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New versions uses Blink rendering engine

Maxthon’s developers have officially joined the ranks of braggadocios browser makers who puff out their chest and claim their online vehicle is the fastest around. You may recall that Maxthon (originally called MyIE2) started as a nifty shell of Internet Explorer that brought tabbed browsing to the IE experience. Now dubbed “Maxthon Cloud Browser,” these days it stands on its own two feet.

The newest release is a beta build that uses a branched version of the Blink rendering engine combined with Maxthon’s own “speed and performance enhancements.” The result, according to Maxthon’s team, is the world’s fastest browser, trumping Chrome 30 by 10 percent (Maxthon’s figures, not ours).

“Our challenge to our team was to build a browser that is faster and lighter than Chrome,” said Jeff Chen, CEO and founder of Maxthon. “I’m pleased to say that our team rose to the challenge and exceeded expectations. The new architecture nets 40 percent faster start times than previous iterations and test results comparing the new Maxthon against Chrome 30 show that Maxthon is 10 percent faster. Plus, our proprietary approach to 3rd party cookie handling is a boon for anyone who wants the personalization benefit of the cookie without allowing ad networks to track their usage.”

Maxthon says its browser has a reduced memory footprint and low CPU usage. It also boasts support for WebGL and has a GPU accelerator, along with deep support for HTML5 coding. That’s all fine and dandy, but is it truly the fastest? In our limited testing, it certainly feels snappy, though the few impromptu benchmarks we ran show that Maxthon’s claim might be a little ambitious.

Since Maxthon compared itself to Chrome, we ran a few benchmarks on a daily workhorse system (Asus G73J laptop) with Chrome 31 installed, one version higher than Maxthon’s comparison. However, the Chrome browser had several open tabs and extensions installed, whereas Maxthon represents a clean install. Here’s how things shook out:

SunSpider 1.0.2
Chrome: 193.4ms
Maxthon: 417.5ms

Futuremark Peacekeeper
Chrome: 2318
Maxthon: 2213

Google Octane v2.0
Chrome: 8869
Maxthon: 8509
Chrome: 503
Maxthon: 515

Chrome won three of the four benchmarks, though Maxthon was nipping at its heels in each test. A full gamut of tests on a proper testbed is needed to tell the whole story, but from our quick examination, it looks like Maxthon is right up there with the best, albeit it doesn’t yet take the speed crown.

The newest version of Maxthon is available to download now.