Improved tabs bolster Opera 10 beta

Opera has released the beta of Opera 10, sporting a helpful new tabs bar and improved performance.

The most obvious change to the beta is the new tabs bar which can provide thumbnail previews of each open page. These previews can be resized to the customary text descriptions for anybody worried about losing screen real estate.

The customisation also extends to the Speed Dial feature which shows a three-by-three grid of recently viewed pages whenever you open a new tab. The new version allows those with larger monitors to expand this to a five-by-five grid, and add in a custom background image.

A new skin created by British designer Jon Hicks also attempts to introduce a bit of glamour to the famously utilitarian browser.

The more practically minded among you will be happy to hear that Opera’s clearly much faster than its predecessors, tearing into web pages such as Gmail and Facebook at a rate of knots. Indeed, Opera claims it’s 40% faster than version 9.6.

Web developers will also appreciate a couple of neat changes to the integrated Dragonfoly development tools that grant the ability to edit DOM and inspect HTTP headers from within the browser.

Elsewhere, Opera’s turbo mode – which uses proprietary technology to accelerate page loading – continues to be a welcome addition. Opera recommends it for people on dial-up connections, but claims it can even improve the performance on ropey broadband lines.

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