Maxthon, a hybrid web browser from China, has gained a huge crowd of followers in its own homeland and quickly took over the first spot from the Internet Explorer itself. However, when it comes to a global market share, thing are quite different. Microsoft’s IE is still in the lead while Maxthon is miles away from being a “must have” alternative.
Can the upcoming Maxthon 3.2 release change things for good or does it still lack polish and should not compete with the big boys? We go hands on to find out!
Look and Feel
Upon web browser launch, Maxthon greets you with a familiar grid of your favorite sites, a feature, which has originated from the Opera and is now used by pretty much every web browser.
Unlike some of its competitors, Maxthon offers a variety of Speed Dial groups for quick and easy access. In addition to that, users can use their own background image or select from pre-installed ones.
On a downside, thew new tab page feels sluggish when comapred to Opera or Google Chrome. A pretty significant con, considering that it’s the most visited area.
After getting to know the web browser, the next natural step is a settings page and that’s where Maxthon truly shines.
As we mentioned in our previous review, the options window UI is well organized and is pretty much flawless.
Tabs are colorful and invite you to explore, every single setting is easy to understand, especially when Maxthon provides you with a detailed description and even some visuals. Everyone single browser should copy the concept.
How can you not love that?
There is not much new to say about the Maxthon developer tools as it’s pretty much identical to Google’s Chrome or Apple’s Safari Web Inspector
If you would like to learn more about this subject, feel free to check our developer tools comparison.
While other web browsers offer standard features, such as: search engines management and suggestions, Maxthon has gone one step further.
Maxthon’s Multi Search allows you to quickly access frequently visited search engines and their features; it has everything ranging from the MP3 to pictures search.
Don’t like Google Images results? No worries, you can switch to Bing with a single click.
Maxthon 3 has introduced a neat looking RSS Reader, which does have a lot of potential.
As you can see from the screenshot above, it’s quite a looker and is years ahead its competition. Not only it offers a variety of display modes, but also an ability to zoom in the whole reader by simply pressing CTRL and + keys.
Just like the rest of UI, it’s pretty straightforward and it’s easy to figure things out. There is one major issue though, it doesn’t seem possible to delete a news item of your choice, as “Delete” button does nothing and right click provides little to no functionality.
Having said that, we are eager to try the Final version.
If you are keen on backing up your data or use a couple of PCs, then “MX Cloud Sync” will surely come in handy. After signing up, users will be able to synchronize their data, which includes: Favorites, Ad Filter, Options, Smart Address Bar and Quick Access settings.
Once logged in, Maxthon will fetch your avatar and display it in the top LEFT corner for easy identification.
Back in old days, Opera used to be a king of the hill when it came to download managers. However, the competitors weren’t sleeping and have since then surpassed it.
Maxthon Download Manger offers a simple way to manage downloads, not only you can manually add the URL but also control upload and download speed, which can be useful in certain situations.
After installing Maxthon, we were disappointed to find out that there were no customization options. Right clicking on the navigation or tool icons offered no option to remove any of them.
Thankfully, that was just a poor UI decision and there is actually an option to customize your UI via main menu.
Not too bad, considering that it wasn’t customizable few years ago. However, we would like to see an option to remove the avatar and other elements, such as: search from the Speed Dial, remaining navigation icons and bandwidth meter.
If you ignore the Beta version sluggishness and a lack of polish, you are left with a great web browser that is hard not to love.
It has pretty much everything you would ever need, from features like RSS Reader and Mouse Gestures to Google’s Chrome like performance and superb web sites compatibility. Furthermore, unlike some of the competitors, Maxthon is truly an innovative web browser.
Yes, we loved it and can’t wait to try the Final build.
There is one major issue though. If you enjoy clean and highly customizable user interface, then your only alternative is Opera; and unfortunately for some of us, that’s exactly what we need.
– Great performance and web sites compatibility
– Rich feature set
– Easy to use
– “New Tab” page suffers from Internet Explorer like sluggishness
– Lacks polish (Beta)
Software License: Freeware
Operating Systems Support: Microsoft Windows
Download Link: Maxthon 3
Homepage: Maxthon Browser
About (Author Profile)
Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.