New battery saver added to Opera’s browser for computers, extending laptop battery life by up to 50%

Opera for computers has become the first major browser to feature a battery saver – out today in the developer stream. The new mode extends the laptop battery life by up to 50% compared to earlier versions of the Opera browser and to Google Chrome.

The web browser is among the most used software on the computer. It’s the browser that enables people to work in the cloud, search the web, listen to music and watch videos. However, having many tabs open simultaneously often results in rapid battery drain that reduces a laptop’s performance.

“It’s extremely frustrating to run out of battery on your computer, whether you are out traveling, watching videos, or you have just left your charger behind. Our new battery saver will nudge you when the laptop starts to consume battery, and, when enabled, it can increase the battery life by as much as 50%,” says Krystian Kolondra, SVP of Engineering for Opera.

Battery saving on Opera for computers is possible thanks to optimizations, such as reducing activity from background tabs, adapting page-redrawing frequency and tuning video-playback parameters.

How it works

Using the new battery saver is easy. Once the laptop’s power cable is unplugged, the battery icon will appear next to the search and address field in the Opera browser.
Click the battery icon to activate the battery saver and flip on the switch. The browser will also detect when the laptop’s battery is running low and will suggest enabling battery saver.

Increased performance

This developer version of Opera 39 brings yet more performance improvements that will extend your laptop’s battery life. Some parts of the code have been simplified, while animated themes have been optimized. In this version, we are also testing a smarter way of managing memory, which ensures that constantly opened tabs like Gmail and Facebook will be much more responsive.

The recently released native ad blocker reduces memory consumption by up to 47%, which also contributes to longer battery life. Using the ad blocker along with the battery saver means even better power savings and performance.

Test results

In our test, designed to reflect the way people use browsers in real life, the latest Opera developer version was able to run up to 50% longer than browsers like Google Chrome on a laptop running Windows 10, 64-bit.

About our new Opera browser

Recently, Opera has released several industry-changing features, such as an integrated ad blocker, a built-in VPN and a video pop out feature. These features were first tested in our developer channel, which allows Opera and our early adopters to test and improve new technology from inception. Bringing the battery saver to the developer channel marks another step in building a browser that matches up to users’ expectations and needs today.

About the research

These results are from the test we have done on 11 popular websites. For testing we used the Selenium WebDriver. Each page was opened in separate tab, without closing previous ones, and was scrolled 5 times, then left alone for a minute. The test was repeated until the laptop ran out of battery completely. While testing the battery life with the battery saver enabled, the ad blocker was on, too. The machine was Lenovo X250, Core i7-5600U, 16GB RAM running on Windows 10, 64-bit.

Download the developer version of Opera browser here.

Read more about this release in our blog post.