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I would very much like a better web browser than the one currently in steam, and I know that I can run it without significant decline in performance. I was wondering if there is a way to change it and if there is also a way to embed a chat client as well. Any suggestions?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Xfire and PlayXpert offer web browsers as part of their in-game overlays. There is also the Rogue in-game browser. Xfire offer a preview video of their web browser. All look to have tabbed browsing and offer more features than Steam's, though it's hard for me to say whether they meet your expectations.

Both Xfire and PlayXpert also ship with chat clients.

Raptr's in-game overlay supports AIM and I believe XChat makes available an addon to that end also. Personally I'd try Raptr first. Any of the web browsers may also support AIM Express, an official browser-based AIM client.

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All I need is AIM so I don't have to actively lie to my girlfriend as to why I can't chat every time I play games :D –  Mechko Jul 24 '10 at 12:51
    
Also, Xfire is instead of Steam, not an add on, correct? –  Mechko Jul 24 '10 at 12:54
    
PlayXpert, on the other hand looks perfect. I will have to try it out tomorrow. –  Mechko Jul 24 '10 at 12:58
    
@Mechko, yes, it would appear you have to choose between the Xfire and Steam overlays. I've updated my answer based on your interest in AIM. –  Lee Jul 24 '10 at 13:03
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@Mechko have you considered a netbook? I keep my netbook beside my main computer for reasons like this. –  Ricket Jul 24 '10 at 14:48
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Steam uses a webkit-based browser, the same engine that is behind Chrome and Safari. It was chosen above Trident (IE technology) because of crossplatform compatibility (= it runs mostly unchanged on Mac OS X). At best of my knowledge, this cannot be changed.

Overlay chat is already available through Steam's social features. Although it's not very convenient, you can get access to many chat networks through webapps; for example, x.aim.com.

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unfortunately the chat is only steam chat. –  Mechko Jul 24 '10 at 12:52
    
What other chat networks were you thinking about? –  badp Jul 24 '10 at 13:11
    
This information is, to the best of my knowledge, correct. –  Raven Dreamer Jul 24 '10 at 15:29
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