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Opera's battery-saving browser

Low End Tablets and PCs Need Opera’s Battery Saving Browser

The newest version of the free Opera browser is now giving people a bonus of the battery saving technology that just makes browsing faster on older hardware. For those aging devices that need a boost, you need the new Opera browser.

Truly, Opera is now marketing the latest feature a bit wrong. Opera 39, which will give a stable channel for release which will save your battery by 50% by reducing the CPU horsepower being consumed. This means that you can browse the web, use more tabs on an underpowered or old PC.

The latest improvement of Opera isn’t really apparent. This type of battery saving technology won’t actually show up until you have unplugged your power cord. Then you will see a battery icon inside of the search bar. Then you can toggle it off and on. It does remain on the active side when you are plugged in.

So, why does this matter?

Opera Android

Those that have updated hardware may see the battery saving feature as irrelevant. But most people still have old devices, simply because they still do what they need to such as run spreadsheets, browse the web, and not much else. More than 50% of existing PC’s are Windows 7 or XP. IE 11 is considered the most popular browser in the world. So, Opera may give these older devices something that you can’t get with explorer.

Recently, we spent time with the Chuwi HiBook, which is a hybrid Android-Windows 10 tablet that is quite intriguing with dual boot capabilities. The Intel Atom chip was really disappointing when it came to doing productive things.

In the review, it was noted that the tablet had plenty of horsepower to play an HD video using Edge, but when there is more than one tab open it stopped playing, especially when you are browsing popular sites. Opera’s latest browser will solve that issue.

Opera performance check

Opera's mobile browser

Using Edge, we opened 5 popular media sites in different tabs, and waited 30 seconds then measured the memory load and CPU. It would seem that it takes a long time to load and the CPU was at 100% utilization for several minutes. About 20 minutes later, it was still at 70% utilization.

Even Google Chrome struggled. We enabled the AdBlock which cut the utilization by 9%, but it would seem that the CPU utilization was a lot higher than Opera.

The comparison isn’t being used to point out any flaws in Edge, but just to highlight just how an optimized browser can improve the browsing experience.

We then tested the developer edition of Opera, and the differences was like night and day. After you enable ad blocking, CPU dropped to only 7% after 30 seconds, and sticking around 20% utilization for most of the use.

Opera browser: the bottom line

Opera browser

Opera continuously fought to keep the CPU low. We would add tab after tab until we reached 50 tabs open and it hovered around 60% usage. Chrome didn’t give this big of a CPU saving, even though the fluctuations of CPU utilization meant that it was an observation instead of a fact.

In order to be able to preserve the power in the new low-power mode, Opera states that there are parts in the code of the browser that have been simplified, and the animated themes optimized.

There are additional improvements such as adapting page redrawing frequency, tuning video playback parameter and reducing activity in the background tabs. It would seem that the browser is basically tombstoning tabs that aren’t being used, and then putting them in a suspended animation until you go back to them.

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