Top critical review
69 people found this helpful
Fully featured, for better or worse.
on May 12, 2013
I recently downloaded this on our Kindle Fire HD because I have a few large reference books (legitimately!) stored as PDFs, and I just couldn't live without the bookmark and search features which seem to be absent from the Kindle's native PDF reader.
However, I discovered that the performance of a search on a light tablet like the Kindle, as opposed to a PC, is prohibitively slow in the large (500+ page) documents where I tried to use it. I tried to search a phrase that I knew appeared exactly as typed in a document, but the Kindle fell asleep trying to find it, and I had to wake it up and kill Reader. It would probably be fine in smaller documents, but in this usage the app failed to meet expectations.
For general reading, the Adobe Reader is noticeably slower than the native reader, but not so much that it gets in the way. Adobe Reader presents three options for layout: continuous feed, single-page (like the native reader), and "text reflow", which tries to simulate the pure-text mode of the Kindle's book viewer. Again, this third mode would probably work better on documents that are purely textual, but for anything with a complex layout, the app got terribly confused. Unless you hate single-page view for some personal reason, stick with it, as it seems to give the best performance.
Still, the addition of navigation by bookmarks puts the Adobe Reader head and shoulders above the native Kindle reader for large documents, as long as the PDF documents themselves contain good ToCs and/or bookmarks. For large reference books (including textbooks, roleplaying game source material, etc.) there is no better way to get around, and the Kindle's native PDF reader simply doesn't provide it.
Another minor advantage over the Kindle's native reader is that Adobe Reader supports internal document links. The Kindle's reader will underline links for you, to show you that they're present, but won't follow them if you try to click on them. The Adobe Reader highlights document links with a contrasting background, and as long as you zoom in close enough for it to recognize your tap as "follow this link" instead of "bring up menus", it will jump to the link's destination. It's a bit clunky, but it is an additional navigational aid you don't get with the native reader, which only teases you with its possibility.
So, the TL;DR version: Get Adobe Reader if you need to navigate large documents or books-as-PDF; for smaller documents, the Kindle's native reader may serve your needs better.