In the first week of September, Opera announced the launch of their new browser, Opera 10 for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Opera is one of those browsers that introduce new features before they become mainstream; such as tabbed browsing and displaying visual bookmarks. Unfortunately, credit for these and many more inventions go to other browsers. However the new Opera 10 offers less drama in terms of brand new features seen for the first time or a new interface. The new program improves on its predecessor’s performance but has little else.

So what are the new features that have been incorporated? One useful feature is that Opera has incorporated system wide spellchecking on all platforms, which means Windows users do not need to install plug-ins for this feature. The Speed Dial page is also more customizable allowing users to choose from a 2×2 grid up to 5×5 grids and select a custom background image. Opera 10 also provides a nifty thumbnail-tab feature. If you drag the bottom of the tab downwards, all the open tabs will show dynamically sized thumbnails. You can also have the thumbnail tabs on the right hand side of your screen, which is extremely useful for widescreen laptops and computers. As you add more thumbnails, the row is squeezed horizontally or vertically displaying all your tabs.

Speed tests confirm that Opera 10 is the second fastest browser coming in second only to Google’s Chrome. On the Mac however, it is the slowest browser. So whether you start using Opera on your computer largely depends on the OS you use.