Nexus 7 touchscreen problem caught on video

Nexus 7 touchscreen problem caught on video

Summary: One of the requirements for a good touchscreen tablet is that the touchscreen be responsive and accurate. The Nexus 7 may have a problem with both when it gets hot.

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Since people started getting their hands on Google's "Jelly-Bean"-powered Nexus 7 tablet I started hearing about problems with the responsiveness and accuracy of the touchscreen display. An uploaded video demonstrates the issue at hand.

Geek.com's Ryan Whitwam, who seems to be having the exact same problem with his 16GB Nexus 7, noted the issue on video.

Whitwam -- along with others I have spoken to -- are putting the issue down to the heat pumped out by the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. This is because the problem seems to develop after playing games, especially those optimized for the Tegra 3 chip. Games will work the Tegra 3 chip hard, and a game optimized for the platform will push it even harder.

The affected screen area appears to be confined to the top-right of the screen (when held in landscape orientation with the camera on the left). However, in this orientation the Tegra 3 chip would be at the bottom-right of the device, as shown in the teardown images below. Directly under the affected area is the Nexus 7's ample battery back.

21-07-2012 11-08-45

Another possible issue could be that the screen is affected by interference from the logic board. ASUS, the Nexus 7 manufacturer, was liberal with the copper foil screening material, but perhaps it isn't enough.

Or perhaps the problem has nothing to do with either heat or interference and is down to a software glitch triggered by using the device?

A temporary way to solve the problem appears to be to turn the device off and then back on again, which seems to recalibrate the screen. However, this fix is only temporary and the problem returns when the device is used.

Hopefully, the problem is software based and can be fixed with a future software update; otherwise Google could be looking at a recall of the affected devices.

Image source: Google, iFixit [1, 2].

Topics: Google, Android, Hardware, Tablets

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39 comments
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  • First run's what are you going to do? it happens to everyone...

    The interesting thing is what is google/asus going to do about it?

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • 1st run???

      Sure .... never mind that it was built by ASUS ... a company that has built MULTIPLE tablets before.
      wackoae
      • This is not a hardware problem but a software bug that can easily be fixed

        As you can see in the video, the problem went away when he put the screen to sleep and turned it back on again. It it was a hardware problem it will always be there. So that tells you that this is NOT a hardware issue but a software glitch. So I'm sure Google is aware of it and they will be issuing a OTA update soon.
        larryvand
    • The video shows that it's a software glitch not a hardware problem.

      After he turned off the screen and turned it back on again, the problem went away. So this is clearly a software bug that will be fixed with an OTA update. Hardware problems are constant and persistent.
      larryvand
      • Hoping it is software

        I hope larryvand is right and it is software related. I am having this problem with my 16g Nexus 7, especially when I've been playing a game as has been mentioned. I removed a live wallpaper and that helped quite a bit but didn't resolve the problem entirely.
        Christina Keltner
  • I don't understand why you are calling for panic

    Shouldn't people with affected units simply take them back and exchange them for working units? That is the advice that is usually given out when individual units aren't working properly.

    Why is the Nexus 7 being treated so differently? Does its success scare certain companies that have an incredible amount of power in this industry?
    toddbottom3
    • People Tried to return the Nexus 7 to Google, but they didn't want it back

      There have been reports of being on hold for hours. Google is not exactly known for customer service (or producing hardware for that matter).

      Guess we can add a headstone in the Android Tablet Graveyard for this doorstop too.

      Send on my High Def iPad 3!
      orandy
      • Not from the reports I've read

        There have been reports of people getting a new Nexus 7 AND $3,000 for their troubles.

        Wait, we don't actually have to prove anything beyond saying "there have been reports", right?

        "Send on my High Def iPad 3!"

