By August 22, 2012

Nexus 7: Third Time’s a Charm?

I pre-ordered Google’s Nexus 7 tablet the day it was announced. My 7″ tablet arrived and I noticed that the left side of the screen was not assembled properly. I had concerns about the long-term durability of the tablet, and was put off by the creaking sound the Nexus 7 made every time I pressed near the lower left corner of the device.

I also experienced inconsistent touchscreen performance. Sometimes I would tap or drag my finger along the screen and the digitizer would “skip,” forcing me to go back and repeat whatever gesture I just made. At times the bottom third of the screen became sporadically responsive, which made typing difficult. I chalked it up to the incorrectly assembled screen.

Google sent me a replacement unit, and I’ve been waiting for any other issues to develop before writing a larger review. Unfortunately something did come up and I’m sending my second Nexus 7 back for a replacement.

If my first unit’s screen was erratic enough to be annoying, the replacement tablet is unusable. There are times where the bottom third of the screen or the left-most fifth of the screen are completely unresponsive. I sometimes have to push really hard on the on-screen keyboard to get register a letter. If this happened consistently I could get used to it; however while tapping out a word or sentence the keys will become appropriately sensitive again, which results in an alternate key being generated.

I have yet to determine why the screen starts acting up. At first I thought there was a bug with Draw Something. However, I had problems with the keyboard in several other applications, including Facebook and Chrome. I also had an interesting problem with Chrome wherein I could not activate the “paste” long-press option when pushing on form fields like “username” or “password.” I’m not sure if that’s a Chrome problem or a touchscreen problem, but I never had that happen on my rooted Kindle Fire nor my Galaxy Nexus phone.

I will say this about Google: their customer support is getting faster. I submitted my request for a replacement on Monday, received an RMA and pre-paid shipping label and got a notification that my cross-shipped replacement was on the way on Tuesday. I’ll wait for the replacement unit to arrive before sending my second tablet back. I’m nervous that the third Nexus 7 will have an offset screen.

Hopefully the third time’s a charm with my Google Nexus 7.

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