SlimBoat – A Newer Take On The Browser [Windows & Linux]

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slimboat browser reviewOnce you’ve tried Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari, is there anything left? The browser is generally considered to be the most important part of your home PC experience. It’s the vehicle that lets you stroll out into this wonderful Internet that we all know so well. Once you fall in love with a particular browser, it’s very tough to be pulled away from it. I only recently made the transition from Firefox to Chrome, and many would say I’m a good year late on that.

A little over a month ago, Joel put out a nice piece discussing some of the best browsers for Windows. Saved for last was a browser that is by no means revolutionary, but introduces some very interesting parts that we don’t often see.

SlimBoat

The very first thing you’ll notice about any new browser is the startup time. I was extremely impressed by how quickly SlimBoat launched, and if my old Firefox responded in the same way then I may have never ditched it!

You’ll immediately be met by a feature that every browser should include by now:

slimboat browser review

Being able to conveniently convert all of your favorites websites from three of the most popular browsers is a great first step towards giving SlimBoat a permanent stay. If dragging over your bookmarks isn’t enough, or if you’ve simply chosen not to, the SlimBoat start page puts some of the web’s hottest URLs just a click away. SlimBoat has copied the “speed dial” launching page that Opera once made so popular, offering the following websites by default:

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  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo!
  • CNN
  • Twitter
  • MSN
  • Hulu
  • Gmail
  • Pandora
  • Newegg

slimboat browser

Now that we’ve launched SlimBoat, there is a lot to look at. One of the biggest perks of SlimBoat is that, out of the box, it comes equipped with many features that other browsers can only include through extensions.

Toolbars are usually something that we immediately want to get rid of. While SlimBoat doesn’t come with any extra bars, there are a few buttons that you wouldn’t see in other browsers.

slimboat browser

The back, forward, refresh, home, and favorites buttons are ones we should all be quite used to seeing by now. Aside from those, there are buttons to immediately access eBay and Amazon and one to share content from the current webpage to Facebook. The eBay and Amazon buttons stand out as a little awkward, but clicking on them shows that they are affiliate links tied to SlimBoat.

Basically, this is how a free browser makes money. If you like SlimBoat and want to support it, shop from eBay or Amazon by using these links. It won’t hurt you and will only help the developers.

The favorites bar is also nothing new, but I do really like the look of tabs in SlimBoat. They aren’t bulky, the active tab is very easy to distinguish, and opening a new tab is made very easy.

There are a lot of extra settings and goodies hidden within SlimBoat’s many menus, so you’d better be ready to explore.

slimboat browser

The File menu reveals features such as closed sites memory, session saving, saving pages as a PDF, shortcut, or screenshot, private browsing, and a way to hide your browser. All are very self-explanatory. Private browsing is a lot like Chrome’s Incognito mode and hiding your browser is great for work environments, allowing the window to completely disappear and then reappear when a hotkey is pressed.

slimboat

The Tools menu includes most of what’s left to offer out of SlimBoat’s built-in features. Web Inspector is SlimBoat’s version of Firebug, which is huge in both Firefox and Chrome. SlimBoat also allows you to change your user agent in the browser. Another huge feature is the ability to mass download files from any webpage. It’s the sort of functionality that DownThemAll! offers to Firefox users.

slimboat browser review

Not only does SlimBoat include a popup blocker, but an all-around ad blocker as well. The lists for both can be managed.

Other features in the browser include QuickFill, giving you a little taste of LastPass, and Groups, which allow you to save several tabs together into a website group that you can reopen at a later time. It’s a clever take on session saving.

SlimBoat isn’t far outside of what we’d expect out of the average browser. The plus side of this software is that it requires no pampering. You don’t have to install a third-party extension to block ads. You don’t need to do anything special to download all images off the page or switch your user agent to test what a website may look like in another browser.

SlimBoat is fast, versatile, and efficient. It’s a really cool new browser with a refreshing feel and I really recommend that anyone give it a try. Let me know what you think of it in the comments.

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33 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Gary Volk

Trying it out now. It looks so Netscape-ish. Not very modern looking, and the toolbars take up a lot of real-estate. I had it import my Firefox bookmarks, but it did not seem to get everything, and it got stuff I no longer have bookmarked in Firefox. Maybe it picked up an old profile somewhere? I’m not a big fan of the speed dial thing, and I did not like the fact that a faceyspacy link was included by defualt. Not enough for me to switch from Firefox. Thanks.

Victor Ong

Agreed.

Craig Snyder

I do agree with you, it’s not nearly enough to pull me away from Chrome, but I can see a niche appeal. It ships with some nice features, but possibly too much.

Picking up an older Firefox profile may be the most reasonable explanation to why your bookmarks weren’t imported correctly.

Gary Volk

I also just tried out Maxthon and it too imported an older profile. Looked and had two profiles, 1 .default and 1 .gary. So that problem was not with SlimBoat at least. SlimBoat still felt like 1990’s Netscape, but with todays “minimalistic” approach to browsers it just feels out of place. I could see it improving, and I’ll keep on eye on it. I appreciate makeuseof.com for informing us of these alternative programs, half the time you would never know about it otherwise. Thank you.

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Brian Mok

I still prefer Chrome. :/

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Nevzat Akkaya

Among the non-popular browsers, I think Maxthon is superior to this. It’s great looking, many, many functions buried inside, and joy to use. I just can’t take myself using from Firefox (I’ve thousands of bookmarks, tags, many addons I’m addicted to), otherwise my fav would be Maxthon.

Cabletron

+1 for Maxthon

suneo nobi

But Maxthon ver 4(cloud) has lost its previous features from ver 3 like mute,skinnable interface etc…………………….

