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Opera in touchable tablet browser peep show

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Opera has unveiled a touchable incarnation of its web browser designed specifically for tablets and netbooks.

On Tuesday, the Norwegian browser maker released a short video showcasing the browser, and it plans to provide further details this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. At this point, details are few and far between. But we know at least two thing: it runs on Android, and it will never run on an iPad.

The video shows off the browser on an Android tablet, and it demonstrates a few quick pans and zooms. But that's about it:

According to Opera man Haavard Moen, the browser is based on a new 10.5 version of Opera's Mobile browser. Moen is coy on the details, but he implies a significant improvement over the current 10.1 version. "I think it's safe to assume...that with a big leap in version numbers like that, there are going to be some substantial improvements," he says.

The browser will support "all known" tablet and netbook form factors as well as future larger screens and smaller handset screens he says, and it will handle Flash.

Moen also says the browser will initially run only on Android and that – at least for the time being – it will not handle the new Opera extensions. Stating the obvious, he adds that an iPad version of the browser is "out of the question", but he indicates the company will offer a version of Opera Mini for Apple's tablet. Apple's iOS SDK bars applications from running interpreted code, but Opera Mini executes all code on proxy servers designed to compress pages for low-bandwidth mobile connections. ®

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