Quality control issues marring Nexus 7 launch, users report light bleeding and display shadowing

Daniel Bader

July 20, 2012 10:16 am


The Nexus 7 is a great piece of hardware for the price, but there are an increasing number of complaints based on poor quality control. Buyers are reporting backlight bleeding, an issue that regularly affects tablets in the lower price range, though Asus seems especially prone to the issue. Image retention, or shadowing, has also been reported by users, whereby the remnants of a previous image will underlay the current image, as seen above.

A third issue stems from separation of the back cover due to loose screws. Users have found success by securing the several screws they found to be only 70-80% tightened, but the issue should never have been one in the first place.

Other issues include dead spots on the touchscreen, dead pixels, screen flickering and loose microUSB ports.

Google hasn’t released any statements addressing these issues, but users are encouraged to follow the RMA process through their support website.

Does your new Nexus 7 have any of these issues? Ours doesn’t, but at this point we’re considering ourselves lucky.

  • Darren

    Funny – no such problems on my Playbook. Of course, there are also no decent apps.

    • Theywillbepissed

      Take this as a lesson; never buy any tech product before it has been thoroughly reviewed and tested for any issues

    • Cody

      Google rushed ASUS so hard, no wonder there are problems! Hope ASUS don’t take any heat for this, it’s really Google who’s to blame.

    • Markus

      funny, RIMs stock value is plummeting into the ground because of bad decisions like the playbook

    • Sanjeezy

      @Cody its not Google’s fault. I’ve had several Transformers and Transformer primes (early adopter not the later versions with less issues). They had the exact same issues. I thought they’d step their game up with this because Google was watching over them but it appears not

  • WP74Life

    Typical android.
    Done fast and cheap, like all their users.
    1 Surface tablet > 2 000 000 nexus Crap 7.

  • Richard Singh

    The left side of the screen on mind is very slightly loose but I have no light bleeding or dead pixels.

    • Brendon

      Same here,
      pretty glad I don’t have a defective unit like above.

  • Collin

    Who gives a s**t about your playbook Darren. It’s one of the worst tablets available.

    • Yannick Wolfe

      actually, it’s not. It lacks apps and the Os sucks, but it’s not one of the worst tablet.

      know your stuff before you start complaining about other people’s comment and equipment.

    • sp

      actually the OS doesnt suck. the OS is amazing on the Playbook.

      the lack of apps is killing it to an extent! i have all the apps i need on mine and i use it more than i do my laptop now.

      Colin you are a numtard for even saying what you said. Apple Troll

    • Manbo

      @yannick
      Just an fyi, your argument didn’t really discredit his comment.
      That’s like saying I made a well constructed turd, it’s still a turd.

  • Justin

    The image retention is typical of IPS screens.
    IPS is some of the best display tech. out there.

  • EmperumanV

    No issues on mine, including the loose screen. I guess I consider myself lucky.

    I think its the users who’ve bought theirs from Staples and Google Play mostly. Mine was from NCIX and no issues.

  • G203

    Honestly, $250 tablet, you cannot expect too much out of it. I am not saying Nexus 7 is poor but it’s just that if Google can price this thing at $350, at least it can have better parts and quality control process. At the end of the day, you really get what you pay for.

    • WP74Life

      At the end of the day, you really get what you pay for.
      One word, Android.

    • Richard Singh

      It doesn’t cost $100 to tighten a few screws.

    • Dalex

      So the best OS available on the market? That sounds like a good thing… ;)

    • Manbo

      In all fairness, as a flagship Nexus device, I expect better quality. I expected the extras to have been removed like the rear facing camera to cut down on cost, maybe use a cheaper plastic, etc. However when basic production quality suffers and the screen has issues, I refuse to spend any of my hard earned money on a product of that quality.

      @WP74Life What, are you 12? Or do you just live in your parents basement and have nothing better to do? How about you read a book and come up with an intelligent way to troll. Or have a shower, go outside and try to talk to a person.

    • WP74Life

      I’m older than this.
      Also, I like to do this and it is a free way to entertain myself while I work so why not.

      thanks for your support.

  • Sean

    Mine only seems to have loose screws which is good. Also light bleed is a common problem with devices using IPS displays from the iPad 2 to the transformer they all ad problems with light bleed

  • Andy

    I returned two before I gave up. Perhaps I’ll look at it again in a couple months when they figure out how to put it together properly.

  • Rebellion

    I got 2 of the tablets and I see no issues on any of them. Very well built and a great price.

