Sleipnir is Japan based browser boasting ultra customization. It was created by Fenrir inc’s Yasuyuki Kashiwagi. The name Sleipnir comes from Ordin’s majestic eight legged horse in Nordic mythology. Unlike the name which means smooth and gliding, this browser is anything but graceful.
Apart from features to customise aesthetics such as design and skin of interface, Sleipnir provides thirteen different plug-in to choose from. Among these plug-ins the one that is very impressive is the active gecko browser plug in, which allows users to switch between the default trident which is internet explorer rendering engine and mozilla’s gecko. This is very useful when different sites behave differently based on the engine; all you have to do is simply click the Explorer icon at the bottom of the screen and it will automatically switch to gecko. However, a warning message will be displayed frequently due to security reasons stating that the information is about to be sent over an unencrypted connection.
Though the above feature is quite impressive, Sleipnir has a sluggish feel. This browser is slower than others, occasionally freezing when many tabs are used simultaneously. When a simple test was conducted to study the speed of the browser the results obtained were coherent with the practical experience. The average start up time under cold conditions was 9.3s, warm start up time was 2.99s and navigating time was 2.022s. This was on a trident engine. These results were compared with that of Internet explorer and Mozilla.IE had a speed of 4.99s, 2.32s and 1.99s respectively and Mozilla had a speed of 5.83s, 1.35s and .81s respectively. Many other similar tests were conducted on Trident and gecko engines. Though the tests were different but all of them yielded same result. Sliepnir is slower than other conventional and more famous browsers like Mozilla and Internet Explorer.
In addition to Internet Explorer’s standard tool bar, Sleipnir provides four other tab viewing options and extra tool bar space which again might be helpful but makes the user interface slightly cluttered. These extra options allow the user to do things such as open a specific category of recent pages simultaneously (i.e., news pages), adding/reloading scripts, controlling windows/tabs, etc. On the bottom of the screen there are buttons for muting sound, stopping images and videos, and others, such as stopping ActiveX control. Note that these bottom options only work when Sleipnir is running on the Trident engine
Sliepnir is a good browser with impressive features but it has certain disadvantages most important one being its sluggish nature. Advanced Web users will enjoy the detailed customization, but those who are looking for a fast and simple Internet experience it would be better if they stick to their conventional browsers.