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Opera Neon hits the Refresh button on browser behavior


When a geek gets a notification on his Google home screen from the Technology section about his long lost browser friend launching a refreshingly new version of itself, it calls for an immediate test run and a blog post.

As the video and the website suggested, the installation was pretty smooth and Neon instantly copied my current background image into the browser to instantly set it the browser background.

While most browsers have a small icon on the tabs to notify the tabs that output music, Neon has opted to have a separate tab to have all the pages that could possibly output video. I say that because while I had a website streaming audio on that tab, Facebook made an almost entry to the tab too.

Neon does not support importing your bookmarks and settings from Chrome yet, but it supports Firefox and you can always import Chrome settings into Firefox first and then pull them into Neon.

The floating icons for speed dial is just an intuitive way of showing the most used pages and good use of space to make the space look more attractive. Open tabs by default become small circular icons to the right of the browser and the transition between the tabs was thankfully instant. I am glad Neon did not opt for any transition effect there.

The snap feature is pretty neat; something very similar to the way one would take page snap on a Macbook. Both, the button to take a snap and the picture gallery are easily accessible.

I would say Opera Neon is a Chromebook done more intuitively. While naive, Opera Neon is widely impressive and it would be interesting to see where Opera drives this one. While the idea of having a desktop like environment in a browser isn't new, it is done exceptionally well by Opera but I believe they need to do a lot more to compete with the likes of Chrome and Firefox in terms of plugins and customizations.

I like listening to music when I work and for most times, I just keep a Radio playing either on Spotify or But Neon was surprisingly weird when it came to rendering music on Gaana, the sound output was really slow; try imagining playing a song where you tone down the tempo by half. I wonder what was at fault, but that was the first bug for me. I might report it to Opera some time later.

Overall, I would say Neon is a browser I would definitely use for a few days to get a good handle on things for it has a lot of new features on offer. But for someone who has everything set on his Chrome (and others on their Safari and Firefox), Opera sure has a long way and a tough battle to fight to sustain and conquer in this ever intensifying battle of browser supremacy.

The browser is available for Windows and Mac. 

You can install the browser from here:

Promo video for the browser

This is how the browser looks on my machine


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