Nexus 7 screen separation issue and fix discovered

July 19, 2012
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    The Nexus 7 may be the most popular Android tablet in town these days, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s flaw free. In addition to the screen ghosting issues affecting certain users that we talked about a few days ago, we now have a new screen-related problem for you.

    This time around it appears that some Nexus 7 units have faulty displays that seem to slightly come out of the plastic bezel. In case you noticed your display creaking when touching it in certain areas that’s because it’s not perfectly held in place by the screws behind it.

    The most obvious thing to do is to contact Google customer support and have this issue resolved by them. However, you can also try to fix the issue manually, not that we’re encouraging you to go down this path.

    What you need to do is remove the back plate and tighten the screws that are supposed to hold it into place and prevent any screen movement. These screws are apparently not tighten all the way, so you should make sure that they’re all perfectly tight:

    So rather than sending back my Nexus 7, I decided to give something a try. I removed the back casing, which is very easy to do. I used a small flat screwdriver where the “leather” meets the plastic and gently wedged it in. The case popped right open and was easily removed. I then tightened all of the small phillips screws around the outside of the board on the back of the screen.

    This immediately cleared up the creakiness and play that i was experiencing on the left side of the screen. I tightened all screws and not just the ones on the left side. Do this at your own risk, obviously, but this immediately rectified my issue!

    The screen separation fix didn’t work for everyone, but so far it’s the best do-it-yourself alternative out there. At the same time, we’ll remember that this is a budget-friendly device sold at cost by Google, so we’re not really surprised that build quality is not on par with what you’d expect from such gadgets.

    Nexus 7 with back removed | Image credit: xda-developers Forum

    Google and/or Asus are yet to comment on the matter, so we’ll keep you updated. In the mean time, you can check out the xda-developers Forum to see how others have dealt with this problem.

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    Comments

    • MH

      I have this issue. Called Google and they are shipping me a new one while I can keep the old one until the new one arrives which is ideal so I can contnue to enjo it. When the new one comes, I will send the old one back free of charge. Zero hassles. Let’s hope the new ones have been srewed down tightly. I didn’t want to risk doing it myself and damaging it or voiding warranty.

    • stigg

      I agree it shouldn’t have happened and it’s nice to hear Google is going one better than ‘cross shipping’. FWIW, I just performed the DIY fix today… with a plastic or wooden separator tool, it was quick to do.

    • RB

      I tried the fix and it still separates. I bought it at Office Depot so I may see if I can get an exchange.

    • RB

      I got a refund today from Office Depot. Google/ASUS needs to address this ASAP because an otherwise solid device is going to get a bad rep from shoddy QA.

    • SS

      My nexus 7 is effected and I just pulled the back off and tightened all the screws. Guess what?! The issue has gone!

      Try it people, before sending it back. Its far too much hassle to send it back and set up the new device.

    • jescott418

      I’m going to send mine back. other issues cannot be fixed so easily. Screen brightness flicker, Apps crashing and the placement of keyboard in landscape has me hitting Home button and not Space bar. Also lost Flash player in Jelly Bean.
      Sorry, too many negatives to just accept it.

    • James Hobson

      If tightening the screws doesn’t work for you try this safe clamping fix:
      http://therealtonystark.blogspot.ca/2012/07/google-nexus-screen-separation-fix.html

    • Justin Wilson

      Mine is having same problem with screen sepeation/creaking on left side, tried to call google to get a replacement but mesg said high call volume, to call back.. think I might just try the DIY and see what happens

    • http://twitter.com/m_stas mSTAS ♥ Pets

      Thanks – that worked for me. Same issue – and the fix COMPLETELY solved it!

    • Frank Sanchez

      Instantly worked!

    • John Irwin

      Worked perfect this tablet now surpasses my iPad lol

    • cs

      Worked for me too!

    • ik2010

      Worked like a charm. Started taking the back off with a screw driver but opted for my (short) fingernails. Don’t rip the back off, just work your nails around the edge until it simply lifts off. Used a #3 Phillips head and turned until the driver slipped. The two screws in the effected corner turned more than the others but they all felt like they moved some. Entire process took two minutes.

      • renaud

        Thanks works excellent with my finger nail too
        Its a fix for me… gave them a good 1/4 of a turn …. It was bugging me till the begining … Can believe Google doesn’t recall that … Asus eh ……

    • Joel Alenchery

      awesomeness … worked perfectly .. :) .. although i think i might have broken a lill tab on the cover while opening the back :( .. hope thats not too much damage .. !

    • Benjamin

      I had this issue on my Nexus 7, and tried multiple times to fix it with tightening/loosening the screws and nothing worked. I ended up calling Google for a replacement and received a clearly used, damaged, and even more defective device than my first one. The packaging was awful and it even had finger prints on the screen. I called Google again and had them promise to send me another replacement, but this time brand-new and defect-free. I got my 3rd Nexus 7 in the mail a few days ago, and thankfully this one was new, but it was not pre-inspected and clearly had the SAME screen issue as my original device. The quality control at Asus seems to be awful. I am probably just keeping this one and demanding some sort of compensation.

    • mike payton

      I’m seeing a lot of people who have screws on the left side not just loose but MISSING. Mine has two missing on that side. Google needs to get on Asus to check stupid mistakes like this or take the next Nexus tablet to someone who has decent quality control.

    • Jared

      The fix worked for me, the screws may seem tight but most of them can be tightened another couple milimeters and it should fix things.

    • Fabio

      Hey guys, after 4 days of use, my Nexus 7 do not start on. Did you know about some report about this issue?

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