Thursday, March 24, 2011

iPad 2 Browser Showdown

If there's one thing that most iPad users like to do is surf the internet.  And the iPad 2 is perfect for that because of it's thin and light form factor with a 9.7" screen.  With iOS 4.3, the default iPad browser Safari just got a boost.  Apple says JavaScript runs up to two times as fast compared with the previous iOS.  But, how does it do in real world web surfing?

I tested four browsers to see how each of them loaded web pages on the iPad 2.  The browsers I tested are: Safari, Atomic Web Browser, PERFECT Browser, and Mercury Web Browser Lite.

I tested four websites.  This is by no means a scientific experiment and I tried to be as good as possible with my eyes and fingers.  Before each test, I also cleared the cache and history for that browser.  Here are the results:

NY Times

  • Safari - 9.7s
  • Atomic - 8.0s
  • PERFECT - 9.1s
  • Mercury - 9.4s


  • Safari - 10.4s
  • Atomic - 9.6s
  • PERFECT - 9.5s
  • Mercury - 9.8s


  • Safari - 5.4s
  • Atomic - 6.5s
  • PERFECT - 6.8s
  • Mercury - 7.0s

Yahoo! (tablet website)

  • Safari - 4.8s
  • Atomic - 4.6s
  • PERFECT - 5.1s
  • Mercury - 4.4s

It seems that Safari seems by far the slowest when loading websites with a lot of interactivity, like the NY Times and Engadget.  With a website with mostly pictures, like IMDB and the Yahoo! tablet website, Safari did a lot better.

When you average the times that I tested, Atomic Web Browser was the fastest.  Safari and PERFECT Browser tied for second.  Mercury Web Browser Lite was a close third, but this is also the free version of the paid app.  Atomic and PERFECT are both paid apps.

After these results, I think if you do any amount of web browsing buying a third-party browser will definitely be worth it.  In addition to the quicker loading times, there are many features like tabs that Safari does not have that makes it worth the money you pay.

1 comment:

simran said...

Really Bad new for us.