As I'm a Microsoft Engineer I always put Microsoft products first. I use Internet Explorer 8.0 on my desktop PC and high performance laptops.
Being a IT geek I have a number of computers I use for different purposes. I purchased a Asus Eee PC netbook for when I'm on the go and want something light and portable (with a USB port) which rules out the iPad!
I installed Windows 7 Ultimate on the Eee PC netbook and set the windows theme to "Windows Classic" to provide best optimized performance.
My Eee PC only has a Intel Atom N450 @ 1.44GHz processor that delivers a performance score of 2.3 (pretty poor).
Internet Explorer 8.0 ran like a dog! Performing simple tasks such as utilizing Exchange 2010 Outlook Web App and Facebook continuously hung and become unresponsive. As a result I was forced to install Google Chrome - the performance difference between IE 8.0 and Chrome was amazing!
After just getting back from the MVP summit in Seattle I was speaking with some of the Internet Explorer 9 MVP's. They mentioned that Internet Explorer 9 was completely redesigned and now provides fantastic performance - even faster then Chrome! This I had to see for myself as I found it very hard to believe them (being IE junkies).
I just installed IE 9.0 RC on my Eee PC and yes it is amazingly fast (It is performing faster then Chrome!) If you have tried IE 9.0 Beta and were unimpressed I encourage you to try RC. Between the Internet Explorer 9 Beta and Internet Explorer 9 RC releases, over 2,000 changes have been made to improve browser performance for real customer scenarios.
Internet Explorer 9 RC starts faster, loads webpages faster, and allows you to interact with web pages faster than ever before. One thing I liked is it actually timed how long it took to load each of my browser Add-on's. I was then able to disable Add-on's such as Microsoft Corporation "Search Helper" which took 0.22 seconds to load. It prompted me to do this - making this very easy for end users!
The Site loading indicator is making sense now! Was very disappointed with previous versions.
However Microsoft failed to listen to the community on some key features. Internet Explorer 9 RC is still missing a Spell Checker - ahhg. This means you need to download a third party add-on to perform this functionality. A download manager would also be an awesome addition.
Microsoft have lead the way in terms of hardware acceleration for web browsing. Check out this comparison video comparing a web app which takes advantage of graphics acceleration (Chrome vs IE9).
IE9 is also compliant with all HTML5 standards.
I have now uninstalled Chrome from my Asus EeePC and I'm back on the Microsoft ship for web browsing on low performing devices.
The following URL's are comparison articles comparing the current web browsers on the market to Internet Explorer 9.
For benchmark tests refer to this blog post: