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Old 11-26-2009, 02:19 AM   #1
YYZscientist
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Performance with short but image-heavy PDF files

Hi all,

I'm considering getting a Jetbook, but not for reading books, rather to always have my collection of scholarly journal articles (as my username implies, I'm a scientist) at hand and to be able to peruse them while out and about. These are all in PDF format (directly from the publisher typically, though some are scanned versions of paper from old journals). Generally, they are all formated for 8.5x11" paper and can contain several images (generally graphs, tables, rarely photos) and equations. However, these are not books -- they are quite short, often 3-5 pages; sometimes in rare occasions 10-15.

I was wondering how bad the performance of the Jetbook would be for these types of files. I know it's a device that's not ideal for 8.5x11" formatted files and that there has been a few mentions of PDF files being quite slow. The question is how bad is it, for this particular type of material. This is not meant for constant reading, but very casual perusal, look-up, etc.

Would anyone with a Jetbook be willing to do a little test for me and report back here? For those brave and generous souls, I've attached two sample PDF files to test. One is a short article (typical of most I'll have), and the other is longer with a lot of images (worst case scenario). Ideally, it would be nice if you could report back with the time to load each file, the performance scrolling around a page, the lag to load second page, etc., and any other impressions you have. Even a photo or video to show how it looks -- though that may be asking too much!

Finally, I'm curious if you can use the Jetbook's "Find" feature with these files. These are PDF files with the OCR text data built-in and I can do searches for words in the PDF readers on my PC.

Thanks in advance! And a big "cheers" to this great community board. It's been very useful in narrowing down which reader I might want to get.
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:47 PM   #2
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Dear XYZ,

These two files open up in less than 5 seconds. They are barely readable when they open in the fit-width portrait view because the text is too small, but they are somewhat readable in the fit-width landscape view. Zooming to 200 or preferably 400% makes things fine looking. Navigating within a page sometimes needs to reload (less than 5 seconds). I have no real delays switching pages. Overall a good experience with these considering the screen size.

Alas there is no "find" function within the PDF mode.

Last edited by akira28; 11-27-2009 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:00 AM   #3
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Thanks akira for taking the time to do this little test for me.

So, it doesn't sound so bad after all! And the graphs (and their details) were clear as well when you zoomed in?

The question now remains how to organise things... I can live without "find" within an article, but is it possible to find files in a folder by their filename? I do tend rename the PDF files to be somewhat descriptive of the title. Otherwise, I don't know how I'll be able to sort through the 500+ articles to find the one I'd be looking for.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by YYZscientist View Post
So, it doesn't sound so bad after all! And the graphs (and their details) were clear as well when you zoomed in?
YES.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YYZscientist View Post
The question now remains how to organise things... I can live without "find" within an article, but is it possible to find files in a folder by their filename? I do tend rename the PDF files to be somewhat descriptive of the title. Otherwise, I don't know how I'll be able to sort through the 500+ articles to find the one I'd be looking for.
You could organize them in folders and then the folders and the articles within them will be listed alphabetically.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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In my experience, the jetBook is relatively fast with PDF's. I think the complaints of slow PDF speeds were from Sony users with reflow? (Someone correct me if I am wrong)
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:54 AM   #6
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PDF for letter sized pages doesn't do well on 6 inch screens so it definitely won't do well on a 5 inch screen.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:09 PM   #7
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PDF for letter sized pages doesn't do well on 6 inch screens so it definitely won't do well on a 5 inch screen.
The two pdf's are double columns so they do fine (with a certain amount of scrolling).

Last edited by akira28; 11-28-2009 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:16 PM   #8
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PDF for letter sized pages doesn't do well on 6 inch screens so it definitely won't do well on a 5 inch screen.
We are well aware of the screen size of the jetBook and your disdain for 5" screens. The jetBook has some interesting page divide/zoom options (dividing it into 2x2 or 3x3) with shortcut keys that are useful for PDF's. Quite handy.
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:44 AM   #9
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My experience with the two files depended heavily on how many pictures were on the page. On the bigger file, I was getting page turn speeds of about 1 second over a couple pages, and then about a 5 second page turn, then back to a second for a couple more. It seems to cache a couple pages in memory, making for the quick page turns. That occurred until it tried to load page 6 of 18 (the page with the 14 pictures on it). The first time it had to load that page it took 4 minutes, 24 seconds. I went through the rest of the document to the end and then started backward through the document. When it had to load page 6 of 18 the second time it only took 2 minutes, 48 seconds. I continued to the beginning of the document, and then repeated the process again. The third time it took only 1minute, 2 seconds to load that page.

As for the zooming, if there are a lot of pictures on a page, it may not zoom in as tight as you wish. I was able to zoom in to %400, which covered an area of about 4 of the pictures. Going to %800 percent gave an "out of memory" error. If I tried to go to the %400 zoom directly from the "fit width" it would also give the "out of memory" error. I had to go first to 100% zoom, 200% zoom, then 400% zoom. It took a couple minutes for the whole process. The zooms on pages with only text was able to go all the way to the max zoom available, 6400%. Back to page 6 of 18, once zoomed in to 400% on one area of the page, scrolling to look at a different area of that same page was near instantaneous.

As Kralik mentions, the jetbook does have a feature that makes it easier to read pdfs that are double or triple columns. Once you have a pdf page open, you hit the "OK" button once or twice to get into the appropriate mode for the dual or triple column reading. It still isn't perfect in the way it operates, depending upon the orientation, zoom levels and such, but it is better than not having the feature at all.

Hope this information helps.

Lance

Last edited by thenitch; 11-29-2009 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:22 AM   #10
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Out of memory? Yikes!

I guess that downer sort of settles it ...
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:01 AM   #11
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Thanks for second detailed testing by thenitch!

I'm not too concerned about the "out of memory" error with the second (big) file when zooming in very close -- it's quite rare (at least in my field) for papers to have so many bitmap photos on one page. It was meant as a worst-case scenario, and even in this case you were able to get to 400% zoom.

What does cause me to pause is the greater than 4 minutes it took to load that page. I'm a patient person, but that's a long wait! Granted, this was on the worst-case PDF, but I wonder how common 1, 2, or 3 minute loads will be...

I think I will delay my purchase for now.

In the end, it's the fact that I can't search PDFs to find articles (even the metadata would have been OK). Being forced to spend time organizing all my papers into folders and making sure all the files have good descriptive filenames is just too much of a task.
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