Speed, HTML5 gains in new Opera beta

The latest browser betas from Opera have been released, emphasizing speed improvements and better HTML5 compliance.

Updated 5:40 p.m. PST on Wednesday, June 16, 2010, to clarify benchmark information and add CNET benchmarks.

Opera 10.60 beta\'s new menu button on top, and the stable version 10.53 below. (Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

Opera has released its latest browser betas that emphasize speed improvements and better HTML5 compliance. Opera 10.60 for Windows, Mac, and Linux gives fans of the alternative Web browser a bucketload of HTML5-related improvements, along with the claim that the company has made the browser 50 percent faster than the previous version.

  Opera 10.60 beta 1 should be 50 percent faster than the current stable Opera, version 10.53, when tested on the Peacekeeper test, an Opera representative said. CNET tests revealed a strong speed improvement, but not that strong. An average of three cold runs for Opera 10.53 scored 5,104, while Opera 10.60 beta 1 scored 6,792.67. (On Peacekeeper, higher is better.) That's a 33 percent increase, which is still impressive.

On the SunSpider JavaScript test, which Opera did not test against, CNET tests showed version 10.53 completing three cold runs in an average of 398.13 milliseconds. Version 10.60 beta 1 finished in 375.13 ms, or 5.6 percent faster.

The beta version also adds support for many nascent HTML5 features, including the next-generation video and audio codec WebM, geolocation compatibility, Web Workers and App Cache.

Opera made some slight interface tweaks in this beta version. Opera added search suggestions for several sites that it has partnerships with, such as Wikipedia. Also, it gave tabs custom thumbnails, too. You can read the full changelog for Opera 10.60 here.