Three years ago, my primary computer was a Google Pixel Slate. This is also the platform that I use to write for ZDNet. My time spent browsing the default Chrome browser is the only way I use Android apps.
Firefox, DuckDuckGo, Opera and other browsers are available for those who wish to experiment with different browsers. Opera recently launched an updated version its Android app. The new version is said to be the best alternative browser for Chromebooks. Opera can’t be changed from Chrome to Opera, so it is not the complete replacement for Chrome.
Additionally: Pixel Slate review – Google tablet vs iPad, Surface or Surface? It’s unbeatable
Due to the imminent need for more computers for remote working, education and communication, 30 million Chromebooks have been sold worldwide in 2020. In 2021, experts estimate that there may be 40 million more Chromebooks. Opera Chromebook optimised version offers unique functions like:
- Messenger option: All of your WhatsApp Messenger, Telegram or Instagram accounts will appear under one Messenger tab.
- Flow – Chat with your self by saving links, taking notes and storing photos in a manner that mirrors my Flow between Opera browsers and your smartphone.
- Integrated VPN. Secure browsing using a single VPN service. VPNs work with private browsing sessions.
- Use to block irritating ads when you surf the internet.
- CryptoWallet: Access your cryptocurrency accounts via a single launch icon on the Opera browser.
- Nightmode Helps protect your eyes at night when browsing Netflix and binging on it with night mode. Blue light in this mode is decreased.
- Color theme: You can switch between five different color themes. They are available in dark and light modes.
I downloaded the browser to my Pixel Slate, and it was extremely fast and reliable. Integrated messaging functionality is great as I use it to switch between Telegram (Insta), Facebook Messenger, and Telegram throughout the day. A future update should include the Google Messages option.
It seems that the Opera browser on the Pixel Slate has terrible formatting. The browser may not be suited for those with 3000×2000 resolution devices. You can’t toggle between mobile or desktop mode. Most of the web content remains small on the large display. While you can zoom in and click, it is difficult to scroll right or left. The page won’t reflow so you have to spend some time looking at the content. Chrome allows you to view the exact same pages in Chrome. You can let me know what I’m missing to improve website formatting.
Opera is now free to Chromebook owners. Kevin Tofel offers hands-on experience with Opera. Tofel is a Chromebook expert who has great insights on the new browser.