The makers of the Opera web browser for desktop and mobile devices are launching a new concept browser with a dramatically redesigned user interface. It’s called Opera Neon and it should be able to display any content that works in other Opera or Chrome web browsers, since it uses the same rendering engine.

But Opera Neon has a new multi-media focused layout and design elements focused on search and multitasking.

Here are some of the features that set Opera Neon apart from most other browsers:

  • There’s a sidebar that slides out from the left that can display a video player, download manager, and image gallery.
  • Browser tabs are on the right side of the screen instead of the top, and they’re managed by an “intelligent system” that moves frequently-used tabs to the top and ones you use less often to the bottom.
  • There’s a pop-out video player that lets you keep watching while visiting other pages.
  • A split-screen mode makes it easy to view two pages at once.
  • The start page automatically uses your current desktop background image and displays a search bar and shortcuts for your favorite sites.

There’s also a tool to crop and save parts of web pages to your gallery.

Opera is calling Neon a “concept,” which suggests that the company has no plans to replace its other web browsers with the new user interface… at least not yet. Personally I’m skeptical of the intelligently-managed tabs, since I like tabs to stay where I put them so I can find them later. But some of the other features including the left sidebar functions could be interesting.

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