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Power-saving arrives in browser

May 27th, 2016
Opera for computers has become the first major browser to feature a power saving mode. The new mode extends the laptop battery life by up to 50% compared to earlier versions of the Opera browser and to Google Chrome.
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The web browser is among the most used software on the computer. It’s the browser that enables people to work in the cloud, search the web, listen to music and watch videos. However, having many tabs open simultaneously often results in rapid battery drain that reduces a laptop’s performance.

“It’s extremely frustrating to run out of battery on your computer, whether you are out traveling, watching videos, or you have just left your charger behind. Our new power saving mode will nudge you when the laptop starts to consume battery, and, when enabled, it can increase the battery life by as much as 50%,” says Krystian Kolondra, SVP of Engineering for Opera.

Battery saving on Opera for computers is possible thanks to optimizations, such as reducing activity from background tabs, adapting page-redrawing frequency and tuning video-playback parameters.

How it works

Using the new power saving mode is easy. Once the laptop’s power cable is unplugged, the battery icon will appear next to the search and address field in the Opera browser.

Click the battery icon to activate the power saving mode and flip on the switch. The browser will also detect when the laptop’s battery is running low and will suggest enabling power saving mode.

Increased performance

This developer version of Opera 39 brings yet more performance improvements that will extend your laptop’s battery life. Some parts of the code have been simplified, while animated themes have been optimized. In this version, we are also testing a smarter way of managing memory, which ensures that constantly opened tabs like Gmail and Facebook will be much more responsive.

The recently released native ad blocker reduces memory consumption by up to 47%, which also contributes to longer battery life. Using the ad blocker along with the power saving mode means even better power savings and performance.

Test results

In our test, designed to reflect the way people use browsers in real life, the latest Opera developer version was able to run 3 hours longer than browsers like Google Chrome on a laptop running Windows 10, 64-bit.

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