Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tablets for PDFs: Update on Nexus 10 Review

So my PDF specific review of the Nexus 10 has proven to be very popular, the second most popular post after the Second City unboxing so far. So now that I've had a chance to play with it a bit more I feel I need to post an update to the performance of the Nexus 10.

As I mentioned in the original post I like using ezPDF for my PDF viewing. I said for most PDFs if the pages were cached, ie they were the next page and you stopped to read the current one, it would take about 2 seconds to turn to it. I have since realized that this is because I had the page turning animation turned on.

As it turns out that this page turning animation is ridiculously performance dependant an very slow. When I said it took 2 seconds, it turns out it was 2 seconds for this animation and not to render the page. So I turned off the page turning animation and it has improved the performance of my PDF viewing considerably.

Now my performance figures for turning the page to a cached page is almost instantaneous. Far less than a second to turn to the next page. What does this mean? It's now far less painful and I was over stating the time it took.

So what does that mean for uncached pages? Well it depends on the PDF. Retrying for the uncached pages on heavy PDFs like the Legend of the Five Rings did reduce the timings slightly, but not a huge amount. A fraction of a second as far as I can work out in the worst cases. However for lighter PDFs it has resulted in much faster timings.

As a result I've revised my timings from the previous post. Here are the updated performance figures, and I think you'll agree they are much better.

So what all this basically means is that if you're flipping through a book, or jumping around a lot, be prepared to wait a few seconds for the page to render for most things. If you're actually reading through the PDF, then the performance isn't something that will ever come into play as it changes to the next page instantly. Just make sure that the Pre-Render Next Page option is turned on.

(Side note, I'm currently reading Kuro, and boy is that a performant PDF. Flicking through it rapidly it renders in less than a second. Oh that all PDFs should be made as efficiently.)

Additionally some have asked about weights. My Nexus 10 weighs in at 606g. For reference you can compare this to some other typical supplement weights.

  • Typical Shadowrun 152 page supplement (Corporate Intrigue in this case) - 371g
  • Mongoose Traveller High Guard - 461g
  • Nexus 10 - 606g
  • Delta Green core book (paperback first printing) - 690g
  • Shadowrun 2050 (hardcover) - 856g
  • Call of Cthulhu Sixth Edition - 879g
  • Vampire: The Requiem Core Rulebook - 1,150g
  • Black Crusade core rulebook - 1,540g
  • Ptolus - 2,789g (thought I'd throw that one in there for a laugh)
So compared to the average paperback supplement it's a little heavier as long as the supplement is under 224 pages or so (paper weights do vary slightly depending on the stock.) If it's a hardcover or a larger book then the Nexus 10 will be lighter. 


  1. Dear Ben,

    Hi! Just wanted to thank you for sharing your great review on using tablet for reading PDF. I have quite a few ebooks including RPGs that I have been planning to read but reading on a LCD screen is quite an uncomfortable experience.

    Google Nexus 10 really seems to fit the bill, too bad it's unavailable where I'm staying, in South East Asia.

    Keep up the cool updates, all these RPG reviews are great :)