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Review of rekonq 0.5

By on July 8th, 2010 
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A while ago, we explained how you can install rekonq 0.5 in Kubuntu. rekonq is going to become the default web browser in Kubuntu 10.10. But, how good is rekonq? Does it have private browsing mode? How is its Javascript performance? We attempt to find out.

The Interface

rekonq has a clean minimalistic interface - the type of interface most web browsers prefer nowadays. It has a Chrome type wrench icon from where you get the various browser options. There is also the bookmark next to it. Like Google Chrome, it has an integrated URL bar from where you can search the web, your history or simply enter the URL. It also serves as an indicator when a page is being loaded.

A feature which I particularly like is the way favorites, history, bookmark are shown in an empty tab. I must say this is a really smart and practical design.

When you hover the cursor over a tab, you get a preview of what is in that tab, a feature found in Opera.

When RSS feeds are available, the RSS icon is shown at the extreme right of the URL bar. By clicking on it you can add the feed to Akregator, the default feed reader in Kubuntu.

Private Browsing

Like most of the other browsers, rekonq also supports private browsing. However when in the private browsing mode there is no indication to show that you are browsing in private mode.

JavaScript Engine Speed Test

As usual we will use the SunSpider JavaScript Test and the V8 Benchmark Tool to test the performance of the JavaScript engine. For comparison, we are also putting Google Chrome 5 in the test.

First the result of SunSpider JavaScript Test: (Remember lower scores are better in this test)

As you can see, rekonq 0.5 performs quite well in the test. In all but one test, it has almost the same performance as Google Chrome. In the end though, Google Chrome is faster than it.

And here is the result of the V8 Benchmark Suite: (Higher Scores are better here)

In the V8 Benchmark, rekonq cannot compete with Chrome. However, if you refer to our last browser benchmarking, rekonq is much faster than Firefox 4.0 Beta 1.

So, rekonq has a JavaScript engine which is not quite as fast as that of Chrome or Opera, but it faster than Firefox.

HTML5 Support

We use the HTML5 Test to test the HTML5 support of rekonq 0.5.

rekonq managed to get a score of 155 in the test. This score is not very impressive and it is significantly lower than those of Chrome, Opera or Firefox.

Not satisfied with just a score, I tried playing a HTML5 video. But rekonq does not show the video or the controls and crashed after about 30 seconds. This shows that rekonq 0.5 is very weak in terms of HTML5 support.

Acid3 Test

rekonq 0.5 doesnot have any issue here. It scores 100/100 and so passes the Acid3 Test. If you are wondering, Firefox does not pass this test.

Other Extra Features

rekonq 0.5 has a feature called Web Inspector. Web Inspector is something like the Developer Tool found in Google Chroma and Firebug for Firefox.

rekonq 0.5 also comes with an in-built ad-block which is quite effective. Extensions are not supported yet, but it is on its way.

Conclusion

Is rekonq 0.5 ready for widespread use? No, it certainly is not. It a very new browser and is promising. But at the moment, the current release is not yet ready for widespread use. It has  a good javaScript engine in WebKit but it it still feels incomplete to use. However, in my opinion, it is much better than Konqueror.

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Review of rekonq 0.5 was originally published on Digitizor.com on July 8, 2010 - 7:43 pm (Indian Standard Time)