Opera has announced the latest version of its web browser for Windows computers and the main focus of the browser this time out is speed. Specifically Opera wants your browser to launch faster no matter how many tabs you open at launch. The latest version of the browser is Opera 41 and one of the main features is a startup sequence that aims to eliminate most of the wait time at launch.
Faster launching isn’t the only improvement in the browser though. It also has longer battery time when video conferencing and lower CPU usage when you pop-out a video. Opera has long used the default setting that lets you start where you left off with your last session. That means whatever tabs you had open last time open the next time you launch the browser.
Opera 41 now prioritizes which of these tabs you used last time are likely to be the most important, namely the most recently active tab and any pinned tabs and those will load first. The tabs deemed less important will be loaded with decreased priority. Opera says that most users will feel like these tabs opened immediately with no wait time. Opera says that testing shows an average improvement in startup time of 86% with more than 42 tabs open in the previous session.
Browsers that launch with around ten tabs open will see gains in launch speed that are still greater than 50%. Opera 41 has a battery saving mode that detects if the video codec can be hardware accelerated and tries to choose that codec to save CPU cycles and battery power. When the codec isn’t hardware accelerated, it will try and limit the pixel count to reduce CPU usage. The video pop-out is now hardware accelerated to save power and CPU usage with the hardware accelerated video pop-out using 30% less CPU after the change.