Opera's Neon Browser Is Futuristic But Far Too Busy

Opera released a new concept web browser called Neon, and its supposed to serve as the company's vision for the future. Neon is designed for media consumption, but I found the majority of its features to be distracting when compared to today's browsers.

The biggest change is that the options are all featured in sidebars. On the left is a bar with a video player, download manager, screenshot clipper and image viewer, while the right sidebar holds all of your tabs. The new homepage is a set of pre-populated sites that the browser thinks you'll like.

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I think a lot of the features are really cool, but the whole experience is really busy and distracting. The sidebars shrink the amount of real estate you have to read websites. And while I was able to fit a lot on screen -- I scanned the front page on the New York Times, read an article on Tom's Guide and watched a popped-out video of President Barack Obama's farewell speech simultaneously -- there was so much going on that I couldn't focus on any one part of the screen. Perhaps the key is restraint. Using splitscreen and pop-out video at once is a lot. 

The browser also has an algorithm that floats tabs it thinks you want to the top, which might peeve tab hoarders who know exactly where they left everything. 

You can download the concept browser for Windows, which isn't replacing regular Opera anytime soon, here.

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