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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Maxthon 2 Beta: A Perfect Blend Between IE and Firefox

Ever since the release of the repulsive IE7 and the equally capable yet "heavy on the RAM" Firefox started to annoy the bejesus out of me, I started looking for alternatives. My little 15 minute quest took me to Maxthon 2 (This is the beta version, which. Maxthon is simply an IE shell. However, its looks and functionality surpasses IE and Firefox. After a quick change of the settings I was able to have a smooth looking, simplistic browser that is fully functional.

Simply put, the reason like this browser is because it has many of the extensions I had in Firefox built into it and that it looks much nicer.

Here are a several of the features that got me to appreciate Maxthon 2:
  1. Very sleek,professional, and cool look. You are also able to get rid of the ugly annoying windows title bar and the menu bar.
  2. The Favorites sidebar and the Newsreader can auto hide. You can also have your favorites in a horizontal bar like Firefox.
  3. Ad Blocking capabilities called Ad Hunter. This is very similar to AdBlock for Firefox. This software uses the same pop-up blocking software as IE, which is very reliable.
  4. Self programmable search bar. This allows a user to input the default query URL for any search engine or site and have that be available in the search bar. (e.g Google's would be "". The forums at the Maxthon website have more on this if you are interested.)
  5. Compatible with all IE compatible sites.
  6. Plus more (of course, there is the hyped tabbed browsing).

Make sure that you download Maxthon 2 Beta and not the original Maxthon, which is horrid compared to its little brother who still going through the birth (I guess).

Here is a screenshot of Maxthon 2 in its setup page (click to enlarge). This particular page shows how you can program the search bar. In this screenshot I also eliminated the menu bar, giving more space to actually browse (I use alt-tab and alt-F4 to do all my closing and minimizing/maximizing).

You can get Maxthon 2 here.

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