Maxthon 3 Review

By | August 30, 2010 | 26 Comments


Maxthon 3 Screenshots

About

Maxthon 3 is a hybrid web browser that combines both, Internet Explorer’s Trident and WebKit rendering engines. Therefore, users can switch between two of them, in case there are compatibility issues. Furthermore, it includes one of the fastest JavaScript engines, which is Google’s V8.

Although Maxthon 3 is one of the most popular web browsers in China, it failed to gain significant ground everywhere else.

Can version 3 change that? Let’s find out.

Upon the launch, browser greets you with a simple, good looking UI, as well as an introductory page that explains the new features of Maxthon 3.

Maxthon 3 Screenshots

The Good

As you might expect, browser does indeed feel fast. In fact, I went ahead and deleted cache (no change), just because it loaded non-heavy web pages instantly; but then again, you can achieve pretty much same results with most modern web browsers, such as: Google Chrome.

What about features?

Maxthon 3 includes Opera’s Speed Dial with drag & drop support, allowing you to quickly access frequently visited web pages.

Maxthon 3 Screenshots

Maxthon 3 Screenshot

Additionally, you can synchronize your favorites across difference computers (registration is required, obviously).

Maxthon 3 Screenshot

One of the more interesting Maxthon 3 features is “Maxthon Multi Search”. Basically, it allows you to quickly seek for information via different search engines. Can be really useful, especially when it comes to images search or news.

Maxthon 3 Screenshots

Maxthon 3 Screenshot

Fortunately for web developers, it also includes WebKit Developer Tools (see the following page for comparison). No additional files or add-ons are required, just hit on the icon and you are all set.

Maxthon 3 Review

Maxthon 3 Review

Maxthon 3 Magic Fill
Maxthon Magic Fill

Settings page is where Maxthon 3 truly shines. Have you ever found a setting that was not well explained (if explained at all)? Well, worry no more. Thanks to geniuses behind the idea, Maxthon does a pretty good job explaining some of them.

Maxthon 3 Review

Maxthon 3 Review
For those who enjoy mouse gestures, there is such feature as well.

Maxthon 3 Review

Maxthon 3 Review

The Bad

Although Maxthon 3 includes an integrated ad hunter, when it comes to more “advanced” use, it’s really not that useful. I couldn’t easily block flash ads and browser crashed when I tried to turn this feature off.

ACID3

ACID3 100/100
As you can see from test results, although Maxthon scored 100/100, it has not passed the test.

What happens when you turn on developer tools on such page?
ACID3 Crashed

Anything else?

Yes, sometimes browser feels like a mess, it’s hard to find a specific setting or function you want. For example: I was trying to view page source, pressed Alt button to see the menu but nothing happened. Then went to the menu itself but couldn’t find “View Source” item. Tried “page menu” (where you enable Developer Tools, etc.), still no luck..

All I had to do was simply click right mouse button and vuala. Same with search, you can’t find “multi-search” settings in browser “Options…” menu.

Customization

One of the biggest Maxthon 3 downfalls is UI customization, or lack of it. I am not sure if it’s even possible to remove a single design element or button.

It’s like developers saying: here, use it as we tell you to, and don’t you dare to change anything.

Here’s my preferred browser UI: clean and junk free
Perfect Browser UI

Also, it looks like RSS Reader is no longer a part of Maxthon, at least we couldn’t find any easy way for subscribing to RSS Feeds. Their landing page does not seem to acknowledge such feature as well.

Conclusion

Maxthon 3 is a well thought out web browser that not only offers great performance and has intuitive user interface, but also, something, what every other browser lacks: exceptionally friendly configuration page for its new users.

Of course, Maxthon 3 still has stability issues and some flaws that require attention, especially when it comes to UI customization. So, if you are not a clean UI junkie, have no need for a RSS reader and just like new things, give it a spin, it’s a browser worth trying.

Software LicenseSoftware License: Freeware

Operating Systems Support Operating Systems Support: Microsoft Windows

Download Link Download Link: Maxthon 3

Homepage 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.

  • http://www.sumake.eu narzędzia warsztatowe

    Seems like very interesting browser. If I would use FF or IE I would definitely try this out :P

    • http://www.favbrowser.com Vygantas Lipskas

      Yes, I was actually considering switching for a short term, but RSS reader + clean UI is a must for me :-)

      P.S. I will try reviewing more browsers as they come out, so article quality should improve.

      • Ichan

        So I gather you use Opera.

        Chrome a distant second with a RSS feed extension?

      • Abc

        RSS Reader is available now for Maxthon.

  • max1c

    *cough opera rip off cough*
    Used to be good browser back in the day.

    • bora

      try it you won’t regret

    • http://www.Executive4sight.com Robert

      Maxthon 2 is the current prod version and rich in features
      Maxthon 3 is still beta, but I use it as my default browser.
      More features are coming.
      Try SuperDrag&Drop to lauch search, it is addictive.

  • http://another.intheuniverse.com.ar lolfang

    Screams “Opera” everywhere, except in Settings.

