Opera 41 speeds up start times for tab addicts

Opera 41 doesn't have any stellar new features, but it does improve performance for start-up times, battery life, and CPU usage.

The latest version of the Opera browser just rolled out, promising faster start-up times especially for users who open numerous tabs at once.

The new update, Opera 41, also boosts battery life when using video calling over WebRTC and when watching videos in pop-out mode.

More tabs, efficient tabs

The major change for Opera 41 is a new “smarter startup sequence.” When you launch the browser it will automatically load the tab you were using most recently. Then Opera 41 loads pinned tabs (if you have any), and then the rest of your tabs in decreasing priority.

Opera says that during its tests, start-up time in Opera 41 improved by 86 percent on average for a browser with 42 or more tabs open, compared to Opera 40. If you’re a more modest browser user with about 10 tabs open at once, the new start-up routine can still improve your “boot” time by about 50 percent.

The story behind the story: Opera says the faster start-up time is all about reducing “as many pain points” as possible from the user experience. However, it’s not the first browser to offer a smarter tab-loading routine at start-up. Last September, Google rolled out Chrome 45 with a similar feature.

Better battery life, less CPU

Opera’s battery saver feature already did a nice job of extending battery life. Now Opera 41 offers a new hardware-accelerated feature that could help you take your battery even further on a single charge. When you initiate a web-based video chat via WebRTC, and if battery-saving mode is on, Opera will default to using a video codec that offers hardware acceleration if one is available. That should help make more efficient use of your system resources, which could save battery life.

Opera will also try to limit the pixel count on your screen “to reduce CPU usage” when you’re in battery-saving mode.

Pop-out video on Opera 41 will also use hardware acceleration. Introduced in May, pop-out video lets you put content from sites like YouTube in a borderless window that runs separately from the site it was on.

Opera 40, by comparison, relied on software for displaying a pop-out video. The software approach can slow down your laptop’s performance, however—especially if you’re using low-end hardware. Opera says the newer browser’s pop-out video feature uses up to 30 percent less CPU resources than previous versions.

Although it’s not the most popular of the major PC browsers, Opera has been steadily adding a solid roster of helpful features to win over users. Check out our earlier look at Opera’s standout features, such as a built-in VPN and native ad blocking.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags opera

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?