If you've been keeping up with the beta updates, the final build of the cross-platform browser shouldn't surprise you. Opera Turbo, the browser's much-publicized compression engine for slow-poke connections, remains a feature highlight. Opera claims that Opera Turbo runs the browser up to eight times faster on suffering connections than do competing browsers.
The refreshed user interface is also noteworthy. Joining the new default skin (changed from version 9.6), are changes to tab bar behavior. The conventional tabs double as thumbnail images. Double-click the thin gray bar below the tabs (indicated by dots) or click and drag to expand open tabs into preview windows that you can navigate by clicking among them.
Other enhancements include an expanded Speed Dial (a feature that has later been adopted and adapted in Google's Chrome browser) that shows more commonly visited Web pages than in previous Opera browsers. You're also able to customize it with a background picture. You'll see that spell check will be applicable to any text field (for 51 languages), and that Opera's incorporated e-mail client takes a page from Google's books by threading e-mail conversations.
Developers get access to a newer version of Opera Dragonfly, the publisher's online development tools, but everyone can benefit from the speedier rendering engine that, according to Opera, makes version 10 up to 40 percent faster than version 9.6--before switching on Turbo's compression.
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