Browser Alert: Will You Switch?

Category: Browsers

There is a new Web browser for Windows, Linux, and Mac computers. It’s called Vivaldi, and version 1.0 emerged from beta testing in early April, 2016. Vivaldi offers some interesting features, some never seen before in a browser. Here is a look at Vivaldi and my opinion of its chances of becoming a major player...

Vivaldi Browser is Here

First, a little history of Vivaldi. Its eponymous parent is Vivaldi Technologies, whose About page provides the official version of the company and browser’s origins. Briefly, former executives of Opera Software formed Vivaldi Technologies in early 2015 to create a browser that restores several features that have been eliminated from the Opera browser, and to go Opera and Chrome one better by combining them.

Vivaldi overlays many elements of the simple, compact, fast user interface of Opera on the powerful browsing and content rendering engine of Chromium, the foundation of Google’s Chrome browser. That’s fine with Google because Chromium is an open-source project; developers are free to use Chromium in accordance with it no-cost license agreement.

The Vivaldi browser was made available to developers as a “technical preview” beginning in February, 2015. More than 500,000 geeks downloaded the technical preview in its first ten days of availability; a lot of volunteer hours have gone into this browser! Vivaldi entered beta mode in November, 2015, and the feedback received from general consumers has been incorporated into the first official “production ready” release, v1.0, which hit the Web in April, 2016.

Vivaldi Browser

Vivaldi is designed for power users, the kind of Web surfer who is never satisfied with default settings. Most of us are happy if we can just see the Web pages we request.
The uber-geeks targeted by Vivaldi want total control over the look, feel, and behavior of their browser, and Vivaldi delivers.

Vivaldi has a minimalist user interface, with only essential icons and buttons available by default. Its color scheme changes depending on the color scheme of the page currently being displayed, a feature that could be confusing or irritating. But the color scheme, themes, placements of menu bars and sidebars, and other details can be set permanently by the user.

An Evolving Browser

Vivaldi’s features include the ability to “stack” and “tile” tabs; these are two ways to associate Web pages with each other and manage them as a group. You can stack tabs on top of each other and save them as if they were one bookmark. When you open a stack, you can tile all of the tabs in it so that they appear side-by-side on your screen.

A “speed dial” Vivaldi internal page provides one-click access to specified bookmarks or stacks that you use frequently. “Quick commands” execute several browser actions with one combination keystroke, like Ctl-Shift-L, to speed up tasks like searching bookmarks, browsing history, open tabs, and settings. Mouse gestures can handle tasks like tab switching and keyboard activation. “Chrome-less mode” is a full-screen mode that gives users more screen real estate without distractions. (In this context, "chrome" refers to the borders, scroll bars and other user interface elements.)

Vivaldi is rapidly evolving, with updates rolling out weekly. Already, my current version is 1.2. If you would prefer a browser that doesn’t change often, Vivaldi is not for you.

Once you get used to Vivaldi’s interface, it seems to glide through common tasks faster than the established Big Three of browsers (Chrome, IE, and Firefox). I've seen reports suggesting that Vivaldi is a little more sluggish when loading and displaying pages than the competition. But in my testing, pages seem to load noticeably faster than with Chrome or Firefox. I was also pleased that RoboForm and other Chrome extensions worked with Vivaldi.

Vivaldi’s memory consumption - a popular objective measurement of browser efficiency - is middle-of-the-road. (Firefox is still the most memory-efficient browser.)

Vivaldi is still young and changing almost daily. No doubt the efficiency of its code will improve over time, probably a short time. If you want to try a browser that can be customized and optimized more than any other, give Vivaldi a look.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Browser Alert: Will You Switch?"

(See all 33 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

15 Jun 2016

By far the fastest browser I ever used

Posted by:

15 Jun 2016

I have used Maxthon Nitro as a backup browser. It is minimalist in design and has proven to be very fast and retains very small memory footprint.

I am curious as to how Vivaldi compares with it.

Despite its flaws, I am staying with Chrome because of the many productivity apps available. It is a memory hogger, though, when many tabs are opened at the same time.

Posted by:

15 Jun 2016

Life is too short.

Posted by:

Ron Nurmi
15 Jun 2016

Mme Moxie--I use DuckDuckGo as my default, and I downloaded my bookmarks for Chrome with out a problem. I have Windows10 and it did not present a problem while downloading Vivaldi

I have been using Vivaldi with UBlock Origin, LastPass, Evernote, and Keep since April.

ST CHANNING--it appears ALL productivity apps usable in Chrome are available for use in Vivaldi

Posted by:

15 Jun 2016

Wow ! Not one word about privacy.
Since they don't even mention it, there must not be any !

