Opera 12.10 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Opera

CNET Editors' review

The bottom line: Extensions, competitive page-load times, solid features, and good support for "future Web" technologies make Opera 12 an excellent browser, but it's treading water where it used to lead.

Review:
The second-oldest browser currently in use, Opera debuted way back in 1994 and continues to attract attention. Its feature-phone version claims more than 160 million users worldwide. While desktop Opera isn't quite as heavily used, it has developed a reputation as a leader on feature development, and can hold its own against the big four.

Opera covers the basics with tabbed browsing, mouse-over previews, a customizable search bar, advanced bookmarking tools, and simple integration with e-mail and chat clients. Mouse-gesture support, keyboard shortcuts, and drag-and-drop functionality round out the essentials.

Installation
Installing Opera is a fast and short process, taking less than 2 minutes. Many of Opera's built-in features require creating a MyOpera account, but the browser will only prompt you to do so when you use them for the first time -- it's not required to browse.

Tap the Options button on the first install screen to reveal configuration tweaks. Besides changing the browser's default language and install path, you can also install for just the currently signed-on user, or choose to install Opera directly to an external device. It's a great, simple way to create a portable version of Opera for a USB key.

Interface
Opera's interface keeps the same look that debuted in Opera 11, with a condensed menu button in the upper left corner, tabs on top, and a translucent status bar on the bottom that hosts buttons to reveal Opera's Panels, and to activate Link and Turbo. The bottom right corner of the status bar sports a dedicated zoom slider.

A handful of new features in Opera 12 (pictures)

1-2 of 6
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The navigation bar and its associated buttons and extension icons are a uniform height, keeping the browser's chrome, its interface, to a minimum. It's a polished look, and one that most browsers offer today. The search box, located in its default space to the right of the location bar, can be removed. That and further interface customizations can be made by right-clicking on the navigation bar and selecting customize.

The influence of the radical interface changes that Google Chrome introduced in 2008 can be seen here, from tabs on top to the extension icons, yet Opera's personality does still come through enough to have a different vibe and feel from Chrome. A red Opera "O" logo button in the upper left corner reveals options and menus, while a wrench icon on the New Tab page allows you to customize Opera's forward-thinking Speed Dial.

Features and support
The five major browsers have been liberally borrowing features and innovations from each other for years, yet Opera has developed a reputation for showcasing some of the more interesting browser developments first. That's fallen off a bit in version 12, which showcases more catching up than trailblazing leadership.

Quirky features such as Widgets, Unite, and Voice have been killed off, which means that there's less bloat in the browser. But no doubt that those executions were performed also because of a lack of user interest.

Opera 12's hardware acceleration, which is when the browser uses the graphics processor to render animations faster and more smoothly, is still a work in progress. It's in the browser, but you must manually activate it for now.

Many changes in Opera 12 that pull it closer to parity with the competition. These include separate processes for plug-ins like Flash and QuickTime, so that when the plug-in crashes, the browser doesn't burn up with it; a lightweight add-on structure powered by HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS emphasized for extensions and now themes; and redesigned location bar security badges that are easier to read.

This isn't to say that Opera can't compare, because it holds up well. It's just not quite as innovative in this version as in the past. You still get tab stacks, a way to group tabs and cut down on tab clutter; tab pinning; and Opera Link for syncing Bookmarks, Speed Dial, Notes, and passwords to other instances of Opera, including Opera Mobile and Opera Mini. Sadly, there's still no tab sync in Opera.

There's Growl and multitouch trackpad support on Macs, support for some HTML5 including next-generation video and audio codec WebM, geolocation compatibility, Web Workers, App Cache, and Web fonts. The Web Open Font Format (WOFF), which Opera co-sponsored, hasn't yet been added, although Opera expects it will be soon. And Opera 12 has added HTML5 support for controlling local media hardware, such as Webcams, from Web sites.