  • Ichan

    Good review.
     
    I guess everything is an Opera ripoff these days.
     
    Why not complain about the GUI being a ripoff? How would you like it if your precious windows didnt have an UI because it was patented? Enjoy the command prompt
     
    You kids are sad.

    • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael

      Firefox 4 UI might remember a lot of Opera, but it has different features and behavior as a different web browser, but Maxthon is an almost perfect copy of everything Opera has integrated!

      • Ichan

        Honestly I do not see how other browsers arent an evolution of each other.

        Yes, we have established that Opera in indeed a pioneer in regard of new features but that is all that they do. I would REALLY LOVE to see them revolutionize with some really really big feature. Something I can live without (speed dial was a good example of this < note the was)

        Lately all they are doing in introducing sub par features that the competition rips and builds upon.

        If only patented every aspect of there browser. However this thought will soon show disastrous as we would have no competition and in reagard no innovation.

        Come on Opera. Give me some more of that MAGIC!

      • bora

        so what?  what does it matter to you?

  • Armin

    It’s a good browser I guess but the fact that I cannot customise the user interface or tab behaviour or the speed dial or other such things means I won’t switch.

  • Armin

    This release is just a beta release according to Wikipedia. Can anybody confirm this?

    • http://www.browser-fuchs.de Spaceball

      Well,
      the changelog says otherwise.  Maxthon released four RCs between the latest Version 3.0.17.1000 and the last Beta 3.0.12.8.

      • Armin

        Then somebody better fix that entry!

  • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael

    No Presto = no switch.

  • http://www.ifadey.com Fawad Hassan

    Maxthon 3 is an excellent choice for those who like clean UI and want high performance :)
    Personally I liked it a lot

  • http://lozu.co.cc Lozu

    Maxthon 3 is designed to be like Google Chrome.
    If you’ve missed on the tools in the previous version, you are going to hate it.

  • bora

    Haven’t used Maxthon for a very long time because IE engine sucks. But M3 is plain awesome, it is everything Chrome should be, fast as hell, easy as hell.
    Yeah it won’t be featured on Silicon Valley tech blogs but who cares man, it is goddamn perfect.

  • …………

    maxthon 3 is actually a full version now its better than chrome in my opinion no 1 ever goes to a different browser chrome is nearly beating firefox on the market share the only downfall of maxthon its nicknamed my internet explorer 2 because it runs on the ie engines if you dont like maxthon try firefox

  • RobCr

    IS THERE ANYONE IN THE WORLD THAT DOES NOT WANT A BROWSER TO RE-OPEN TABS FROM THE PREVIOUS SESSION ? ? ?
    If so you have my permission to kill them.
    WHY DO BROWSER PROGRAMS ALWAYS ASSUME THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE YOUR LAST USED TABS.
    IT IS DRIVING ME INSANE, THAT EVERY NEW BROWSER HAS TO BE TOLD (SOMETIMES AT GREAT EFFORT) TO REMEMBER THE TABS (AUTOMATICALLY).

  • RobCr

    I switched it to Classic View, and was liking it (and hoping my previous rant will push them to make Tab restore automatic).
    Then I went to save a web page which I do very often, and discovered that IT WILL NOT SAVE AS .MHT
    IE was the first to provide that, so I assumed that this would have that feature.
    Maxthon 2 has it -
    Web Archive single file (.mht)
    For those that don’t know,a .mht is a single file complete web page with the extension .mht
    If you try to save a complete web page in Maxthon 3, it has the extension .htm and it has a companion file, with all the images, and can have links in there that are as wide (long) as Texas.
    TRUST ME, YOU DO NOT WANT TO SAVE COMPLETE WEB PAGES LIKE THAT

    That is a deal breaker for me, as I aint saving all my web pages, with those horrible companion folders.
    Rob

    PS Maxthon 2 remembers last used Tabs, automatically, and also saves as .mht
    Are the developers of Maxthon 3, not paying any heed to what worked before ? ? ?

  • Kalyan Roy

    Maxthon seems worth trying. It looks like a cross between Chrome & Opera, both being my favourites.

  • http://www.flickr.com/ ankur

    after using maxthon 1 & 2 for the past 5 yrs,i was excited to find Max 3 .Main reason for sticking to maxthon was its 100% UI customization.What you need keep it and what you find useless,remove that from taskbar.So useful & so neat looking frame was something i could never find in any other browzer.After installing Max 3,my excitement changed to nightmare within minutes.i was so frustrated seeing that not even 1% of its UI could be modified.After banging my head for 1 or 2 hrs,i uninstalled it.Trust me the very same day i once again installed it thinking that i might have missed the way to modify its UI,but in vain.I installed and uninstalled it 4 times in just 10 hrs.My mind was crushed between 2 thoughts.One side of my brain said it sucks and simultaneously the other side said its not possible that max 3 lacks UI customization.Eventually with heavy heart i switched back to Max 3.What a pity !!

    • http://www.flickr.com/ ankur

      * please read last line as “i switched back to Max 2.5″ instead of Max 3.Thanks.