I’ve been a Firefox (ne Phoenix) and Camino user since the early 2000s. No browser before or since matched its flexibility, plugin library and community.

I wasn’t tempted by Chrome. Safari was always a solid backup, but was never my primary browser. Opera, Rockmelt and Flock were interesting, but never caught on.

Then I tried Vivaldi, and within a few minutes I knew I was using something special. Started by former Opera engineers, its a Chromium-based browser with a feature matrix that eerily aligns with everything I care about. Some of my favourite features:

  • Sidebar tabs. How anyone can use tabs crammed into a horizontal line in 2016 baffles me.

  • Dedicated search box option, so you’re not awkwardly typing search terms into a URL bar.

  • Detailed progess bar showing the KBs downloaded and remaining for a page, ala Opera

  • Docked sidebars for downloads, bookmarks and notes

  • It has a status bar. Haleluyah.

  • One-click image disabling in the aforementioned status bar, so one can use expensive and slow Australian mobile internet.

I’m impressed.