Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

Summary: There are no major improvements in Google's Chrome 15, but the minor upgrades are enough to keep it on top.

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Say hello to Google's Chrome 15 Web Browser

Say hello to the Chrome 15 Web Browser

Google's new Chrome 15 is better than ever. This release boasts a new tab page, which makes it easier to get to your Chrome apps and most visited sites. Under the hood, there are also several significant security and performance improvements.

Before launching into those, let's go over the basics for those of you who haven't used Chrome. The Chrome Web browser has a minimalist interface. Instead of a tool-bar, the basic interface has a combination address and search bar, the Omnibox, at the top with tabs above that. The handful of visible control buttons consist of Back, Forward, a combined Stop/Reload button, and a preferences wrench icon. That's it.

If you add extensions, they'll appear as icons on the right of the Omnibox. If you like having lots of tool-bars and endless interface tweaking power, Chrome is not for you. If you want a clean, fast system without a lot of fuss, Chrome will work well.

When you open a new tab in Chrome 15 you'll see the "New" New Tab page. At the bottom of the page, you can jump from a page with your Chrome Apps to one with your most visited sites. In the Chrome 15 beta, there was a third choice, "Bookmarks," but Google elected to not include this feature. Bookmarks are still available via either the Bookmark Bar or Manager.

Besides giving you easier navigation between online apps and your favorite Web sites, you can also organize apps by dragging and dropping them into new sections. You do this by dragging a program to the bottom of the page until a new apps section appears. You can then name the section to something useful by double-clicking on its label. For example, you can make one called "Games" to stuff Angry Birds and the like in.

A quick look at Google's Chrome 15 Web browser

On the new apps tab, you can also go directly to the revised Chrome Web Store. Here you'll find the latest Chrome Apps in a much easier to review and install format. Want to know more about a particular application? Click on it, or an extension or theme, and you'll get panels with additional information, screen-shots, and reviews.

That's all nice but the real tests of any browser these days are how secure it is, how compliant is it with Web standards, and never, ever least, how fast it is.

As for security, Google fixed numerous vulnerabilities in this update. In addition, this new version of Chrome has been set to defend its secure Web connections against attacks from BEAST, for "Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS," a hacking tool for breaking Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security Web site encryption.

When it comes to observing Web standards, Chrome continues to be the pick of the litter. On the Acid 3 compatibility test, which checks how well a browser complies with various Web standards such as CSS, JavaScript, and Extensible Markup Language (XML), Chrome 15 scored a perfect 100. By comparison, Firefox 7 also scored 100 and Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) 9 scored a 95.

On the HTML5 Test, which checks to see how compliant the Web browser is with the HTML5 Web page standard, Chrome 15 scored 343 out of a possible 450. Firefox took second with score of 313 and IE is way back in the back with 130 points.

Moving on to performance benchmarks, I set Chrome, along with the latest releases of Firefox and Internet Explorer, on a Gateway DX4710 Windows 7 SP1 test box. This PC is powered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor and has 6GBs of RAM and an Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3100 for graphics. It's hooked to the Internet via a Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switch, which, in turn, is hooked up to a 60Mbps (Megabit per second) cable Internet connection.

For my first test, I used Mozilla's Kraken 1.1 benchmark. In Kraken, which like most Web browser benchmarks measures JavaScript performance, lower scores are better. Here, Chrome left Firefox and IE in the dust with a score of 4,048.2ms. Firefox 7 came in next with a score of 6792.9ms followed by IE with a dreadful 17,051.9.ms.

On Google's own JavaScript V8 Benchmark Suite, where higher scores are better, Chrome, to no surprise, won again. This time it scored 7,913. Firefox came in next at 3,775, with IE behind it with 2,193.

On the oldest JavaScript test, SunSpider 0.9.1, , where lower results are better, IE finally won one with a score of 252.6ms, Chrome in next with 298.4ms, and Firefox came in last with 303.5ms.

Finally, I tried the trio of popular browsers on the beta Peacekeeper Web browser test suite This test looks not only at JavaScript performance but at HTML5 compatibility, video codec support and other Web browser features as well. With Peacekeeper, higher is better and Chrome once more won out with a score of 2,303. Firefox and IE were both far behind with scores of 1,699 and 1,626 respectively.

