Why the new Nexus 7 is a half-baked potato

16th Aug 2013 | 13:30

Why the new Nexus 7 is a half-baked potato

Hey, mostly finished is still finished...right?

I didn't think I'd last long. And I didn't. Despite my protestations of playing it cool, saying I could wait, pretending it didn't matter, it's happened.

I've ordered the new Nexus 7.

And it's a lovely piece of kit - but there's something I've got to vent. An ire so strong, it is coming between me and sleep.

For all of Nexus's great selling points – the screen, the speed, the size and portability - it's a long way from flawless. The internet is now full of complaints about the multi touch and the GPS stability, and quite frankly, it's just not acceptable.

Multi-touch doesn't work all the time – the key presses don't always register. And the GPS is a bit flaky. Units get a lock and work for around 20-30 mins before dropping the connection, but then you can't get it back unless you restart the Nexus.

That solves the majority of complaints, although others need full factory restores to get all back on track. It'll probably be sorted shortly with a software update and Google is aware of the issue and is giving it priority.

Not a big problem... but still a problem

And I suppose the actual glitch isn't a problem. It's just that – a glitch. But there is a principle here: Google should not be rushing out products that aren't finished.

From the iPhone 4 to the Nexus 7 to the Galaxy S4 and its memory issues, it seems that these days, manufacturers are far too eager to push out a half finished product.

What happened to testing? What happened to making sure the consumer gets the best possible product? Issues like the GPS and multi-touch ones plaguing the Nexus 7 must have shown up during testing before millions got their paws on the device.

You've had more than a year to get this right. What gives, Asus?

The fact is that companies like Apple and Google know the fans will be desperate to get their hands on their wares, flooding to snap up a unit.

That's largely due to folks like me. The early adopters. We're a strange bunch - the technical, geeky equivalent of a One Direction fan.

They know we'll be first in line. Maybe they think that we can therefore act as their QC department. After all, time waits for no tablet and there is such a huge pressure to get devices out quickly.

It surely can't be a coincidence that Google and Asus have pushed this latest Nexus out as soon as they could so they could grab the headlines before the next iPad Mini.

But that's dangerous too – because we live in a social media age and flaws are screamed about. Top results for Nexus 7 on Google tend to be people complaining about GPS and multi-touch.

Sure, it'll be forgotten in four months when the software update's been pushed out and the Christmas campaign is underway, but right now, it sucks and feels like consumers are being taken advantage of.

If you ran a restaurant and started serving the food half cooked because you hadn't checked it, you'd be shut down pronto. A car manufacturer wouldn't sell you a motor with a boot that opens itself after half an hour's driving, so the fact is that for a device costing people a lot of their hard earned money, a Nexus 7 should work seamlessly out of the box.

I've reviewed dozens of phones and tablets for TechRadar over the years – each time putting them through their paces in the most unbiased, rigorous way possible.

But as well as being a professional, I have a love/hate relationship with tech, and that's what these columns are all about: the passionate howlings of a true fanboy. Tell me why I'm right, wrong or a hopeless idiot in the comments below or by tweeting @techradar or @phillavelle.

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