Apparently developed by former Opera employees, Vivaldi’s GUI shares much in common with the Opera web browser but with improvements to make web browsing a smooth and easy process.
So far, Vivaldi is available as a technical preview from www.vivaldi.com for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Linux builds are 32/64-bit .deb and .rpm depending upon your distribution.
Even though this is still an early evaluation release and nowhere near ready for stable, everyday use as a primary browser, I have had excellent results using it in Linux Mint 17.1. Installation and usage were simple, and I have not experienced any crashes.
Compatible pages loaded and displayed properly, but I did not see any page-loading speed increase since this tends to depend mostly upon Internet connection speeds and server response times. After all, a “faster” browser matters little if a server is undergoing a DDoS attack or is unresponsive.
Vivaldi sports a number of built-in features. Here are a few:
- The interface is kept unobtrusive for maximum viewing area.
- Tabs are automatically colored based upon the current page’s color scheme (apparently, the hover link color).
- Tab grouping.
- Tab previews with screenshots.
- A show/hide sidebar to organize downloads, bookmarks, and history.
- Menu and tab rearrangement.
- Page tiling.
Many of these features are already available in other browsers with addons (Firefox, for example), but Vivaldi supports them natively and they run smoothly from the start.
Keep in mind that this is a technical preview, so some features, such as Vivaldi Mail, do not work. Also, a number of web pages I tested that involved elaborate navigation and fancy graphical effects did not display or displayed partially.
Critical judgments regarding standards compliance and page loading speed are pointless until a final version is released, but what Vivaldi does now it does well. Time will tell, but so far, so good. If you are feeling adventurous and seeking something new, then Vivaldi is worth checking out.