Posted by:

15 Jun 2016

If google has anything to do with it, I'm not interested.

Posted by:

15 Jun 2016

Ron Nurmi, thanks for the info. If all Chrome apps can be used on Vivaldi, then I am very inclined to switch. I will investigate next if Vivaldi uses less memory than Chrome when multiple tabs are open.

Posted by:

Peter Schuman
15 Jun 2016

Vivaldi is behaving like the latest version of Chrome: it claims my Win7Pro desktop has no internet connection.
Obviously, I'll use neither on this machine.
I HAD been enjoying Chrome frequently.

Posted by:

Bob Who
15 Jun 2016

Opera was a putz to uninstall and vivaldi seems to have the admin only uninstall. I own my computer and log in as admin only to be told that opera will not uninstall unless I log in as admin. I will not install such software from any company that requires an admin uninstall as the main method of getting rid of the program.

Posted by:

Bob K.
16 Jun 2016

As usual, user comments were very helpful, and as such, Vivaldi is not for me.

Posted by:

16 Jun 2016

'YES... spelling, punctuation, grammar and proper use of UPPER/lower case are important!'

but: 'Vivaldi has a minimallist user interface, ...' (No need for this comment to appear in public.)

EDITOR'S NOTE: My typos are public. :-) Thanks for the sharp eye.

Posted by:

16 Jun 2016

At first I didn't really like the colors but when I turned them off it looked better. I really like the Task Manager feature, you can see how each tab is using system resources. I also like the menu icon, rather than hunt for everything.

@MmeMoxie - Menu that has the V in it --> Tools --> Settings --> Search (on the left side, not the Search box). You can change your Search Engine here. (I removed Bing so I only have DuckDuckGo and Google).

I have tried it in Linux (Debian ditros, so quite a few Linux distros are covered) and macOS (I still prefer Safari and Vivalvi doesn't feel faster than Safari). Did not try mobile yet.

Posted by:

24 Jun 2016

I don't think i have the need to try it. I use and my default browser is slimjet and it's based on Chromium. It is the fastest 64bit browser I have. It's even faster than my firefox. Been using it for a year now and are extremely satisfied with it. No need to change.

Posted by:

25 Jun 2016

Have anyone tried Cyberfox? I use it now for over a year. There is no bloating and does most of what I need at 5 times the speed of anything else I have tried. The only thing annoys me is... it cannot use norton safe search app for some reason. But man is it fast.

Posted by:

Fred Alam
25 Jun 2016

I installed it and ended up having to un-install it. Non of my pages would scroll properly. (Facebook, My yahoo, etc) When I would try to scroll there would be a lag of 4 or 5 seconds before the page would actually move. Thought maybe it was my system but every thing worked fine on all my other browsers. Then my laptop started doing strange things. I un=installed it and every thing went back to normal. I may give it another try after its been around a while. I liked what little I saw of it.

Posted by:

25 Jun 2016

I say bring back the good ol'd days of 28k dial-up, Win 3.11 and Netscape.

Posted by:

25 Jun 2016

No current browser satisfies me. I'm a big bookmarks user, and it seems browser developers don't care anymore. Maybe they assume everybody uses a search engine instead.

Bookmarks management was a breeze for me ages ago with Maxthon. Opera (old generation) wasn't bad. Now I'm with Firefox, and basic functions are lacking or are ridiculously inadequate. You can't search for a folder. Sorting does not occur by default. Etc.

So I might give Vivaldi a try. When it's more or less stable.

Posted by:

26 Jun 2016

I will take a look at Vivaldi in the near future just because I am curious. I scrolled through the other comments and didn't see a reference to another browser I use - Pale Moon. It's a product of Moonchild Productions. Not a great deal of info on their pages but it's the browser performance that interests me. It's a Firefox spinoff and it is really clean and fast. I still use Firefox but for quick research, checking my email, etc. Pale Moon really does the job. Thank you for your time and efforts Bob. You are appreciated.

Posted by:

Nick Zamparello
27 Jun 2016

I like Vivaldi. It's like chrome and opera had a kid.. :-) It did take a while for most of the bugs to be worked out but in it's current version can be used as a daily driver.. The loading has been sped up and I enjoy it.. The thing that is nifty about it is the configurability.. It can be as basic or option loaded as you want it to be..
So yes. I would highly recommend giving it a spin to see if it is for you.

Posted by:

26 Jun 2017

Just started using Vivaldi a few days ago on Windows 10. I've always liked Opera, so I've got good expectations from Vivaldi. So far so good. Fast.

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