        Clearly, because had you sent it from a PC, it would have read:
        "Sent from my High Def iPad 3!"
        toddbottom3
      • Google is pretty bad at customer service

        While some other retail stores give you up to 30 days, Google gives you a short 2 weeks to return the device. It's not out the ordinary for companies to give 2 weeks to return, but when you are Google and you suck at basic customer service, why not match the other retailers policy? I would be tick if I found out about this screen issue over the two weeks policy.
        dave95.
      • Like the iPad3 has not had problems

        I suggest you search for iPad3 problems and ready the popcorn cause they are many. Light bleeding, running too hot, software glitches, etc... This touchscreen issue of the Nexus 7 is nothing by comparison. It is a software glitch that will be fixed with an OTA update. Good luck fixing the hardware issues of the iCRAP3.
        larryvand
      • CrApple Troll

        The iFAD, especially the "New iFAD" has had dozens of problems .... it's just that CrApple PR PAYS OFF all their Hacks in the Media to bury the stories. Keep those FreeBee iPhony's and iFads coming.
        Webster Phreaky
    • Um I don't recall the ewriter alling for panic or anything close to that.

      Seemed rather calm review in fat the video maker did not call for a panic either so it's from two different sources and no one called for panic as far as I can tell. Just saying....

      Toddy is not clever.....

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
  • THE NEXUS 7 IS A LEMON!

    Myriad problems have been discovered:

    Screens coming unglued
    Dead pixels
    Blank spots on the screen
    Dead speakers
    Audio problems
    Wont boot
    Apps continue to crash

    Just Google "Nexus 7 Issues" if you want more details.

    I guess the Nexus 7 is the Next POS ripoff iPad wannabe to be exposed as a FAILURE; apparently it's WORSE than the Fire, lol
    orandy
    • Take a deep breath

      And look up iPad 3 problems.

      You'll find that this tablet isn't the only NOT PERFECT thing on the market.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • re: THE NEXUS 7 IS A LEMON!

      @orandy yeah, yeah, yeah, just another Apple fanboi troll!!!
      Whothehell Cares
    • How 'bout these iFad 3 Bugs, troll?

      'iPad 3' Problems: Users' Biggest Issues With Apple's New Tablet:
      Too Expensive (Again)
      Wi-Fi Connectivity Issues
      Heavier than the v2
      Hot To The Touch
      Battery Slow To Charge
      Battery Not Actually Full At 100 Percent
      Self-reboots for no reason
      4G LTE Eats Data Fast
      No FaceTime On LTE
      Old Smart Covers Don't Work
      Not A Big Enough Change From The iPad 2
      (As reported by the Huffington Post 04/02/12)

      Hows that CrApple Troll?
      Webster Phreaky
  • This is typical....

    When a company like google sub lets its manufacturing of an item like a tablet with another OEM what you get is often something like this in terms of customer support. Everyone who purchases this product thinks first of google not the OEM who made it. So they call google for tech support and google is not prepared to do well anything like that cause they did not make it and have little to no experience with actual hardware tech support. SO the customer is left frustrated and unsatisfied with the level of support they get and the quality of said. The thing is this has happened before in fact not all that long ago a newspaper decided to get in on the tablet thing and sub contracted a tablet to be sold along with a subscription for it's products to compensate for the rather cheap price they put on said tablet. However what happened was a flood of customer support calls came into the paper from customers not knowledgable with their new product and the paper was not prepared in any fashion to handle said calls so they were tossed back to the hardware contractor who only knew of their hardware and not the software that the paper had made to work on the tablet to steer the customers to their products and their product alone. What a mess.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • It has Google's logo and name on it ... it is Google's problem

      ASUS built it, but the name on the box is Google. It is Google's responsibility to provide tech support, not ASUS.

      Do people call Foxcon when they have an issue with an iPad, an XBox or a Dell computer?
      Do people call LG when they have an issue with a Westinghouse brand HDTV?
      Do people call Quanta Computer about issues with the Kindle Fire?

      Just like with others, the company who's brand is on the box is party who is legally responsible for providing any support for the duration of the warranty.
      wackoae
      • I like this... I set you up with a slow ball over the

        plate, and you knock it out of the park:)

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • The box might say Google

        but the device itself says Asus.

        Do you contact Microsoft because the sticker on your laptop says Microsoft Windows (for a hardware issue) or do you contact HP/Dell/etc?
        Michael Alan Goff