  • haxor99

    Dissapointing

  • androidforlife

    What did you expect. Quality costs. Android users refused to support vendors with other tablets that were ‘over-priced’. This is what you get when you cheap out. Just be thankful they actually turn on.

  • haxor99

    My Dad always said, “If you’re going to do it, do it right”

  • Richard Singh

    I just decided to pop the back of mine open as per the Gizmodo article and tighten the screws. I found about 5 of the screws were very slightly loose (had to tighten each about an 8th of a turn) and this solved the loose screen on mine!

  • john

    This is why the iPad mini will cost a bit more. You get what you pay for.

  • Tim Cook

    Android can lick my nuts!

    • metoo

      Will thank help their quality control issues?

    • metoo

      or rather
      Will that help their quality control issues?

  • tony

    I have the screen lifting and creak noises on the left side. I’m going to return it and also wait for the next batch which hopefully fixes the issue.

  • roman20

    Mine’s got no issues, even after being thrown 5 meters by the UPS delivery man.

  • metoo

    every product Google does starts as a public beta…

  • hoo dat

    After the sh1t kicking a lot of fandroids have given the PlayBook or BlackBerrys in general recently, I can’t help but enjoy this sweet ironic moment. I don’t really care about what OS people choose or for what reasons, people have the right to choose what works for them. But to all the Awads of the world, I can’t help but let out a nice loud LMFAO!!!

  • MB

    I paid 249$ for my 7″ Galaxy tab 2 with micro sd slot and it’s pretty good quality. A bit slow at work cause their wifi is not strong but at home, it works like a charm!
    So the price in this case doesn’t have much to do with this, I blame the time they spent on it.
    It’s only a tablet, get an ultrabook if you want real power.

  • Jeremy

    I have a 16gb Nexus 7 from the Play store. Have severe ghosting and washout after applying the 4.1.1 update. It seems to be getting better with time and more use of the battery. hopefully it doesn’t require a return because the wait time on the phone for Google support is ridiculous.

    • Tom

      I know it is a hassle for you, but I really encourage people that have defective units to exchange them for a working unit.

      Exchanging units is expensive for them so that’s the best way to pressure them to improve their quality control.

      My N7 (16GB) is fine. I’ve just double checked and it doesn’t have any of the problems discussed. If it did I would reluctantly return it.

  • Bobblehead

    If this was Apple, there’d be forty-five thousand comments bashing it by Android Sheep (works better, given the Phillip K. Dick reference). Since it’s Android, it’s been pretty quiet on here. It goes to show you, no company has everything solved, so shut the f up.

  • JR

    At least they are ADMITTING that there is a rpoblem instead of pretending that it doesn’t exist. Maybe they should have just handed out a bunch of five cent bumper cases and pretended that it would fix everything.

    • metoo

      When did they admit there was a problem?

    • hoo dat

      Neither Google or Asus have admitted to anything, neither have they even commented about being aware of the situation.

    • metoo

      …so then Android users now delude themselves into thinking Google etc are responsive?

    • ruddias

      No, THAT Android user deluded themself into thinking Google was responsive. Stop grouping everyone together.

  • Daniel Lui

    I have a Playbook and I since December 26, 2011 and I haven’t seen any issues similar to the ones that Google Nexus 7 owners are complaining about such as light bleeding or dead microUSB ports.

  • Jason E

    What did you expect? Its from Asus… They makes crappy pc,slates and notebooks. Why would you expect anything better from this.

    The moement i knew it was from Asus, I knew it was going to fall apart.

  • Ben

    There are issues with *every* tablet. The question is the number/proportion of affected units.

    My PlayBook had dead pixels, but PlayBooks in general seem to be very well constructed. My Transformer has light bleed and creaking. I expected that the Nexus 7 might have the same issues — so far, no issues. My mom’s TouchPad had a screen defect, but the ones I gave to my dad and to my mother-in-law were fine. You can’t paint a product with the brush handed to you by people who had trouble with the product.

    How many people have issue-free Nexus 7s? Do you have any idea? Probably not, because they’re not the ones going online and posting. It’s the angry people with shipping and quality control issues that are voicing their opinions; this is to be expected.

    I think this article is a bit unfair in making it sound like you’re ‘lucky’ if your unit doesn’t have issues. The reality is that we don’t actually know what proportion of units are affected, and articles like this are a bit sensationalistic.

