Version 36

NB1: The differences between Chromium and Google Chrome are described in the Chromium OS review.

Chromium was the default browser in Lubuntu…but not much else. It is a great browser however, just the non-Google-fanboy Linux users often prefer Firefox (mostly because because MANY Linux users use Ubuntu, which uses Firefox by default).

Chromium starts on the apps screen, which is rather blank and only has a link to the Chrome Web Store because (by default) there are no apps (hyperlinks) on Chromium. Google Chrome comes with a load of hyperlinks to useful/not-so-useful apps to Google services as advertising, Chromium is completely clean…although it does defeat the point of an app page a bit (considering some of the good game apps on the Web Store require an updated version of Flash which you can only get with Pepper-based Chrome Flash).

However the ‘Most Visited’ page is nice, this comes up default when you open a new tab, and a nice feature is that you can switch between App and Most Visited pages whenever you access one of them. It also has a ‘Recently Closed’ menu at the bottom right which is really helpful. It has a cool menu called ‘Other Devices’, which (if you have Chrome on some other devices) lets you see the webpages displayed by them, this can be really helpful if you have found a Flash game on your mobile or something that doesn’t work well on mobile and you want to play it on your PC, rather than typing in the URL or searching it, you just click on the right tab in the ‘Other Devices’ menu.

So it has loads of features. It has the Multibar which has Google’s Suggested Search function built in, you have a ton of extensions in the Web Store and (pointlessly?) a Task Manager. With so many features, surely you could make an OS out of it? Yes, you can…ish. (Read our Chromium OS review to see how TERRIBLE that idea was in this current time (unreliable Internet + Google Chrome OS = unreliable, overpriced computer).

But yes, in the end, this is the ultimate browser. Ad-funded, souped up, open-source, bang-crash-wallop. It has it all. It has Themes as well which customise it (but aren’t as nice as Firefox Personas in my opinion).

However it seems to be rather limiting in one way, nearly all extensions which go on it are either just hyperlinks that go on your app page, or are a tiny button to the top-right of your Multibar. Some people hated toolbars on Internet Explorer and Firefox, but, all you have to do is press the ‘X’ next to the toolbar and it is gone. Toolbars display lots of information. Chromium, generally, doesn’t have them. Also, Chromium is VERY uncustomisable, other than Themes, there’s not much you can do. Additionally, Chromium seems to be incapable of importing RSS feeds from Firefox (a minor point).

Customisability and Ubuntu integration = Firefox
Everything else = Chrome
…and that’s all there is to it.

Usability: 10/10 (Insane number of minimalistic but powerful features. Feature-wise, this browser wins outright)

Aesthetics: 9/10 (Looks awful in Ubuntu but epic everywhere else)

Performance: 10/10 (VERY fast)

Overall: 10/10 (Well, it is the most popular browser, for good reason.)

Written by Adam. Edit this review here (not live):


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