Opera, may be the browser that time forgot, but the final version of Opera 10 is a very nice piece of work. I've put the release candidate version through its paces -- here are five reasons it's worth switch to Opera 10 from your current browser.
It's Flat-out Fast
I know, every time a new version of a browser comes out, it brags about speed improvements. But with Opera 10, it's for real. It claims a 40 percent speed bump over the previous version, which was already fast. I can't verify the claim, but I can tell it it feels faster than any other browser I've used.
This feature is something like Safari's Top Sites feature. Open a new tab, and you get to have your favorite Web sites displayed as thumbnails --- anywhere from four to 24 of them. You get to customize what to display as well. It's a very big time-saver.
Nifty Tab Handling
Opera 10 has one of the nicest tab-handling features I've ever seen in a browser. Just drag a handle that appears underneath the tabs, and you'll see thumbnails of all of your tabs, one above each tab. It's a great way for seeing exactly what you have open, and for switching among them.
Best Inline Spell Checking
Browsers are no longer merely for browsing the Web; they're for writing as well. Between blogs, social networking sites like Facebook, Web-based mail, and more, you may actually do more writing inside your browser than you do in a word processor. Opera 10 recognizes this, and offers the best spell checker I've seen in a browser.
Surprise --- Opera's email client is quite good. It does a very nice job composing HTML messages, and offers quite a few advanced features, such as letting you delete messages from a POP server after a number of days that you specify.
If you haven't used Opera in years, it's time to give it a shot. And if you haven't tried it yet, you'll find it worth the download.
This story, "Opera 10: Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Make the Switch" was originally published by Computerworld.