As much as I enjoy and use Google services, I’ve found myself engaged in a gentle resistance against all Google, all the time. So it was with just a little quiet sigh of resignation that I installed Google’s new Chrome web-browser on my machine.

I’ve been using Firefox user since 3.0. I flirted with Opera for awhile, back in my Windoze days, but got hooked by the speed gains of Firefox 3.5, as well as the great add-on collection and support. IE finally has picked up a few of the features of both these other browsers, but now that I’ve become a Linuxophile, all closed-source Microsoft crap has been banned from my pc.
But on to Chrome. After a day of browsing and testing, Chrome is looking… fast! The interface is very minimalist, but most all the features are still there, even if a few of them are buried. Even with a few extensions (google voice and gmail checkers, adblock), the browser window is a very lithe affair. The “omnibar” (combined search and address bar) works well enough, but it’s not obvious what service you’re using to search with; Google is the default, of course, but I find myself preferring Firefox’s discrete search box with its obvious selection of search engines.
The big deal about Chrome is still the speed. On my machine, it benchmarks 80%-300% better than Firefox. With HTML5 video fully-enabled, youTube, vimeo, etc., show blazing smooth lag-free playback, although I do note a touch more pixelation. But that speed! My box is no powerhouse, but Chrome and public DNS make for a seriously snappy browsing experience.
I am, however, noticing a little trouble here and there. For instance, my WP admin page shows a few render goofs, minor mangled buttons, etc. Also, the trade-off for Chrome’s multi-threaded approach seems to be a slightly greater static memory usage and a tendency to keep the CPU at full-blaze. Not enough to fail on, but evidence that Chrome is still very much a bleeding-edge browser, based on truly new technologies.
Firefox, for me, is not usurped, just shuffled a bit to the side; I’ll still be using Firefox for critical work, content creation, and alongside other CPU-intensive tasks. But it’s that raw speed, combined with the uncluttered interface and large viewing pane, that may well keep me using Chrome for casual browsing.

  1. osteoderm’s avatar

    As if to prove something to me, Chrome balked at the “Publish” button for this post… And i forgot to mention my favorite Firefox “feature”: the Ubiquity plug-in from Mozilla Labs. That one along makes Firefox the tops.



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