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Mind you, the quality of text in general is nothing to write home about. Safari renders text ‘softly’, which to you and me means fuzzily. It’s similar to IE7’s ClearType option but looks even more aggressive – then again some like it, others don’t.
As regards speed, Apple claims Safari’s at least twice as fast as IE7. Even this beta copy is quite nippy. However, we suspect slow updates of Internet pages are far more likely to be caused by a slow connection or an inundated site server, than by a sluggish browser. That said, if you need the ultimate in page redraw speeds, Safari must be a contender.
There are some particularly handy features in the program. One of these is Inline find; a fast search facility which not only finds words and phrases within the currently displayed page, but also highlights each in turn with an eye-catching animation and dims the rest of the text so the search subject really stands out.
Then there’s the RSS feed button in the address bar, which pops up on any site supporting these newswires and displays all the latest stories in a very easy-to-access way.
The adaptation of Safari to the Windows environment isn't completely consistent. Some dialogs flap out from the top of the screen in a distinctly OSX way, while others pop-up in traditional Windows XP colours, looking oddly discordant with the rest of the interface design.
Although it's not fair to make much comment on the stability of beta code, the Safari beta crashes rather too regularly to be used as your primary browser, at the moment. Most times we hit the RSS button, for example, Safari would ‘need to close’, though oddly not with Apple’s RSS.
Safari is a capable Internet browser, but Apple should perhaps have taken a closer look at the opposition before trying to crash the Windows party. Simple features like IE7’s ability to open a new tab from any bookmark or Firefox 2’s drag-and-drop of site names into the bookmark palette are everyday benefits of these two browsers which Safari, at least in this beta, can't match.
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