In my seemingly never ending search for more lightweight (i.e. faster) browsers, I came across two that are noteworthy, Min and Qutebrowser.
Min is a Chromium based browser that is minimal in looks but has all the basic functionality intact. I have only used it on Windows but Mac OS and Linux users can as well.
“Tabs in Min take up less space, giving you more room to browse the web. Pages you haven’t looked at in a while fade out, letting you see what’s important, and Focus Mode hides your other tabs to prevent you from getting distracted.”
Tabs in Min open next to the current tab, so you’ll never lose your place. When you have too many tabs, you can easily split them into groups to help you stay organized.
Min allows one to load up a set of pages into a Task then use Ctrl [ or ] to move between those sets. It is quite speedy but takes some getting use to. I have found this browser to be very speedy with tasks like video playback. Which is what is expected as it is based on Chromium.
Qutebrowser is based on the QtWebEngine and Python. It is aim at keyboardists and those familiar with the Vim editor. For general purpose browsing, it can be quite handy to navigate buttons, links and multiple pages without using a mouse. But, it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
“Qutebrowser is a keyboard-focused browser with a minimal GUI. It’s based on Python and Qt and free software, licensed under the GPL. It was inspired by other browsers/addons like dwb and Vimperator/Pentadactyl”
Using letters like j, k, G, gg one can move up and down a page and also go to the top or the bottom quickly. Pressing o will display recent web pages or allow a new web address to be entered then replace the current page with it. Pressing capital O will open a web page in a new window.
Another unique feature is called Hints. Pressing the letter f will display 2 letter shortcuts next to every item that one can click on. Based on what is shown below, if I were to type in “kg” it would go to that NYT article.
Pressing the letter h will go back in History to previous pages. Of course, the mouse can also be used to follow links. And a right click then choosing “Go Back” will go to the previous page.
While Qutebrowser uses a lot less memory than any Chromium based browsers, for some things like watching videos, it does use more CPU power. So, there is a tradeoff between memory and CPU with this one. I have used it a good while on Windows and Linux.
These are just two of many minimal browsers, much more minimal is memory usage and user interface features. But, they are useful nonetheless.
Some other browsers are listed here under lightweight browsers.