In the world of internet browsers, most people only think of the Big Three: Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. Occasionally, Firefox gets an honorable mention, but there are a whole raft of smaller browsers out there if you're looking for an alternative to the majors.

Recently, the little Opera browser made a significant change, becoming the first smaller browser to optimize its performance for Chromebooks. If you're a Chromebook user and looking for some other browser besides Chrome to surf the web with, Opera is an excellent alternative choice!

Chromebooks really took off during the pandemic, with more than 30 million units shipped in 2020. It's a trend that seems to have caught on, because if projections are correct, then Google is on track to sell another 40 million units this year, which means they're carving out an increasingly significant segment of the market.

To be clear, if you want to give Opera a try on your Chromebook, it's not a perfect Chrome replacement as it cannot be set to the Chromebook's default browser.

Opera does, however, offer a few unique features, including:

  • Five different color schemes to choose from, including both Light and Dark modes.
  • Night Mode, which reduces the contrast based on time of day to help preserve and protect your eyes, minimizing strain.
  • A Crypto Wallet - If you own one or more cryptocurrencies, you'll love the convenience of having a built in cryptocurrency wallet, and the ability to manage your accounts via a convenient "Quick Launch" button.
  • An ad blocker, built in, which is a very nice touch
  • An integrated VPN for added browsing security
  • Messenger Mode - which gives you quick and easy access to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Instagram and Twitter, all in a convenient "Messengers" tab on the left side of the browser.
  • And Flow - which allows you to essentially chat with yourself, taking notes, saving links and storing images on the fly

In summary, it's a very good alternative, and well worth checking out!

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