Getting Started (4 out of 5)
I should start by noting that I chose to download and try out the very latest version, 2.5.1, rather than the "classic" Maxthon 1 browser. Why not go for all the gusto that one can, I say.
The download and installation was straightforward, quick, and completed without glitches or surprises. That’s just what I was looking for, because, to be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to tromping through another browser. I regularly use three or four different browsers already. They have their differences, plusses, minuses, variations on a theme; but in the end, they all let you surf the web and present web pages.
But I do have to say that the start up put me into a better frame of mind. The browser came up quickly after the initial install and presented a page with a list of possible activities. The guided tour wasn’t extensive, but it gave enough of an introduction to the critical features to get me into the browser and doing the usual, simple things quickly: open new tabs, close tabs, viewing default menus and toolbars. It’s the added twists and features that make this browser interesting and powerful.
Common functions can be invoked by mouse-only actions; holding down the right mouse button while making certain mouse motions causes some very common results. Hold-right with a down-and-right mouse move closes the active tab; hold-right with a straight up or straight down motion refreshes the current page. Hold-right with a mouse move left restores the previous page, while a similar mouse move right brings up the next page in the history. These mouse moves save typing and key-clicks.
Several icons in the toolbars have different but related actions on click-left or click-right. Click-left on the Refresh icon refreshes the active page; click-right on the Refresh icon refreshes all tables.
Feature Richness (5 out of 5)
OK, I got a better-than-expected intoduction; but that wears off quickly if there’s nothing else worthwhile. Poking around the menu bar and the various toolbars quickly revealed that this is one powerful browser that has integrated a very respectable repertoire of features. Display your pages in any of 37 available languages; translate pages in 12 common foreign languages to English. The tools menu offers selections for adding external tools, disabling images, scripts, Flash, screen-capturing a region on a given page, the entire page, or all pages.The sidebar provides selections for Facebook, RSS feeds, Maxthon account access, and favorites.
One of the cooler features is skins; you can customize the overall appearance by applying from a lengthy selection of predefined skins at Maxthon’s site, or unleash your inner artiste and use Maxthon’s skin-builder.
There are several selections that provide browser configuration options, giving you limitless ways to make this browser do pretty much whatever you need or want it to do.
Overall Evaluation (5 out of 5)
There is enough in this browser to keep you hunting and choosing for quite awhile. The "Help" menu provides an FAQ page and links to the Maxthon site. A quick tour through this section did not yield a user guide or manual, so it wasn’t obvious wehre to find a tutorial or full user documentation. But most of the browser features are self-explanatory and are similar enough to other browsers to be useful with little effort.
As I said earlier, I wasn’t enthused about getting into another browser. But I will admit that I’ve probably found the next browser that I’m going to use…and I think I know which of my present browsers that I’m going to rest for a while. All in all, Maxthon has done a pretty impressive job bringing some new features and twists to the browser market.