One of Opera's lesser-known features is its integrated mail client. It's a reasonable alternative to Outlook, offering many similar features. It can handle importing mailbox files from Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Netscape, and Eudora, supports POP3 and IMAP, and quickly synced with Gmail when we added our account.

There are other features in Opera, including tab previews, newsgroups support, a built-in session manager, and a fantastic array of customizations that rival Firefox. Of all the browsers out there, Opera ships with a massive feature set and is an excellent choice for users who want something fast and robust but just a bit old-school right out of the box. However, aside from the integrated mail support, much of what Opera offers can now be found elsewhere.

Performance
Full benchmarks will be added here as they are completed, but preliminary results indicate that Opera 12's page-load times remain comparable to its competitors on publicly available benchmark tests. Short version: It's an extremely fast browser. And although rumors persist about Web site incompatibility, we've yet to encounter any major site that Opera had problems with.

Conclusion
Opera is in firm grip of the fifth-place slot in the race to be the world's most-used browser. It doesn't have the backing of a major corporation like Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, or Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and it lacks the massive, open developer's community of Mozilla's Firefox. What it does have are a fantastic combination of speed and built-in services, and a mobile base that's enormous.

What's missing is a compelling argument for adoption beyond a dislike of the other four. As much as we enjoy our time using Opera, it doesn't surpass the competition -- it only matches it.

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 3490

  • 5.0 stars

    "Very fast as hell!"

    April 12, 2014  |   By santalazy0

    Version: Opera 20.0.1387.91

    Pros

    Very fast and easy to use. User friendly and the interface look nice. One of the best browser if not the best....

    Cons

    None so far....

    Summary

    I would recommend this browser to anyone who is in search for a good and fast browser. Very underrated....

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "fine program"

    April 11, 2014  |   By kmshlmoBrickney

    Version: Opera 20.0.1387.91

    Pros

    Really easy inteface.Was such a pain to remove all this malware

    Cons

    Absolutely none. I am serious.

    Summary

    Simply great stuff.My top two must-have apps is this and *********. , Period.

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great and easy to use!"

    March 16, 2014  |   By santalazy0

    Version: Opera 20.0.1387.77

    Pros

    Very fast and easy to use. User friendly and the interface look nice. One of the best browser if not the best....

    Cons

    None so far....

    Summary

    I would recommend this browser to anyone who is in search for a good and fast browser. Very underrated....

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Not even worth a full STAR. And for GOOD reason"

    March 15, 2014  |   By tteksystems

    Version: Opera 20.0.1387.77

    Pros

    I'm still looking for something good to say about Opera's new version

    Cons

    One thing about Chromium based Browsers. They do not manage memory well. Multiple tabs will always open another instance of the browser in Windows task manager. Oh we all know there are ways to cure this, but why should we have to? This NIT something that should fall on the end user. A very arrogant mentality if you think that the user should have to micro manage an already screwed up platform.

    And why is always more important to mention the methods that make the browser integrate and function well from a programmers standpoint? Here are the words of CNET:

    Opera's move to Webkit and later embracing the Chromium engine signals a new, much more competitive push

    Are you serious? The majority of the world using the web are not very savvy? That's why browsers like Chrome can violate our privacy so easily

    We are NOT programmers or integrators. We want focus on user interface. So when rating a browser, focus needs to also be on the end user. The new Opera has no UI worth talking about

    Summary

    I would love to lay it all on the line right now and tell the world what I think. But I cannot write about it anymore. I've been very disappointed with this new version of Opera because it interrupted life as I know it. If anyone realizes the bond between an internet addict and his browse can be quite like a female T-rex and her young. I was very protective of the original Opera versionb 12.16. If anyone tried to criticize it or say hurtful things about it, I defended it. And this is almost like God is picking on me because who would have thought the CREATOR would be the one to destroy what I have worked so hard to build. Give me something great and then take it away.

