One of the benefits of upgrading the operating system of your Nokia N800 Internet Tablet to OS2008, aside from the boost in processor speed (330MHz to 400MHz), has to be the Mozilla-based web browser that comes with it. Sure, you could’ve been using the beta version of MicroB instead of OS2007’s Opera browser since last summer, but it wasn’t quite as fast or as stable.
The real MicroB in OS2008 is much faster. Right?
Well, no, not really. Take a look at the load times of 10 websites I visited this afternoon (over wi-fi and tethered via Bluetooth to a 3G AT&T Tilt) using both Opera and MicroB Beta on an OS2007-toting N800 and MicroB on an N810 to see what I mean.
I’ve done load time and browser performance tests before, including those comparing 3G and EDGE speeds on mobile phones, so the 10 chosen websites and the parameters of my informal tests haven’t changed:
- Each browser’s cache was cleared before each set of tests.
- Load times were measured from the same location in one sitting (my living room in Honolulu this afternoon) from the click of the enter key or "Go" button in the browser’s address bar to the complete page load according to the progress bar.
- Wi-Fi and 3G network signal strength were at their max and consistent throughout the testing period.
Results from the N800 and N810 when connected to the Internet through my 802.11g wireless home network are given under "Wi-Fi," while times yielded from a Bluetooth connection to my Tilt are listed under "BT DUN" (Bluetooth Dial-Up Networking).
Times are in minute:second format.
|BT DUN||Wi-Fi||BT DUN||Wi-Fi||BT DUN||Wi-Fi|
|Micro PC Talk||0:43||0:17||0:42||0:15||0:43||0:18|
Note: Load times vary by location, time of day, ad servers, etc., so your results may not be identical to mine.
Although the results are somewhat inconclusive, it seems that the Mozilla-based MicroB in OS2008 is only sometimes marginally faster than Opera in OS2007. It is significantly more capable in that it supports full AJAX and Adobe Flash 9, but in terms of speed alone, it isn’t really much of an upgrade.