Speed, reliability, features. Those are the three main factors I look for in a browser. A couple months ago, I had been curious to see what other browsers were out there. I was primarily a Chrome user for 4 years, with a random blip of Firefox in my history. After going through the gauntlet of browsers, Vivaldi stuck out as a great Chrome alternative, so much so that it is my main browser. Let’s take a look at what makes this feature heavy browser so special.
One of the most attractive points of Vivaldi is how many features there are. From tab stacking, which was admittedly the reason I switched over, to in-browser screen captures and tab location, Vivaldi gives the user the power. Tab stacking is a feature that was remove from Chrome in a previous iteration, but was only a beta function. What it let you do was group tabs together. This is great if you frequently jump around in various topics and need to stay organized. You could rename the tab stack, and save it for later if you so wish.
A feature that I find myself using constantly is the screen capture tool embedded into the footer of the browser. This lets you select part of the screen, and either save it to your clipboard or directly to your computer. You can do full screen captures or just a partial, both useful for different occasions. I do wish we could draw on the photo to circle or underline a detail, but it comes in very handy when you need to send a friend something in a pinch.
Reader View is function I recently found out about, but can see myself using for a long time. It removes the clutter on a screen and gives you just the main content on the screen. This is extremely useful for articles that are littered with adds on the sidebars or when you just want to focus on the reading without any distractions.
The last feature that I’d like to point out is the fact that they let you save your session. By clicking Alt + E and then Alt + R to restore it, you can save your sessions and label them. This is great when you wanna save where you are and also take an extra precautionary measure to save that progress.
Customize it, all of it!:
Vivaldi puts you in the driver’s seat of a browser where customization is welcome. Aside from having a night theme, you can change the font colors and the overall theme of the windows. Your New Tab screen can also be customized as well to fit your needs.
One of my favorite things that you can customize in Vivaldi is the hotkeys. Yes, the hotkeys. You can remap, disable and reconfigure any of the hot keys you like. For example, I turned off the hot key that sets backspace to going to the previous page I was viewing. It was always a nightmare for me when it came to typing in text boxes. Now that issue never happens.
For laptop users, you can also turn on the Gestures feature of Vivaldi which can be used for things like closing tabs by swiping down, opening a new tab by up or otherwise. This is pretty neat, especially with how they were able to come up with gestures that didn’t interfere with the basic swiping gestures of a track-pad.
Vivaldi is a great browser. It it chock full of things that are great quality of life improvements, and they do it without beating you over the head or showing you a design that is foreign. I will say that their integration of Chrome plugins is great, so the transition between Chrome to Vivaldi isn’t all that terrible. With that in mind though, Vivaldi does suffer from the RAM issues that Chrome has. To counter that though, we’re at a point where computers have enough RAM to manage it, but Vivaldi is definitely not optimal for desktops and laptops outfitted with 4GB of RAM or less. I’d argue that even 8GB isn’t enough, but you’d be fine.
Definitely give Vivaldi a shot. It’s been my main browser for a year now and I love it. It has everything I’ve ever wanted in a browser and it constantly surprises me.