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Maxthon Portable

CNET Editors' review

Maxthon is one of the "other" Web browsers out there. Once upon a time, that meant permanent obscurity, but these days, it's where you go to find the Next Big Browser. Maxthon is an attractive and up-to-date browser that offers some unique features, such as its powerful Ad Hunter, a flexible MultiSearch tool, conveniences such as Night Mode, and easy management of user names and passwords. It supports both the Trident and WebKit rendering engines. Unlike most so-called alternative browsers, it's not a repackaged clone but is built on the MyIE source code. We recently tried Maxthon Portable, a fully portable version of this interesting free Web browser.

We found Maxthon Portable's executable in the extracted program's Bin folder. Maxthon Portable can run from any directory, so we simply created a desktop shortcut. Maxthon opens with a splash screen for the optional Maxthon Passport service, which offers encrypted passports, online storage space, and other features. At first glance, Maxthon doesn't look much different from the other browsers you're likely to be familiar with, but that's because browser form follows function, so Maxthon has a Start button and menu, a multifunctional address bar, and a toolbar with add-ons and extras. Maxthon has many typical features, too, such as tabs and an optional sidebar.

When programs are similar, little things mean a lot, and it's the interesting touches that set Maxthon apart from other browsers. For example, the Night Mode switches to a customizable theme using dark-toned backgrounds at a preset time. The Magic Fill feature is a customizable form-filling tool that can enter passwords and other form data. The screen snapshot tool is a handy extra to have, as is a Google Translate button. Maxthon also packs a notekeeper, feed reader, and download manager. The Resource Sniffer is especially interesting. It finds images, music, and other downloadable links on a page, even if they're not readily visible. Users can toggle between rendering modes on the toolbar to accommodate older Web technology and load the latest sites at maximum speed. Clicking the T-shirt icon opened the Skins Center. Among alternative browsers, Maxthon Portable stands out.

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