  • xorn

    Here come the sheeple. Out of the field to check a website that has nothing to do with their phone except for once every 16 months. Please stop your bah’ing. People who like technology and phones are talking. Isn’t it time for you to make your pilgrimage to Jobsland?

    On topic, i hope the numbers for the defects are low. I’ll wait a few weeks before picking mine up.

    • Bobblehead

      I love this line of thinking. ‘Hey, non-Android users, stay out of our topic!’ Meanwhile, anything Apple or WP is populated by 90% Android users bashing it.

  • Mad B

    picked mine up from london drugs few days ago.. only received 2 in their shipment..

    no light bleed, no dead spots, nothing loose..

    sweet device for the money.. no regrets yet

    running jellybean 4.1.1

  • D

    I’ve had the left side creaks since minute one. I had assumed that mine was a one off. I’m quite surprised to see how common this is.

  • mike

    Surface/Ipad over Nexus.

    I used to love android but my Galaxy Nexus is slow, takes 5 seconds for Apps to reappear on homescreen, Facebook force closes, launcher fails everytime, tons of apps force close, battery life sucks balls, cant open pdf’s. I have reset the device numerous times.

    Android = Epic Fail. BB10,IOS and WP8 will be much better choices and even what is currently out on the market is better.

    Android is buggy, slow and very poorly put together. SAD SAD SAD!!!

  • ActivesiN

    mine is currently being shipped, going to have to give it a full inspection

  • Lagnis

    Received my order of two 16 GB units from Google Play. One is almost perfect, minor screen lifting on left side (1 mm or less), the other is hideously detective screen. Uneven backlight on left side, washed out, ghosting, flickering, purely awful. Waiting for Google to issue the RMA and send a replacement.

  • jonny

    Loose screws isnt a big deal, people can easily fix that. Tho the image retention is a huge problem.

    • metoo

      …yeah most people fully expect having to complete the assembly themselves.

  • Drew Moreberry

    I have had mine for 5 days now. Not a single issue. No creaks, no screen troubles, everything just zips along smoothly.

    • metoo

      …hmmm, interesting. have you tried turning it on yet?

  • serpico

    Both from Staples two days ago ; no issues .

    • serpico

      Bought*

  • Cyrano

    so…. suddenly it isn’t that bad my orders got delayed 2 weeks, eh?

  • beacher

    OK. The left side of my screen is raised…..but slightly and that’s it. If I push with a little effort it creaks a little. Should I bring it back for a refund and wait for a future batch to arrive. Or are they all going to have this issue? I think I might try to get use to it…..and once I have a case it will hopefully not be noticeable.

  • mike

    You should not have to settle for creaks and cracks and light bleeding. IPad doesn’t have it!

    Asus was rushed to deliver. And a crappy tablet they did.

  • KKC

    Every tablet that is produced has its problems in the beginnings.
    Here it is Apple people who are bashing the Nexus 7.
    Goto Youtube and search these. Ipad ghost touch,take2 / Ipad screen issues / Ipad 2 Image Ghosting / Ipad Ghosting Issue / Ipad Display Ghosting and Blur / Ipad 2 Image Retention / Ipad Screen burn in / Ipad 1 Screen Ghosting
    So why Apple fans are you bashing the Nexus 7 when the ipad has had its issues also.
    These posts are to be for the mature people not the Android or Apple bashers.

  • jason4

    Nothing to see here people… just another lame wannabe garbage iPad imitator … move along….

    iPad4 baby… iPad 4 baby……………..

    • hoo dat

      Baaaaaaaaaaa, baaaaaaaaaaaa

  • Adom

    With millions of these being shipped out one or two could faulty just like how people have had faulty ipads and iphones out of the box. That’s what 1 year exchange policies are for. Just that sometimes the people with the faulty units can be considerably more vocal than the people who got perfectly dine units.

  • candy

    why buy this crap, when you can have an ipad 2 for 60$ more at thier website. more sturdy and more reliable. NO asia sweatshop workers who doesnt know how to tighten a simple screw.

  • Kevy

    Well, I got the last one this morning at the Pointe Claire FuturShop and it has already been returned. It was stone dead out of the box, which was weird. I charged it for 5 hours and it indicated a full charge. The problem is that it just wouldn’t start up. I’d see “Google” followed by a multi colored “X” in the center, it would disappear and that was it. I checked the manual for factory reset instructions. I could get the option to reset, but it just never did. I want another one but who knows when. I’m happy to hear the Transformers will get Jelly Bean. I want one of those too, but can’t find the 700 model anywhere.