When comparing (Spac)emacs with pdf-tools vs Google Chrome, the Slant community recommends (Spac)emacs with pdf-tools for most people. In the question“What are the best PDF viewers for Linux?” (Spac)emacs with pdf-tools is ranked 12th while Google Chrome is ranked 17th. The most important reason people chose (Spac)emacs with pdf-tools is:
Being a Emacs plugin you can use elisp to customize, script and extend pdf-tools.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extensible, customizable and scriptable
Being a Emacs plugin you can use elisp to customize, script and extend pdf-tools.
Pro Can treat multiple PDF's as one big PDF
Pro Nice search using Occur
Occur creates a list all lines matching a regexp or string in one or more pdfs and allows easy jumping between them. Really helpful when searching long documents like datasheets.
Pro Synctex support
Pro Easy installation
Although installing requires little more work than stand-alone readers, pdf-tools is very easily installed via Emacs 'list-packages' or even easier as a layer in Spacemacs
Pro Convenient default keyboard shortcuts
Uses emacs or vim-style navigation (via spacemacs/evil. Shortcut overview via transient state "SPC m .")
Pro Automatically exported notes
Notes can be exported automatically to and backlinked from an external org notes file using the org-noter or interleave package.
Pro Excellent HTML 5 feature support
Pro Syncs between devices
By logging into Chrome using a Google account it's possible to sync history, extensions, passwords, bookmarks and other settings between devices. This makes it great for anyone working with multiple devices as it allows experiencing consistent context when in the browser.
Pro Plenty of extensions
There are far more available on this browser than any other, and that may matter for some.
Pro Great built-in developer tools
Chrome comes with built-in developer tools, making testing and enhancing web pages simpler for those of us involved in working with such technologies. As well as being beneficial to developers, this also has some benefit to non-technical users; in that by making testing simpler for developers those developers are more likely to use Chrome for their tests, and can spend more time making improvements over investigating underlying causes of issues.
Pro Simple user interface
For example, the address bar is also the search bar. Google calls it Omnibox.
Pro Good performance
According to TopTen Reviews, Chrome is currently one of the best performing browsers for initial (cold) startup, average startup, and navigation times. Works very well with the uBlock Origin adblocker.
Pro Automatically updates
Chrome updates in the background ensuring you're always on the latest version. This makes it much more likely that sites will work on your browser, since (almost) all Chrome users will be running exactly the same version.
Pro Multiple account login
You can have multiple Chromes with different accounts logged at the same time. And it is really easy to manage different accounts.
Pro Sandboxed Tabs
Every tab runs as their own process, so if one crashes or becomes unresponsive, the whole browser isn't affected.
Pro Works great with many extensions
Unlike Firefox, Google Chrome can keep its fast performance regardless of how many extensions are installed. With more than 10 extensions Firefox gets slower and slower in a geometric progression rate. Google Chrome doesn't care how many extensions the user has installed - 3 or 133 it still performs great.
Pro Customizable by user
Each of the managed users can have their own configuration (themes, extensions, ...)
Pro Uses Blink
It uses the blink rendering engine which has removed many legacy khtml/webkit code to be much lighter and faster.
Pro Engine is open-source
Chromium is open source, except the proprietary media codecs like AAC, H.264, MP3 and Adobe Flash, that can't be legally open-sourced.
Pro Can translate text directly
As of March 2015, Chrome is the most popular browser on the internet, with a 43.9% - 63.7% market share, Its rendering engine Blink is also the most used rendering engine and used in many products including: Opera, Vivaldi, Qt, Brave, Steam or Electron meaning most developers will be testing their sites against this browser to ensure compatibility.
Pro Chrome is faster than Firefox
Pro Backed and supported by Google
Whilst Chrome is based on the open source browser Chromium, Google reviews this code and build on top of it. This means it takes (and contributes to) a number of the benefits of the open source model whilst having the resources, support and investment of a major company.
Pro Plays more media formats than any open source browser
Includes support for many licensed unfree media formats.
Pro Multimedia Plugins and Codecs included
Google Chrome comes with its own flashplayer and the most common multimedia codecs so you don't have to worry that they are outdated nor do you need to install them as a third party package.
Pro Only one distributor
Unlike those various unofficial Chromium builds, there is only one distributor, so all Chrome releases follow the same standards.
Pro Data collection
Chrome uses online services to collect our data and improve our browser experience. But this also means it spys on you.
Con Only for power users
Handy only for people that want good notes/annotation management. Otherwise using any other pdf-reader is recommended.
Con Too cumbersome for quick reading or annotating
Although setting up pdf-tools is not too much work. For quick reading using some default pdf-viewer like evince/okular/zathura is recommended. Also, except for the auto-export feature (with org-noter/interleave package), other editors like e.g. pdf-XChange Editor (via wine), Okular or mupdf have even more powerful annotation features.
Con No continuous scroll
Con Requires emacs
Con Online tracking by default
Chrome allows opting out of tracking by going to Settings > Advanced > Privacy and un-checking any unwanted services. Alternatively Chromium can be used to get a similar browser experience without Google's services on top of it.
Con Huge memory hog
Each tab and extension in the browser uses significant chunks of RAM, giving the browser poor performance on machines without enough RAM to supply.
Con Bad for battery life
Drains battery life on both Windows laptops and Macs much quicker than the alternatives. It can shave hours off the battery life of any non Chromebook laptop.
Con Not fully open-source
While most of Chrome is open source: Chrome does have some closed-source components to make it possible to play some closed media formats.
Con It's Google
Con No mobile extensions
Chrome on Android and iOS does not support extensions.
Con Not as customizable as Firefox or Vivaldi
Con Big target for hackers
Chrome is the most popular browser in the world. That makes it the most targeted browser in the world by hackers.
Con Increasingly slow
When Chrome first came out, it was known for being lightweight and very speedy. Over the years, more and more features have been added to Chrome. Because of this, crashes, errors, and general laggy-ness has increased noticeably.
Con Hard/impossible to transfer passwords to a different machine without uploading them to Google
Con American agents may track you
Unlike Brave and Vivaldi which are more stable and have more features, Chrome is pretty basic.
Con Blurred fonts on Windows
Fonts on Windows are blurred, that is especially noticeable in light fonts on dark background. Small italic text is hard to read.
Con Bad quality control on extensions
Some just plain don't work while a few actually break the browser.
Con Does not hardware accelerate HTML5 video correctly
Chrome is unable to hardware accelerate HTML5 video correctly which makes playing 4k video on laptops a poor experience filled with lag.
Though there is a workaround for YouTube in that a plugin can be installed to force Flash playback instead of HTML5, which plays smoothly and has no HW acceleration issues. There's another plugin (h264ify) that will force to use the h.264 codec video if available instead of the VP9 one which is the resource hog.
Con No menu bar on Windows
There's no menu bar, except on Mac OS or Linux appmenu.
Con No reader view
Unlike most other browsers, Chrome doesn't have a reader view function.