updated 12:00 am EDT, Sat August 24, 2013
Cites touchscreen, built-in GPS issues among concerns
Consumer protection magazine Consumer Reports has now advised readers to "hold off" on buying Google's Nexus 7 tablet, citing significant reported issues with the device's touch screen and built-in GPS. While praising the device generally, the magazine said it would urge caution to its readers until the issues are resolved.
CR found that it encountered the problem with the touch screen in its own testing, saying that it had been widely reported that "a few quirks are being encountered by early owners." The magazine went on to say that reports held that the touch screen sometimes "goes crazy" and misses or repeats touches or keystrokes on the virtual keyboard.
"On the sample Nexus 7 we bought, we found it impossible to use the Swype method of word entry," the magazine wrote in its advisory, "as the continuous sliding from one key to the next gets chopped up by whatever the problem is, entering gibberish instead of meaningful text."
Consumer Reports also ran into the GPS problem in its testing. "Some users report that the built-in GPS loses contact with satellites after a short period of operation," staffers wrote. "When we walked around outside our headquarters with the Maps app on our Nexus (on a sunny day with just a few clouds), it tracked for less than 10 minutes before the map position 'froze' (though the compass direction still updated). The freeze lasted until we restarted the tablet."
The note also went on to add that on an overall basis, the Nexus 7 was still a strong mini-tablet -- calling the screen "the sharpest one we've seen yet in a tablet," and that the device was generally good aside from the issues, and a good value at a retail price of $229.
Google has said that it will release an update to fix the touchscreen issue, but has said that the GPS issue is still being studied.