We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
15,669 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Apple Safari 4 review


Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Apple Safari 4 is more than just one of the fastest web browsers available for Windows and Mac. UPDATED 9 JUNE 2009.

Apple is trumpeting its updated Apple Safari 4 web browser as exceptionally fast and innovative. It certainly looks good, but what does it actually offer? We gave it a quick spin to see what's under its hood.

Another useful addition is the RSS feed at the far end of the address bar. Where a site has an RSS (really simple syndication) feed so you can receive updates in your email inbox, clicking on the blue RSS icon gives you options for which feeds you get.

Similarly, the News button in the links bar lets you view updates from a range of publications and websites. As with the Popular list, a tabbed view is available, and it's also possible to customise your settings.

Safari 4 News customise page

Visit Broadband Advisor for the latest internet news, reviews, tips & tricks - and to take advantage of PC Advisor's unique, independent Broadband Speed Checker

We like the fact that you can view the stories here by source, date or title and can specify whether Safari displays related stories on the topic or a simple list of articles from a range of sources. An 'article length' slider lets you adjust this to suit.

We've yet to find a way to activate and deactivate the sources on offer to make them more UK-specific, for example.

The Settings tab offers a comprehensive set of customisation options. You can also launch the Private Browsing feature and clear the History so that other people using the PC can't follow your web trail.

Preferences extend to how frequently the History cache should be cleared out, whether Safari should use a particular style sheet standard, the text encoding, Auto Fill for passwords and usernames at secure sites, and so on.

Cookie preferences, plug-ins, Java and JavaScript enabling and other Security settings can be specified, while the Bookmarks tab lets you choose how, whether and what are associated with the Bonjour service.

While it's too soon to say whether Safari will become our browser of choice, our first impressions of a highly user-definable experience and a neatly ordered information repository in which items are quietly logged and can be called up again whenever we need. We'll give you a fuller review in due course, once we've run some more formal tests to establish whether it live up to its claims of being speedier and more innovative than the rest of the browser bunch.

Rosemary Hattersley

Apple Safari 4 beta Bookmarks Preferences

See also: Mozilla Firefox 3.0 review

Apple Safari 4 Expert Verdict »

Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista
500MHz Intel Pentium processor. Any Mac running Security Update 2009-001 and Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.6 or Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11, Mac with an Intel processor or a Power PC G5, G4, or G3 processor and built-in FireWire
256MB of RAM
Top Sites and Cover Flow on Mac OS X Tiger require a Quartz-Extreme compatible video card
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 9 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Safari 4 has come out of its short beta period to blossom as a remarkably attractive and well featured modern web browser. For Windows users, Safari has previously been something of an also-ran behind Firefox and IE, but with Safari 4, the browser could catch up on XP to Windows 7 systems too. Safari 4 is extremely fast in its page rendering thanks to the refined WebKit engine, and offers some genuinely useful user interface elements which make finding sites quicker and browsing a more comfortable experience.

  • Apple Safari 5 review

    Apple Safari 5

    Apple Safari 5 ups the ante in the web browser wars, with two major improvements: a performance boost to rival speed king Google Chrome, the highly useful Safari Reader, which makes it much easier to read multi-page web articles.

  • Apple Safari 3.1 web browser review

    Apple Safari 3.1 web browser

    Safari 3.1 is the first browser to work with CSS Animations and the and tags in HTML 5.0.

  • Safari 3.0 beta on Windows

    Safari 3.0 beta on Windows

    The finished version of Apple's Safari 3.0 web browser will be the bundled browser in Leopard when Mac OS X 10.5 ships in October. It will also run on Windows XP.

  • Safari 3.0.4 web browser

    Safari 3.0.4 web browser

    Apple's Safari 3.0.4 strikes an excellent balance between the need for increased functionality and the need to add new functions.

  • Safari 6 review

    Safari 6

    Safari 6 is a slight but sleek upgrade for Apple's browser. Read our full review to find out more.

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Swatch launches a colourful smartwatch

IDG UK Sites

New Apple TV 2015 release date rumours: TV streaming service delayed, hand gesture interface being...