I’m usually weary of a viewer that claims to be better than then Linden Lab’s. Alternative viewers usually claim improvements but seem to be very similar versions of the official Second Life™ viewer. However, when Hamlet drools over something it’s worth taking a look at, in this case it was Kirstenlee Cinquetti’s new Second Life Viewer dubbed "Kirstens Viewer". After a solid weeks use, Kirstens Viewer boasts significant improvements and features, making it a worthwhile alternative.
I was first impressed by Kirstens Viewer’s speed, it uses less resources, loads very quickly, and displays textures quicker. It is not as resource intensive as the official viewer and and can run on older computer equipment (such as my machine). Kirstens Viewer also boasts a new UI, which I’m not at all crazy about, and much clearer fonts. There are several interesting features of Kirstens Viewier, one being an integrated avatar scanner which would replace many in world HUD versions. The avatar scanner allows you to see any avatar within 500m, display their name and profile, and allows for teleportation and communication. Another neat feature is an Asset Browser which displays thumbnails of textures in your inventory. This replaces another popular in-world tool, texture managers.
Kirstens Viewer is the lightest viewer I’ve use. Although Linden Lab’s recent Release Candidate has many improvements and loads textures quicker than it’s counterpart, Kirstens Viewer is faster and a huge improvement over the official viewer. It should be considered as a viable alternative.