Jul 182012

After announcing shipping delays, Google’s first tablet computer began arriving in the hands of owners this week and anecdotal reports suggest that the defect rate for the Asus manufactured device is high.

On the XDA Developers website, 140 users have responded to a poll asking where their defective Nexus 7 came from.  That message board thread currently has 35 pages of responses.  Most of the reported defects involve problems with the 7-inch IPS display: poor image quality, light leaks, dead pixels, improperly seated display and image ghosting.  Many users report substandard manufacturing and quality control issues.

UPS delivered our 16GB Nexus 7 yesterday with an unworkable touch screen defect.  The tablet often does not register screen touches, but when it does, phantom touches occur constantly, often triggering an avalanche of unwanted actions.  After a great deal of effort, I was able to install Multitouch Tester, an application that will display all currently registering screen touches.  The application revealed that a ghost touch is being registered at a fixed location near the center of the screen.

When we attempted to contact Google to report our defective tablet, we were greeted with an automated response discouraging us from staying on the line due to current call volume.  We did not hang up, but it took 50 minutes before our call was answered by a customer service representative.  The lengthy hold times further suggest that Google is struggling through a rough product launch of the Nexus 7.

UPDATE: Our Nexus 7 touch screen problem has worsened enough so that we can no longer unlock the device from the initial Android lock screen.  Google’s device return procedures are somewhat Byzantine and buggy, but apparently a replacement device will eventually be sent to us.  However, we have not received a shipping notification yet.