.

Turn Opera into an Off-Road browsing vehicle with the system's compression feature that allows for fast loading even while on the most sluggish connection.

"The world of fascinating Web content is expanding faster than space, and we've delivered a browser that helps you to truly discover it," CEO Lars Boilesen said in a statement. "Get inspired by new ways of exploring web horizons, and stay tuned for some of our most beloved features, as we continue to develop the next generation of Opera."