Opera version 51 brings a solid speed boost and several new features

When it comes to browser speed, Mozilla has been dominating the discussion with its recent Firefox Quantum updates. However, Opera isn't standing idly by. The company has released Opera version 51 (opens in new tab), which it claims is 38 percent faster than the latest update to Firefox, version 58.

From Opera:

In Opera 51, which is now compiled with Clang (Windows), you will see performance gains on benchmark tests such as the new Speedometer 2.0. We challenged Opera 51 (running on HP Spectre with Windows 10) to a speed test against the latest Mozilla Firefox 58. The result: Opera is 38% better than Firefox.

The browser wars haven't been as heated as they once were, but these speed boosts make both Opera and Firefox interesting options for those looking for alternatives – particularly if neither Chrome nor Edge are your cup of tea.

On top of general speed boosts, the Opera team has added a number of other small tweaks in version 51. You can now click a website's tab to quickly scroll back to the top of the page, which can be incredibly handy on things like Twitter feeds or long Reddit threads. A new "Import bookmarks" button is now available in the bookmarks manager, and private mode has also seen a bit of a restyling. If you're managing a bunch of tabs, Opera 51 also now includes two collapsible lists for open and recently closed tabs, accessible at the far right side of the tabs bar.

Other under-the-hood changes are also on board with version 51, as well as new options for backing up your preferences, resetting browser settings, and the option to set your desktop background as Opera's wallpaper. For more, you can check out Opera's full release notes and download version 51 now (opens in new tab).

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Edge 16 is still faster. Now Opera is 2nd fast again. Oh well.
  • Lol I remember the browser wars back in the early 2000s, I chose Opera and used it for 10 years but then switched to FF for better compatibility. Only touch Chrome when I have to for work, it's literally spyware...
  • I always avoided Google Chrome no matter what. But yeah I've used Netscape Navigator, Firefox, Opera, Maxthon, IE 6 in the past.
  • Opera is really the best browser right now along with Firefox Quantum. Edge maybe fast but the UI is horrible.
  • Nah, the UI of Edge is functional. It's not reliable at all. It must be ran from an SSD and it needs tons of RAM along with a really fast CPU for best results.
  • I use Opera compared to Chrome. I use it because I like the built in features. I really like the start page and I like how you can pick animated wallpapers and stuff. Chrome does have more extensions which makes it better in that aspect but I do not like the design of Chrome whatsoever. Second up I use Edge because I like the features like web notes and such and it's a very organized browser. However I don't like the Address bar since I don't understand the layout of how they put reading view and add to favorites inside of it while the other stuff is on the outside.
  • You know there is an Opera extension that allows you to install extensions from the Chrome store?
  • Anyone give any thought to BRAVE and their new browser? With their excellent ad blocking and anti tracking features, it's pretty much my go to browser right now.
  • Brave seems nice, I just prefer firefox for the fact it's open source.
  • Both are non commercial software and open source, I remember back in year 2000 when I was in college we still used Network News Transfer Protocol in our Solaris lab, Opera address always worked
  • I wish Microsoft could help Mozilla and Opera Non Profit organizations to port their desktop browsers as Centennial apps, that way these browsers could be used at schools and other non profit companies to promote open source software through Windows Store
  • There is nothing stopping schools and other non profit companies from using them now.  What difference would the MS store make?  
  • Windows 10S, which is target for education
  • Idk how long i have been using opera, looooooong, the tiles and mouse gestures always kept me a bit of a fan. Now with the press tab to scroll to top they did it again, extremely handy. Wish they would bring the full feature set to mobile, to me that would be quite something.