Opera 10.50 Beta Comes to the Mac

By  |  Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Opera has released a Mac version of Opera 10.50, whose Windows version impressed me when it came out a couple of weeks ago. Like that version, it uses Opera’s new JavaScript engine, which Opera says is eight times faster than its predecessor.

How does it perform? Well, Seth Weintraub of Computerworld and 9 to 5 Mac used the SunSpider test to put it through its paces, and found that it beat Safari and Chrome, the fastest OS X browsers in terms of JavaScript.

Zippy JavaScript performance doesn’t automatically translate into a browser that feels zippy. Judging from the time I’ve spent with Opera 10.50 today, though, it does indeed feel like an unusually fast browser in ways that earlier versions of Opera didn’t. (It also feels like a beta–it crashed on me while I was posting this articles–and so I’d suggest trying it as a complement to your main browser rather than a substitute.)

One of the things I like about the the Windows version is its Chromelike minimalist interface, which compresses all of Opera’s options into a single menu. Like Chrome, Opera isn’t so sleek on OS X–it’s got eight menus, plus the Apple menu and the Opera one. That’s at least in part because one of the most fundamental differences between the Windows and Mac interfaces is that OS X has a fixed menu bar at the top. If you start to remove menus from it, it doesn’t conserve space and leaves the bar looking a little naked.

Google Analytics tells me that 98.5 percent of Technologizer community members aren’t using Opera. On both OS X and Windows, I’m excited about 10.50’s potential to be the first version of Opera in a long while that tempts users of other browsers to switch allegiences.



5 Comments For This Post

  1. Bob Jacobson Says:

    Opera 10.10 (the newly downloadable version for Mac) is fast all right, but it doesn’t integrate smoothly with many Mac accessories like the ever-popular Speed Download. The time it takes to do by hand many of the things that Mac OS-based browsers do automatically tends to diminish the gain in sheer rendering speed. Also, I found the controls rather kludgy, another result of not adhering to Mac standards. Still, Opera’s an impressively fast browser, that’s for sure. I’ll keep it in my dock next to my still-favorite, the ultra-slim, open-source Camino browser, good in the marathon as well as the sprint.

  2. Cintra Says:

    And its crashing on some Snow Leopard machines. My 21.5″ iMac fails, while I managed to get it working on my Macbook AIR, after a few tips ref. the forum.

    It was not particularly fast loading, and although it imports bookmarks, they end up in their own folder, so to access them you have to drop down through several menu levels 🙁

    I was an early user of Opera, but for me Chrome is vastly better on Mac as well as Windows. Sorry Opera…

  3. Tyron Says:

    I’ve been using Opera 10 for a while and it’s fantastic. I’m going to wait for a more stable release to try 10.5

  4. Bob Jacobson Says:

    Good luck trying Opera 10.5 beta, the much touted new release! Following installation, it crashed my MacBook Pro, running Snow Leopard (10.6.2), four times — each time requiring not just a Force Quit but a full reboot. I still can’t get it to work. Time to walk away and see what else is out there. Meanwhile, Camino suits me just fine.

  5. Louis Vuitton Says:

    I'm going to wait for a more stable release to try 10.5