Over the years Opera browser had been one of the most covered topic on this blog. I was die hard user and stuck with classic version 12 long past practical. Vivaldi browser is a spiritual successor to that. As opposed to underwhelming direction “new” Opera took.
I couldn’t even wait for stable release and having tried beta has switched to it as main browser while back.
What it does
Vivaldi is a Chrome–based web browser. It sounds common these days. Chrome spawned myriad of browsers, often shallow knock–offs.
Where Vivaldi pursues niche that classic Opera occupied — power users.
Modern generation of browsers is entrenched in a long market share war. The strategy devolved them into fast, but minimal software, deprived of functionality and flexibility. New Chrome–based Opera launched without even bookmarks. They deemed feature too advanced for majority of users to care.
While this is favorable environment for casual user, it leaves power users out in the cold. If browser is your main application and workplace, the shallow feature sets are clear to lack.
This is the niche classic Opera occupied and Vivaldi aspires to fill.
The strongest initial move from Vivaldi was to offer staple classic Opera features on a modern engine:
- flexible tab behavior and layout settings (vertical tabs are a must);
- sidebar–centric design, including bookmarks and web panels;
- rich hotkeys and mouse gestures.
As Opera user I feel right at home. Vivaldi makes it clear that their goal (as was Opera’s) is for browser adapt to me, not the other way around.
By stable release it also installs and runs Chrome extensions. That makes it integrate by default with must–haves such as LastPass.
One of the new and original features is Quick Command. It combines settings/bookmarks search and further pushing fast keyboard access to things.
So far most of my issues were mere lack of polish:
- bookmarks UI is nice, but not as nice (yet) as Opera had;
- Chrome extensions work with kinks (those that have interface popups), but issues are on decline;
- some sites break (even though they work in Chrome), but I encountered 2–3 of those at most.
For Opera users Vivaldi is life saver. We had zilch comparable modern options to migrate to before it.
If you had never tried Opera, but still spend a lot of time in browser — do try Vivaldi browser for customization and flexibility.
Home & download Vivaldi.com