The tablet market doubled in size in 2012. Apple’s iPad range is still dominant, but the 7-inch Android tablet space has sparked a fierce battle between countless manufacturers and prices are getting surprisingly low. The undisputed king of the hill when it comes to small Android tablets is Google’s Nexus 7, manufactured by Asus. It has been selling well since its July 2012 release and estimates suggest that Google shifted between 5 and 8 million units last year with over 1 million Nexus 7 sales in December alone.
While the diminutive tablet has been well received by critics and consumers alike, no product is perfect. That’s why we’ve dug up a list of Nexus 7 problems and tried to find potential solutions and workarounds for anyone suffering.
Problem: Nexus 7 will not turn on or charge
Have you ever found that your Nexus 7 won’t turn on at all and it won’t charge when you plug it in? Don’t worry. You are not alone. There are a couple of things you can try to bring it back to life. This problem seems to occur frequently if you allow your Nexus 7 battery to run completely down or leave it idle for long periods.
- Hold down the Power button for a full 30 seconds. The Nexus 7 should start up.
- If that didn’t work then try this: Plug in the charger and press the Power button and the Volume Down button together. You should see a menu pop up. Use the Volume rocker to go down to Power Off and press the Power button to select it. When the Nexus 7 turns off, remove the charger from the device and then plug it back in again. You should see the battery sign appear if it worked.
Problem: Lag, reboots, or brightness issues after installing Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
A lot of Nexus 7 owners reported serious problems after updating the tablet to Android 4.2. Some people encountered general lag or sluggish performance, others complained of brightness issues for the display, and worst of all, some people encountered random reboots. There was also a bug introduced in the People app that removed the month of December, but Google rolled out an update to fix that bug quickly.
- First of all try going to the Google Currents app (if you have it), open up the Settings menu, and unchecking Enable Background Sync and then reboot your Nexus 7.
- If that doesn’t work then try a factory reset, but keep in mind that you will lose all data on the device, including all your apps (a lot of data will be backed up in your Google account so you can restore it afterward). Go to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset > Reset tablet and then enter your pattern, PIN, or password if prompted. Then tap “Erase everything.”
Problem: Screen separation
Some Nexus 7 tablets shipped with a screen defect which means that the screen lifts slightly away from the plastic bezel, which can create some creaking noises. It’s generally caused by screws that haven’t been properly tightened, or in some cases, screws that are completely missing. It’s relatively easy to fix and you’ll find guides online, but you shouldn’t have to fix yourself and you could void your warranty so we don’t recommend that course of action.
Solution: If you bought your Nexus 7 from Google Play then call Google customer support. If you bought it elsewhere, then you need to contact Asus directly. In both cases you should get a replacement free of charge because this is a known issue.
Problem: Microphone doesn’t work
You may find that the Nexus 7 microphone is failing to pick up any sound. This could be because of a fault; it could be because of the placement or the cover; or it could be because something got in there and blocked it.
- Use compressed air or, if you’re in the mood, suck on the microphone hole. If there’s a dust blockage then this should fix it.
- Some people have reported that it isn’t aligned properly with the hole or that the rubber edging is covering it. You could open the back cover and take a look, but you may void your warranty by poking around so be very cautious.
- The hole for the microphone could be completely missing or you might have a faulty microphone. In either case, you’ll want to return it and get a replacement unit by calling Google customer support if you purchased it from Google Play or contacting Asus directly if you got it somewhere else.
Problem: Headphone jack doesn’t work
There have been quite a few reports of people getting no sound at all when they plug in their headphones, or getting crackly intermittent sound. Before you panic, make sure to try your headphones in another device so you know they aren’t the problem. You should also check that the volume is turned up on the Nexus 7 and not very low or even muted. If that doesn’t help, there are a couple of other potential solutions.
- The port is very tight. Push harder and wait until you hear the headphones click into place. You may have to apply more pressure than expected, but this will often solve the problem.
- If it’s a hardware failure then you’ll need to contact Google or Asus for a replacement.
Problem: Wi-Fi won’t connect or repeatedly drops out
You may find that your Nexus 7 refuses to connect to your Wi-Fi network or drops it frequently. There are various potential causes for this and not all of them are Nexus 7 related, but if the tablet is your problem then you can try a few things.
- Check the date and time settings on your Nexus 7 and make sure they are correct. Some people reported an issue with the date being wrong.
- Turn NFC off via Settings > More, and then uncheck the box next to NFC. This has worked for some people.
- Turn Wi-Fi off and on again or turn your router off and on again. This will often temporarily fix the problem.
- You may have to consult your ISP or router troubleshooting guide to identify the issue.
Problem: Touchscreen is not responsive
If you are unlucky enough to find that your touchscreen doesn’t respond or that it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t then you can try the standard troubleshooting steps.
- Soft reset the Nexus 7 by holding down the power button for 30 seconds.
- Factory reset without the touchscreen by pressing and holding the Power button and Volume Down then press Volume Down twice and hit the Power button to select Recovery Mode. Hold the Power button down and hit Volume Up and then use the volume rocker to select the “wipe data/factory” reset option and press the Power button to select it. Use the volume rocker again to select “Yes – erase all user data” and press the Power button to activate.
- If the reset doesn’t work then you should contact Google, Asus, or the retailer, depending on where you bought the device, and request a replacement.
Problem: Crackling speaker or loss of sound
The Nexus 7 speaker can sound distorted, especially at high volumes, and sometimes people report loss of sound completely. If you find that your sound is fine through headphones, but problems with the speaker persist, then it’s likely to be a hardware fault.
Solution: You’ll need to request a replacement from Google, Asus, or the retailer where you bought the Nexus 7.
That’s it for now, but if you have another Nexus 7 problem you’d like to share then post a comment. Even better, if you have a solution that isn’t listed here then please share it.