updated 08:31 pm EDT, Tue June 18, 2013
Root cause unclear, problem possibly multifaceted
Reports have begun to surface of widespread, but not universal, issues with the Nexus 7 tablet made by Asus for Google. According to reports from early adopters, a possible combination of power-sapping software updates, the Android lack of support for the SSD TRIM command, and potentially poor-quality storage or RAM are taking a toll on some users devices prematurely.
The Nexus 7, on launch, was well-received. Electronista's review of the device in July of 2012 found it "a powerhouse of a tablet." Noted in the review are reports from early adopters complaining about early production glitches, including the screen separating from the body of the device and other relatively minor issues. Users not experiencing problems with the tablet are still generally pleased with the performance of the device.
An editorial at Androidandme brought more attention to the crashing issue, which has been percolating on various Android-focused forums for some time. Some users now report frequent crashing requiring what one user calls "restart voodoo" to restore the unit to functionality, lag between touchscreen contact and device response, and the need to keep available memory as high as possible to avoid system lockups and crashing.
It is important to note that not every user is experiencing issues. Many users claim to have an "out of the box" experience still, nearly a year after initial release. Other users have resorted to "rooting" the device and installing one of a series of hacks to assist Android with the lack of TRIM support for storage. Other users report that disabling social magazine app Google Currents assists with the responsiveness. Yet others are resorting to full device erasure every month or so, similar to a common practice for computer troubleshooting.
Devices brought into service centers for repair are often replaced at the depot level by policy or contract, preventing unaffiliated technicians from taking a look at the device's hardware or software for any root causes. Once started, the problems seem to persist, regardless of Android revision.