    Everyone who wants to know the REAL Opera, go download the 32 bit or 64 bit version of Opera 12.16. Once you fiddle with the many features and use it for awhile, it will be very hard to use their new vrsion 20. It is truly th worst excuse for a browser. Why CNET can rate it over 4 stars must be mind boggling to all those who are in the know. The new Opera is nothing compared to version 12.16 and the sooner the developers at OPERA realize this maybe we can get on with it. So I hope Opera can figure it out. Because too many people like me that used all the versions leading up to and including 12.16 for many years are making it clear that we do not want what they have to offer these days unless they include the useful features in the original version, which is NON-Chromium based. They should be ashamed to even admit to using this type of engine for a browser

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Very Good Browser"

    March 6, 2014  |   By Sherif Ayad

    Version: Opera 20.0.1387.64

    Pros

    Works very well than Google Chrome

    Cons

    No Chrome Extensions Button I mean Wrench Button

    Summary

    I love Opera browser very much but there is a main problem which is how do I enable Chrome Extensions Button up till now I did not find a solution. If anyone have a solution contact me.
    Sherif Ayad
    sherifayad2010@live.com

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Great Browser"

    February 23, 2014  |   By dudejam79

    Version: Opera 19.0.1326.63

    Pros

    It's fast and smooth. Also Version 19 now includes bookmarks you can add to the browser and don't have to install a bookmark extension. Just go to Settings and checkmark the box under the user interface that says "Show the bookmarks bar.

    Cons

    Not that I can think of.

    Summary

    Its a good browser. I've always been a big fan of their Opera.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Very good browser"

    February 20, 2014  |   By c1pr1an

    Version: Opera 19.0.1326.63

    Pros

    -very fast!

    -lightweight browser

    Cons

    Nothing now !

    Summary

    full featured, secure, fast browser.

    Updated on Feb 20, 2014

    No version for linux ! :(

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great browser"

    February 16, 2014  |   By Sdaly31

    Version: Opera 19.0.1326.63

    Pros

    -FAST!!
    -nice amount of extensions.
    -It supports chrome extensions
    -lightweight

    Cons

    Nothing now that version 19 includes a bookmarks bar.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "ok browser"

    February 13, 2014  |   By ChoiceVoice

    Version: Opera 19.0.1326.63

    Pros

    -its not chrome and respects your privacy.
    -full featured, secure, fast browser.
    -it's still young, and will rapidly develop into something better.
    -always liked speed dial. stash is nice.
    -can use chromestore extensions via opera chrome add-on.
    -growing number of extensions.

    Cons

    -lacks reconfigurability (can't change number of rows in speed dial, etc).
    -opens multiple processes when running.
    -no bookmarks and no add-ons to adequately replace them.
    -tab vault add-on not ported (i loved it).
    -no linux version
    -still need more extensions and porting of presto ones.
    -mail integration is gone.
    -not compatible with some banking software.

    Summary

    opera presto was far superior. but this is still a good browser and is easy to use. its hard to judge how this will play out. chromes privacy issues are a big concern, and this fixes that. however, this lacks access to most of the chromestores content and lacks a sandbox. inversely, this is friendlier than google on your systems resources and doesn't include startup entries to slow your boot time (it also has its own updater which is better than chromes). but opera doesn't really distinguish itself from other quality webkit browsers. if this was a new upstart i'd likely give it 4 starts, but you can't help downgrade it out of memory for the browser it used to be.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Lets' face it Opera."

    February 13, 2014  |   By GCG1000

    Version: Opera 19.0.1326.63

    Pros

    ZILCH! GOING CHROME WAS VERY BAD TECHNICAL DECISION for an otherwise superb browser!

    Cons

    Your chrome based version is NG! YOU should have stayed with your own rendering engine.

    Summary

    Want a Chrome-based clone? Try Comodo Dragon or Chrome itself!

    Updated on Feb 13, 2014

    I hope OP stays in business. There are too many really good Chrome-based alternatives out there!

    Reply to this review Read replies (2)

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Results 1-10 of 3490

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