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Camino review: Camino

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The Good Fast and responsive; good cookie-handling features; best implementation of tabbed browsing; can block pop-ups; autofills usernames and passwords.

The Bad No autofill of address forms; still in beta; not much documentation.

The Bottom Line Although technically a prerelease, Camino is a compelling alternative to Safari, and it's faster and more feature-filled than IE.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.8 Overall

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Camino (formerly known as Chimera), is an open-source, OS X-only browser from Mozilla.org. Though still technically a prerelease (beta), Camino is one of the more popular and appealing Mac Web browsers, sporting a well-crafted Cocoa interface. Camino also offers the best implementation of tabbed browsing, one that is elegant and more straightforward than Safari's. (Safari's tabs appear to be upside down, and the color scheme makes it hard to tell which is the active tab.) We also love Camino's tab sets, which load multiple tabs simultaneously with the single click of an icon in the Bookmarks toolbar. Camino offers superior bookmark handling: click the sidebar button to display a tray with bookmarks and histories. This is a much more compact display than Safari's full-page bookmark mode, and it's easier to use than IE's sidebar.

Camino also features versatile cookie handling. In the dialog that asks you to accept a cookie, Camino presents the option of remembering your decision. When you accept the cookie with remembering turned on, Camino will always accept the cookie from this site, not bothering you again with the dialog. If you decline the cookie with the Remember box checked, Camino will automatically decline cookies from this site the next time you go to it. You're not stuck with your decisions; you can go to Preferences and reset the cookie handling for individual sites.

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Camino offers top-notch performance, elegant tabbed browsing, and an easy way to view and hide histories and bookmarks.


Based on the open-source Gecko browsing engine, Camino is almost as fast as Safari at rendering and resizing pages and at scrolling. Camino's performance certainly blows away Internet Explorer, Opera, and OmniWeb. In our tests, Camino was also better at executing JavaScript than Safari and most other browsers, and it was on a par with Internet Explorer in that regard.

For a piece of software that's only version 0.7, Camino is very stable; it crashed only once every few weeks in daily use. Camino is still missing the autofilling of address forms, but it does support autofilling of usernames and passwords, storing them in Mac OS X's Keychain. Unfortunately, since the software is only in beta, support is somewhat limited, and documentation is meager.

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