Twitter Report: PDF Tests On Nexus 7

Curtis (@CTSLICK on Twitter) decided to do the standard PDF test that’s been posted about here. He owns the new Google Nexus 7 tablet.

Twitter is being annoying here, also embedding my own tweets multiple times instead of just his tweets. So past this initial one, I will simply Blockquote his tweets to me.

decent results with the built-in pdf reader and with Kindle

very odd, slow to load & initial page turns take about 10-20 seconds, later on text pages seem much better about 1 second (1/2)

maybe Reader X is taking a few minutes to cache pages? (2/2)

Adobe Reader X behaves horribly, if you switch to another app & then switch back it pushes you back to pg1 of the pdf!

Yeah, Adobe Reader X was pretty much the same kind of lame dog when I tried it on webOS ages ago. I do not recommend using it.

The following snaps are all using the built-in PDF Document Viewer, as seen in this dialog:

If want to play along at home with your Nexus 7 or other tablet, here are the links for the PDFs:

Success: A Novel at Google Books

Success: A Novel at my Google Docs (for people outside of the U.S..)

Curtis details:

Document Reader has two views, Page View and Reading View.

Page View is akin to continuous scroll mode in Reader X. Allows you to zoom in very tight.

Reader View appears to go for a best fit display. Generally it tries to get one page per screen unless the text can be reflowed.

The standard test PDF I use, Success: A Novel.

Page View:

Menu options:

Go To Page option:

Reader View, the cover page apparently has text reflow:

Past this Google-created cover, the book is a scanned image PDF:


This is Page View:

Page View:

Enlarged beyond edges:

Page View, notice Magnifying Glass for zoom at bottom:

Reader View:

The thing about the older books at Google Books is their size. Most hardcovers during a certain period were smaller than today’s mass-market paperbacks. They were designed to easily fit into saddle bags — and suit pockets.

And given the wide margins they were prone to having, the text should easily fit on one of today’s seven-inch tablet screens, with magnification removing the paper margins.

This all looked good to me when I tried it on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7:

The 7.7 had QuickOffice pre-installed (there is no Jelly Bean version at post time). And the speed of page rendering beat the iPad 3 using iBooks.

The trouble with the 7.7, it turns out, is that Super AMOLED screen. A white background uses up more power than a colored background. So it’s really energy inefficient compared to a conventional LCD and the battery drains faster just by reading.

Above and beyond the call of duty, Curtis also gave Processed World a spin.

Page turns are vertical scrolling. Initial load takes abt 8 secs, Page turns seamless in Page view, pre loads upcoming pages

the only time you see a page load is if you scroll quickly ahead 10 or so pages

when you do catch a page loading its about 3-5 seconds

If you want to try this one at home:

Processed World (Nov-82) [choose PDF (5.9 M) or right-click Save As here]

Modified Processed World PDF for speed: Google Docs: PWPDF3bHigh.pdf – app 14 MBs [right-click to Save As]

Page View:

Reader View, with bad OCR underneath the hood (just like most of Google Books PDFs also contain!):

Processed World was done at a variety of sizes, from 5.5″ x 8.5″ all the way up to 8.5″ x 11″. And with its general dual-column layout, it’s not something I’d even attempt on a small 7″ screen. That’s what a full-blown iPad would be for.

Additionally, in email, Curtis said:

This is using the Document Viewer app that came with the device. It has two views, Page View and Reading View.

Page rendering was pretty snappy on both Success and the Processed World pdfs, was not distracting and quality was good. For some reason Reading View on the Processed World fails to properly render (see screenshot).

The Kindle app did ok too but page turns were a little slower (2-5 seconds) especially on Processed World

Could not find a way to have two pdfs open at once to switch between them.

I had been leaning towards the Archos 80 G9 because I love the idea of having something that’s an iPad Mini before everyone else (8″ screen at 1024×768).

But that simple decision has been complicated by another factor: Open webOS.

Open webOS is coming later this year and I think any tablet buying decision needs to take that into account.

Ports of Open webOS are bound to be first done for the most popular tablets that are in the hands of many coders. And between the Archos 80 G9 and the Nexus 7, I think the Nexus 7 fits that bill.

Open webOS is bound to be ported to the Nexus 7 well before anyone even bothers to think about the Archos 80 G9.

Also, the iPad Mini is coming out. And I expect hackers to be very ambitious with Open webOS and get it to run on that and the regular-sized iPad too.

So that leaves the Archos 80 G9 as the odd man out and as a tablet that will be obsolete faster than the Nexus 7. Also, IFA happens the end of August and Archos will probably announce more new tablets then, making the Archos 80 G9 actually obsolete within a few weeks from now!

So, between the two, if I was going to buy a tablet today, it’d be the Nexus 7 instead of the Archos 80 G9.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I have such a thing for Open webOS:

1) It works the way I’d want to use a tablet, with all its multitasking capability

2) Two PDFs (or more) open at the same time:

3) See also this: Tabbed card stacks, infinite card view, and additional keyboard layouts happening thanks to webOS Community Edition

Thanks to Curtis for taking time out his day to run this PDF test!

And if you haven’t read Success: A Novel, I recommend it.

Prior posts in this PDF testing series:

iPad PDF Torture Test: GoodReader Vs. Processed World
The PDF Torture Test The iPad 2 And iPhone 4s Failed
Update On iPad 2 And Google Books PDFs
Google Books PDF Smackdown: NookColor Vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab Vs. iPad
Google Books PDF On HTC Flyer
eInk Nook Reading Google Books PDF
More PDF Action On Rooted NookColor
Google Books PDF On Rooted NookColor
Processed World PDF Torture Test, Part Three: iPad And HP TouchPad

1 Comment

Filed under Android, Other Hardware

One response to “Twitter Report: PDF Tests On Nexus 7

  1. alliezirkle

    Super helpful. Thanks!

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