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Review of Epic Browser
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#1
<img style="float:left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px ;" src="http://images.techtree.com/ttimages/story/112569_matter.jpg"/>t's been a month since India's very own browser, the Epic, made its grand debut. So, thirty days and one version update later, we thought it would be a good idea to review this browser. Note that it is still a Beta product hence we do give it the liberty of having to put up with some of the expected bugs that it may throw up occasionally.
Let's see if the Epic has what it takes to replace the likes of Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome to be your preferred browser.


First Impressions


We all have our favorite browsers. I used to be a Firefox freak but soon fell in love with the simplicity offered by Chrome. The Epic browser, updated to the latest version 1.1, is actually based on 3.6.7 of Mozilla Firefox. This also essentially means you are actually on a slightly older version of the Firefox core running inside - not a reassuring thought for the paranoid freaks amongst us, since Firefox is currently on version 4 (beta) now.

Now, being from the Chrome (and Google in general) school of thought, simplicity is what I look for in most things - and simple isn't exactly the thought that comes when you install Epic, and it opens the default page. The default home page is that of a very violet peacock covering the entire screen. The bird loving nationalist might like that but the first thing I checked after seeing it was whether I could make this hideous homepage disappear. And I could. The Epic boasts of a huge library of background images that you can select as your background. I quickly changed it and started looking for other bits.

The Sidebar


The homepage has this little sidebar on the right side which lists a host of widgets that you can use while using the browser. It consists of a variety of applications ranging from absolutely awesome ones to ones that you may sparingly use. The interesting ones include the nifty word processor, the File-backup service - which uses Google's servers to back up your stuff - and the snippets feature. Another thing that I liked was the "Collections" feature.


The Facebook sidebar for Epic


This one reminded me of the batch files I used to make to open a bunch of programs (or websites) together, instead of having to open each one of them manually. I even found a "Jobs" option! When you click on any sidebar option, it opens a conjoint window right next to the sidebar. This is fine for folks who have really wide screens, but for those short on screen size, this thing will take a quarter of your screen, which kind of derails the entire browsing experience.

Another annoying fact is that with each window you can only have one sidebar open. So if you have to open all those 30 plus sidebar apps at once, the only option is to open 30 new windows! I would have appreciated had the sidebar be changed at least when you switch tabs. Another very interesting thing that caught my eye was the tag of the first browser with an Antivirus built in inside. I first thought of this to be an awesome stuff! I mean, integrating a virus scanner in a 10MB set up file is nothing short of a miracle. It was after I installed it that I realised that the virus program "built in" is an Online scanner using the Nod32. When you run it for the first time, it does ask you to download the latest virus definitions.


Multiple Indic text support is awesome!


Once I was done exploring the sidebar, I thought well, that's it; now let me make this thing disappear. But no! There is no way you can make the sidebar disappear altogether, which for real estate freaks like yours truly is a real turnoff. What you can do, however, is add or edit stuff to the sidebar. All you need to do is to select "Tools" and then "Epic Apps".

It's a Bird, It's a Plane NO! It's Firefox!

While Epic with all its customisations may look an entirely new browser, once you start using it, it is obvious that you are using a customized version of Firefox. Epic actually displays its Firefox affiliation rather proudly. Take a look at the 'Options' page 'About' and its quite obvious. Everything, ranging from the URL text entry, the search box, menus to the system text scream Firefox.


Hey Firefox user, does this look familiar?

Now, there are two sides to this. One, you lose the feeling of using a 'new browser'. The second, you won't miss much if you have been a Firefox user. Epic even supports all Firefox add-ons. So basically this turns out to be a heavily skinned Firefox. Firefox's Private Browsing feature too makes its appearance. Unfortunately, it's applied in the same away as on Firefox. This means you cannot open simultaneous sessions of private and non private browsing, which for a Chrome user isn't actually exciting. Epic also gets what Firefox calls 'Personas', which is nothing but themes for Firefox.

That's not taking anything away from the makers of the browser who have done a very good job of putting it all together. They chose the smart way instead of starting from scratch. No complaints there. One Firefox thing that's missing here is the support keyboard short-cuts. Looks like Epic is designed for the overtly mouse friendly junta.


Performance

All browsers of today are fast. Epic, thanks to its Firefox origins is fast too. While it does feel slightly slower due to the add-ons it comes with, the overall feel is still snappy. However, if you are the kind who uses many add-ons together, be prepared to experience Epic slowness with the Epic. I did some basic tests to see how Epic fares when it comes to memory management when compared to Firefox.

With the sidebar apps on, Epic uses more resources than Firefox


The comparison was done on a laptop running the Core i5 M430 processor with 4GB of RAM running Windows 7 Home Premium. While it's on par with Firefox when it comes to memory usage when used normally, there is considerably more hogging of resources when you use the sidebar. This would be noticeable more if you are on a slower machine with less RAM. Just like Firefox, the more add-ons you use, the slower is the responsiveness of the browser. I did a few tests to check the HTML5 compatibility of Epic and while it didn't fare as well as Firefox 4.0 Beta, which scored 189 points out of 300, it was still good at garnering 139. Next, we did an Acid3 test on the Epic and it returned a score of 92 out of 100 - compared to 97 that Firefox Beta 4 managed. The Sun-spider test also revealed that the Epic is slower than the stock beta version of Firefox.
[Image: 112569_epicsunspider.jpg]

Sunspider score for Epic versus that of Firefox 4.0 Beta below

[Image: 112569_ffsunspider.jpg]

[Image: 112569_epichtml5.jpg]

[Image: 112569_ffhtml5-200.jpg]

HTML5 scores of Firefox

Verdict

The Epic is a pretty good browser. No doubt. But most of its goodness has to be because of its Firefox core and not because of its so called Indian-ness. While we do not wish to take anything away from its makers, the fact is that Epic would always be considered a product that is based on an existing, successful product. It surely has some great India specific features, but in a global world like today, a browser trying to be "Indian" may be good for only the hardcore patriots out there. I don't see myself shifting to Epic at any point of time now, but I do appreciate the effort by its makers to build a product that would appeal to a lot of Indian users.
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#2
Bhat bhai for me its excellent. I am using from day its been launched and it has given me excellent results in Windows 7 OS
:happy:IF YOU LIKE THEN DON'T FORGET TO CLICK THANKS
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#3
Exactly :up: for me its little slower than FF.but i have edicted to FFSad
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#4
As I am a Linux user I use FireFox & Chrome , Epic crashes frequently in Ubuntu [Using Wine] so I have removed it .
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