Firefox vs. Opera: Who wins?
I’ve been quite happy with the Mozilla Firefox browser that comes with the default installation of the Eee. However, the Eee’s screen resolution (800 x 480) would mean that websites designed for a higher resolution would have those annoying horizontal scrollbars at the bottom of the screen. And since we have to wait until Firefox 3 for that much-desired zooming feature, we have to content ourselves with pressing F11 for full screen, changing the font size, or scrolling left and right.
There, however, is a workaround: Opera has a fit-to-width feature that addresses the issue of low-resolution screens. I excitedly downloaded a copy, and navigated to my personal blog. And yes, the fit-to-width feature does work, albeit not without a few quirks. The websites visited moved a few columns downwards, and in some cases, banner images splinched. Those expecting Opera Mini-style zooming need not be disappointed, though: Ctrl + or – (or Ctrl+scroll) does exactly just that. Also, pages render quite faster, and the UI does not take up as much space as Firefox’s.
I can say I like both browsers and I am comfortable running them at the same time. But I find myself using Firefox over Opera more and more. Why so?
- Plugins – I use Firefox on my desktop with a load of plugins installed, and I was able to import the same functionalities to my Eee by installing most of the plugins I use. Sure, Opera has widgets, but do I have to use up more of that precious little RAM that the Eee has?
- Familiarity – Let’s face it: Opera offers a different browsing experience. And those differences mean a lot for somebody who wants to just browse away without having to learn something different.
So in the end, I use Firefox more not because I don’t like Opera. I actually use Opera if I want a page to load faster, or if it’s too big for Firefox to render. I’m probably just one of those stuborn old stogies who can’t be bothered to learn to break my routine.
So, what browser do you use?
Ade also writes for Noisy, Noisy, Man and The Man Blog. He posted this article using Firefox, then checked how it looked like with Opera. Then he played once again with Opera’s awesome page zoom. Just because.