Pros Fast, configurable, addicting, incredible integration of everything-Internet!
Cons Very few minor annoyances --- far fewer than any other browser/suite I have tried
Summary Robert Vamosi wrote a review for CNet which is exposed for the many myths that are propogated in his review here: http://operawatch.blogspot.com/2005/05/cnet-reviews-opera-8-among-six.html
Opera is free. You don't have to pay $40 as he states. It is fully functional. Nothing is held back. No features are missing in Opera's offering which is, in fact, free. Sure, there is advertising in the free offering. You don't have to have an ad banner as Robert Vamosi says, though. You can have Google text ads, just like you see in GMail or Google searches, instead that are relevant to what you are viewing. It's that simple. No strings are attached.
I have used Opera for over 2 years now, legally, and have never paid a cent for it. And I love it!
I think it outpaces Firefox (the most hyped non-IE browser going right now).
Here's a brief reasoning for saying this:
Take it from me ... I have really attempted to do this (make Firefox like Opera in feature-set and overall functionality), too. It cannot be done! (exclamation points need not be interpreted as brain-dead fan-boyism, either)
Opera's integration of everything under-the-sun-on-the-Internet is unique and smart and not duplicated anywhere else.
My contact properties allow me to enter chat nicknames. When in chat, that person's unique contact image appears in the chat panel when he is online ... neat!
While chatting, I can easily send an email to one of my contacts in the chatroom ... neat!
While browsing, I can easily select a group of text and right-click and send via email to any of my contacts ... neat!
While browsing (if I need to give my neck and shoulders and rear-end a break) but am interested in reading one final article, I can simply select the text and have the voice read the article to me after I turn up the volume and take a walk around the house---neat!
While chatting, I need to spell-check my new big word ... simple with Opera, and I want to tell somebody in the chatroom about my new favorite bookmark. Simply drag the bookmark over to the chatroom posting area ... great stuff!
Ah, I just got a great newsfeed article notice ... my friend would love to read this. I know what I'll do, I'll press 'F' and forward it to him. Excellent!
I could go on and on ...
Suffice to say, the merging together of chat, browser, mail, news, and contacts makes Opera uniquely gifted.
Pros Fact: Opera has a better security track record than both IE and FireFox! It also by FAR has more features!
Cons Show me one and I'll run down my street naked!
Summary You gotta be kidding me! Old and outdated IE with all of it's security issues and the fact that a significant update and feature addition hasn't been added since it was released receives a 7.0 rating! Mean while, the new Opera 8 having a better security track record than IE, Firefox and Netscape, not to mention the fact that Opera had more features and is simple faster and more user friendly than any other browser period recieves a megar 7.7 rating!!! Somebody has definitely relapsed at Cnet and needs to go back into rehab or at least give me some of that good stuff you all are smoking!
"Needs more work"on by Jacob9
Pros renders quickly, nice look and feel, useful features
Summary According to Opera Software, they claim to have the fastest browser on earth and I have to agree. Java applets load faster than any other browser. The fastest rendering engine I have ever experienced. However, many sites are not compatible. Opera's built-in e-mail client is not as good as I expected. I have not been able to find the settings on how to enable or disable images on the e-mails I receive. Installing the spell checker, "Aspell" is not easy. Though I still managed to install it properly.
Pros 1. mouse gestures (no crappy extension gestures) 2. REAL back button with use of history 3. simply the best tabbed browser 4. all in one interface which is highly customizable 5. memory usage! 6.
Cons a small price for the full version
Summary 1- BACK button, a REAL back button. In Firefox when you go to a previous page, the browser everytime will refresh the page for an short period. In Opera the use of the same page which you already opened makes it a lot faster ! If you work with mouse gestures the difference will be bigger than you expect ! No slow downs, just the as fast as it gets.
2- the forward button. It’s called the Fast Forward button. It is used in thumbnail gallery. Instead of clicking on an image, pressing back, and clicking on the next, you press the F. Forward button (or space bar) and it goes on like a slide. I know there’s extension for firefox, but you should try the Opera version and the extension, you’ll see the big difference.
3- Mouse gesture. Some of my friends are so used to Mouse gesture that they use it in windows explorer and other programs. For more info: http://www.opera.com/features/mouse/
I know there’s extension for it, but, I tried it, and once again, it doesn’t work as nice as Opera.
4- Interface ! The interface is extremely customizable. The skins are really cool and the buttons you just drag to the place where you want. In firefox it's also possible to customize the interface but you will see Opera just makes it a lot easier and nicer, I tried to customize the interface of Firefox many times before but never got a result as Opera gave me...
5- Keyboard shortcut. As far as I know, I don’t know of a way to change firefox’s keyboards shortcuts without extension. I use 1 to go to the tabs on the left, and 2 to go on the right tab. The fact that you can use your keyboard ONLY to browse is crazy. Time-saver.
6- Speed. Yes, I am aware of firefox’s tweak in the about:config thing.. but it’s not just as fast as Opera. You really should try on a 600mhz computer (If we go by logic, something that runs fast on an old computer, run faster on a fast computer, than a program that run slow on a slow computer). Opera is also less memory-hungry. (FF shows 36mb in memory, Opera shows 19mb). Try googling. Now, press the back button 10 times, and see the speed difference. It’s REALLY noticeable.
7- Undo button. Let’s say you misclicked and closed 6 tabs in one click (never happened but it’s a scenario). You go to Edit / Undo, and pop, you’re tabs are there again. Let’s say your computer crash because of a power failure and you were on the 6xxth page of a google research, and you completetl y forgot what you typed and which page you were at, and you also had 15 tabs open. No problemo, fire up Opera and it’ll go to the latest saved session, that is, before the ocmp crashed. Ain’t that a life saver? If there’s a firefox extension that do this, please tell me, I’ll test it out and will post back to tell if it does as good as opera.
8- Real Tabbing experience. Firefox default tabbing is, please admit it, not nice. You really need an extension for it - still has not figured out which one - for it to work properly. My request is simple: One window and ONE only. Every popup, every keyboard shortcut, every click, everything, in one window only. I still can’t manage to do this, (I gotta admit the layziness to try each of the tabbing extension). In Opera, you can be assured that it always has 1, but, 1 window.
Also, try opening 35 tabs in operav(with content in it), and 35 tabs in firefox (with the same content in it). Try going back and forth, and continue to surf on another tab. I dunno about you, but I feel the slugginess..
9- IRC and email. Both work pretty well, the email client is very nice !
10- Opera shows webpages almost as good as IE does, with the last versions you rare will have problems with pages!
11- For webdevelopers there are some real cool features in Opera, try them , you like them!
Pros Snappy fast and feature rich
Cons M2 email client could use some work
Summary When I saw that CNet editors assigned Opera the same rating as IE, I felt it was my duty as a loyal CNet and Opera user to correct this travesty. Opera is WAY BETTER than IE. I've been using it since version 5 and it's been all uphill. You can personalize it and make it look pretty much any way you want. Put your toolbars wherever you like, decide what you want on them, it's all up to you! The only downside and (minor) problem I have with Opera is the somewhat weak M2 email client. While it will display HTML mail properly, it won't download images from the net in the body of emails. You can change this, but I recommend leaving it as it is because it reduces spam! The bigger problem is the lack of HTML support for sending email. While not something I'd use extensively, it is something I'd like to see supported. Another minor (for me) flaw is the lack of a good spellchecker.
Notice all my complaints are about the email. As a browser, it far surpasses the competition.