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Opera’s power-saving mode lands in its stable release channel

TechCrunch TechCrunch 7/06/2016 Frederic Lardinois

A few weeks ago, Opera announced a new feature for its browser on Windows and OS X that aims to make the batteries in your laptop last longer. Until now, this feature was only available in Opera’s beta release channel; today, it is graduating to the stable version. The company claims that this new feature (together with Opera’s built-in ad blocker) can extend your battery life by up to 50 percent over using Chrome.

I’ve used the beta version of Opera on my MacBook Air for the last few weeks and it definitely feels like using Opera over Chrome does result in better battery life, though I don’t think it’s 50 percent. In all fairness, though, Opera cites this number for tests with a Windows 10 laptop, so your mileage may vary.

How does Opera manage to achieve this? The company says that when active, this mode limits the activity of background tabs, wakes the CPU less often by scheduling JavaScript timers differently, reduces the frame rate to 30 frames per second and tunes your video playback parameters by forcing the use of hardware-accelerated codecs.

It’s worth noting that Opera did not publish any benchmarks against Safari on OS X, which makes sense, given that Apple uses similar techniques to extend the battery life on its laptops, too, so the difference is probably not quite as remarkable.

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