Put it all together and what do you get? You get the best popular Web browser available today. Download Chrome yourself and see. Chrome is available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

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Topics: Open Source, Browser, Google, Hardware, Microsoft

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94 comments
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  • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

    Too bad speed isn't everything. Every modern browser is fast enough to not matter. Chrome will never have anything equivalent to NoScript, so I'm sticking to Firefox.
    Aerowind
    • Who still cares about Javascript speed anyway?

      Even Google is giving up on Javascript and developing own new Dart language to move forward.
      LBiege
      • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

        @LBiege That is just silly. Google is releasing a Dart to ECMAScript cross compiler to support JavaScript in the browser. Dart is an alternative to JavaScript. Just like F# is an alternative to C#, does that mean Microsoft is giving up on C# on the server? Of course not.
        RobertFolkerts
      • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

        @LBiege Google is struggling to be competitive browser because Mozilla and Internet Explorer dominate this niche.
        http://www.zuarticles.com
        karismasand07
      • <a href="http://www.tran33m.net/vb/">Ù?Ù?تدÙ?ات</a>

        @LBiege Don't worry SJVN, all these haters can keep on hating. I love Chrome just as much as you do. Not really sure why everyone is getting all riled up over this article.
        alasiri
      • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

        @LBiege The best thing would be to go with Google Chrome <a href="http://www.eminemquotes.net/">Eminem Quotes</a>
        karismasand07
    • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

      @Aerowind

      I'm with you, firefox 8 beta is a very good browser. Can't stand chrome's omnibox.
      Alan Smithie
  • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

    can u dont hype why are u fan of chrome it seems google made an operation system in a month that you kill your self to prove chrome is best ok chrome is best in fact chrome is one of best browser in market come on be fair ie and is as good as chrome
    mkkrmt
    • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

      @mkkrmt So who wants to take a stab at translating this garbled up mess?
      Bates_
      • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

        @Bates_ Can you not hype that you are a fan of Chrome. It seems that google made an operating system in a month. You will kill yourself to prove that chrome is the best. Ok chrome is the best. In fact chrome is one of the best browser in market. Come on, be fair on IE. It is as good as chrome !!! :D
        1773
      • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

        @Bates_ LOL doesn't say much for the user base...WOW
        ItsTheBottomLine
  • But only if you're running the approved GLIBC

    Linux Chrome 15 requires glibc-2.11. Worse, (as far as I can find) earlier versions that would work with earlier versions, say glibc-2.10, seem to have been completely removed.

    I'm not going to go through the effort of installing a completely new release, with all the headaches that is for a machine with lots of other apps (including many manually compiled scientific apps) and heavily customized user environments just for a new browser. Particularly when it means I'll have to spend hours and hours "re-compiling the scientific universe."
    cjcoats
    • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

      @cjcoats
      On the upside, your OS was free. The rest of us weenies that paid for an inferior OS get the install without compiling.
      cwallen19803@...
      • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

        @cwallen19803@... Way to be trite. This is a legitimate concern. How do you know cjcoats is running a free version of Linux anyway? Perhaps he is running RedHat or SuSE.
        RobertFolkerts
      • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

        @cwallen19803@... "Free" means little when the OS you get doesn't do what you need and less of what you also want.
        tom@...
    • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

      @cjcoats

      Fedora updated perfectly...What distro are you using?
      linux for me
    • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

      Linux is the wave of the future, has been for 20 years or so. It is the main help OS for those that are trying to break the habit of playing with themselves.

      Forgive me, I jest, use it if you like it, but quit trying to shove it down everybody else's throat, if the OS was so great on PC/Mac it would be more than 1% long before now.

      Like religion, can not fight with reality.

      Firefox, since version 4 is almost worthless to me, MS needs to get out of the browser market, Chrome works with everything, it seems. Damn good thing we do have a choice of something now-a-days.

      Dime to a dough nut, I can buy a computer with any OS I want, but you will pay for a computer.

      Do not like MS OS?? Buy a computer with Linux installed, believe me, that will beat after market.
      101abn
    • RE: Chrome 15: The Best Browser keeps getting better (Review)

      I just switched to Chrome now after years of been a loyal Firefox user. I must say Chrome seems much faster and more reliable, I think I'll be giving it a shot for a while :)
      danielsweb
  • No thank you. I'll stick with better browsers.

    why downgrade to Chrome?
    William Farrell
    • You can stay downgraded.....

      @William Farrell

      But I will stick with the best browser, thank you. I just love the fact the the worst browser can't run on linux.
      linux for me