Google Books PDF Test: Surface Japan

Something is very screwy in Google Books PDF land.

I did a bunch of new tests yesterday.

It turns out my prior iPad Mini 2 test that I got so excited over was a mirage.

Surface Japan is a 13.38MB Google Books PDF. It should be a breeze for any tablet to handle. Especially the iPad Mini 2.

Instead … well, see the videos after the break.

First, I repeated the original iPad Mini 2 test that got me so excited, to establish a baseline for the other tests I did. As seen here, it’s still damned impressive:

Now Surface Japan

iPad Mini 2:

Acer Iconia A1-830:

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (the new one with AMOLED):

iPad Air with Goodreader PDF app:

Thanks to Jason Boog for the iPad Air video.

It’s clear that, with iOS, an app specifically designed to handle PDFs can make a big difference.

But what’s bugging me is why the iPad Mini 2 with iBooks did so poorly. This file is less than half the size of the other one it did like greased lightning!

There’s something weird and different about Google Books PDF and I’d like to know what the hell it is.

Notice that both the Acer and Samsung tablets are running a dedicated PDF app: Foxit Mobile PDF. And yet the Acer still sucked at the PDF and the Samsung wasn’t precisely lightning, either. With both Android tablets, swiping to the next page is unlike the iPad. The iPad does it effortlessly. With both Android tablets, it doesn’t feel like swiping, it feels like dragging — I have to overcome inertia. Not an optimal experience!

Also, that Samsung has an octa-core Exynos CPU. I wouldn’t expect any rendering delays or page movement inertia. Yet both are there in the video.

Does RAM throughput account for that? Or does Foxit really need to overhaul their software? I don’t know.

More Google Books PDF test posts tomorrow.

For newcomers: This subject is crucial to me. Reading Google Books PDFs will be my primary use for a tablet.

Previously here:

Google Books PDFs category

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7 Comments

Filed under Android, Google Books PDFs, iOS, Video

7 responses to “Google Books PDF Test: Surface Japan

  1. Markj

    Maybe try MuPDF for Android. I found it gives fastest PDF rendering for big Pdfs.

  2. yeahman45

    that’s because for ios, the app is highly optimized… while for android, well it’s developed for android in general not specially for galaxy s or acer, etc…(fragmentation issue) .. it’s made to work mainly on most android devices and it can’t provide optimizations for each device… there are too many

  3. Cob

    What seems to be “special” about this PDF is that it’s not really digitized in the sense that the text is rasterized. So the whole document is really a big set of well compressed images. If you test more W8 tablets I recommend giving SumatraPDF a try. It works very well on Onda v975i/w.

    • ALL Google Books PDFs are like that. So is the American Magazine iOS abbreviated edition — well, that one’s a set of JPEGs. I’m still trying to find out what image filetype is used by Google in their PDFs that causes such slowness.

  4. Vis1-0N

    SmartQ Reader?

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