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We tested Colibri, a new browser for Windows and Mac that completely gets rid of the tabs

Although in the world of browsers sometimes it seems that there is not much space for something more than Chrome to take all the success, this does not mean that there are no interesting alternatives. Whether they are superior or not, is another type of debate.

Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, etc. They are some of the most recognized names, but they are not the only ones. Experimental browsers and those looking to reinvent the wheel a bit have appeared from time to time, with at least a couple of minutes of fame. It is perhaps in that category where we can include Colibri an ultra minimalist and compact browser that abandons the tabbed browsing model.

Colibri is in beta development phase, until now it was only available for macOS, but yesterday it made its official arrival to Windows and we decided to try it and see what it offers and how it works.

The premise of Colibri is to offer ” a clear, efficient and fast browsing experience “. For this they have created what is according to its creators is “the most compact interface of any browser.” And at first glance it’s hard to deny that all that is true. As soon as you see buttons in the application window, all the space is occupied by the web you are visiting.

A free eyelash experience

You have to start of course, for the most striking: Colibri does not use lashes. The obvious question then is: with what does it replace them? This browser uses a system of “links” that are stored in an additional hidden page , only if you want to save them.

Since there are no tabs, the only way to keep an “open” web if you want to go to another is by adding the link to that page. Above and to the right you have a “+” icon that you can press when you want to add the current web to the links.

To see the saved links you can click on the icon in the form of two rectangles. You are saved pages as links are not running in the background, they are not suspended, when you open another URL the previous page is closed. What you did was basically save a favorite.

These links can be organized into lists, which are the same as bookmarking folders. There is no way to import favorites from another browser, perhaps partly because this is not the same, although it looks the same.

The only options in the settings include changing the search engine by default. Block third party cookies, “Do Not Track”, activate or deactivate Flash, and clean the cache, data and cookies. You can also open private browsing tabs.

This has a positive side, and is that on the one hand you are consuming few resources of the system with only one website open at a time, and on the other you have an environment free of distractions. However, I suspect that the audience this is focused on is pretty niche and narrow.

An idea with potential, not very well executed

Browsing by tabs in current browsers may not be perfect, many suffer from accumulating too many, two million plugins have been invented to help us organize them, and yet, we who use browsers in a time when they did not exist, we know they are one of the best inventions since sliced ​​bread.

To replace the current eyelash model, the proposed alternative must be immensely superior, and what Colibri has devised is far from being so. As much as the browser is nice, and quite fast, it just feels incomplete.

If you want to look at two pages at the same time, you have to open two windows. And it is precisely here that Colibri’s premise falls apart. All that minimalism and lightness goes a bit down the toilet if you end up with a lot of additional windows open, as if this were 1998.

Unless you’re a user who is not interested in having two pages open at once, Colibri will not feel as minimalist as she should be. Another annoying detail is that in order to add any type of link you have to create a user account.

Your privacy policy is not exactly the most encouraging, including requesting and using our personal information to contact us with promotional marketing materials, and “other information.”

This browser is still in development and has room to improve its proposal. Apparently they also plan to offer payment services once a stable version is released, and also work on versions for iOS and Android.

Colibri is something different, without a doubt. It’s very minimalist, and that makes it pretty simple and pretty design. It’s fast, the loading of pages is immediate and it feels very fluid … until you want to open something else without losing sight of the previous one or having to save a link manually.

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