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Nexus 7 buyers report more defects as Google investigates complaints

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Google Hugo Barra Nexus 7 stock 1020 2-3
Google Hugo Barra Nexus 7 stock 1020 2-3

Google and Asus ran into some quality control issues with the original Nexus 7, and early reports indicate the second-generation model is having its own share of problems. Unfortunately, it seems those hardware troubles don't end with malfunctioning GPS. Complaints about the brand new $229 tablet also extend to the display. Few owners have bad things to say about the Nexus 7's impressive, tack sharp 1920 x 1200 resolution. But touchscreen sensitivity is another matter. Like with the GPS bug, many users have taken to XDA Developers and Google's product forums to call out questionable behavior they've seen from the device.

The wrong kind of multitouch

Reports seem to focus on "phantom" presses — finger taps that are being registered by the Nexus 7 even when a user's hand is away from the screen. When demonstrated with an app designed to test for multitouch accuracy (as in the video below), the issue is obvious. But it may not be so apparent to regular end users. Those afflicted claim they've experienced unpredictable keyboard behavior and random bouts of lag thanks to the Nexus 7's iffy touch detection. To be clear, other buyers report no issues whatsoever with touchscreen sensitivity. A number of tools for gauging your Nexus 7's touch performance are available through Google Play, so you can test for the issue immediately after buying the tablet if you're worried. For now, Google employee Paul Wilcox is assuring early buyers that the company is investigating their reports.

The GPS and touchscreen bugs may not be obvious to some Nexus 7 owners, but it's hard to miss your device randomly freezing up or rebooting out of the blue. That's yet another issue being reported at Google's forums. Google has been on the hunt for a fix here, asking Nexus 7 owners to boot the device in safe mode and reset it to factory settings as two possible solutions. But those don't seem to be sufficient fixes, and again Googler Wilcox has promised that the Android team is looking into the matter. But there's been no solid timeline on a resolution, leading some early adopters to return the Nexus 7 while they still can.

Is the Nexus 7 still an excellent tablet? Unquestionably. These early quality control quirks aren't enough to offset the incredible price, sleek design, and killer screen Asus and Google have delivered. Nor should they necessarily sway you from purchasing the latest flagship Android tablet. But like the original model, you'll want to give your new purchase a thorough once-over to make sure it's not affected by these or other issues. In the meantime, we've reached out to both companies for more information on these early Nexus 7 problems and potential fixes.