Nevzat Akkaya

But it got a wonderful Android browser, it’s so great that I’m using it as default on my hpone and tablet.

Lisa Santika Onggrid

What is ‘mute’ function?

suneo nobi

You can mute the sound of the video/audio playing in browser tabs.But this function was present in the previous versions of maxthon only……………….

Norm M.

When I’m forced to use Windows, Maxthon is my all-time favourite browser. Packed with features, most of them take time to discover. Limited in plug-in features though, and the ones they have might be useless unless you can read Chinese. But still overall, a joy to use. Only wish they made a Linux version!

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Muo TechGuy

Some technical info on the renderer wouldn’t go amiss. It sounds like an open source clone of Safari, running on Webkit.

Also – built in adblocker? Really? The entire world has just scolded MS for their decision to turn on DoNotTrack in IE by default, and you’re recommending a browser that does even worse? Do you genuinely want the internet to die?

Alberto Lerma

” Do you genuinely want the internet to die?”

LOL.

dragonmouth

SlimBoat is going to kill the Internet???!!! Best laugh I’ve had in a long time. Keep it up, muotechguy. We all need comic relief.

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Stephan Huebner

While I see the purpose for certain folks, I personally don’t really like a browser with built in support for each and everything. Rather, I see that as bloatware, as there will inevitably be many functions I never use which clutter up my menus, toolbars, etc.

Imho, a browser with extensive plugin support is the better way to go.

Reply

Chew Jian Yue

The design is simple and easy. I think it will appeal to users who loves the classic interface and don’t want to spend money on buying expensive computers to just surf the web.

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AP

My personal experience with Firefox after version 11.0 is not as good as it was with earlier ones. Now i use chrome and was looking for some other good browser for alternate supplement , thanks for this article.

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Ray Mcclain

It doesn’t seem to support greasemonkey so it’s a no go for me.

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Choon Khai

After years of using different browsers like Rockmelt, Maxthlon, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and other browsers I couldn’t remember it right now, I ended up settling up on Chrome. Kudos to Chrome. But, I still don’t mind trying new browsers out. Who knows it’s better huh?

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Lisa Santika Onggrid

Interesting. Does it have portable version? It’d be nice to use it when I don’t have access to my own laptop.

Craig Snyder

I am also all about portable applications and, sadly, I don’t believe there is any official portable release of SlimBoat.

Reply

Rubis Song

Again another one on the race! I don’t think I will have opportunity to test it but it seems to be good.

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harley bellwood

I downloaded and installed Slimboat to my old, slow XP machine & so far it works like a charm.

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UUUnicorn

On Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, I like SRWare Iron (like Google Chrome and Comodo Dragon Internet Browser, it’s based on the free open-source Chromium browser, but much more secure than Google Chrome).

On Linux Mint 13 “Maya” 32-bit Long-Term Support (MATE and Xfce), I like the free open-source Chromium.

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dragonmouth

Does not offer me anything that don’t have with Firefox or would want to have.

Some of the claims on the browser site a a trifle exaggerated. “Increases download speed by up to 12 times” How can it offer a faster download speed than the connection speed the ISP provides?

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hotdoge3

SlimBoat is fast but bookmarks not work from firefox only work the fist time

I like it better than Maxthon

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Erik

Waterfox +1

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Edward Goldblatt

I’ve switched to using Slimboat as a primary browser for the last two weeks, and I must say that I am impressed! I understand that there are a great many people who wouldn’t like it, but… eh.

Let’s start with a few negatives: I don’t like the custom Google search, and quickly replaced it with one that goes straight through Google.com, as well as quickly and easily creating one for my preferred search engine, DuckDuckGo. And while I understand that Flashpeak needs to make money whether they produce a free product or not, the Ebay and Amazon links were a bit annoying (so I removed them). I also missed the ability to search multiple engines from my address bar – Opera and Firefox have spoiled me.

However, there are a number of positives for me. First, this comment about it being Netscape-ish? I appreciate that fact. I like the menu bar, I like the classic interface. Also, the fact that it’s Qt/WebKit is actually pretty nice, as it renders things generally more efficiently than its sibling, SlimBrowser. Beyond that? It just works, and it has a full status bar, which is something I’ve missed in Firefox. So, at the end of the day, I think I’ll be switching to SlimBoat as a main browser with Firefox added to my list of “special-purpose” browsers, like Iron and Opera.

Celso

Edward, how did you chance the custom google search to the standard one?

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Martin

I’ve been trying Slinboat today- it’s already become my favourite browser.
I love the interface, so much nicer to use than minimal ones.
And it’s fast, and actually plays youtube videos without CPU jam ups, unlike firefox and chrome (my computer’s quite old)
I’ll be keeping it :)

Reply

John Chan

Just tried it, and I have to say that this browser is impressive. To most people, its UI looks old fashioned compared with Chrome, but it offers a lot more. The most important is, it takes the least resources, i.e., the least memory usage among all my browsers including FF, Chrome, IE. So, just try it if you get interested!

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Mark

Started using Slimboat on my old Win XP laptop with only a half-gig of RAM because it supposedly takes up less memory. Slimboat works pretty well for the most part, but I get “has stopped responding” messages from time to time when I look in Windows Task Manager to try to figure out why Slimboat has come to a standstill.

Other annoyances:

1. Can’t get the browser to go directly to “regular’ google when I open a new tab. Yes, I’ve changed the settings in “options.” Doesn’t help.

2. Logmein.com doesn’t work in Slimboat. This might be because logmein.com hasn’t written an extension or app. for Slimboat.

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