A couple of weeks ago, I downloaded and set RockMelt as my default browser. How did it turn out? Read my review after the break.
A little background
RockMelt browser is a “socia media” browser created by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria, which are backed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen. Which is why RockMelt created a lot of buzz when it was launched last November 2010.
RockMelt is based on Google’s open-source project Chromium (now on version 12) which is a cross-platform family of browsers (available for Windows, Mac and Linux) that uses the open-source web layout engine WebKit — the same engine used on Google Chrome browser and Apple Safari browser.
User Interface and Facebook
RockMelt is tabbed browsing web browser and if you’ve been using Google Chrome for a long time, you will immediately notice the similarity. On the Navigation bar, from left to right you will see the option to post a new message, Navigation controls, Address bar, Facebook sharing, Search bar (Google is the default search engine), Quite mode button. Then on both sides of the browser called EDGES, on left side of RockMelt the Friends Edge, a buddy list like feature on RockMelt that list your friends, you can also sort according to their online status and lists only those who are online. On the other side the Apps Edge, RockMelt created an APP and FEED manager where you can setup FEED URL of your favorite sites and be notify if there is a new published content. You can also interchange the places of the edges. At the bottom, is where the Facebook chat will appear.
RockMelt’s killer feature is that you can brand the browser with your Facebook account, Rockmelt actually did a good job in integrating Facebook’s popular features like Notification, Status, Facebook Sharing and Facebook Chat which is not common from other browser/software unless you install an additional software. When you brand the browser with your Facebook account, this means that any settings, bookmark, feeds and app that you setup on RockMelt will be connected to the Facebook account that is signed to the browser, so every account signed on to RockMelt will have its own sets of settings, bookmarks, feeds and apps.
Performance and Internet
When it comes in measuring performance, there’s nothing like benchmark scores. So if you’re a benchmark person, checkout the SunSpider JAVA Script benchmark with all 5 browser.
RockMelt SunSpider JAVA Script benchmark: 497.1ms +/- 7.7%
IE 9.0 SunSpider JAVA Script benchmark: 404.0ms +/- 15.1%
Firefox 5.0 SunSpider JAVA Script benchmark: 388.4ms +/- 17.0%
Safari SunSpider JAVA Script benchmark: 499.3ms +/- 9.2%
Chrome SunSpider JAVA Script benchmark: 350.5ms +/- 7.2%
As you can see from the SunSpider JAVA Script benchmark scores, RockMelt is a decent browser and even has a better scores than Apple’s Safari browser. Of course benchmark is one thing and doing a real world test is another. RockMelt quickly loads web pages, there are times that RockMelt even loads web pages faster than other browser that I’m using. The only issue with RockMelt is the startup time, specially when you have branded the browser with your Facebook account and setup a number of Feeds and Apps. If it’s branded RockMelt will keep opening the RockMelt “Facebook” Login page that you can either close or sign on to your Facebook account, which is annoying for most of the time.
RockMelt which is based on Google’s open-source project Chromium , you can use Chrome extensions, themes and other advanced web browser features that can be found in Google Chrome. Overall, RockMelt is a pretty decent browser, Facebook and blog adicts will surely appreciate it. Incase you want to try RockMelt, you can click here to download the browser.
Last modified: July 3, 2011