Safari 4 Beta review

It’s not the most memory-efficient browser, either. Though Safari consumed only 24MB when first opened, with twelve tabs open its memory usage shot up to 133MB. Firefox needed only 76MB to render the same content.

Opening the “top sites” view instantly added another 100MB to memory load. That may not be a deal-breaker for today’s systems, but for less powerful hardware Firefox remains a more lightweight choice.

And though Apple boasts of “150 features” in Safari 4, we missed a few amenities we’re used to in other browsers. The address bar has none of the smarts of Chrome’s Omnibar: type in a keyword and it’ll just return an error. You can’t middle-click to close a tab, and once you do close one there’s no undo to bring it back.

Yet as a whole Safari has unarguably matured into a credible contender. There’s no very persuasive reason to switch from your current browser, unless you’re an eye-candy addict or a web developer. But compared to Safari 3 it’s a gigantic step forward – and one that holds great promise for the future.

Details

Software subcategoryWeb browser

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Linux supported?no
Operating system Mac OS X supported?yes

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