The Chromium team doesn't exactly make it easy to find their nightly builds of the Chromium browser, but once you get the basics figured out, Chromium is a (reasonably) stable alternative to Chrome with all the technological benefits and none of Google's sneaky spy stuff.
By Matthew Malinowski, 2013-02-09
I switched from Chrome to Firefox a while ago to get away from Google's spyware, and to get some nice extras -- Firefox seems to have a better collection of extensions, with Firebug, Web Developer Extension, Live HTTPS Headers, Cookies Manager+, and so forth.
There is definitely something slow about Firefox. I don't know enough about these things to try to say why Firefox feels slower than Chrome did. I can say that I never felt like my little MacBook Air struggled with anything until I started using Firefox. It feels like >25 tabs in FF brings the entire system to a grinding halt. I could open 75 tabs in Chrome with nary a hiccup.
There's some kind of other option in Chromium. The Chromium team doesn't seem to have intelligible stable builds -- presumably one could look at stable Chrome versions and figure out which version of Chromium became which stable version of Chrome. (I didn't do this.)
The Chromium site isn't for the timid. I have no clue what's going on there, it gives me the willies. It would seem to the casual observer that your only option to get Chromium is to download and compile (10GB) of source. Happily, there are secret-through-obscurity nightly builds located at https://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/chromium-browser-continuous/index.html. (I found these pages to be really slow. Be patient. There are hundreds and hundreds of subdirectories to load.)
To get a nightly, go to your chosen platform, wait, scroll to the end of the page, and open the highest numbered directory. There will be an archive in there with your binary (for Macs, chrome-mac.zip). There's your Chromium.
To make the update process slightly easier, I wrote a rough script to retrieve the latest Chromium binary. Beware: plenty of beginner stuff here, fork away.